UTA Men's Basketball
Oct 10, 2019
Coach Chris Ogden
UTA Men's Basketball



A new era of UT Arlington men’s basketball began on Apr. 6, 2018, with the appointment of former Big 12 and Southeastern Conference assistant Chris Ogden as the eighth head coach in program history.

In his first season leading UTA in 2018-19, Ogden was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year after guiding a team predicted to finish 2nd-to-last in the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Poll to a 2nd-place finish in the regular-season standings and a berth in the Sun Belt Tournament Championship Game.

In addition to his SBC Coach of the Year honor, Ogden was named the 2018-19 National Association of Basketball Coaches District 24 Coach of the Year, and was a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award – presented annually to the nation’s top mid-major coach – and also the Joe B. Hall Award – given annually to the top first-year head coach in Division I.

The Mavericks posted a 17-16 overall record in Ogden’s first year at the helm, and finished tied for 2nd in the SBC with a 12-6 league record. That nine-spot improvement from preseason to final regular-season finish was tied for the best in the nation along with Siena, which was picked 11th in the MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) and finished in a four-way tie for 2nd.

After playing the 7th-hardest non-conference schedule in the nation, UTA came out of its non-league docket 4-9 and then dropped its first two SBC games at home to fall to 4-11 on the year. However, behind Ogden’s leadership, the Mavs finished above .500 – believed be to one of only a few teams in the nation to conclude with a winning record after being at least seven games below .500.

Entering 2018-19, UTA returned just 3.2 percent of its scoring – the fewest by any D-I team in the nation. The Mavs had just 87 of 2,640 points back from its 2017-18 roster, including just one scholarship player in DJ Bryant. UTA lost its top-9 scorers (eight seniors; one transfer) from 2017-18, but Ogden molded together a group of newcomers – of which UTA had 12 at the start of the year, the 3rd-most in the country – as 97.2 percent (2,219 of 2,284) of the Mavs’ points in 2018-19 came from players who didn’t suit up for UTA the year prior.

In conference games, UTA led the SBC in field-goal percentage defense (.409), rebounds per game (38.4) and rebound margin (+3.8); the Mavs finished 2nd in points per game allowed (69), free-throw percentage (.752), scoring margin (+4.1) and assists per game (14.6).

The rebounding numbers might be most impressive stats of all as, according to KenPom, UTA was the smallest team in the country in 2018-19 with an average height of just 74.5 inches (6-foot-2). The Mavs had only two players who stood taller than 6-5 on their 14-man roster, and were the only team in the league that didn’t have a single player average more than 30 minutes, and just two who averaged more than 25.