UTEP has now lost four games in a row, and its record is 10-13. This is how this season will pan out because the Miners really can't get much better. Enough improvement is ... enough. Can't ask these guys for much more now that the season is nitty-gritty and all teams in all the conferences know everybody else. UAB knew UTEP Saturday.
There's only so much "getting better" for such a Miner team that has put forth really good efforts with freshmen and sophomores. Bt now it's February and Conference USA opponents have everybody's number.
Simply: Young teams that aren't Kentucky or Kansas, even when well coached, don't have the major-college smarts/experience/oomph to put on a late-season surge and run up their conference ladder. Too late.
On Saturday, the Miners lost at home - at HOME - to a C-USA team with a losing record. But UAB (now 9-13), and coached by a good one (Mike Davis) ,won 61-60. Down to the wire. Home teams don't lose at the wire against teams with losing records. UTEP missed the last shot to win it.
UTEP lost at Houston and at Rice on the road - the same way.
As much as this Miner team tries, and listens to coaches, it has hit the wall.