Team preview: Texas-Arlington

Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams. To order the complete 2006-07 edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).

(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

As an assistant coach at Texas-Arlington, Scott Cross became known as a tenacious recruiter, one who made a science out of finding undersized -- but not underweight -- players whose modus operandi was to outwork, outhustle and often outrebound the opponent. By finding those hidden gems whose hearts were bigger than their vertical measurements, Cross helped give the Mavericks a real chance to compete each season in the Southland Conference.

Now, he gets to see if he can coach those guys.

A homegrown, Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex native, Cross' first head-coaching job comes at the school where he played and got his first coaching job as well.

And that's exactly how he planned it some years ago.

"At some point you write down your goals on a goal sheet," Cross said. "One of mine was that I wanted to start and finish my career here. That's always been my plan. Getting the opportunity to do that is definitely a dream come true."

Being a longtime Maverick, nobody is more familiar with the program, the players in the system, the Southland Conference or the expectations placed by the UTA administration than Cross.

That being said, nobody is more aware of what this UTA team lost from last season, and those losses were significant.