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UTEP basketball: Tim Floyd, coaching staff proving their worth during win streak

A lot has improved for the UTEP basketball team during this six game winning streak, the architects at the top deserve a ton of credit for it along with the players on the floor.

Miner Rush

When UTEP lost to Marshall on the road a few weeks ago, the sky was literally falling in Miner Nation.

Twitter folks were sharpening the pitch forks, ESPN 600's SportsTalk was flooded with Floyd haters, and even our Miner Rush-selves posed the question on a podcast should Floyd be near or on the hot seat.

Then like a true battle tested leader, and motivator, Floyd turned to his seniors and challenged his seasoned group.

"Coach Floyd talked us to see whether we we're either going to sink or play hard and pick it up." C.J. Cooper said, "We know we have a chance to win this conference still, we just had to talk and go out there and play hard."

And not only have the seniors bought into the challenge Floyd put in front of them, but the entire team is gelling despite the short rotation and lack of depth, ripping through the adversity with a relentless passion to not let a slide like that happen again.

Just like assistant coach Ken DeWeese had said on our podcast, this is the time of year when a Tim Floyd team is at its best no matter what they go through.

Last year major adversity fueled a winning run through the conference slate, and the rally cry started when UTEP lost the three stooges to Gamble Gate 2014.

This year Floyd has used the two game road slide, dashed OOC resume boosting opportunities, and the adversity of being short handed again due to injuries as a rallying and re-energizing point of emphasis for his team.

A lot of people around college basketball say Tim Floyd is at his best when his back is against the wall and proof is holding true the past two seasons.

Floyd is an intense, passionate, and hard nose leader of the UTEP program, and his fighting spirit and love for El Paso has been publicly shown in the midst of national topics, and stories that have come about pertaining to UTEP during his tenure.

While the always passionate UTEP fan base was fuming with utter disgust from the Marshall loss, Floyd's experience came through in the nick of time with a no panic approach, and the mindset of sticking to the main goals down the stretch of the season; just come together like he knew his guys could and win out at home.

"We understand college basketball, and who we are and how difficult it is with some of these teams we're playing, and where we're playing them," Floyd said. "We have a long way to go, we have five really difficult games to go, we have to try to win every game we're in and see what happens"

To say Floyd has no passion for UTEP, or "can't coach" is a blind, idiotic statement.

Every practice, Floyd paces around furiously with this killer, high work ethnic, attention to detail demeanor that has funneled through to his players and has been brought onto the game floor during this six game winning streak.

Yes I understand it hasn't been what we expected since Floyd took over, only two post-season appearances, major roster changes the past three seasons, and misses in recruiting that has set the program back depth wise to where he and fans want it.

But you have to give credit for the risks he took in recruiting to complete his goal of bringing back the 80's, and outside of Kentucky no one is going to be perfect in the college basketball world.

What I have learned so far this season its all about how you get your players to respond through the valleys of disappointment that come about during a season which should really count when it comes to evaluating a coaches hot seat placement, and Floyd's players have responded two years in a row.

Floyd gushed about this current team in the preseason, and always talks very highly of his three seniors who have been staples of his UTEP tenure.  So its no surprise that Floyd has been able to reach these guys during a time where most thought he had lost this team.

"I would have expected that," Floyd said of where the team is at in the standings, "We had expectations of this team, and I would say we don't have a disappointment."

The notion of Floyd's old school approach won't work with these younger kids is also false.

It takes a kid with character to understand what an experienced and demanding coach like Floyd is asking you to do or sacrifice to win for betterment of the team and program (look where Arnett Moultrie is), with a major goal of bringing glory back to a place that holds special regard in Floyd's and his entire staff's heart.

With five games remaining, the job is nowhere near done and a reloading season is on the horizon in 2015-16, but Floyd and his staff have proven they understand what it takes for this team, and program to meet expectations no matter what kind of adversity is thrown their way.