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March 14, 2013

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Prospero

Its very hard to predict any other CUSA team to win the tourney besides Memphis.

BUT..the Miners can beat So Miss tomorrow. That will have UTEP nation very excited, if the Miners can make their way onto CBS for the championship on Saturday morning.

Lets beat So Miss manana!

Pascal Fortran

Great win Miner's!

Building on Joe's thought - it's not CTF job to work TV deals. Plus, he doesn't have that kind of authority.

I wish CTF would leverage his future at UTEP on AD Stull's ability to land a national TV deal. I don't care if the deal is between Al Jazeer and UTEP, and broadcast in Arabic, I want to see Miner athletics on TV more often.

Bob

I am not trying to be disagreeable but UTEP has made overtures to have games televised here. As I said C-USA tv market has shrunk a lot and it should be easier to pressure the conference to make different rules for next year.
Based on the season I guess we have the best chance to beat Memphis in this tournement. Only Memphis goes if they win.
The team was very spirited and aggressive today. All played well and 80 points is a good total for this team.

Rick

Muench: First of all, a great day for the Miner's - congratulations. Looking forward to this extremely athletic and talented team to do well against S. Miss. later today. Our horses stepped up yesterday - that Lang kid es un animale on the boards, and JaWash looked like the best player on the court.

THIS TEAM CAN WIN NOW! They're athletic, physically mature, and all have a great b-ball IQ. I hope Floyd just tells them to play, tweaks from time-to-time, but for the most part shuts the heck up. He coached well against Houston, called great timeouts, and let them run. JaWash kicked arse!

Now Muench, regarding your blog. You had me agreeing with your thoughts until the last sentence. There's never anything positive about having to hear the proverbial "wait 'til next year", or "there's a great class of underclassman and red-shirts that are projecting well" rhetoric a program conveys when they've underachieved.

Fact is, the 2012/13 team is good, and should have fewer than 8 losses at this juncture. Unless Floyd brings in last years Kentucky freshman team (next season), I expect it to get worse next season. We are losing quality contributors (Moore, Streeter, & Tucker), and will also likely lose Bo due to the way he was handled. That's a considerable percentage of the offense and ball handling.

I don't expect next seasons team to be competitive until conference play next season; by that time UTEP will likely have 8 to 10 losses.

The silver lining is they should gel by next seasons conference tournament; perhaps they'll be able to make a Cinderella type run (into the NCAA), if and only if they are as good as everyone is projecting.

I'm actually looking forward to the 2014/15 season - on paper.

desert_mouse

Hey Rick,

I just wanted to fact check you on something. Next year the Miners will only lose Konner Tucker, Jacques Streeter and Malcolm Moore. The way you mentioned it in your comment was as if we were losing McKenzie Moore, who is a Sophomore this season. Two more years with UTEP!

Oh, and Bo isn't going anywhere. This is almost for certain.

So, that means contributors (or serious potential contributors) that are coming back next year from this team are: Bohannon, McK Moore, JWash, CWash, Lang, Cooper, Vint or Wilms (one of these guys may go), and Tymond Howard.

The team will only be boosted by its Freshman class next year. Starters will be Bo, Jwash, Mck Moore, Lang and Cooper with the possibility of CWash starting and Bo coming off the Bench. Freshman hotshots will come in like Cooper comes in now for a boost from the bench.

I humbly disagree with you about your anaysis of where this team will be at the beginning of next year.

desert_mouse

Oh and one more thing.

The Miners are playing the best basketball of their season right now. This kind of play is what we expected during at least CUSA play. Better late than never, though.

If the Miners keep up this intensity then there is no one in CUSA that they can't beat, including Memphis. Personally I think if they get by USM today, they have a great shot at Memphis, who Floyd has always outcoached (and don't forget the Miners have beaten Memphis at least once every season for the past three years... CUSA Championship would be a great place to get the win this year!).

Rick

Well stated desert_mouse. Thanks for the clarity on McKMoore. Though, with two critical ball handlers still departing, next season promises to be a puzzle. Plus, Streeter is the heart and sole of this team. He'll be hard to replace, leadership wise.

Let's hope Bo sticks around. I see his situation playing out like Moutourie's did - he's likely to take the red-shirt year, shop himself around a little bit, and end up at an ACC or SEC team. I hope I'm wrong, but Bo doesn't seem happy.

What I do like about the guards leaving is, JWash will be forced to handle the ball more; by virtue of that, his scoring average should increase by 10 to 12 pts. per game. I personally feel JWash is a special player; he could be the league MVP next season. He should be the league MVP next season!

The current team is talented. I don't think USM or Memphis should be looking forward to playing UTEP - the way the tournament bracket is structured, I like UTEPs chances.

Rick

Watching the Miner women take it to UCF. Up by 3 at the half.

I bet that Steinberga chick is hot in makup and heels. UCF has a cute, gigantor blonde on their team as well. I need to follow women's b-ball a little closer.

A Fan

Go Miners!

Fan

Next year won’t be much different than this year. UTEP will be decent and may even win the conference because the conference will be the weakest it has been in years. Floyd has once again over recruited and it will be interesting to see who must leave to accommodate next year’s class. It is a shame because his team will be comfortable with each other because this is what CTF will do each and every year he is here. He will cry that he has a young team but it is because he can’t keep players. What a coincidence that Cooper came on late in the season. Maybe he could have done this all year if he had gotten playing time. Do you really think CWash will be better next year? Floyd is not preparing his players for the future.

Bob

Don't really understand that Coach loses players. All recurits don't show up as we saw this year. I don't know who he lost other than Character and Moultrie who weren't his and were probably leaving anyway. There was also the player sent off for his second violation of dorm rules (going into a dorm he was banned from by the university - not Floyd or Barbee).
Coach has also talked all year about how to get CJ going because he knew he could do more. It is obvious that players get playing time based on practice. CJ may have gained enough confidence in his shot that he will replace Konner next year as the two guard.

Rick

Bob, as usual you're full of crap. You make nails to a chalkboard tolerable. You also make watching paint dry, interesting. I cringe every time you post - I'm just going to skim over your rhetoric going forward, so please don't respond to this blast.

A Fan, you're spot on. This team underachieved; I'm interested to see what transpires over the next 15 days. If CTF leaves, good riddance. If he stays, I'm certain we'll hear the proverbial maturation of a team spiel from CTF. I think he can coach, but he's not suited to a "mid-major". I thought he would be because of the time he spent at Iowa State, but he's become prickly in his older years.

I've attended a number of SEC and Sun Belt games this season. UTEP can/could play with any team (athletic wise). Washburn would start at any school in the nation, and teams in this part of the nation would salivate to have size the likes of Lang and Bo. I think UTEP will have a tough go next year with the loss of the guards - I hope I'm wrong.

A Fan


Tough loss yesterday. Thought we had the bodies to compete. Have to look forward to an experienced team with good recruits.

Bob

Ok - I am not insulting anyone here. Only excercising free speech. What is with you. Disagree if you want but cool it ok?

Rick

AD Stull, after watching today's tourney action across the USA, I think I've come up with the perfect recommendation for UTEP sports going forward:

> Join the Missouri Valley or Big Sky conferences. This should be considered a lateral move, especially in consideration of the new look C-USA beginning next season.

The football team will compete at the FCS level; nothing changes with Olympic sports - it's a push as they all compete at the D-1 level. Most importantly, a move of this nature makes UTEP immediately relevant in football. Nothing lost in b-ball. both conferences are on par with C-USA.

> Retire after you have changed leagues - as this will be considered your biggest, and most significant achievement while holding the AD job.

CLEOFITZWITZ

In 2000, the Miners were co WAC champs, had 8 win seasons in 04 and 05, went to overtime with Texas Tech in 06, handed Tulsa one of it's 3 losses in a 10 win season in 07, beat #12 Houston in 09, went to a bowl game in 2010, had a physical slugfest with Wisconsin, and took conference champ ucf deep into the forth quarter in 2012.

I'm not claiming any great accomplishments in this last decade of football. What I am saying is that now is not the time to tuck tail and run to FCS status. We are very close to turning the corner in football. Dropping to a lower division is not visionary. It's a defeatist attitude that has no place in a program and a city that is on the upswing.

The myopic reasoning continues in the conversation about Miner basketball. Contingent upon Tim Floyd staying is a top 20 recruiting class. Good times are just around the corner.

Bob Stull is a snob and likes to rub shoulders with big money while ignoring small businesses and common fans. There is a goldmine of community support just waiting to be tapped into. Stull has failed to reach out to these fans. He does deserve credit for the huge improvements to facilities at UTEP and some excellent coaching hires. An amazing feat considering our comparatively low athletic budget.

If Stull can't expand the fan base, then we should consider a change in leadership. But overall, I am encouraged by this era of UTEP athletics. We are closer than ever to becoming a legitimate mid major power.

Pascal Fortran

CLEOFITZWITZ: There have already been a number of posts elaborating on facility improvements and new construction at UTEP; most recently on Muench's last blog.

In short, new construction and facility improvements are always budget line-items at any major organization or institution. The athletics department was likely to benefit from outdated facilities and run down equipment with, or without AD Stull.

Regarding your comment on dropping football to the FCS level - UTEP is obviously at a significant monetary disadvantage than other schools. I don't get it; U. of Houston's game attendance usually stinks at all contests, but their alumni and business base pours money into that school. Why the hell are UTEPs alumni base and local business so darn cheap?

I grew up in ELP as a result of my father's military career. I now reside in Alabama, so I'll use two comparable Alabama state institutions (UAB & Troy) to demonstrate what a poor job AD Stull has done.

Similar to UTEP, UAB plays at a dump in football (Legion Field), but their on-campus facilities are on par with Alabama and Auburn. Granted, UAB is a medical school, so their donors have big pockets. Troy is a normal state university, supported by a considerable military (Air Force) community, but they too are leaps and bounds ahead of UTEP (from a facility & athletics success stand-point).

The ironic X factor is this, UAB & Troy competed in D-2 athletics until around 15 to 20 years ago. They not only have surpassed UTEP, they've buried them; the reason, a passionate fan base, easy TV access, great donors, and they figured it out at the FCS (D-2) level before they decided to compete at the BCS (D-1) level.

UTEP has competed at the BCS (D-1) level for 60 years and still hasn't figure it out. Limited success over 60 years (anywhere else) is considered a failure.

Perhaps it's time to go back to basics, get the budget under control by competing with similarly, poorly funded institutions, then re-build their brand. They can always petition a mid-major or major conference for admittance once they've figured it out.

Bob

@CLEOFITZWITZ - We shouldn't give up on football. It has been a source of revenue until last year. I am sure that we made less than the previous Price years. I agree with you totally.
I don't know about all of this anti-Stull sentiment that I see here. I have had numerous encounters with Bob Stull during his time here. I have seen him at airports, shopping centers, movie theaters etc and he always is cordial. I had a good nice conversation with him (and Larry Durham) at the WAC basketball tournement in Reno. Doc Sadler and a bunch of other fans also joined in an impromptu meeting of diversity. He also has sat with us fans at women's basketball games in Las Vegas and Tulsa.
Sure the Paul Fosters and Larry Durhams are going to get special treatment. They contribute millions. Many of the advertisers at games are small businesses. Look at Delicious at the basketball games. I have never tried to advertise any of the businesses that I have had over the years because they have all been commercial and/or industrial.
I continue to believe that we should keep Bob Stull. He is the only AD that we have ever had. His predecessors we all unfamiliar with college sports at coaching or assistant AD levels.
I do agree about football though. It is much more difficult to move forward in this sport. It is also more expensive. The rewards are great however if you can do it.

Rick

After watching UNLV & Oregon compete at a remarkable level yesterday evening, perhaps I've been too hard on CTF. UTEP did well against a rated UNLV, and pretty much dominated Oregon, winning the game.

A young, relatively inexperienced basketball team is expected to have considerable peaks and valley's. Most of the time the valley's will outnumber the peaks.

I apologize to CTF for my harsh criticisms. He has some talented kids; they're a good basketball team now. CTF will just need to shore-up the guard situation ASAP, though I still like the idea of JWash handling the ball with greater frequency. He should start scoring more points as a result of having more ball touches and handling next season.

I still want UTEP the heck out of CUSA, and think that will eventually happen once the dust has settled from conference re-alignment.

Go Miner's.

Bob

Goodness! I agree with everything Rick said. C-USA will not be strong next year and with all of the conferences in flux I think an opportunity will come up for us within the next two years.

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UTEP sports blog: Joe Muench has been a sports writer and a sports editor in El Paso for decades, but he’s best known as the columnist everyone loves to talk about. His UTEP athletics blog starts up the conversation again.

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