ESPN's Eamonn Brennan has written a preview of Conference-USA basketball for the 2012-2013 season as part of their conference by conference Summer Shootaround series. He tabs Tymond Howard as one of five "Freshmen to Watch" and dubs Julian Washburn as UTEP's most important player.
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On UTEP's most important player:
"Julian Washburn. Junior John Bohannon is a known quantity, a solid post man and an active rebounder who converts his opportunities well. Washburn, a 6-7 sophomore, has tons of upside, but he will have to become much more efficient in his second season."
On Twymond Howard, Brennan writes:
"Howard's athleticism and end-to-end ability have drawn raves from scouts, but his assessments have been held back by his utter lack of a jump shot. If he develops one sometime before November, look out."
For the Miners' "Best-Case Scenario", Brennan writes:
"Usurping Rice's spot as the league's midtable sleeper pick. Tim Floyd lost two starters, but the 2012 Miners were young. Floyd gave marginal or significant minutes to no fewer than five freshmen and two sophomores, and if that batch of freshmen makes a collective sophomore leap, UTEP could be a tough out for the Marshalls, UCFs, and Memphises of the world."