Two games into the 2017-18 basketball season have the Miners going 0-2 so far with UTEP playing again this morning against the University of British Columbia at 11:30 am El Paso Time.
After two games, you can cut up the criticism anyway you want in terms of their performance. Wednesday’s display on the court easily could have been attributed to plain ole rust in the Miners shooting 38% from the field to go along with a lack of offensive flow in the game against McGill University.
Last night’s rematch against the Redmen saw the team bounce back with a 46% clip from the field with better overall scoring, and improved bench play. The end result was the same as Wednesday night……another L in the column.
At this point how seriously can you take these exhibitions if you’re a Miner fan?
Take into consideration, McGill University before playing the Miners twice, were 1-4 overall with a scary 0-3 home record!
In fact, the Redmen were 3-1 playing on neutral sites which may explain their sudden 2 game winning streak. Quite frankly this current Miners team should have won both of these games by at least 10 points minimum. I understand that team chemistry has to be developed so I gave them a pass Wednesday night.
Thursday, the team seemed more in flow offensively, however, I also saw AGAIN the Miners inability to close out games. I’m a firm believer that even though these games do not mean a damn thing on the stat sheet, but in the end, they damn well better mean OPPORTUNITIES to improve the overall play of the team. It ticks me off when I see college basketball exhibitions where teams use them as getaways rather than refining areas on the team that could be the difference between you punching a ticket in March or going fishing.
I’ll say that this coming season the Miners will need to be able to close out games to avoid having moments like this:
Miners don't score and McGill headed to the line with 5 seconds remaining— UTEPMBB (@UTEP_MBB) August 18, 2017
If not for this FT sequence the game would have been over that much quicker for the Miners.
Call me crazy when I say the Miners needed to crush a school that was founded by a man, whose name could easily be confused for the other James McGill from Better Call Saul. The last time this program has won any kind of championship was the 1985-86 season while their most distinguishable alumnus is former USC Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin O’Neill who replaced Tim Floyd at SC.
Come on Miners this was a tomato can team that you needed to kick the juice out of rather than an injured fawn on the road that you would stop to pull to the side. The good thing is you guys got lots of time to get it right and a passionate fan base that is running out of patience is waiting for you all to get this right. Which one will give first at some point this season? Stay tuned….