In The Dig: It's clash of the C-USA Titans on Wednesday as UTEP heads to Hattiesburg and Memphis welcomes UAB; Mike Price comes out gunning and offers a 2012 quarterback; a look back at the Sun Bowl; and Sports Illustrated finally puts two C-USA teams into their 68 team Bracketology.....
UTEP, as of now, is in the field.....
Gary Flowers Scares Me
Gary Flowers is a 6'8 forward who puts up 19.9 points per game and just under 8 rebounds. In my mind, he's a more polished version of Papa Dia who just burned UTEP for a double-double in El Paso. Flowers has five double-doubles this season and is a lock to be a first team All Conference USA Selection. Southern Miss. is 10-1 at home and their only loss came by one point to Memphis.
So, Flowers is the star, but USM has a solid cast around him. Angelo Johnson is an efficient point guard who can get hot and kill you from the three point line (over 42%). Johnson actually played his freshman season at USC under Tim Floyd. R. L. Horton is a good second scoring option. Devonte Newbill, a 6'4 freshman guard, has had a breakout season and has 5 double-doubles of his own this season. He's a good rebounding guard that is also a capable scorer. It's going to be a battle.
Here are Tim Floyd's thoughts on the Golden Eagles (courtesy of UTEP Athletics). Floyd thinks this is the best USM team in 20 years. USM head coach Larry Eustachy is one of his best friends in coaching, so I expect to see a lot of motivation on both sides of this one.
TV TIME SET: UTEP's battle with USM will be televised locally in El Paso on Time Warner Cable (Channel 24). I'll check to see if its on the Texas Channel statewide.
Bracketology: CNNSI's Andly Glockner has updated his Bracketology and now he has UTEP and the Memphis Tigers in the tournament. He has UTEP as a 13 seed and Memphis as a 12 seed in the "play-in" game. So, both teams are seeded low, but at least he has two teams in. Baby steps.
Knight Court: Bill Knight has a really nice read on UTEP's senior class. He has a good point about Tony Barbee.
This UTEP senior class of Claude Britten, Randy Culpepper, Isaac Gordon, Christian Polk, Wayne Portalatin, Julyan Stone and Jeremy Williams is something special. Miner fans might want to offer a couple of words to departed coach Tony Barbee for this class: Thank you
Givin' A Little Back: UTEP athlets are participating in project "MOVE" which is a community outreach program. Over 150 UTEP student-athletes will be out to volunteer in the community. If you're a teacher, counselor, or work for a civic organization and want to get involved, here's the info.
To have UTEP student-athletes come and visit your organization or school, please contact Amelie Tremblay at the Life Skills office at (915) 747-6203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are You In? The C-USA has set up a Facebook event page for the 2011 C-USA Basketball Championship. Do your part and RSVP.
Rush the Court: RTC has a nice Conference USA roundup here complete with their Power Rankings. UTEP checks in at #1.
Randy Culpepper continues to be a team leader, while Christian Polk, Jeremy Williams and Julyan Stone continue to be key role players. Everything is going nicely for Tim Floyd’s club
Houston Miners: If you're in the HTown area, here's some info on a Memphis game watch party.
UTEP Miners Football
Target 1: Shoutout to UTEP recruiting ace Angel Luna for pounding the pavement on some early 2012 recruiting news (his story here, but subscription required $). Mike Price has offered 2012 quarterback Garrett Simpson a scholarship. Simpson is a 6'4, 220 lb. quarterback prospect from The Colony. According to Scout.com. it looks like the Kansas Jayhawks are also showing some interest in Simpson. As a junior, he passed for over 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. Watching his highlights, embedded below, it's easy to see the potential this kid has. He makes quick reads and throws a very accurate ball. He's a great looking prospect.
Target 2: Rivals is reporting, and Luna confirms, that UTEP has indeed offered Wylie, TX (Wylie High) cornerback/athlete Terrell Burt. The Houston Cougars and Iowa State Cyclones have also offered the 5'10, 170 lb. athlete a scholarship. Scout notes that he runs a 4.4 forty and also plays running back at Wylie. There are no highlights yet available for Burt, but I will of course embed them in an update if they become available.
UAB's Assist Man: UAB's Aaron Johnson is now the Blazers all-time assist leader. He's no Julyan Stone, but he's a darn good player.
Not all Good News: UAB's forward Cameron Moore broke his hand in practice. He gave Memphis tons of problems last time around, so this doesn't bode well for the Wednesday matchup.
Moore had game-highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds in Memphis' 76-73 overtime win at UAB on Jan. 22, a game in which Moore hurt the Tigers around the baseline with his soft shooting touch. The 6-10 Moore is averaging 15.6 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Blazers this seaso
Easy Cowboy: Steve Irvine of the Birmingham News thinks UAB is a win or two away from the NCAA Tournament. I'd like to think that any C-USA team could be that comfortable, but none of them can at this point.
The Battle of the Butt... what? The Memphis and Southern Miss. rivalry has taken a turn south after ... well, just read this....
If the crushing defeat at Reed Green Coliseum wasn’t enough motivation for USM in today’s 5 p.m. game at Memphis, the players are also aware of comments made by Tigers guard Chris Crawford.
The freshman remarked after the win in Hattiesburg that he could see the Eagles’ "b---holes tightening" in the final minutes of the game.
Those words irked the Golden Eagles, and have stayed with them ever since.
"We’re going to see whose booty holes get tight when we go up there," Newbill said.
Just another day in the C-USA.