The UTEP Men's basketball team opens up 2011-12 action with an exhibition contest against Eastern New Mexico at 7:00 MT tonight in the Don Haskins Center. The team held an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday, but this will be an opportunity for us fans, as well as the coaches, to really find out where this young team is at.
The Miners welcome 10 newcomers onto the team, including 8 freshman, one juco transfer, and one Division 1 transfer. The team also brings back three players from last year's squad who played significant minutes. Gabe McCulley, the lone senior, is out recovering from knee surgery, and will be out for likely another 6 weeks. Sophomore John Bohannon, who tweaked a hamstring in practice, did not play in Saturday's scrimmage, and its still unclear if he'll play tonight. Sophomore Mike Perez who scored 18 points on Saturday, is healthy and will be in action tonight.
Eastern New Mexico finished the 2010-11 season with a 13-14 record, and they return three seniors who scored in double digits from that squad. UTEP Coach Tim Floyd expects to use many different lineups, and expects to be subbing a lot as well "based on mistakes". Floyd said, "We didn't have to do that a lot last year with a veteran squad, but these kids need to come out of the game, understand what they did wrong, go back into the game and try to do it better".
Tickets to both tonight's exhibition game against Eastern New Mexico, as well as Saturday's exhibition against Sul Ross St. remain on sale for only $10. UTEP opens up its regular season slate next Friday against UTSA in the Don Haskins Center. It should be an interesting year, and I can't wait to get it started. GO MINERS!!!