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UTEP Basketball: Breaking down UTEP’s offensive surge

Here is a look at some key statistical components in UTEP’s four game offensive onslaught.

There are plenty of reasons this current UTEP team is putting up some prolific offensive numbers during their four game winning streak.

We take a look at some team and individual points, as well as some X's and O's adjustments that have been made.

First look at the differences since the calendar change to February that has improved some basic stats

Category January February
Record 3-6 4-0
Scoring offense 70.2 ppg 94.5 ppg
Scoring defense 72.8 ppg 88.2 ppg
Scoring margin -2.6 ppg +6.3 ppg
Field goal % .443 .510
Field goal % defense .404 ,496
3-point % .331 .471
3-point % defense .343 .394
Free throw att./game 21.6 31.5
Rebound margin -4.0 -0.3
Turnovers forced/game 12.7 15.8

Key stats and averages during the win streak

94.5 ppg
.510 FG%
.471 3FG%
31.5 Free Throw Attempts per game
42.5 points in the paint average per game
22.2 pts off turnovers per game
1.203 points per possession
176 scores in 314 possessions, 56 percent
15.1 turnover percentage in 314 possessions
15.7 secs per possession average
12.3 offensive rebounds per game

Its easy to look at points per game, and figure, well UTEP is scoring pretty well right now eh?

But points per game only gives a small glimpse into the level of execution we're seeing.

The main thing that jumps out and proves the offensive is potent, is the efficient execution of UTEP's scoring.

In 314 possessions in the past four games, UTEP is scoring on 56 percent of those possessions.

Averaging 1.203 points per possession during the streak is another big mark, as well as a low 15.1 percent turnover percentage during those four games.

The key has been patiently, and aggressively attacking the paint as the Miners have averaged 42.5 points in the paint, and are currently shooting 53 percent on two point attempts during the streak.

Its not just free flowing offense with easy buckets, the Miners have been doing the dirty work as well.

The Miners have averaged 12.3 offensive rebounds, and are averaging 22.2 points off turnovers by forcing an average of 15.8 turnovers per game.

All of these points have led to a very important part of UTEP's offensive success, getting to the free throw line.

The Miners have averaged 31.5 free throw attempts in the past four games, compared to 21.6 in nine games in January.  Lee Moore has excelled at this, but we'll get to that later on.

Overall, it seems this UTEP team has found their stride by executing the following numbers at a very high level on a game in and game out basis.

Individual outlook

*stats are averages during win streak

Earvin Morris

Points per game +/- avg FG% Average Player Efficiency Rating
20.3 ppg 8.75 53.7 16.5 PER

Tim Floyd said Morris is playing much better in the starting lineup rather than coming off the bench.  Morris is shooting the best percentage from the field in a four game stretch in his UTEP career, and came up with big play after big play against WKU.  An important part to UTEP's success, Morris has been a catalyst for the Miners steady offensive output.

Lee Moore

Points Per Game FG% FT Shooting PER Total steals
19.5 50% 25/32 21.25 PER 9

Moore seems to do his damage in the second half during this streak, but has been the rock behind Morris' total offensive output.  Moore is the late game factor with his ability to get to line, as people just have a hard time staying in front of him down the stretch of games. He's also 6-of-9 from three point land, showing he doesn't need to jack up three's to score in the high volume that he does.  Defensively, Moore has shown tremendous anticipation in UTEP's press, and zone looks as he has nine steals during the win streak.  His free throw percentage, and 25 makes are also important aspects through the streak. Moore's pace this season is all-conference honorable.

Dominic Artis

Points Per Game Rebs Assists Assist/TO Ratio
15.3 pgg 6.3 6.5 3.25

Distributing, defending, rebounding, and coming up with big plays has been Artis forte during the streak.  His scoring numbers aren't as efficient as others, but Artis has been doing a number of things that have took this team to a different level during this stretch.  His assist to turnover ratio is always important, but his rebounding has also been one of the biggest contributing factors he has brought.  Artis has played no less than 34 minutes in each of the four games. In a few games, Artis' pass led to the pass for the assist, showing how Artis makes his teammates better, and how this offense fits his strengths.

Omega Harris

Points Per Game 3PT% Total Assists
13.8 ppg 57% 13

Another important part of the streak has been the steady offensive and defensive play by Omega Harris.  Harris has the highest +/- in a single game during the four game win streak, and is seeing his defense improve during the streak.  He's 8-of-14 from three point land during the stretch, and is shooting 48.1 percent from there at home this season.  Harris and Moore are starting to form a hard to deal with duo for opposing defenders.  If there is a late game situation in where a three-ball is needed, Harris is starting to become that sure option to take that shot.

Terry Winn

Points Per Game Rebs Total Blocks Total Steals FG%
11.8 ppg 7.2 rpg 5 6 56.3%

Winn has been the defensive presence, and offensive finisher in the paint the Miners need.  Winn is shooting 56.3 percent from the field, and is averaging an important 7.2 rebounds per game in the last four games.  With UTEP going smaller, Winn has had the task of guarding center's, and longer athletes.  But has thrived with six steals, and five blocks.  His shot altering numbers are probably right up there with his steals and blocks, which is much needed without a true rim protector.  His explosion and quickness can be menacing for slower big men, and Winn brings that energy and emotion the Miners thrive on.

Tevin Caldwell

Caldwell may not have the production of the others mentioned, but his value is very important.  Like Winn, his explosion and athletic ability are defensive keys against slower big men.  His determination, and hustle on the boards have won a few games.  Not to mention the calming leadership and respect his fellow teammates give him.  In all actuality, Caldwell has been the greased wheel that helps this UTEP offensive machine roll with the number of ways he affects the game, and his passing ability.

X's and O's adjustments

Tim Floyd called UTEP's new offense the green and go.  It's a spread out attack that seems to take advantage of matchups.

Most teams have played with two big's against UTEP, but UTEP has utilize the four guard lineup to their athletic advantage.

One of the matchups UTEP takes advantage of is having Earvin Morris essentially playing the four, thus bringing out bigger, and slower defenders Earv can easily cruise by for points.

The spacing aspect has been UTEP's biggest advantage, as seen when Omega Harris gets open in the corner, and drivers like Artis, Moore, and Morris have options on the perimeter, and a cutting Terry Winn for distribution options.

Winn has been the recipient of dump offs, and passes of dives, also showing UTEP's improved IQ and ball movement.

IQ, ball movement, shot making, and spacing are things UTEP has done at a high level, and led to the efficient numbers we talked about above.

Overall, the most important aspect of this run is these kids are having fun.

They are gelling, building chemistry, and look to be having fun playing for and through each other during this win slide.

The question now is can this streak of strong offense carry over until Birmingham?