GAME THREAD: FAU vs. UTEP - 02/13/14 @ 9:00 PM
What: FAU (9-15, 4-5 C-USA) vs UTEP (18-8, 8-1 C-USA)
When: Thursday, February 13th @ 9:00 PM
Where: Don Haskins Center
Miner Team Site: Here
Live Video: Miner TV *FEE
Radio: ESPN 106.3
Internet Broadcast Info
Live Stats: Here
G C.J. Cooper 9.4 ppg
G Julian Washburn 12.7 ppg
F Matt Willms 4.8 ppg
C John Bohannon 10.7 ppg
C Vince Hunter 12.1 ppg
G Marquan Botley 10.0 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 9.6 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 18.9 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 4.7 ppg
C Justin Raffington 9.5 ppg
UTEP at a Glance:
The Miners of the University of Texas, El Paso have thrown together a season to remember, and they host FAU Thursday night in the Don Haskins Center.
More commonly known as “the Don,” the arena for the UTEP Miners has become one of the toughest venues in college basketball. Aside from two ranked opponents, Kansas and Iowa, the Miners have only dropped three losses in “the Don" this season, and hold an all time record of 476-140 since the program has hosted games there.
The Miner’s are without their leading scorer McKenzie Moore after he, another teammate, and a grad assistant were dismissed from the program for gambling on games. Though there were no signs of point shaving the junior who lead the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game, has been absent since early January.
Leading the way for the Miners now is guard Julian Washburn. The junior leads the team in scoring with 12.7 points per game. Washburn isn’t afraid to work the arc as well shooting a team best .375. The Miner’s playmaker anchors most of the squad’s scoring, but is assisted by two very talented big men.
Center John Bohannon runs the Miner’s frontcourt, and does it well. The senior from Lancaster, Texas uses all 6’11” of his frame to get long and clog lanes for opposing teams. Bohannon also leads the unit in rebounds (8.4 rpg) and blocks (1.7 bpg).
Assisting the veteran is freshman Vince Hunter, who like Bohannon, uses his size to bully away boards and score easy points. Hunter leads the UTEP squad in field goal percentage with 57.8%.
The team’s starters average an astounding 6’6”, and the Miner’s stature helps them tremendously on defense. The squad is 25th in the country in defensive rebounds with 27 per game. Long arms and heavy bodies make it easy for the team to defend driving scorers and lobbed shots.
Tim Floyd is in his 4th year as the head coach for the Miners; Floyd was apart of Don Haskins’ coaching staff after college and he helped bring the squad to three tournament appearances. Floyd held stints at Southern California, Iowa State, and at the professional level with the New Orleans Hornets and Chicago Bulls, before returning to El Paso.
UTEP holds a deep basketball tradition. While the school was called Texas Western University in 1966, newly appointed head coach Don Haskins took the first all African-American starting lineup to the NCAA tournament during the thick of the Civil Rights Movement and eventually beat heavily favored Kentucky, bringing the school their first and only national championship.
The Miners are on a eight game win streak through conference play, dropping their first C-USA game to Charlotte, but rolling through 3rd place Louisiana Tech (89-79) and 4th place Middle Tennessee (63-54).
FAU at a Glance:
The Owls travel to El Paso after scoring 50 points in second half of last Saturday’s contest solidifying a win against UAB.
Pablo Bertone had yet another impressive outing. Not two days after being the 11th Owl to score 1,000 points in a career, Bertone decided to add a few more points to that already incredible number, 34 to be exact. The senior posted a career high 34-point against the Blazers, along with four rebounds, and three assists.
Though perhaps the second most impressive outing came from freshman Marquan Botley. The Owl’s young game manager won Conference USA freshman of the week, with back-to-back stellar performances against MTSU and UAB. Almost grabbing the programs first triple-double on Saturday, Botley scored 11 points in the final four minutes of Saturday’s game, to go along with his eight rebounds, and eight assists.
Consistency at the guard slot is imperative, for Thursday’s contest according to head coach Mike Jarvis.
“We are going to have to shoot really well,” stated Jarvis. “We need to make a lot of shots, and make the court as small as possible, while keeping possession of the ball. And the guards are just going to have to make shots when they are open.”
Sophomore guard Jackson Trapp was limited in Saturday’s game due to some ankle pain, but is expected to be in full swing of things when the team travels to El Paso.
Center Justin Raffington was held to under 10 points for the second consecutive game, after racking up four double-digit efforts in the six game prior. Though Jarvis doesn’t blame this on Raffington’s production declining, but rather the guards simply taking and making more shots.
While on the subject of centers, Dragan Sekelja goes into the UTEP game as day-to-day for the 6th consecutive game. The senior hasn’t seen playing time since Harvard when he posted a career high in assists with six.
With Dragan still doubtful, and freshman Grant Pelchen still progressing, the lack of size available to the Owls is concerning. With Raffington and forward Kelvin Penn playing 30+ minute games, FAU’s big guys are wearing down more quickly, and against a team like UTEP the squad will need as much size as they possible can get.
“What they [UTEP] have got is they are big, and they are long, and you play 4 guys who are 6’8” or bigger, it gets tough,” said coach Jarvis.
The Owls improved to 4-5 in the C-USA after the win against UAB and is looking to hit an above .500 mark in conference play after the weekend in Texas.
Owl's Nest Prediction
The Owls win over UAB was huge and was a definite moral boost for a squad that can't consistently win. Though with a tough venue such as the Don Haskins looming ahead, we think the Miners size, superb defense, and eight conference game win streak, will be too much for the Owl's weary offense.
GeorgiaOwl saidCheck out the movie Glory Road. Very good film about the story of the Texas Western basketball team that went on the beat Kentucky in the NCAA finals. Take 'em down Owls!Posted On: Feb 12th 2014, 1:27 PM
I was not a huge basketball fan until this season, and Glory Road is a favorite of mine!
G C.J. Cooper
G Julian Washburn
F Matt Willms
C John Bohannon
C Vince Hunter
G Marquan Botley
G Jackson Trapp
G Pablo Bertone
F Kelvin Penn
C Justin Raffington
UTEP strikes first to put the Miners up 2-0
He has had a rough couple of games behind the arc.