Here are some UTEP basketball weaknesses and questions, as seen on the statistic sheet:
With one senior on this year's 10-10 team, who's in line to be next year's team leader? Yes, a team needs a leader both off and on the court. And that leader is most often a statistical leader on the floor, as well as when the guys are out of uniform. Usually it's an upper-classman.
I'd say senior forward-type Gabe McCulley is handing that role well this year.
Will it be senior-to-be Jaques Streeter taking over that role? Dunno. He's a point guard, after all, and that means the ball is in his hands a lot. And he's played more minutes than any Miner so far this season. He's seasoned after two years at Cal State Fullerton.
However, there's one telling stat. So far, at least, Streeter is a poor shooter in traffic. He's making a good 45.7 percent from 3-pointburg, but overall his field goal percentage is just 38.1. You should be shooting better inside the arc than from way out there. But Streeter has been missing too many LAYUPS.
UTEP's defensive problem this year will likely go away next year. Right now the tall men are not in position near the basket and opponents are driving to the hoop and being fouled - or they get easy baskets. It's a learning-type of problem. Good defense does not come naturally, or easily.
Six-foot-11 soph John Bohannon, with a lot of offensive talent, has fouled out of four games so far. He's averaging three fouls a game. Freshman inside player Cedric Lang is also averaging three fouls a game. McCulley is up there in fouls, but he's usually giving away a few inches to taller opponents - or he's the last guy in line when the younger players let the opponents whiz by.
Bohannon has to get better on defense so he can stay on the floor, what with his 10.1 scoring and team-leading 6.8 rebounding averages. And expect those to get better.
Overall, the biggest question is who'll be the team leader coming up. It looks like there's a lot of talent now, with more coming in next season. But to have that break-out season some think the Miners can have, there's got to be somebody other than the coaches to keep the team glued.
I realize there are still 10 games, plus the Conference USA Tournament still to play. But it's not jumping the gun to start talking about the future. But that the coaches are already playing for the future. It's a frosh/soph team, after all.
There are already 10 losses on this season's chart. And if next season is to be as good as many expect, the Miners will need a leader.