LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) Anthony Marshall #3 and Mike Moser #43 of the UNLV Rebels and Cedrick Lang #31 of the UTEP Miners fight for a rebound during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center December 14, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 65-54. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Today, the UTEP Athletics department officially unveiled the 2012-13 men's basketball schedule. Added to slate we projected here on MR a Couple weeks ago is a matchup with Houston Baptist on on January 14th. Times are still yet to be determined.
|11.3.12||Southeastern Oklahoma*||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|11.9.12||Oral Roberts||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|11.15.12||Arizona||McKale Center||TBA||Tucson, AZ|
|11.22.12||Oklahoma - Old Spice Classic||HP Fieldhouse||TBA||Orlando, FL|
|11.23.12||Gonzaga/Clemson||HP Fieldhouse||TBA||Orlando, FL|
|11.25.12||TBD||HP Fieldhouse||TBA||Orlando, FL|
|11.28.12||New Mexico State||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|12.8.12||Idaho||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|12.17.12||UNLV||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|12.19.12||Oregon||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|12.22.12||Arkansas Pine Bluff||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|12.23.12||Central Michigan/Nebraska||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|12.28.12||Cameron University*||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|1.5.13||Colorado State||Moby Arena||TBA||Fort Collins, CO|
|1.9.13||Tulane||Fogelman Arena||TBA||New Orleans, LA|
|1.12.13||Marshall||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|1.14.13||Houston Baptist||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|1.16.13||Tulsa||Reynolds Center||TBA||Tulsa, OK|
|1.19.13||SMU||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|1.26.13||East Carolina||Williams Arena||TBA||Greenville, NC|
|1.30.13||UAB||Bartow Arena||TBA||Birgmingham, AL|
|2.2.13||Tulane||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|2.6.13||Rice||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|2.9.13||Tulsa||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|2.13.13||Houston||Hofheinz Pavillion||TBA||Houston, TX|
|2.16.13||UCF||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|2.20.13||Southern Miss||Reed Green Colliseum||TBA||Hattiesburg, MS|
|2.23.13||New Mexico State||Pan Am Center||TBA||Las Cruces, NM|
|2.27.13||Houston||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|3.2.13||Rice||Tudor Fieldhouse||TBA||Houston, TX|
|3.6.13||Memphis||Don Haskins Center||TBA||El Paso, TX|
|3.9.13||SMU||Moody Colliseum||TBA||Dallas, TX|
|3.13.13||C-USA Tournament - 1st Round||BOK Center||TBA||Tulsa, OK|
|3.14.13||C-USA Tournament - Quarterfinals||BOK Center||TBA||Tulsa, OK|
|3.15.13||C-USA Tournament - Semifinals||BOK Center||TBA||Tulsa, OK|
|3.16.13||C-USA Tournament - Finals||BOK Center||TBA||Tulsa, OK|
**Games in italics are conference games
**Games in BOLD are tournament games
**Games with a ( * ) are considered exhibition games.
Here is the official press release from UTEP Athletics:
EL PASO, TEXAS - The most rigorous schedule in UTEP basketball history is set, with the Miners playing as many as 17 games versus teams that ended last season ranked in the top-80 of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
"Our fans wanted a great schedule and they've got it," UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. "We did this because we want to get this place back to where it was. We wanted a strong RPI in the event that we didn't finish first in our league."
Following an exhibition game against Southeast Oklahoma State (Nov. 3), the Miners will get thrown into the fire immediately. They'll tip off the regular season at home against an Oral Roberts squad that won 27 games last season (Nov. 9). Then they'll take on Arizona in Tucson (Nov. 15) before joining a power-packed field at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando (Nov. 22-25). UTEP has drawn Oklahoma on day one of the event.
"When you look at [Oklahoma coach] Lon Kruger, every time he has taken over a rebuilding program there have been prominent gains in the second year," Floyd said. "I don't expect to see anything different here. They're in the Big 12 recruiting Big 12 level athletes, and it will be an extreme test."
The Miners will battle either Clemson or Gonzaga on the tournament's second day (Nov. 23) and meet Davidson, Marist, Vanderbilt or West Virginia in the tournament finale on Nov. 25. They'll return home to tangle with I-10 rival and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant NM State three days later.
And that's just in the month of November.
December is equally as challenging, with home games against Idaho (Dec. 8), UNLV (Dec. 17) and Oregon (Dec. 19) leading up to the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational (Dec. 22-23), where the Miners will hook up with Arkansas-Pine Bluff and another Big 12 representative, Nebraska.
UTEP will avoid a lengthy holiday break by playing a second exhibition versus Cameron on Dec. 28. The Miners will have an unprecedented three non-conference games in 2013, facing Colorado State (Jan. 5) and NM State (Feb. 23) on the road and Houston Baptist (Jan. 14) at home.
Four of UTEP's first six Conference USA games are away from home, including the opener at Tulane (Jan. 9). The Miners will host Marshall on Jan. 12, SMU on Jan. 19, Tulane on Feb. 2, Rice on Feb. 6, Tulsa on Feb. 9, UCF on Feb. 16, Houston on Feb. 27 and Memphis on March 6. Following the regular season finale at SMU (March 9), UTEP will participate in the Conference USA Championship March 13-16 in Tulsa.
It promises to be a thrilling ride for a team that returns seven letterwinners from last year and introduces a highly-regarded group of incoming recruits.
"It's probably premature to play a schedule of this magnitude given the youth of our team, but we're trying to think big picture with everything we've done," Floyd said. "That's why we've recruited freshmen and that's why we're playing this type of schedule, because we want to play nationally relevant games."
Season tickets are on sale now (915-747-6150). Upper reserved prices have been reduced from $195 to $160. Other price levels are as follows: family pack (two adults/two youth ages 3-12) $540; copper reserved $335; bronze reserved $535; silver reserved $635; gold reserved $735; floor $1,410 and $1,510. Tickets are also available via www.utepathletics.com.