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UTEP Basketball: Four things we'll be watching in the Orange and White Scrimmage

NCAA Basketball: Texas-El Paso at Rice Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to dissect or make surefire judgments from what is basically a glorified, full-court pick-up game that will go down Saturday afternoon in the Don.

But in talking to a few players on Thursday, they know this Orange and White scrimmage will be broken down and judged heavily by the coaching staff, and could decide minutes in the Miners' coming exhibition games.

Here are a few things I will be watching on Saturday…..

Improvement marks from main returners

Can Terry Winn step out and knock down a jumper? How much how has his free throw shooting improved?

Is Omega driving the lane more? Is his 3-ball deadlier?

How well did Dominic Artis take care of the rock? Will his leadership skills take over at some point?

We know what to expect from UTEP's "big 3", but these are a few of the questions we want to consistently see from the Miners' known producing returners.

Winn looks to be in maybe the best shape of his life, and is transitioning to play out on the wing more often. In a scrimmage setting like this, Winn should easily rack up a double-double. But how he gets his points, and how improved his free throw shooting is will really tell a lot

I expect Terry to do a few nice things against his teammates.

Omega will certainly play off-guard more exclusively this year. But will he use his speed off the dribble to create easy buckets around the rim in this workout? And also, how much more effective is his stroke from behind the three-point line?

Artis will be UTEP's do-all from the point guard spot. And in a game like this, slop can occur, but how fined tuned is the Miners' senior point guard in where he can play a clean game in terms of assist-to-turnovers in a pickup game style scrimmage and still fill up the stat sheet.

Will expected role players have took that major step forward?

This is looking right at Jake Flaggert, Trey Touchet, and Paul Thomas.

All three have the ability to shed the role player label into a being major factors down the road on this team.

Confidence will be a big thing to watch between these three no matter which team they are on.

It will be interesting to watch how all three of their offensive games have grown in terms of finding ways to score against their teammates. And for Flaggert and Thomas, how much rebounding will they provide will be major points to keep an eye on.

Which freshmen guards turns heads?

The million dollar question when six freshman are listed on a basketball roster.

Guys like Deon Barrett, Tim Cameron, and Adrian Moore will athletically succeed in these type of scrimmages, but how well they do the little things will more than likely be magnified once the coaching staff reviews the film.

While all three have the skill set to fill up the stat sheet offensively in this game, how they respond defensively will be very interesting to watch unfold after Floyd's defensive principles have been hammered at them the past few weeks.

Rebounding will be needed from UTEP's guards again, and is another area to watch from guys like Cameron, Moore and Chris Barnes. Its not just about securing rebounds, but we're watching who has that motor and want-to to be able effectively rebound once the real games start.

Very excited to how they all could possibly fit, but overall, the freshman guards will have all eyes upon them Saturday afternoon.

Is Kelvin Jones offensively challenged?

No one outside of the basketball program has really seen Kelvin Jones play since his highlight films from Hobbs.

The biggest question is can the freshman big man finish around the rim, and does he have legit post moves UTEP can go to when they need a bucket?

In this game, Jones will be the tallest player on the floor, so you would expect him to be able to score anything he wants around the rim. His footwork, and touch will be the main things to watch in that regard.

Many have talked about how raw of an offensive player he is or could be early in his career, but this a chance to show if it’s just a message board myth, or something special UTEP might have this season.

The teams:


Dominic Artis, Jake Flaggert, Omega Harris, Kelvin Jones, Jose Martinez(?), Isiah Osborne, Terry Winn


Deon Barrett, Tim Cameron, Adrian Moore, Paul Thomas, Trey Touchet, Hudson Urbana, Matt Willms

Out: Chris Barnes (Injury), Ivan Venegas (Injury)