There is not much out there about the Texas Pan American team, mainly because they are not affiliated with any conference, and they are a traditional cupcake that travels to high major programs throughout the year to receive a paycheck and be the Washington Generals to the high major's Harlem Globetrotters. What we do know about UTPA is that they steamrolled over Universidad Regiomontana in their second exhibition game of the season with a 102-54 win, and in their first exhibition game they defeated Monterrey Tech 78-57.
Looking at their first two exhibition games (the box score is only available from their second game), it appears the Broncs like to get the ball up and down the court. Even though their scores are drastically different, it does not appear the pace of their two exhibition games was very different. Both games were up and down the court, and had over eighty possessions for each team, so we should expect to see the Broncs run up and down the court with the Illini, and take shots early in the shot clock, which will definitely benefit the young Illini.
The strength of the Pan American team is in their inside game. In the Broncs' second exhibition game, the low post players combined for 57 points on 24-30 shooting while grabbing 29 rebounds. Sure, this was against Universidad Regiomontana, but it is still impressive, particularly the shooting percentages from the three post players. Colin Lein has led the way for UT-Pan American in the exhibition season recording double doubles in both games, including a very impressive 9-for-11 shooting performance against Universidad Regiomontana. Not to be outdone, Kano Edwards finished the exhibition season on a high note with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Joining these Edwards and Lein was power forward Derrick East who scored 16 and pulled down 7 rebounds.
The exhibition season has allowed Broncs Head Coach Robert Davenport to work in a new point guard, Larry Sheppard from Iowa Western Community College. In just two games running the UT-Pan American offense, Sheppard has done an admirable job running the offense without injecting himself into the scoring too much. Against Universidad Regiomontana, Sheppard did not score in 23 minutes of play (he missed all 4 shots he took), but he did have 9 assists, compared to 2 turnovers, and recorded 3 steals. Joining Sheppard in the backcourt is shooting guard Johnathan Chatman. According to Davenport, they are still working Chatman's shot selection, but he will be encouraged to shoot the three-pointer. This encouragement was obvious in the second exhibition game as he attempted 11 three point shots in just 22 minutes of game time, connecting on 4 of them (36.36%). Davenport would love for Chatman's shot selection to improve, but even if it doesn't the shooting guard will extend defenses giving East, Edwards, and Lein more space to maneuver inside.
TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN TEAM STATISTICS
These statistics are taken from UT-Pan American's 102-54 exhibition win over Universidad Regiomontana.
Pace Factor: 88.36
Offensive Efficiency: 115.44
Defensive Efficiency: 61.11
Defensive Rebounding Percentage: 84.09%
Offensive Rebounding Percentage: 41.30%
I think it is safe to say that none of these numbers will look similar when the Illini and the Broncs match up on Sunday afternoon, but it is good to see that they can dominate a school from Mexico in the exhibition season.
TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS