UMB Elite Eight: (1) 1966 TWC Miners vs (9) 1987 UTEP Miners



The top-seeded Champs face the only Miner team in history to have 6 players average in double figure scoring on the year. The amount of household Miner names in this matchup is incredible. But then again what would you expect from a second round matchup in the Ultimate Miners Bracket. Hill vs Hardaway. Lattin vs Richmond. Shed vs Sandle. Flournoy vs Gates. Artis vs Jeep. Which team has what it takes to make the Miner Final Four?

RECORDS

OVERALL RECORD CONFERENCE RECORD
1966 Texas Western Miners 28-1 n/a
1987 UTEP Miners 25-7 13-3 (1st in WAC)

ROSTERS & INDIVIDUAL STATS

1966 ROSTER YR FG% RPG PPG
Bobby Joe Hill JR 41.1 3.0 15.0
David Lattin SR 49.4 8.6 14.0
Orsten Artis SR 47.0 3.5 12.6
Nevil Shed JR 49.4 7.9 10.6
Harry Flournoy SR 50.0 10.7 8.3
Willie Worsley SO 40.3 2.3 8.0
Willie Cager SO 41.0 4.0 6.6
Louis Baudoin JR 38.6 1.3 2.2
Jerry Armstrong SR 27.9 1.4 1.9
David Palacio SO 25.0 0.5 0.9
Dick Myers JR 33.3 0.6 0.9
Togo Railey JR 0.0 0.0 0.3

1987 ROSTER YR FG% RPG APG PPG
Jeep Jackson SR 51.4 2.0 3.4 12.9
Chris Sandle JR 48.2 4.9 1.2 12.9
Mike Richmond SR 57.8 6.4 0.5 12.7
Quintan Gates SR 42.2 5.4 1.4 10.9
Chris Blocker JR 49.5 3.2 2.3 10.6
Tim Hardaway SO 50.2 2.0 4.7 10.0
Wayne Campbell JR 62.9 6.2 0.7 8.3
Terry Stallworth SO 36.7 1.1 0.5 2.2
Jerry Jones FR 50.0 1.5 0.0 0.0
Antonio Davis FR 34.4 1.8 0.1 1.3
Merle Heimer FR 30.0 0.5 0.0 0.6

Looking at the rosters, it becomes obvious these were two of the most balanced teams in Miner history. Both teams have great inside and outside players. Players in the 60's tended to be smaller than players of later eras. Starting center David Lattin was 6 foot 7 and forwards Nevil Shed and Willie Cager were 6'8 and 6'5 respectively. However, 1987's size is not quite as intimidating as Miner teams' from other years. The most important pieces of the 87 Miners' frontcourt (arguably Sandle, Richmond, and Blocker) were 6'6, 6'9, and 6'5 respectively. Quintan Gates was 6'7 as well but was a guard/forward combo type player. The backcourts feature some of the best Miner guards ever. Jeep Jackson and Tim Hardaway on one side and Bobby Joe Hill and Willie Worsley on the other. Worsley would see a huge breakout year in '67 when Hill went down with a season-ending injury. The two teams are pretty even in terms of experience and talent.

TEAM STATISTICS

1966 TEAM STATS FG% FT% RPG PPG
TWC Miners 44.6 69.9 49.3 77.9
Opponents 40.1 70.9 36.2 62.7

1987 TEAM STATS FG% FT% RPG PPG APG
UTEP Miners 50.6 67.5 34.4 77.4 14.3
Opponents 46.1 67.1 33.3 69.0 11.1

The limited stats we have show a huge advantage for 1966 in terms of rebounds. The '66 Miners had 3 players that averaged more rebounds than anyone on 1987's team (Flournoy, Lattin, and Shed). Remember Texas Western's physical style of play was one of the deciding factors in the 1966 championship. I have to imagine the champs bullying their way to a positive rebounding margin in this matchup as well. Hardway and Jackson spread the ball around for their team, but it's a shame we don't have Bobby Joe's assist numbers.

NOTABLE WINS & LOSSES

1966
-Beat #4 Iowa Hawkeyes by 18 in Sun Carnival Classic
-Blew out the New Mexico St Aggies twice
-Only loss of the year was by 2 at Seattle
-2-0 against eventual NCAA Tournament teams (only 22 teams made the Tourney). Both wins were against Colorado State.

1987
-Swept New Mexico St Aggies
-Lost to #10 Georgetown Hoyas by 4 on the road
-Beat Texas Longhorns and Auburn Tigers in Sun Carnival Classic
-Lost to Wyoming Cowboys in WAC Tournament
- 2-3 record against eventual NCAA Tournament teams (field of 64). They beat Auburn and Wyoming for their 2 wins and lost to Wyoming twice and Georgetown.

NCAA TOURNAMENT RESULTS

1966
If you really don't know what happened in the 1966 Tourney, you need to watch Glory Road. The Miners beat Oklahoma City in the first round by 15 behind strong performances from Hill and Lattin. In the Sweet Sixteen the Miners edged a tough Cincinnati Bearcats team thanks to a 29 point game from David Lattin. In the Elite Eight TWC beat the Kansas Jayhawks by 1 in an overtime thriller. The Miners then beat Utah to advance to the National Championship game against the mighty Kentucky Wildcats. The rest is history. After all these years, the 1966 championship banner is still the only one hanging in the state of Texas.

1987
The 7-seeded 1987 Miners drew Lute Olsen's Arizona Wildcats on their homecourt in Tucson. Despite their hostile surroundings, the Miners pulled out a win for the ages in overtime even after Gates, Hardaway, Campbell, and Sandle fouled out in regulation. The Miners went on to lose to the 2nd seeded Iowa Hawkeyes in the second round by a single basket.

UMB BRACKET

(1) 1966 TWC Miners or (9) 1987 UTEP Miners (This week's matchup)
(5) 1992 UTEP Miners or (13) 1963 TWC Miners

(3) 1984 UTEP Miners or (6) 1989 UTEP Miners
(2) 1964 TWC Miners or (7) 2010 UTEP Miners

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