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UTEP at FAU: Three Point Play Preview

Has UTEP found a new identity?

The Owl Breakdown

Shorthanded and struggling are two things that stood out about the Owls last weekend as they were dominated by UAB and Middle Tennessee on the road.

On Thursday, Jeantal Cylla had his first career double-double with a C-USA player of the week worthy 24 points, and 12 rebounds against UTSA.

Cylla was 5-of-6 from long distance in the first matchup with UTEP, posting a career high 25 points.

In that game only two other Owls had more than four points which has been a problem for FAU.

6'3 guard Adonis Filer returned against UTSA after missing last Saturday's game against UAB with a concussion and chipped in eight points in the Owls 79-73 win over the Roadrunners.

Filer is the only FAU player to average double digit scoring numbers this season, and also averages just under five rebounds per game.

FAU's depth in the front court could take a big hit due to a possible suspension.

Seven-footer Ronald Delph was ejected for a flagrant-2 foul which means he could be suspended for Saturday's matchup with UTEP.

Also meaning FAU's guards will be needed for scoring, and rebounding production.

Marquan Botley has played up to his potential in the last four games after a below average start to the season.  Botley is averaging 15 points per game in his last four games, and is 12-of-22 from behind the three point line in the same stretch.

Jackson Trapp also has to be accounted for out on the perimeter. The 6'4 sharp shooter has been struggling as of late, but is always a threat.

Defensively, the recent struggle continues as the Owls have allowed 70 points or more in the last seven games after holding both Southern Miss. and LA Tech to under 62 points in back-to-back games at home.

With four of their final six at home FAU is looking for momentum heading into the final stretch of the season, but can they dig themselves out of a string of three straight losses?

Floyd finds UTEP an identity?

After the Saturday's comeback win, Tim Floyd joked about just trying to outscore people instead of his defense first approach.

The joke may have turned into reality as the Miners have flourished with a faster paced offensive tempo which is getting a pair of UTEP guards going in a number of different areas.

Lee Moore has been a scoring machine, and Dominic Artis is thriving as of late by either scoring or handing out 10 assists like he did against FIU on Thursday.

Artis is also averaging 5.4 rebounds per game during conference play, while Moore is averaging 5.7 boards per game in conference play.

UTEP may not be taking a high volume of shots in terms of pace, but the efficiency, ball movement, and overall shot making has been on a very, very high level.

The identity change is a big adjustment compared to Floyd's teams of the past which has allowed this team to score more, but the pace and efficiency has also helped UTEP close rebounding margins during conference play as of late.

Floyd acknowledged UTEP has recruited and brought in more offensive skill then Floyd has had at UTEP before, and the adjustment of a more spaced out, smaller lineup approach has helped the Miners find something of identity.

That identity seems to be efficiently out score folks, rebound on the defensive end, and string together stops in key moments.

"It's taken us awhile to figure out some things about us." Tim Floyd said last Saturday.   "I'm not sure our team can play the way my teams have always played, and be comfortable.  We recruited skill and we are skilled, but sometimes with skill it means they can't guard me, and we were just going to have to outscore people I guess. "

The kids have seemed to embrace the newly minted identity, and points look to be at a premium the rest of the way.

Who has the edge?

Who has the edge?

Guards: UTEP

Frontcourt: Even

Shooting: UTEP

Rebounding: Even

Defense: Even

Intangibles: UTEP

Miner Rush's Opening Line: UTEP -8.5