Tulsa at UTEP Open Comment Thread

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The big bad witch of the North as we all know them, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane comes into town for a clash for second place in a standing room only race for the C-USA regular season crown.

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Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Current Record: 15-12, 10-3 C-USA

Projected Starters:

Tim Peete, Sr, G, 5.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg

James Woodard, So, G, 14.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg

Shaquille Harrison, So, G, 9.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.6 apg

Rashad Smith, So, F, 12.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg

D'Andre Wright, So, F, 7.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg

Team Stats

Points Per Game 73.4
Opponents 68.4
FG% .445
Opponents% .382
3-point% .340
Opponents% .351
Free Throw% .673
Rebounds Per Game 36.4
Rebounding Margin +1.1
Assists Per Game 13.5
Steals Per Game

6.9

Tulsa comes into the Don as one of the hottest team in the C-USA. Six of their top seven leading scorers are sophomores, meaning at this point of the season they are pretty experienced. Tulsa can match up with UTEP size wise, and have one of the better players in the C-USA. James Woodard averages a team leading 14.7 points a game, and also leads in rebounds with 5.9 points per game. Before last weekend, Woodard was one of five players, including UTEP’s Vince Hunter to average over 16 points and 6 rebounds during conference play. Next to Southern Miss, Tulsa has some of the most talented guards in the league with Tim Peete, Woodard, and Shaquille Harrison, and even Rashad Ray who comes off the bench Tulsa has used tough man-to-man defense to hold their last ten opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the field, while only allowing 57.2 points per game in that stretch. That streak has led them to the lead the C-USA in defensive field goal percentage. After a rough record in the non-conference portion with losses to Wichita State, Creighton, and Oklahoma, the tough schedule has certainly helped the Golden Hurricane during C-USA play. Forward Rashad Smith has averaged 13 points a game with 6.3 rebounds in the last three games, while fellow big man Brandon Swannegan comes of the bench and is third in the C-USA in blocked shots per game. Also can’t forget about D’Andre Wright dropped 25 points last year in the Haskins Center. Coach Floyd noted the speed and athleticism the Golden Hurricane use on defense, they also are the only other school in C-USA that has used a triangle and two this year. During their five game win streak they have beat everyone by ten points or more. Certainly a contender in the five pack race for the title, a chance to further prove themselves awaits.

UTEP Miners

Current Record: 20-8, 10-3 C-USA

Projected Starters:

C.J. Cooper, Jr, G, 9.8 ppg, .890 FT

Julian Washburn, Jr, G, 13.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Vince Hunter, Fr, F, 12.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg

John Bohannon, Sr, F, 11.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg

Matt Willms, Fr, C, 5.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg

Team Stats

Points Per Game 70.1
Opponents 63.9
FG% .471
Opponents% .385
3-point% .346
Opponents% .301
Free Throw% .687
Rebounds Per Game 36.0
Rebounding Margin +1.6
Assists Per Game 14.1
Steals Per Game

5.1

UTEP will try to do something tonight it has failed to do the past two seasons, win the regular season finale at the crib. While UTEP has won 34 of their last 41 conference home games since 2008, UTEP will try to snap the two season streak. The night of course is about honoring one of the more memorable Miners will all have a special place for. John Bohannon is playing his last regular season home game as a Miner. With two more rebounds, Bo moves into fifth all time in school history in rebounds, and is the ninth Miner to score 1,000 points and grab 700 rebounds. He is also on pace to finish his career with 200 assists, last Miner to do that was one my favorite Miners Roy Smallwood. As we honor a senior, we all can’t stop gushing, and talking about THE freshman. With this game being a huge one, we can expect a bigger game from Vince Hunter. In games against the other top three teams in the league. Vince averages 24 points and 7.7 rebounds, against Southern Miss, LA Tech, and Middle Tennessee. Vince also is the first UTEP freshman to score 26 points or more, and his five 20 point games on the year are two shy behind Gio St. Amant’s record back in 2002-03. Though the Miners will need more production from point guard C.J. Cooper who had five turnovers against Southern Miss, Tulsa may press just like the Miners struggled with the press last Saturday. Important game, #PackTheDon.

Tim Floyd and Players talk Tulsa (via UTEP Athletics)

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