Some thoughts, while still contending a UTEP team does not lose at home to a UT-San Antonio, and should not have struggled to beat somebody like UC Riverside:
But I'm glad UTEP Basketball Coach Tim Floyd is building from the ground up instead of trying to have a decent season with a lot of transfer retreads. Recall that Football Coach Mike Price got set back early in his eight-year career here when he brought in some "used stars" who turned out to be bad fits.
It was a good move for Floyd to bring in a transfer (from Fullerton) point guard. Gotta have some ball leadership on the court. And when Gabe McCulley, the lone senior returning from last year comes back from an injury, he'll give some stability. But don't count on McCulley being a star. He's more so a steady role player.
Now here's what's really going on:
The players being announced as signees this week are Floyd's intended TEAM. This year's roster is made up of guys trying to stay on the real TEAM next year. As has been Floyd's modus operandi, some of these guys have to be gone to satisfy the scholarship limit for next season's roster.
There are ways to get rid of guys. Already, freshman Darius Nelson has quit - after just one game. I find it hard to believe he quit because he didn't play in that first game. Life might not have been so good for Nelson on Floyd's practice court? He went from BMOC at his high school to having to play hard in practice. Only guessing.
Remember, too, Mitch Marcus, a JC guard, left school earlier. What was up with Dazmond Starke, a forward from a JC said by some to have been released? There are no details.
There are always guys who flunk out, hate it here - or can't get along with the coach or his style of coaching.
So far there have been hints as to who's high on Floyd's list. Julian Washburn got raves for holding Cal Riverside's big gun to only a few points in Sunday's win. Washburn is a freshman, albeit an old freshman who has sat out a year or two. Washburn's dossier says he's a four-star super athlete. But usually coaches don't praise new freshmen. If Washburn can play defense, he's definitely a keeper - and he does have the best credentials, a la the "experts," of anyone on this year's roster.
Maybe freshman Hooper Vint, 6-foot-11, is going to start getting more time. He seems to be around the ball the times he gets to play.
Let's call this the season some basketball players audition for next year's TEAM.