There has been quite a bit of change with UTEP mens basketball program since the season ended last spring. One thing that has not changed; UTEP is going to play elite, top level defense and defend you hard for 40 minutes.
The Orange lead by the starting group of Jalen Ragland, Julian Washburn, C.J. Cooper, Cedrick Lang, and Matt Wilms out rebounded the White starting squad 41-31, featuring Jake Flaggart, Tevin Caldwell, John Bohannon, Justin Crogile, and Vince Hunter.
Floyd said the Miners would play hard. and the Miner players echoed that from the opening tip. The teams with played a close, tough, and a hard fought pace in the first half, the game in total had eight lead changes and was tied seven times.
John Bohannon provided most of the White teams offense in the first half posting an impressive and versatile 14 points and finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Americas grad Tevin Caldwell brought the hustle from the practice floor as he grabbed six offensive rebounds for the White team.
Though it was the length of Wilms and strength of Cedric Lang that lead the Orange to a 12 point lead and a stingy physical shut down of the White's offense down the in final six minutes of the second half.
Jalen Ragland knocked down a game high three 3-pointers for the Orange team and Julian Washburn scored 15 points and was an efficient 7/11 from the field, shooting mostly mid range jumpers.
C.J. Cooper was poised handling the ball down the stretch of the game and for majority of the game as the White team coach Bob Cantu pressed most of the game, Cooper finished with eight assists but went 0/9 from the field.
McKenzie Moore hurt his ankle in practice Thursday, and did not play and his status is in question for next Saturday's exhibition.
Justin Crosgile who replaced Moore in the three point shootout, nailed 8/15 in the first round and did the same in the championship round against El Pasoan Tyler Tafoya.
Jake Flaggart was your winner of the dunk contest, Vince Hunter showed his athletic skills and hops though he came in second.
It was a good night of work for the Miners and Tim Floyd as he sat along side former UCLA coach Ben Howland. Floyd put on a good show in the fan friendly event, even posing for pictures and signing autographs for fans after a serious game like evaluation of his team.
The Miners will now prepare for their first and only exhibition of the preseason against Southeastern Oklahoma Saturday at 7 PM in the Don Haskins Center.
Tune into The Rush 2.0 podcast Wednesday at 7 PM MDT as we talk with Miner Forward Julian Washburn.