Ivan Pierre Aguirre-US PRESSWIRE
The Dig is your source for news and information surrounding UTEP sports, as well as Conference USA, and the rest of the country.
While the biggest news around UTEP sports is the fact that head football coach Mike Price has announced his retirement, there's still plenty more to talk about around Miner Nation. Considering that, here's what is going on UTEP sports, Conference USA, and the rest of the country as well.
AROUND MINER NATION
Multiple news outlets reported Tuesday that UTEP sophomore wide receiver Jordan Leslie has been arrested and booked into the El Paso County Jail on one count of a terroristic threat, and one count of unlawfully carrying a weapon. Leslie has since been released on bond.
Details of the situation are still emerging, but apparently an altercation took place between Leslie and another UTEP student after the student hit Leslie's car in a parking lot. Leslie allegedly then blocked the other car from leaving the scene with his own car, and also allegedly threatened to shoot the other driver.
A gun and magazine were both found in the glove box of Leslie's vehicle after he told police that he did have a weapon. Again, details are still emerging, but we will be sure to bring them to you as we find them out.
Leslie had this to say via his Twitter account Monday night:
"Got a lot to face tomorrow. I wish everyone knew the truth. But thanks to all my family and friends for being there for me. Thats real #love."
UTEP Women's Basketball Off to Hot Start, But Lose Second Player
After knocking off both Houston Baptist and Arizona State over the weekend, the UTEP women's basketball team is off to a 3-0 start. Friday the Miners dropped the Huskies 67-58, and Sunday they topped the Sun Devils 60-54. The bad news for the team, is they have lost their second player this year to an ACL injury in center Kristine Vitola.
Vitola had been the Miners' leading scorer and rebounder so far, going for 21 and 12 against Loyola Marymount, 18 and 8 against Houston Baptist, and 9 and 5 against Arizona State before suffering her injury. The injury has been confirmed as season ending.
As mentioned, this is the second ACL injury that a Miner has suffered this season, as sophomore guard Jenzel Nash has been lost for the season after tearing her ACL in the exhibition contest against St. Mary's.
The losses of these two players for the team can't be understated. But, there are still plenty of talented players on this team who will have to step up in their absence. The Miners are next in action in the Jukanoo Jam tournament on the Grand Bahama Island, and will play both Texas Southern and Arizona on the 22nd and 23rd of the month.
Men's Basketball Continues to Add to 2013 Class
After signing star guard Isaac Hamilton late last week, UTEP coach Tim Floyd has now landed a couple more big time players for the class of 2013. Sunday, 6'3 shooting guard Andre Spight was officially added to class of 2013 at UTEP received his signed national letter of intent.
Spight, who is out of Pasadena, CA, is a good sized guard who is said to have a knack for scoring. He averaged 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals as a junior, but also had 2 40+ point performances on the year. He is considered by many to be one of the best shooters in the state of California.
Also, the Miners have inked junior college shooting Jacob Thomas out of Big Spring, TX. As a freshman at Howard College, Thomas averaged 14.9 points a game, while shooting 45% from the three point line. Thomas' team is currently ranked #3 in the nation, and he will have two years of eligibility remaining when he makes his way to El Paso.
One last thing to report on the class of 2013, is that three star forward Vincent Hunter out of Consortium Prep in the Detroit area took his official visit to UTEP over the last couple of days, and still could be committing to the team in the near future. We will keep you updated on his status.
AROUND CONFERENCE USA
New Conference Shifts Could Have Impact on C-USA
The biggest news surrounding Conference USA at this moment is once again, conference realignment. This week we found out that barring any unforeseen setbacks, both Rutgers and Maryland should be on their way to the Big 10 Conference in the next couple of years.
Also, the University of Connecticut has been talked about as a potential candidate for the ACC. And, rumors have surfaced that Boise State, BYU, and San Diego State are currently having conversations with the Mountain West Conference about potentially rejoining the league.
So, the question for us is; where does that leave Conference USA. Some reports mentioned that ECU could possibly be receiving an invite to the Big East Conference, as that league struggles to stay afloat, but who knows if that will actually happen.
If Rutgers and UCONN do leave, and Boise and San Diego State decide not to join, the Big East could be all but dead, leaving a handful of schools without a home. Then again we've heard that before, on many occasions.
Regardless of what happens to the Big East, what we do know is that this latest round of conference realignment is far from over. But, how it will affect Conference USA still remains to be seen.
AROUND THE COUNTRY
Tuesday night, a kid by the name of Jack Taylor who plays for Grinnell College in Iowa dropped an NCAA record 138 points in a 179-104 win over Faith Baptist. There's not much else to say, check out the writeup, and watch some video over at ESPN.