The Daily Dig:  2.23.10

From El Paso to Huntington!  Let's take a look around the C-USA landscape.  

UTEP Miners

Giving Culpepper CompJulyan Stone posterized Tulsa's 7' star Jerome Jordan.  He discussed the dunk with KTSM.  Their website doesn't have an "embed feature," a la KVIA, so click here to watch the video of the interview and pretty ferocious dunk.

Get to Work.  Bob Stull writes articles for El Paso, Inc.

Bill Knight takes a look at Arnett Moultrie's interesting style of play. Knight argues that Moultrie is almost a hybrid forward/wing player who can use his size when he needs to but is truly more comfortable playing outside.  This unique skill set will undoubtedly draw attention from NBA Scouts.

Moultrie, despite his size, is more of a wing player. He played that position in AAU ball and he has played out there for much of his life. He was 6-foot-1 before his freshman year in high school. He grew to around 6-4 as a freshman and then grew four or five inches the next year and then scooted on up to his current height of 6-11. All this left him in a big man's body but with the skills to move and handle the ball and shoot the basketball.

Another Reason to Love Google Alerts:  UTEP volleyball star Kelsey Moore is the reigning Miss Texas USA.  She had a sit-down with El Paso Magazine and she discussed how being a volleyball player has helped her on the pageant circuit.  About 800 El Pasoan's are supporting her quest to become Miss USA via Facebook

Q:  On the same topic, how do you think your athleticism and your role as a student leader and athlete has helped you for the Miss Texas USA contest?

A:  I’ve learned that being a Division I volleyball player requires a lot of discipline and time management and that has definitely been very helpful.

Bring it!  Joe Muench discusses the economic impact hosting the 2011 C-USA Baskteball Tournament will have in the El Paso economy.

The near week-long event is expected to mean a $3.5 to $4.5 million economic impact on El Paso's economy. The tournament will see 10 other conference members' men's and women's teams eat, sleep and recreate in El Paso

Doing some Digging of Their OwnUSA Today reports on the effects the current winning streak has had on the UTEP record books.

  • The 1954-55 Miners won nine-straight in the Border Conference. The Miners had twice had conference win streaks end at eight-straight -- in the 1974-75 and 1986-87 seasons, both while competing in the Western Athletic Conference.
  • UTEP reached the century mark in a Feb. 13 win over East Carolina, the first time since joining C-USA for the 2005-06 season they've scored 100 or more points.
  • This is the first time a Miners team started a conference schedule with 10 wins in its first 11 games.

An Oldie but a Goodie: Take a look at this February 2, 2010 Bill Knight article on Derrick Caracter.  He discusses the widely reported showdown between Derrick and Greg Oden when the two were the #1 and #2 high school recruits in the country.

In 2006, CHN College Basketball followed the battle between Caracter and Greg Oden at the Reebok ABCD Camp in Hackensack, N.J., writing, "With the combination of his outside game raining 3-pointers from beyond the arc and inside play, Character seemingly scored at will against the bigger Oden. Character's patented spin move from the baseline frustrated Oden, who at times looked awkward trying to defend against him."

MEMPHIS TIGERS

Good CoachspeakJosh Pastner discusses how Memphis needs to view the remainder of the season to be successful.

"We are guaranteed 200 minutes for the remainder of the season, and that's 200 minutes the seniors have left with us - four games in the regular season and then one game in the conference tournament," Pastner said. "We've got to be ready to play our best and try to be as good as we can be down this stretch."

EAST CAROLINA PIRATES

Ruff Around the Edges:  Here's an interesting look at how new ECU Head Coach Ruffin McNeill did at hanging on to Skip Holtz's recruits.  Not bad...

Fourteen of those stuck with McNeill and the Pirates, and a 15th could still wind up in Greenville by the summer. The end result is an 19-man class that features nine players at the pivotal "trench'' positions on the offensive and defensive lines.

The Air Raid in Pirateland... for Real This Time:  Ruffin McNeill brought along former Texas Tech Quarterbacks Coach Lincoln Riley to implement a Tech-Style spread offense in Greenville.  Riley seems to have also brought along the Mike Leach mentality that the best player, regardless of hype, will get the most time on the field.  It seems to be working....  Is Ruffin McNeill now going by Captain?

One thing that has helped Riley win over his offensive players is promising that each will get a fair look in the system. Riley and his offensive coaches have watched some film to assess the talent they have remaining, but have limited their judgment of players. Just because a player didn’t fit into Holtz’s system doesn’t mean he couldn’t be perfect for what Riley is trying to execute.

MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD

Lucky Number Seven:  I didn't catch it the first time around, but Hassan Whiteside had seven blocks against Tulane.

It's easy to see why Whiteside is one of the premier shot blockers in the nation. He blocks shots as an on-ball defender and as a help defender. His offensive game is not much to speak of and his hands may be questionable as a dominant rebounder, but he can block shots like few others.

LEAGUE WIDE NEWS

ESPN.com college blogger Graham Watson takes a look at spring football in Conference USA.  UTEP starts Spring Practice on April 24.

UTEP fired defensive coordinator Osia Lewis after the Miners had one of the worst defenses in the country for the past two seasons. Former UNLV defensive line coach Andre Patterson takes over, which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence since UNLV wasn’t a defensive juggernaut. Some fresh blood and a simpler defense might do the Miners some good.

The Commish:  C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky had a nice chat with Graham Watson too.  Among other things, he discussed the progress C-USA has made on the football field.

BB: We have been able to defeat a number of quality ranked opponents over the past two seasons and our coaches and administrators know we need to continue to do that in the future. There is an exceptional amount of talent in this league and proving ourselves against top-level competition is important to gain respect nationally.

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