NIT Preview - UT Arlington

Despite the disappointment of not making the NCAA tournament, Washington must put that aside fast as they defend their No. 1 seed in the 75th annual National Invitation Tournament against No. 8 seed Texas-Arlington Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT at Alaska Airlines Arena. The game will be shown live on ESPNU.

The Mavericks come in with a 24-8 record, including a 15-1 league record, good enough to win the Southland Conference. Even though the Mavericks have a solid record, like the Huskies they had a tough end to their season. They lost in the semifinals of their conference tournament to McNeese State by 20, and has lost three of their last seven games.

With 24 wins, Texas-Arlington has had a plethora of players contribute this season, but none bigger than senior shooting guard LaMarcus Reed III. The 6-foot-5 native of Dallas has averaged 17.8 points a game on 47 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent from 3-pointers. Nationally, he ranks No. 28 in free throws made (157), No. 33 in plus/minus (325) and No. 49 in points per game (17.8).

Besides Reed, Jordan Reves should be a player to watch. A junior 6-foot-10 center, Reves averages a solid 9.2 points a game on 54 percent shooting from the field and 77 percent from the line. The Kentucky native also averages 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a game. Nationally, he ranks No. 32 in free throw rate (68.1), No. 37 in free throw point percentage (32.4) and No. 50 in block percentage (8.6).

Other contributors will be Bo Ingram, Kevin Butler and Shaquille White-Miller. Ingram is a 6-foot-5 senior forward who is averaging nearly 13 points per game. Butler is another 6-foot-5 forward who is also averaging in double-figures (11 points per game), and White-Miller, their 5-foot-9 sophomore point guard, scores less than five points a game but he averages nearly four assists per contest.

As a team, the Mavericks are very well-rounded. Despite being highly ranked in a lot of spots, their top rankings are No. 3 in free throw rate (47.5), No. 4 in free throw attempts (866), No. 11 in possessions per 40 minutes (72.7), No. 12 in rebounds per game (39.4), No. 14 in turnovers per game (16.2) and No. 17 in defensive field goal point percentage (45.9).

Historically, UW never has played Texas-Arlington, who will be playing in the WAC next season. The Mavericks have been around since 1971, and have never won a game in the post-season. Top Stories