Julian Washburn has seen this Miner team built from the ground up. The 6'8 swing man came into the program just as the stars of the Barbee era (Culpepper, Stone & Co.) were departing. The silver lining in the rebuilding year that was Floyd's second season at UTEP was the emergence of a freshman from Duncanville, TX named Julian Washburn. I remember watching the first scrimmage just before that season started and being wowed by the athleticism of the guy wearing #10 (this was before Hardaway's number was retired and he had to change his number to 4). Since his freshman year, the Miner men's basketball team has leaned heavily on the consistent excellence of Washburn.
Washburn's numbers speak for themselves. He enters his senior year 10th on the all-time list in minutes played, 18th on the list in points scored, 16th on the all-time list in steals, and has been named to All-Conference teams and All-Defensive teams in C-USA the past two season in a row. Aside from just impressive numbers though, Miner fans know Washburn has been the team's most valuable player for some time now. His one-on-one defense against the opposing team's best scoring option has become famous, if not taken for granted. His consistent 12-14 points per game are almost a given as well. Washburn doesn't play outside himself and does all the little things to help his team win.
So what's the only thing missing on JWash's resume? It's clear to everyone in El Paso: An NCAA Tournament appearance. Tourney moments are what separate great Miner players from legendary Miner players. Julian has been their from Day 1, along with C.J. Cooper and Cedrick Lang of course, leading his team and adjusting as more and more pieces were added. This year's team is by far the best assemblage of talented players that Washburn has seen around him: Hunter is probably the most talented player on the team, the bigs are the best in C-USA, and the stable of guards is finally full. For Washburn and his Miners, it's all systems go in 2014-2015.