Exhibition games
Starr Jacobs had 25 points and 10 rebounds in UTA's exhibition win over TWU on Wednesday. Courtesy UTA Athletics.

Trifecta of Thoughts from Wednesday Night Exhibition Games

There was a trifecta of exhibition games on Wednesday night. Two men’s teams and the preseason favorite on the women’s side were all in action. And, on a WAC Wednesday, each team won and each team has things to work on over the next three-plus days to get ready for their season openers on Monday.

Rebounding, Foul Shooting Will Be Focus for Lady Mavs

The UT Arlington Lady Mavs are the preseason favorite to win the WAC. Starr Jacobs is the Preseason Player of the Year. And, Shereka Wright is one of the best coaches in the WAC. These are all facts.

What is also fact is that UTA struggled on the boards on Wednesday night. Texas Woman’s University pulled down 54 rebounds to UTA’s 38. 19 of those 54 rebounds were on the offensive glass, which led to 19 second-chance points. Two of those offensive rebounds came in the final seven seconds. But TWU missed three straight bunnies in the final eight seconds which forced overtime.

Two TWU players were in double figures in rebounds. Scout Huffman pulled down 11. Ngozi Obineke pulled down 10.

So, you can see that rebounding will be a big emphasis over the next three days of practice for the Lady Mavs. Along with that, UT Arlington was 16-26 from the foul line in the overtime win. Sure, 61.5 percent isn’t terrible. But, foul shooting has always been a big time factor in winning or losing a game. And on Wednesday, it almost cost the Lady Mavs a win at the College Park Center.

Try not to read too much into the results of an exhibition game. They are opportunities for teams to establish continuity, rotation lineups, and see what else they have to work on to prepare for their season openers.

UTA opens the 2022-23 season at home against Texas Southern on Monday.

UTRGV Shoots the Lights Out

In its lone exhibition before the season opener at Kansas State on Monday, the UTRGV men’s basketball team put on a shooting clinic. The Vaqueros shot nearly 62 percent from the field, scored 136 points and eight players in double figures.

JUCO transfer Will Johnston had 17 points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes. Transfer John Shanu II had 17 points and two blocks. Preseason All-WAC selection Justin Johnson had 16 points. GCU transfer Dima Zdor added 10 points.

It was a good opportunity for a brand new roster to gain some confidence heading into the season opener. Justin Johnson is the only returner from the 2021-22 squad. True freshman point guard Adonte’ Holiman did not play on Wednesday but is expected back on Monday for the season opener.

7-foot freshman Alex Horiuk had eight points after becoming eligible to play this past week. Noels Slivackis, who also became eligible this past week, hit a 3-pointer in the win.

Washington Shines, Aggies Go High-Speed in Exhibition Win

Deshawndre Washington is going to be a player in the WAC. You are going to hear that phrase quite a bit throughout the 2022-23 season. Washington had 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the 99-75 win over Western New Mexico on Wednesday night.

About the only bad thing Washington did was turn the ball over eight times.

Four other Aggies were in double figures. Issa Muhammad had 15 points. DaJuan Gordon hit four 3-pointers en route to 14 points. Anthony Roy had 10 points and five assists. And Kyle Feit came off the bench to knock down four 3-pointers en route to 12 points.

Some Aggie fans were a little upset about the defensive effort. Even head coach Greg Heiar mentioned the defense has to be better. But, Aggie fans should get to use to high-scoring games. This team is going to play fast, push the tempo and is going to get out in transition, which means a lot of points.

There may be some games in the 50’s and 60’s. But those might be few and far between. This team is built to get up and down the floor and play with pace as evidenced on Wednesday night.

About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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