Perhaps this is typical of really young teams. But UTEP hasn't had the "go-get-em" in the late minutes of its last three games: at Oregon, New Mexico State and at UNLV.
Yes, UTEP beat New Mexico State. But the Aggies blew that game more than UTEP won it Sunday afternoon. Especially standing out badly was undisciplined Aggie guard ChristianTobango. Recall he took that off-balance 3-point attempt in the clutch. (Note: According to one report Tobango later flipped off the UTEP crowd, and that's why he was suspended from the team).
But there's a ray - actually several rays - of brightness in this UTEP team. Recall that when Tony Barbee was coaching, the Miners lost close games with stupid play. This team is mostly missing clutch free throws. It's not playing wildly.
Oregon and UNLV are good, veteran teams. NMSU could be good if it played more disciplined. UTEP will meet a few more good teams like the above in Conference USA.
Bottom line: The Miners' problem is young guy going against experience.That won't last forever. And by staying close to highly favored opponents this early in the season, the Miners are showing this won't be such a bad freshman/soph/JC season after all.
(Note: I'll be away from this blog for a few days. Carry on)