Team preview: Texas-Pan American
Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
A sense of optimism surrounds Texas-Pan American as it heads into this season. The Broncos won nine of their final 10 games last year, including an upset of Mountain West champion Air Force, and they are returning seven seniors.
The hope that surrounds the program is warranted, but UTPA has to deal with a very big loss. Former head coach Bob Hoffman unexpectedly resigned in May to join Kelvin Sampson's Oklahoma staff as an assistant. Hoffman went 68-77 in five years at UTPA, not a record that is going to make Mike Krzyzewski envious, but he did a good job. Hoffman inherited a team that won just 11 games combined in the three years before his arrival and turned it into a 20-game winner in 2002.
The man hired to succeed Hoffman is a familiar face to Broncos fans --Robert Davenport, a five-year member of Hoffman's UTPA staff.
"The situation is a little different because [most] guys move in after someone else has left and they haven't been a part of the staff," Davenport said. "I've been a part of the staff the whole time coach Hoffman was here, and then I moved up. Filling his shoes is a big challenge, but at the same time, I think it helped me get the job because of the continuity with the program."
Davenport says that continuity will be reflected in the team's style of play. The Broncos will continue to push the ball and take the first good shot. Last year UTPA jacked up 643 3-pointers, making 33.9 percent of them, and that is a trend that will continue.