Tip off Time
Western Michigan (1-2) vs UTEP (1-1)
TD Arena, Charleston, South Carolina
1:30 p.m. Mountain Time
Streaming: ESPN3 (Roy Philpott/Mark Planksy)
Radio:UTEP Miners IMG Sports Network on TuneIn, (Jon Teicher)
Western Michigan is a -5.5 point favorite
UTEP will try and pick up the pieces from their 103-81 loss to Wake Forest, and put together a competitive performance against Western Michigan.
The Broncos shot right at 50 percent, and gave defending national champion Villanova all they could handle in the opening round of the Charleston Classic.
They come in with a 1-2 record, their other loss was a 17-point loss at Oakland, and they won their season opener 90-74 against Marygrove College.
6'3 guard Thomas Wilder is a second team All-MAC selection that averaged 18 points per game last season, and dropped 19 points in the loss to Villanova.
Senior guard, Tucker Haymond is another player UTEP will have to worry about.
The 6'6 guard was second on the team in scoring last year, but did have a rough shooting night against Nova. Although the senior is averaging 12 points per game, and five rebounds in their first three games. Haymond also leads the Broncos in free throw attempts which tells me he could be their best lane driver.
WMU also has some problematic for UTEP size with returners Drake LaMont, and Seth Dugan who are 6'10, and 7'0. Dugan might be WMU’s most improved player from last season, and is their current leading rebounder.
6'8 freshman forward Brandon Johnson is a good looking prospect who scored 12 points in each of their first two games, including a 14 point, 12 rebound effort in their season opener.
UTEP will need to shore up their ball security issues as senior point guard Dominic Artis continues his struggles early on in the season in that department.
The Miners were burned by the 3-ball against Wake Forest, but the good news (if you will) is WMU is 10-for-50 from long range in their first three games.
Staying out of foul trouble could be UTEP's biggest key in this game. WMU went to the free throw line 42 times in their lone win. You figure teams will emphasize pounding the paint if the Miners continue to struggle on the defensive end.
Most interesting mark for UTEP is how they will respond after a receiving a clear woodshed beating which for this young Miner team was a stern D-1 hoops lesson.