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The Dig: 12 Days Till UTEP Miner Football Kicks Off Edition

In The Dig:  A few more links on UTEP's newest basketball player; El Paso, Inc., with more impressive UTEP coverage; A Miner recruit's high school will play on ESPN Saturday, and a UCF basketball player may have dropped $50,000 in Vegas.  Oh, he's also Michael Jordan's son.


The UTEP Miners

A Bit More Mike

UTEP's newest basketball player, guard Michael Perez, generated some media buzz yesterday.  The Arizona Star had some insight on his move from St. John's.

It's a good move for Perez, a scoring machine, who will only be a 4-hour automobile drive from Tucson. Plus, there won't be a chance of being overwhelmed by the Big City. After Lavin offered Perez in a July AAU camp, the deal got bogged down in NCAA clearinghouse issues. Rhode Island came on the scene, as did UTEP and Oregon

And more here:

"There wasn't enough conversation to make Mike feel like he was really wanted (at St. John's)," Frank Perez said. "But UTEP was the place he really wanted to go to in the first place. I wanted him to be in a place like Tucson." has some more insight on the signing ($):  

The wait is finally over for Tucson Pueblo High School's 6-foot-3 graduated senior guard Michael Perez. After going without a scholarship offer this spring, and then being declared ineligible in the month of July after an offer from a Big East program, Perez became an academic qualifier and now has signed with a program from Conference USA.

More Predictions

Ray Sanchez, from El Paso, Inc., is looking into his crystal ball.

"I worry about the coaching there, too," it grumbled. "Mike Price is a great guy and I wish him the best but he and his staff have a questionable M.O. "They win some they shouldn’t and lose some they shouldn’t. That’s okay, but the team, for the past few years, has petered out towards the end of the season.

Wheelin' & Dealin'

AD Bob Stull used his latest feature in El Paso, Inc. to promote discounted ticket prices for the UAPB game.  Really, though, is there anything better to do in El Paso on a Saturday night for $15?   

Special ticket prices will be in effect for the Sept. 4 game at the Sun Bowl. General admission seats are $15, and reserved seats are $20 and $25. For the remaining five home games, individual ticket prices are $20 for general admission and reserved seats start at $25. There is also a $15 children’s ticket available for the final five home dates.

C-USA Power Rankings

Eric Bailey used to be the only guy out there with a C-USA Power Rankings LIst (Miner Rush's will premier next week).  Bailey has UTEP at #7.

7. UTEP: The legs of running back Donald Buckram and the arm of quarterback Trevor Vittatoe will be the anchors for the Miners, who are looking for their first winning season since 2005.

Other Miner Links

Game On:  The volleyball squad is gearing up for anintrasquad scrimmage

The Miners begin their 2010 slate in Durham, N.C. on Aug. 27, when they take part in the Hilton RTP/NCCU Tournament.  UTEP welcomes I-10 rival NM State in its home opener on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Gym.

UTEP Volleyball:  I've linked to the JCasonVball Blog before- thinking it was written by UTEP Miner volleyball player Jacqueline Cason.  Actually, it's kept by her father, who used the blog as a great way to chronicle Jacqueline's recruitment.  Her father, luckily, is now using the blog to talk a little Miner volleyball.  Today, he has his C-USA Volleyball Power Rankings- The Miners check in at #5.

5. UTEP-Veteran leadership, improved defense and much more physical attack and block packages

Saturday Night Lights:  Cibolo Steele is a powerhouse Texas football program and  Miner commit Shane Huhn is their starting safety.  Steele high will be part of the ESPN's Rise High School Football Kickoff which means we can all see Huhn, and the nations #1 running back (his teammate Malcolm Brown who committed to Texas) play this coming Saturday at 5:00 pm MST on ESPN.  

Building the Miner Nation:, the AP's new college football site, has launched and will feature links to Miner Rush's posts, hopefully connecting even more Miner fans to the Rush.  Here's the link to UTEP's team page.




Not a lot on this today, but check out this article from the Deseret News on BYU's issues with the MWC's TV deal.

What is unacceptable for BYU, in my opinion, is the status quo. And I predict it will not stand. It is a situation where several schools that have brought very little to the MWC since its inception have an equal vote and the league's broadcast partner has failed to negotiate a remedy despite many requests. Equal votes? That's not the case in the Pac-10 nor the Big 12.

The Houston Cougars

Package Deal? The Houston basketball team just landed Joseph Young- a stud basketball player from last year's mythical national champion high school basketball team Yates High (the team that beat John Bohannon's Lancaster High in the state championship).  Young originally committed and signed with Providence.  His dad was a star at UH during the Phi Slamma Jamma days.  Well, now Young has decided he wants to stay at home because he doesn't want to leave his family.  Also, his aunt has become ill. That might all be true but it's at least worth pointing out that his dad is also now the Director of Basketball Operations at Houston under Coach Dickey.  

Since Providence didn't release Young from the LOI, he won' t be able to suit up this season but will join the squad next year.  He's going to be really, really good.

Young is a 6-3 guard who helped Yates to a 34-0 record and the nation’s No. 1 ranking this past season. He was the most valuable player in the 2009 state final and the 2009-10 Gatorade Texas Boys Basketball Player of the Year. ESPNU and MaxPreps ranked Young among the nation’s top 100 recruits

The UAB Blazers

David Isabelle has won the starting quarterback spot at UAB.  He's a dual threat QB in the mold of the departed Joe Webb.

"We obviously like David, feel good about what he brings to the table," Callaway said. "I think the competition was very close between him and Bryan Ellis. We're lucky to have two guys that I feel comfortable with in David and Bryan. I just thought overall, with David's athleticism, we gave him the job."

The Central Florida Knights

Did Michael Jordan's son Marcus Jordan blow $50,000 in Las Vegas? In one day?

The Memphis Tigers

A Little Less Wolken:  Dan Wolken of the Commercial Appeal has moved into a columnist role and is no longer the beat writer for Memphis.  In his first column, Wolken has a nice look at new Tiger coach Larry Porter and the (lack of) buzz around the football team.

That's a question I wanted to ask Porter on Sunday. Unfortunately, after he finished signing autographs, he was quickly ushered out the door Nick Saban-style by four policemen, one of whom told me to stop walking three times before I finally got the hint. Heck, even at the height of John Calipari's popularity, he only needed one cop to get him around town.

No Mbakwe in Memphis:  Memphis wanted Minnesota basketball player Trevor Mbakwe to transfer.  After being (kind of) released from charges, he has decided to stay and play for Tubby Smith at Minnesota.  

The Southern Miss. Golden Eagles

The Blind Side 2?  O.C. Brown is an offensive lineman for USM.  He's also going to be a central figure in an upcoming documentary that sounds a lot like the Blind Side.

"He was the subject of a story in the (Memphis) Commercial Appeal, which chronicled the way he was basically found by these recruiting services," Lindsay said. "We came down and talked to him and started filming, and he became one of the main characters in our documentary."÷

Too Random Not to Mention

An Oregon State football player, Tyler Thomas, has been kicked off the team for... um... welll.. just read this.

According to information from the Corvallis Police Department, at about 4:51 a.m., police were called to 519 N.W. 14th Street after a 32-year-old woman reported there was a naked man in the upstairs office of her residence. When officers arrived, they ordered him to get on the ground several times, but he refused. Then Thomas, who had reportedly been drinking, got into a "three-point stance" and lunged at the officers, who Tased him. Thomas was booked into Benton County Jail but was released later the same day.