View Full Version : University of Texas in Arlington (a horror story) TDBC
01-24-2003, 11:57 AM
University of Texas in Arlington Dynasty
Obviously I cracked under the strain. My job for Homeland Security was the culmination of long work hours and years of dedication. But when I was given the opportunity to coach the long since thought of as dead UTA Mavericks, I took it. Yeah, that’s right I took it! So let it be written, so let it be done. My wife has threatened me for doing this. It does not bother me; I expect the same treatment from the fans and press.
Chancellor Bynam told me today, “Here is what we expect. That you don’t embarrass us. The freshman class is horrible, the current crop is horrible, and the challenge is BRUTAL. Also, we are broke. We can only afford Sid Nyquidts Hoops Galore. He has had some luck in the past, I think in ’64 he picked a real good kid to play somewhere, but hasn’t done much since. Rated a 1 Star service, but maybe he will help you out in Europe or somewhere, who knows really. We have a budget of 5,161 dollars and he cost 3,393 a week. You do the math. Basically, we are up a creek without a paddle with no end in sight. What do you say?”
I hadn’t been listening really, but I heard the last part.
“I’ll take it!” I said.
“Oh, one last thing,” asked Bynam, “Do you know anything about basketball? I mean, have you ever played?”
“Oh, sure,” I said, “7th through 12th grade, quite good if I may say so. But I played football 16 years and I love it more. Say, you don’t need a football coach, do you?”
“Umm, no. We killed the football program in the late 80’s.”
“Well, all right then, where do I start?”
“How about I take you down and look at the team, that seems as good as place as any,” said Bynam.
So it begins. As I walked to the court, behind Bynam, who walked with a limp, which slowed our progress, I saw many, many foreign students protesting the upcoming war in Iraq. I wondered to myself, “I have never seen such protesting from raw freshman before. But can they shoot the tray?” I walked into the arena that was beyond old and which smelled like metal. The reason became clear, The UTA Mavs have the best wheelchair basketball team in the nation. It was my job to make the team I coached half as competitive. I would fill this 18,000-seat monstrosity of a home arena and be the talk of the Metroplex. Nothing was going to stop me. Until I saw the team practicing…
01-24-2003, 12:01 PM
Ok, the first bit of news is that this arena only holds 4200 people. Not 18,000. That’s the admission. 4200 people!!! I have slept with 4200 people, but that’s another story. My team. As I look at them, I can only think of the scene when Gene Hackman walks onto the court in Hoosiers and sees a rag tag group of young men just waiting to be molded by his experienced hand. Except one of them starts talking to me like Snoop with his “hizzle, fizzle, bizzle, gizzle.” I respond by making him run laps. I know I am not is 1950’s Indiana.
I find out later his name is Jacque Izzo, an 18-year-old 6-11 center that will be the cornerstone of my future offense. But today he is running laps. As I glance out I see we have some height on the team, but they are all skinny and have absolutely no idea how to handle the ball, much less shoot. I evaluate over the course of a week, and then decide on my starters.
FirstNameLastName Pos Ht Wt Starter
Clifton Anderson PG 6-1 164
Tony Dillard C 6-11 207
Louis Felts SF 6-6 185
Aaron Gipson SG 6-4 175 Jr. YES
Morgan Hall SG 6-5 187 Sr. YES
Brian Harmon PF 6-8 229
Jacque Izzo C 6-11 208
Jerry Lyles C 7-1 213 Jr. YES
Lance Prince SF 6-3 184
Bryan Redd PG 5-9 141
Bryan Rencher SF 6-4 185
Jermaine Taylor SG 6-2 170 Sr. YES
Anthony Walker PF 6-6 191 Fr. YES
The two that stand out are 7-1 Center Jerry “Manute” Lyles. He only weighs 213 pounds, but with the hack talent we have, I am using him till he drops. He better block 50 shots a game with the height he has and the teams we play.True Freshman Anthony Walker is my PF, and I really want to develop him as much as possible. Our grades look pretty good. Except for Tony Dillard (1.60) and Bryan Rencher (1.84). If you can’t get a 2.0 here, then maybe TCJC will fit you in.
I guess now its time to get out there and play. We play Fairfield at home. I don’t expect much, but we will see where this takes us.
01-24-2003, 12:02 PM
11/20/02 Fairfield vs. UTA
It was over before it began. We had 300 people in attendance and I think they were all people visiting from Fairfield. They took it to us. First we could not shoot to save our lives. 2-17 from 3-point land. 3 of 8 from the free throw line. –29 on the plus/minus. It was ugly. The only player who looked like he wanted to be here was Aaron Gipson. He had 24 points. I actually saw tears in his eyes after the game. I can tell he will be our leader. Jerry “Manute” Lyles had 4 blocked shots and 2 points. He is miserable shooting the ball, which isn’t much because every time he gets the ball inside he dishes it out. The rim is three inches away! Dunk it! Oh well, we lose 78-49 to the powerhouse from Fairfield. In practice tomorrow we run till we vomit, and then we clean up the vomit, and run some more.
11/23/2002 UTA vs. Northeastern
My team acted different after three days of running. They had fear in their eyes. As I sat eating Rice Krispie Treats in front of their exhausted bodies, I said that if we lost again, we would run bleachers all day every day. I can tell they do not want to do this. The guys played really well, even Manute took some shots and ended up with 8 points. We were only down by 3 at half. The second half my freshman, Anthony Walker took control and kept us in it all the way down the stretch. They hit two 3 pointers back to back and we lost 80-76, now we are 0-2. Walker ended up 24 points. Gutsy play by a kid in only his second college game. I am proud of my guys. Not so proud that they won’t get a taste of bleacher city this week.
11/28/02 Pacific at UTA
A team we should on paper contend with. My guys hate life. They are used to losing. They are not used to the consequences. Even Izzo stopped talking Snoop to me after his 100th bleacher. I am not looking for conditioning. I am looking for a mindset that losing is so painful that winning is the only option. Pacific, a team of contrasts, none of which I care about. All I know is we are at home at Texas Hall, and I want a victory. We go up quickly, the first lead we have ever had. At half we have a 10-point lead. Manute refuses to block shots. No matter with this game. We breeze to victory, 81-70. Now we are 1-2, and I finally fill like we can breathe. Gipson had 20, and looked good doing it. A break for the guys is deserved.
01-24-2003, 12:03 PM
11/30/02 UTA vs. Washington State
These State guys are supposed to be pretty good. With almost no rest, we are ready to go. Every guy enjoyed the normal practice, and I said that more normalcy would come if victories were given to me. I knew this was quite a test. Defensively we shut them down the whole game. That was what I wanted from Manute. Nobody comes inside! He had 3 blocked shots and took the ball away 8 times. He does make a difference there in the middle. Gipson had 22 to steer the ship. Morgan Hall is really turning it on as well. The senior had double figures for the third straight game. Sweet win 71-52. 2-2 on the season.
12/2/2002 UTA vs. Fair Dickinson
I have to be honest with you. I am not sure who this team or school is. I think we should slaughter them after the game against Washington. Silly me. The FD’s gave us all we wanted. If Morgan Hall hadn’t went on a shooting frenzy (35) then we would have been sunk. Manute had 2 blocked shots as they tried to catch us down the stretch. We win it to close for comfort 89-76. Now we are 3-2 and on a 3 game winning streak. Nice.
12/7/02 West Virginia at UTA
A true test for our little win streak. Earlier in the day I found out SF Bryan Rencher had been suspended because basket-weaving 101 was too hard for him. 8 weeks out. The type of team we have, everyone must contribute. I told him not to worry about it. Not to shed a tear for us. We would make it without his selfishness. West Virginia played sloppy and we made them pay. Gipson 24, Taylor 19, and Hall 13 just handled the game with real leadership. Dare I dream I have a team to reckon with? 83-71. We are 4-2 now, and someone actually called me coach on campus. It turned out it was my assistant, but it was a step in the right direction.
01-24-2003, 12:03 PM
12/11/02 UTA vs. Butler
These Butler guys look better than us on paper. They have even seen the dance a time or two, but we are on a roll, and cannot be stopped. Gipson has 21 and Hall has 17. What a duet I have at the guard positions. Butler only hits 1 of 7 from 3 point land and suffer the consequences. It was not a walk away but we pull out the victory over a hostile crowd who assumed we were the Longhorns. Victory 70-61. 5-2 now with a 5 game winning streak.
12/14/2002 UTA vs. #9 Oklahoma
What moron scheduled this game? We are not ready for this team. Just when I was getting confidence built, it has a chance to be shattered. Two minutes into the game, Manute Lyles goes up for a dunk, and Oklahoma’s enforcer Hayes takes his legs out. Manute lands on his back. It looks pretty serious; we will know more after the game. The guys looked flat after that. Nothing was firing. We went 2 of 19 from the 3-point line. Hall was the only one with double digits, with 17. We are not in the same universe as this team. Lose 77-38. Fall to 5-3. Without a presence in the middle, we seemed doomed.
12/19/02 San Diego State at UTA
Bad news it is. Jerry “Manute” Lyles, my 7’1, 213 pound center has a ruptured disc in his back. He will be out 2-3 months. That effectively takes me out of competitor status. I put PF Brian Harmon back at center Izzo just is not ready to handle it. We will see if a little adversity takes us out of play. Our guys play valiantly, but their starting 5 just lit it up, and would not be denied. Gipson has 19, and we lose 80-69. Now we are 5-4, and looking for a miracle. Perhaps I need to change up my coaching strategy to see if I can make any difference.
01-24-2003, 12:04 PM
12/21/02 UTA vs. Purdue
We limp into Purdue a shaken team. Having not only lost two straight, we lose our tree in the middle. Sometimes in life, you have to suck it up. This, for us, is one of those times. Gipson and Hall, my two guys who have always played lights out, do so for me this game. We fall behind by 12 at the half, but we came storming back after we made some adjustments. We pushed the court, and hit some big shots. Down by one with 2 seconds left, Gipson throws up an off balance shot from 15 feet that finds all net, and we pull of the biggest win of the season 70-68. 6-4 now, and wondering why none of the recruits want anything to do with us.
12/23/2002 N.C. State vs. UTA
For the first time ever, N.C. State comes to Arlington, and they looked really thrilled about it. If I ever catch the guy who scheduled this season for my team, I am going to rip his heart out and then I am going to eat his children. Ok, so that’s been done. No contest here, as we get pummeled. We hung in there for the first half, but we didn’t have the horses in the second. Lose 83-64. 6-5 now. Gipson had 19, and leads the conference in scoring. Merry Christmas to us.
12/28/02 Coppin State at UTA
This game was neck and neck throughout. Luckily the local refs made sure we had more chances at the free throw line, and that was the difference. The coach at Coppin thought we robbed him. I baited him by acting like I was taking money out of my pocket to pay the ref. Gipson had 17, Walker had 15, Taylor had 13, and Hall had 12. A good outing by the guys. We won 72-68. Now we are 7-5, and need to make a run of some sort. I wish I had Manute back.
01-25-2003, 05:57 PM
12/30/02 SW Texas State vs. UTA
Our first conference game and must win for us to set the standard. I gave one of the best pep talks I ever gave before the game. I talked about history, and greatness, and dead grandmothers, anything I could think of to inspire. None of it worked. We shot 28.8% from the field. We had 18 turnovers, and looked like we did the first game of the season. As I glared at the players as they walked off the court, all I could think to say was, “I got the wizzle to the lizzle hizzle.” Lose 78-67. 7-6 overall. 0-1 in conference play.
Jeff Dobbins, a small forward, from Booker T Washington High School in Houston, Texas commits to us. Now we have one scholarship remaining.
The following Texas Arlington players are now eligible to return from their academic suspensions:
SF Bryan Rencher
Texas Arlington Athletic Director
1/3/2003 UTA vs. Sam Houston State
It was now or never for my guys. Were the early games that shocked a nation all a mirage? This was the test. Gipson came out flying, scoring the first 12 points of the game. That, unfortunately, was the highlight of the day. We shot miserably again. Only 43% from the field. 7-20 on 3-pointers. 9-16 from the free throws. Out-rebounded 37-25, just every stat, a nightmare. What a shame. Gipson had 18, Hall had 10, but that was it. We miss the big guy more than I ever knew. Lose 84-66. 7-7 overall, 0-2 in conference play.
1/7/02 UTA at Southeast Louisiana
Looking at the match ups in this game, we had a huge lead. No reason on earth we should lose. One problem we have been having on our losing streak is getting behind early and depending on Gipson to play basically the entire offense himself. Freshman Anthony Walker turned out big the second half, and helped us catch up from the deficit we were at halftime. SE Louisiana was very tough to shake, and only strong shooting and fundamental play saved the day. We shot 57% from the field and were 8-9 from the 3 point-line. Walker had 23, Gipson had his 19, and Hall had 17 to give us the win 80-68.
8-7 overall, 1-2 in conference play.
01-25-2003, 05:59 PM
1/10/03 Nicholls State vs. UTA
Quite a match up we have here. Two forces of nature colliding in a mass of fury and elbows. If five people show up I will be amazed. We play sloppy, but Gipson keeps us focused. If I had 5 kids like him I could win it all. We go up 36-29, and then coast to a 74-63 win. 9-7 overall, 2-2 in conference play.
One sour note, SG Jermaine Taylor landed on his head, and had a slight concussion. He is probably day-to-day, but it was a scary moment.
1/16/2003 Northwestern State vs. UTA
This is a team that is 3-0 in conference play. If we are going to make any sort of run at greatness, the time is now. Taylor got the green light to play, so that is an added relief. This is just sour grapes, but CRAP, I want Manute back. It is time to take a play out of my good friend at TCU’s playbook and UNLEASH THE F****** FURY!
Well, the only fury to unleash is my own. They outshot us 58% to 40%, easily spelling the difference. We were down by 20, and I switched to a high post offense and a man-to-man defense, and cut the lead to 2, but then we just lost gas and it was over. Lost 71-61.
9-8 overall, 2-3 in conference play. This sucks.
1/18/03 UTA at Louisiana Monroe
Monroe is 3-2 in conference play. They scare me. Our guys seem lethargic and tired. Maybe its time for some tough love all over again.
Well, we get down 37-22 at half. Shooting only 34% from the field. I cannot understand how we go from a 60% team to a 30% in two weeks. The next half, we better come alive.
The second half was no better than the first. We lost the turnover battle 21-16 and lost the game 70-54. We can’t depend on Gipson to win every game for us. When we get home they are going to run until Memorial Day!
9-9 overall, 2-4 in conference play.
On a side note, we are ranked #139th in the country, with a schedule ranking of 228. I am not sure where I thought we would be.
01-25-2003, 06:01 PM
1/20/03 UTA vs. McNeese State
Ugly, ugly game. This is the team I thought I had inherited. Amazing poor play, and the 35% shooting from the field continues. I put in my 6’11 soph. Center Tony Dillard in the game to get some experience. Who knows if Manute will ever recover? Maybe next game I will let Izzo have his first start at center. Something needs to shake this team up. On the way home I played Becks “I’m a Loser” 184 times. Bryan “what’s a GPA” Rencher said he loved that song too. I think he missed the point. Lose 83-61. 9-10 overall, 2-5 in conference play. Maybe I should have stuck with football.
1/30/2003 Lamar vs. UTA
Lamar is 4-2 and looking for a gift similar to the one McNeese just received. For 9 days all we did was run. Izzo quit three times. I like his non-spirit. At least he admits he sucks. I am starting him. The freshman debut. At it would be something, he is matched up with 7’1 center Cary “Drago” Walker, the most dominating force in the Southland Conference. Izzo does not appear to be shaken or stirred, and rejects Dragos first shot, and second shot, and goes down and dunks it off the fast break. We were down by 7 at the half, but the second half we got the hot hand, shooting 55.1%, a huge improvement. Walker has 18, Taylor and Hall have 15 apiece, and Izzo has 14 points from the center position. Wow! I gave him the game ball, and he said proudly, “this is for all my homies on lock down,” whatever that meant. One odd note, Gipson only had 7. The last 4 games he has not hit double digits. We got to have him. We win 77-66. 10-10 overall, 3-5 in conference play.
1/31/03 UTA at Texas San Antonio
We got a commitment from our last player today. SF Tyson Dryden - West Region (TX). He does nothing for me, but I may be surprised. I already want to call him Tyler Durden from the Fight Club.
With one days rest we battle our nemesis, the other Texas sister school to the University of Texas. Let’s rock. Izzo starts again.
Boy, we looked tired. If I had scouted better, I would have seen that TSA loves to run and gun down the court. We tried to keep up with them and did until the half, and then it was a slow roast to loserville. Gipson is obviously tired. He had 7 again, and lost his gas almost every few minutes. I may bench him and take a few losses in the hopes he can help us in tournament action, if we make it. Izzo has 8 but only 3 rebounds and 0 blocks. I can tell he is an offensive minded person only. We shot 46%, which didn’t cut the mustard here. We lose 74-63. 10-11 overall, 3-6 in conference play.
01-25-2003, 06:26 PM
Excellent. The metroplex dynasties continue. The F****** Fury will be the wave of the future, whether that is a good or bad thing only time will tell. :)
01-26-2003, 03:29 PM
2/05/03 UTA vs. Stephen F. Austin
The battle of the bottom dwellers. SFA is 3-6 in Southland play, and we need to take them out. A hostile crowd awaits us. I am going with Izzo again and a high post offense. We did well against Lamar in this set.
Not exactly our best effort, but we maintained enough flow to win. My guys “seem” so tired, it’s hard to describe. Gipson has become a non-factor. Izzo drops in 8 but has no rebounds or blocks. Hall has 16, Walker has 15 and we shot 49% and 2-16 from 3-point land. A better team would have romped us, but we did enough to win 64-61. 11-11 overall and 4-6 in conference. Mediocrity is our creed. We drop to #239 in the CRI.
2/08/2003 UTA vs. SW Texas State
We lost 78-67 last go around to these clowns. I am going to stick with the Izzo high post offense and hope Gipson finds his game. He hasn’t showered in weeks, and I feel as the coach I should talk to him. Maybe some other time.
Yes! A very aggressive, smelly Gipson goes on a rampage of destruction. That is the player of old! He had 21, Hall had 14, Izzo had his 8. If I can somehow get to the tourney, any tourney, Manute might be back. We win in Bobcat land, 66-52, thanks to some poor shooting from SWTS. 12-11 overall, and 5-6 in conference play.
Senior Morgan Hall is not flashy, but he has really been the rock of my offense. He has double figures in 21 out of 23 games and was the Southland Player of the Week in week 4. I am going to miss him terribly I am afraid.
2/13/03 Sam Houston State at UTA
They destroyed us 84-66 on January 3rd. There is no real reason why they should have, as we have a better team. Unleash the Izzo, hizzo.
I don’t believe this! Poor coaching by me, and a lackadaisical approach by the players. Gipson goes the line for two shots. Makes the first, we go up 69-67 with 4 seconds to go. He misses the next one, Walker grabs the rebound but it’s stolen by SHS, and the crank it down to a wide open player who drains the three with no time left, we lose 70-69. Incredible. Hall had 16, Walker had 12, and Izzo had 9. Gipson only had 8 points and if he makes the last free throw we force at least a tie. I renounce him now!! He is the scourge of our team. I now call him Leper Gipson from this day forward.
12-12 overall, and 5-7 in conference play.
01-26-2003, 03:30 PM
2/15/03 SE Louisiana vs. UTA
I am not going to lie, that last game hurt. I cried myself to sleep. Alone. Even my own wife is disgusted with our team, but not my paycheck. I make a cool 4, 078 dollars a week, which before taxes comes up to 212,056. Nice, huh? Wait, maybe government work was better. Anyway, that is behind me. It’s time to play. I am benching the Leper this game.
What a brick fest. The last 11 shots for victory were missed on both sides. Leper cried on the bench as I started Lance “The” Prince in his place, and he had 11. Not enough to keep Leper out, but maybe he got a rest and a shower. We win 64-63. 13-12 overall, 6-7 in conference play. Give me .500!!
2/20/2003 UTA vs. Nicholls State
The last three games in regular season play. It has been an emotional run. I honestly feel that Manute would have made us a contender. But what ifs don’t pay the rent. Let’s try to take three.
I take partial blame for this loss. Even though Prince had 22 points, I need the defense of the Leper. We lost 73-60 in the first loss I attribute myself. The fact we shot 1-10 from the three-point stripe means nothing. 13-13 overall, 6-8 in conference play.
2/26/03 Louisiana Monroe at UTA
Next to last game of the regular season. We lost 70-54, the last time we played. I decide on the following starters:
PG Jeramaine Taylor - the senior needs to play it out.
SG Leper Gipson- the junior needs to redeem himself.
SF Morgan Hall- Great year for the senior.
C Brian Harmon- a sophomore, usually a power forward, but can rebound.
PF Anthony Walker- the freshman has played great with 11.8 points per game.
Confusion on offense, Indecision on defense. Now I know why the Tark ate towels. Well, so be it. I felt we had my best on the court, but it was no good. Our tank is empty to be sure. Leper had 23 and Hall had 21 and no on else had a clue. We lose 76-72. We are 13-14 overall, 6-9 in conference play. I honestly thought we would be better than this. I stare at my WWPD bracelet. I ask myself, What Would Patton Do?
01-26-2003, 03:32 PM
3/02/03 Stephen F. Austin vs. UTA
SFA is in last place in the conference. We need to beat them. Our last game and last home game. Who knows, I might even be fired, so this could be my last game as well. I keep the same starters, but I put Izzo back in at center.
Stephen F. was ready to give us a fight. It went down to the wire before we managed to win the finale at home and finish the regular season at .500. Leper Gipson had 22, and Hall in his last game at Texas Hall finished with 17. Izzo had 11 big points. We won 73-65, and I am not sure what comes next. This is my first year, after all. 14-14 overall and 7-9 in conference play.
3/6/2003 Sam Houston State (10) vs. UTA (7)
Well, we are seeded #7 for the Southland Tournament. I can’t think of a worse team to have to play. They swept during the season, including the buzzer beater late in the season. Plus, we had a horrible accident in practice yesterday. Freshman Anthony Walker went up for a lay-up and fell awkwardly on his head, fracturing it. It was a long night, but he is in the clear, but his basketball is done this season. Junior, Bryan Rencher gets the start. I am not starting Izzo at center, I am going with Brian Harmon and I will try to control the boards, tempo, and clock.
These guys have our number, no doubt about it. We played catch up the whole game, and I tried a variety of changes to creep past. We missed easy shots at the end. Rencher subbed nicely with 21, but Leper only had 9, and when he sucks, we suck. Good Luck to SHS, they are going to need it. We lose 68-66.
Southland Championship- (1)McNeese State 69 versus (3)Louisiana Monroe 54
East NCT Region- (10)McNeese State 62 versus (7)Texas A&M 70
Final – Arkansas 78 Georgia Tech 46
01-27-2003, 12:58 AM
Wow, McNeese got a #10 Seed in the Tourney.. What kind of Regular Season Record did they have? They must have run roughshed over the rest of the So'Land Conference.
Very enjoyable reading Senator, keep it up!!
01-27-2003, 07:49 PM
Off season End of Year 1
Offered positions from:
Stephen F. Austin
SW Texas State
Cal Poly SLO
I am mildly surprised that I have 9 offers from anyone. A few are intriguing, as they offer a pretty good argument that they offer more resources and are more widely known that UTA. I always wanted to live in Montana, and who could you not want warm California. As much as I am tempted already to leave, I decide to stay and see what happens here.
· Red shirted sophomore Bryan Redd and
· Freshman Jeff Dobbins
Hired 2 new coaches to see me through the next year. One guy, Erik Hightower, almost makes as much as me!
Fired Hoops Galore and hired a 2 star outfit called National Prep for my scouting service. It makes my available money tight, but I know I have to upgrade to get better players.
Well, our schedule strength is going to be dead last in the nation I am afraid. I just was not going to play 3 top 20 schools within 2 weeks of each other. Now we must beat the little schools. I want wins.
01-27-2003, 07:50 PM
Meet the Team
Here are the starting 5 2003-04 UTA Limping Mavericks:
PG Sophomore Clifton Anderson – first year starter; had a good training camp.
SG Senior Aaron “Leper” Gipson- hoping to take back the leadership roll of the team.
SF Senior Bryan Rencher – first year starter; trying to keep his grades up.
C Senior Jerry “Manute” Lyles- making his comeback from a season ending back injury after only 8 games. He has improved in all areas, especially inside scoring. I need and expect him to dominate the boards with his 7’1 frame. All those milkshakes did no good, he still weighs 213.
PF Sophomore Anthony Walker- the second year starter had a skull fracture at the end of last season that I will be watching to see what recovery he has made.
PF Junior Brian Harmon
PG Freshman Andre Ray
C Junior Tony Dillard
SF Senior Lance Prince
SF Freshman Brandon Sanders
C Sophomore Jacque Izzo
I feel good about everything. Today everyone had a good puke after practice. I consider this a great sign.
We play our first game at home. I want to rip these guys up and down the court. Manute is back! Manute is back! The cries from my bedroom are ear splitting.
01-27-2003, 07:51 PM
11/18/2003 Wichita State at UTA
Well, we have a lot of changes, and now it’s time to see if I have any clue as to what I am doing. Release the hounds. We are favorites, but they have the advantage 3-2 in personnel. What I have is Manute, with a 5-inch advantage at Center. Feed the monster the ball.
40-39 at half, we have the lead, but the Shockers are trying to do just that. Manute is playing well, but we can’t the ball to him.
The second half is ours. Manute is the man. 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks. I will take that every time. Rencher surprises with 28, Leper has 16, and Walker has 8, obviously hampered by his skull fracture. My point guard Anderson only has 3 and went 1-8. My freshman find might see some time after all. We win 86-68. 1-0.
11/21/03 UTA at Portland
The start of a 6 game road trip. What was I thinking? 9 of our next 10 are on the road. Maybe poor planning by me. I just didn’t want to play Michigan if I could avoid it. We are the underdogs. They have a 6’6 freshman center named Robert Frederick who had 13 rebounds last game and the experts give him the edge over my Manute. We shall see.
Down 34-24 at half. We are just shooting really poorly. My starters are being defended really well from these guys.
Somehow we battle back to a 64-64 tie at the end of regulation. My first overtime game. I want this one. That Frederick kid is for real.
WOW! 77-77 at the end of the first overtime. They hit at the buzzer. I give the guys the pep talk about the scorpion and the frog. They don’t understand it. The perfect crime.
Yeah! We win it 88-86! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! Leper has 28, Rencher has 22, Manute has 4 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. Good win. I like to see us fight. Tonight we dance.
Bryan Rencher is names Player of the Week. Well deserved. 2-0.
11/27/03 UTA at Wyoming
Playing a team favored, and one I could have been coaching today. If my guys stay healthy, knock on wood, we will contend.
We got them into foul trouble early and it helped out. We are up 43-36, but they are well within striking distance.
I have never seen anything like it. We missed the last 11 shots and they made the last 11. Incredible. Simple 5-foot shots wouldn’t go in. We lost 79-70. We only shot 38% from the field and they shot 58%. So much for the perfect season. J
01-27-2003, 10:56 PM
Nice job Senator! Very... readable.
Stop picking on Rencher. He's a 'special' player.
01-27-2003, 11:37 PM
Nice to see someone else is playing with the Mavs! I'm not the only crazy person!
01-28-2003, 10:15 AM
Thank you guys. I may only go 2-3 years with this dynasty, as any more than that would be repetitive. This is a pretty fun game, and I am not a huge basketball fan.
01-28-2003, 06:16 PM
11/30/2003 UTA at Colgate
We are favored against Colgate, and all our guys match up stronger except Manute, who faces another 7’1 center named Colin “Powell” Harris. Time for my shooters to hit the mark.
Down 36-26 at half, it’s not looking good. We are shooting 35% again. Rencher, my leading scorer is blanked at half. I don’t feel I can go to a post offense because of their big man. Like I said, my shooters need to shoot.
We did better the second half, but were dominated on the boards 32-20. Leper Gipson has 21 and Walker has 18, my guys from last season coming alive a little too late. We lose 71-67. 2-2.
12/04/03 UTA at Washington State
We are favored again but I don’t believe those guys. This road trip is brutal. I learned my lesson. My big guy should have fun if the stars are aligned.
Uh oh! We start off behind 11-0. Real nice. I tell them they are walking home if we lose. They managed to catch back up, and we are behind at half 32-31. Keep feeding the ball to Manute, we have the advantage. Post play!
Much better. We used Manute and our power forward Walker to our advantage. Manute scored 14, Walker had 22, Rencher 14, Anderson 15. I like to think my pep talk helped. We win 75-61. 3-2.
12/6/03 UTA at Stony Brook
Never heard of these guys, but I liked the name and decided to try to schedule. Once again favored, but we seem like a forever .500 team. These guys have a 3-2 advantage with the starters, and they make me nervous. It seems 7’1 centers are everywhere. We match up with another tonight. Cripes.
Incredible, we missed our first 17 shots!!! Down 36-23. I glare a lot.
I could not wait for this one to end. We were out shot 51 to 41 percent. Lost 69-58. 3-3, .500 is the staple of mediocrity.
We are ranked #232 in the nation, with a schedule rank of #308. We should be 6-0.
01-28-2003, 06:18 PM
12/8/2003 UTA at Iona
Our last road game of this long stretch and then we get one home game and then back on the road for three. They are favored but we have a 7-inch advantage at center. Going back to well again my friends.
We are shooting 24% from the field and we are losing our asses 32-16. I am not changing a thing.
What a brick fest. I really thought I had some guys to shoot the ball, but I don’t. We lost 63-53. 3-4.
12/14/03 American at UTA
This is a team we should easily handle, but not if we shoot poorly.
We shoot poorly. 32% from the field. We lost 70-61, I am glad we have not been at home. 3-5. I should have taken that Montana job when I had the chance. I hate this place.
12/17/03 UTA at Detroit
Don’t know much about Detroit. I was just told that Bryan Rencher was named Southland player of the week for the second time this season. Congrats to him. Nice bounce back from academic suspension last year.
I have tried every conceivable offense and defense and nothing works.
We are up 35-32 at half. We had a 15-point lead and then shot 8 bricks in a row. How does this happen???
You bet. We started the big brick and dropped from 47 to 32% and lost 67-64. This is like an open wound that will not heal. 3-6.
01-28-2003, 06:20 PM
12/20/2003 UTA at Bethune Cookman
Playing one of the worst teams in basketball tonight. And I may mean us. Ready to get this losing streak either behind us or well on it’s way. We have had no injuries and that is what I asked for. No excuses other than we are not as good as I thought.
This may be the ugliest game I ever have witnessed. Two dog teams strapping it on.
We are up 40-24 at half. Unleash the Fury.
Gipson and Rencher have 20 each as we dispose of BC 72-58. We still shot 50%, when we were missing 5,6,and 8 footers all night. Lord help us. 4-6
12/24/03 UTA at Duquesne
The only thing I know about this opponent is that they are supposed to beat us, and all five of their guys are rated better than ours. At least I will not be disappointed.
So much for the Christmas miracle. We did shoot 52 percent, but unfortunately, we also shot 52% from the foul line, that was the difference, as we lose another 74-69. 4-7.
12/28/03 Texas Southern at UTA
Our last non-conference game and only our third home game in twelve. It does not really matter how this game turns out, as we are in bad shape. Manute stopped being a force long ago.
Ok, Texas Southern is REALLY bad. WE shot 68% and won going away, 91-49. Rencher had 23. I fully expected Leper Gipson to have a stellar year, but I guess the name calling got to him. We finish off non-conference 5-7, and look like crap.
We get our first recruit, a 3 star player named Stephen Blossom from Trinity High School in Euless, Texas. He is a 6-7 Center, not really my cup of tea.
01-28-2003, 09:31 PM
FTR, Stony Brook is a state school of about 10,000 on Long Island. They're not known for their athletic prowess.
01-28-2003, 11:46 PM
Well you can always say you had a Trojan on the team. :) I dont know what that will do for morale though.
01-30-2003, 08:16 PM
1/1/04 UTA at Lamar
Lamar has big 7’1 Clay “Henry” Walker to make our lives hell. I am trying a different defense. It seemed man to man was not getting it done.
Lamar is loving life. Coming into this game 2-10, they do not taste victory often. That day is now. Shooting 68%, they are winning 40-31 at half with no looking back. Let’s watch shall we as another team dismantles UTA.
My point guard Anderson likes to shoot the ball. A lot. The problem is; is that he is not very good. 1-11 from the field. We lose 68-64. Lamar is tearing down the student bleacher section. 5-8 overall, 0-1 in conference. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
1/3/04 McNeese State at UTA
State was awesome last year, and this year they are just pretty good. We match up well on paper, but if that was all it took, I would have a 12-1 team, but I don’t. I can’t find the solution.
Being outshot 50 to 35 percent at half and losing 35-28. Could be worse I guess.
The ratio holds true 55 to 30 percent shooting, and we lose 76-57. One thing is that the freshman is coming in at point guard, as Anderson went 1-13 again. 5-9 overall, 0-2 in conference.
1/05/04 Sam Houston State at UTA
We had a pow wow meeting. I told the boys Anderson was benched. I told the upper classmen if I was going to lose out, then I would lose out with freshman. This is a much better team than last year, and you could never tell.
The ploy worked. Now I need to find a ploy for all the games that still remain.
The freshman PG Ray played a much smarter and solid game than Anderson did. Better passes, better shot selection. It seemed to be a difference maker. We also shot 54.5%, and when we shoot over 50% this year we win. We won our first game of the year in conference play 81-59. 6-9 overall, 1-2 in conference.
02-01-2003, 09:34 PM
1/10/04 UTA at Texas San Antonio
TSA is the team to beat this year in the Southland Conference. They are 3-0 in the conference and are just dominating people. I decided to make some changes. I am putting Aaron Gipson at point, Rencher at SG and see what happens.
Not a good idea I guess. We are down 42-27 at the half, and my isolation offense backfired. Way low on the shooting percentage.
I took us out of ISO and went into a motion offense that did the trick. Freshman Sanders had 22 in his debut, as we come back and win 72-68. Big win on the road for us.
7-9 overall and 2-2 in conference.
The following recruits have verbally committed to Texas Arlington this week:
C Ronald Diarra - West Region (SD) – another 7’0 center – 3 star
SG Beau Williams - West Region (ND) 2-star
SG Aaron Camby - West Region (TX) 3-star and a Camby relation.
1/15/04 UTA at Northwestern State
We are not favored, but I am hoping our big win over TSA gave us a boost. Last night we watched Hoosiers, and everyone cried. Greatness.
Up 41-39 at half, as the motion offense really works well with Leper and Rencher. It leaves Manute out of the mix as far as strategy goes, but he is not the force I thought he was.
Every one of my starters had double figures as a total team effort gives us the win, 81-78.
Gipson has found a home at point guard.
8-8 overall and 3-2 in conference.
1/17/04 Stephen F. Austin at UTA
This is supposed to be a cakewalk for us. We are favorites and all the guys match up better. We played well against decent teams, now let’s play better against teams we are supposed to beat.
Ahead 53-35 at halftime. I light into the guys. I overheard them say they wanted to get 100 for the first time ever. The problem is they are letting SFA score some points just to get the ball back. Not on my watch.
All the starters were in double figures again, so that makes me happy. Leper Gipson had 18, and looks much more comfortable at point guard. We win 84-71, as we played really poor defense the second half.
9-8 overall, and 4-2 in conference.
02-02-2003, 06:09 PM
1/22/04 UTA at Louisiana Monroe
This is a very big game for us. LM has only one conference loss, and we need to keep the momentum going. I am not sure if my pep talk helped, but getting Anderson out at point guard, getting away from the Manute offense, and switching Leper to point has been awesome.
34-33 at the half – what a war! The Monroe boys know how to fight.
Crap. They beat us. We clanked out last 3 shots off the rim. Missing 5-footers pisses me off. We lose 76-74.
9-10 overall and 4-3 in conference.
1/24/04 Nicholls State at UTA
2 days after that tough loss, we face the 6-1 Nicholls team. They look really solid. I am not deviating from the formula though. I think we are about as good as we can be, and I am not calling plays to hurt us.
Up 43-37 at half. We tend to fade down the stretch, so I am slowing down the pace if possible.
Every dog has its day. Anderson has 17 and leads the way to victory. The kid hasn’t played that well as long as he has been at UTA. I bet he watches this tape a million times before he dies. We win 80-67.
10-10 overall, and 5-3 in conference.
1/29/04 UTA at SW Texas State
Well we were on borrowed time. Senior Bryan Rencher’s career as a Mav is over. He blew out his knee last night, and he is done. His grades are suffering as well. I am afraid what may end up happening to him.
Tonight we play SW Texas, school of LBJ. Time to take them down. But who will step up to take Rencher’s place? Anderson – good grief.
Down by 12 at half. To this team. It’s too horrible to think about. Play on.
They blew us out 77-68. Why did Rencher have to go? Why not Manute??
10-11 overall, 5-4 in conference.
02-03-2003, 08:25 PM
2/04/04 SE Louisiana at UTA
We are in the odd position of being heavy favorites, but Rencher was guaranteeing us almost 18 points a game, and now that has been taken away. The last game proved we are not the same team as we were with him.
Down 39-27 all because I did not think to auto-sub. My fault here on this loss.
Anderson goes down hurt, I will know more tomorrow. Freshman Ray and Sanders come in and have 17 and 25 points respectively. We win 76-75 with the youngsters.
11 overall, and 6-4 in conference.
2/07/04 Lamar at UTA
Anderson is day to day with a bruised hip. We won a big one on the 4th, and we are tied for 2nd place in the conference. Another match up between big men Manute and Clay “Henry” Walker, the 7’1 giants.
Losing 39-30 at the half. We are turning the ball over way too much.
We let Henry Hill have 30 against us as we lose 91-59. Worst defeat we have ever had.
2/9/04 UTA at SW McNeese State
After losing so big two days ago, I have to wonder what kind of heart my team has. I don’t say much to the guys as we arrive at McNeese.
Down 45-37 at half, I have to face it; this team is no better than last year.
We lost 85-69, as our defense has gone the way of the dogs. We are 11-13, and 6-6 in conference.
02-04-2003, 11:47 AM
Good dynasty. As a grad of UTA (Class of '94), I must say "Go Mavs!!"
02-05-2003, 07:25 PM
2/14/04 SE UTA at Sam Houston State
Tonight we play a talented and aggressive SHS team. Already rumors of my demise after this season are making their way around campus. I don’t take them too seriously; even though I wonder if I should be concerned about the Chancellor burning me in effigy on his front lawn. Down 36-34 at the half. We never have the lead at half it seems like. Hopefully, endurance will pay off.
We let go of the dream of the perimeter defense and work it inside. That does the trick, as we score when we should. We win 84-74. Gipson has 16, Walker has 15. What a team. 12-13 overall, and 7-6 in conference.
2/19/04 Texas San Antonio at UTA
If we are going to make any type of run at all on the Conference championship, we have to win this game. We are shown to be favored across the board on this team and we are at home. No reason except laziness to lose now.
These two teams are putting on a shooting clinic. We are shooting 76% and they are shooting 65%. We are up 56-37.
Walker wasn’t afraid to shoot it tonight. He had 32 points, and we win 92-70, the most convincing win of my life. We are now at .500, 13-13 overall and 8-6 in the conference.
2/21/04 Northwestern State at UTA
With three games to play, we are in 4th place but down only one game. We have to win another home game here, and take care of business. Leper Gipson has a bruised hip and is day to day, I am not sure if he can play. We need him down the stretch.
Up 46-35 at the half, as the Demons seem to hang on. Freshman Ray had a great start, and now Walker is off to the races.
The freshman Sanders and Ray have 20 and 17 points respectively, and we win 92-67. I like our streak, but we have been playing lower tier teams.
14-13 overall, and 9-6 in the conference.
02-06-2003, 07:44 PM
2/23/04 Chicago State at UTA
For some reason beyond my reason, I scheduled a non-conference game, with only one to play. What was I thinking? Chicago’s front five can put up the points. Our bench will have to really play well.
We are playing a whole new animal. These guys can shoot. They have 2 guys already at 20 for the half. We are down 43-41 at half.
Well, that knocked some wind out of these guys’ sails. We played a real shooting team, and could not challenge. We lost 95-81.
02-06-2003, 07:44 PM
2/27/04 UTA at SE Louisiana
We play the worst team in the conference, and I wonder if we’ll win. We have an outside chance of still winning the conference. Not bad.
Just as I expected, we are losing 43-34 to the worst team in basketball.
Lost 85-73. What a lousy defense.
14-15 for the season, 9-7 in the conference. We finish in a four way tie for third.
Freshman Sanders makes the Southland All Freshman Team, and was a 2 time Southland Freshman Player of the Week. We are ranked a blistering #261 in the nation.
02-06-2003, 07:44 PM
3/5/04 Louisiana Monroe #5 at UTA #4 Southland Playoffs
Look at us, ranked #4. Up three from last year. I am still looking for my first win in the Southland playoffs. It won’t be easy today. Monroe is good. The advantage for us is that they are not a high scoring team. That is whom we have trouble with.
Well, that Chicago game killed us, I think. We just can’t make a shot. We are down 36-28, and only shooting 30% from the field. Horrible.
We just missed 9 shots in a row, all from the inside!
Our year is done – we lose 62-60. Manute had 2 points. What a let down he has been. I must consider my future. Football may be my thing. Right now, I want to quit. It may change tomorrow.
#1 McNeese State 83 beats #6 Lamar 72
South NCT region: Round One:
#12 McNeese 60 vs #5 Temple 82
#9 Kentucky 68 beats #5 Duke 66 for the National Title.
Texas A&M beats Wake Forest for the ACT Title.
02-06-2003, 07:45 PM
Seniors leaving this year:
Aaron “Leper” Gipson – a great kid with a lot of heart. He was the leader at times and I will remember him as my first UTA hero.
Jerry “Manute” Lyles- Manute is a guy that when I first saw in practice, my jaw dropped. At 7’1, he was a coach’s dream. I began to draw my offense around this giant. But he was injured in game 8 of his junior year, and did not play again until his senior year. His senior year was a real let down, as he was dominated by smaller guys.
Lance “The” Prince- Will probably go to Hollywood after graduating. He loved the attention, and had his moments where he played great, but when the going got tough he usually crumbled. He was usually the 7th man.
Bryan Rencher- A kid of great talent but questionable mental capabilities. He came off the bench midway through his junior year and never relinquished it until blowing out his knee in game 20 of his senior year. He senior year he was among the conference leaders in scoring before the injury. He was also a 2 time Southland Player of the Week his senior year.
02-06-2003, 07:45 PM
10 offers from schools, and I have to be honest. I thought about leaving. Hawaii sounded real nice. Even Baylor and Houston, so I wouldn’t have to leave Texas. Maybe bring back the Slamma Jamma! I am 28-29 in the regular season, 16-16 in conference play, and 0-2 in the Southland Tourney. Not really anything to be proud of, that’s for sure. I will give it one more year.
Because of fund problems, we had to go back to Hoopz Galore for our scouting service. Yikes.
Please Welcome your 2004-05 UTA Limping Mavs:
PG – 5’9 Senior Bryan Redd – no real experience at all, he will be tested early with Soph Ray waiting in the wings.
SG- 6’1 Junior Clifton Anderson- a guy I have not been real big on, but he keeps winning the starting job. If his shooting has not improved, he will be benched in no time.
PF- 6’8 Senior Brian Harmon- he shocked me by beating out Anthony “Johnny” Walker in the off-season. He will need to score some pretty big points.
C- 6’11 Senior Tony Dillard- He takes the place of Manute, and will do just as good a job.
SF- 6’6 Sophomore Brandon Sanders- will have to be the scorer on a team not proven to score.
PF Walker and SG Freshman Camby will see lots of playing time. Izzo, now a Junior, has fallen down the depth chart considerably.
02-09-2003, 04:21 AM
After my first practice I realized how poor this team is. We missed 25 consecutive free throws. I went straight from practice to the Chancellors office and resigned.
Thus ends my dynasty at UTA. I will go down in history as another also ran coach who could not improve the prestige of the University.
I take time off to write the best seller - A UTA dynasty? Think Again.
02-10-2003, 07:12 AM
Thank you for those that followed.
02-10-2003, 09:59 AM
The Movin Mavs have lost a great man. :(
I am waiting for 1.20 to continue TCU, because 1.19 just doesnt feel right.
02-10-2003, 12:07 PM
Well, truth be told, the game crashed on me, and would not retrieve the file. I just decided to try again when 1.20 came out, and do a dynasty in the privacy of Casa Senator.
I will follow TCU and root for a player from Cabrini Green to sign with you.
02-10-2003, 02:17 PM
Yeah i should go harass Robert Hughes to talk some of his kids to come over.
Anyways when 1.20 comes out I thought about toying with the idea of making an all-Texas schools conference with the editor. Destroy C-USA and the Big-12. The ones I were thinking of were:
TCU, SMU, North Texas, UTA, Texas, A&M, Rice, Houston, UTEP, Lamar, UT-San Antonio, Sam Houston State, Texas Tech, Tarleton State. I think it would kinda fun with more of a local flavor assuming I could figure out that part of the editor.
02-10-2003, 02:21 PM
That would be a blast, even add Texas Weselyn and the TCJC Boweevils.
05-24-2003, 08:00 PM
Izzo went pro!
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