#102 UTEP Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

UTEP Miners

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #102
Conference Rank: #5 Conference USA
UTEP Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
UTEP Team Page


Coach Tim Floyd tried to work his magic yet again in 2011-2012 by taking a depleted UTEP squad and turning them into conference contenders. The Miners had their moments, but breaking in all of the new faces, many of them freshmen, turned out to be too difficult. This year should go a little more smoothly. Coach Floyd still has some talented new faces to plug into the rotation, but the core of the team is pretty much back with a couple exceptions. That has expectations rising in El Paso. This group may not be able to make a serious run at the C-USA title, but the next step is a postseason berth.

2011-12 Record: 15-17, 7-9
2011-12 Postseason: None
Coach: Tim Floyd
Coach Record: 40-27 at UTEP, 368-207 overall

Who’s Out:
The graduation of Gabriel McCulley and the transfer of Michael Perez leave a couple holes in the starting lineup that need to be filled. McCulley was a versatile wing and a big leader on the floor who averaged 11.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists during his senior season. Perez was easily the most prolific outside shooter on the Miners squad last year and that is where UTEP will really miss Perez. D’Von Campbell is also transferring after averaging 2.3 points as a freshman.

Who’s In:
Coach Floyd does not need his team to shoot a ton of three-pointers, but having a player that is at least a threat to score from beyond the arc would be nice. Junior college transfer McKenzie Moore could fill that role. Moore is not a pure shooter by any means, but the 6-6 sophomore can do a little bit of everything. He will be a great replacement for McCulley, but he could emerge as the shooter UTEP needs on top of his ability to pass and use his size to hit the glass. Small forward Twymond Howard and guard Dustin Watts will look to fill in as shooters as well. The frontcourt adds a few weapons too. Chris Washburn is the most heralded incoming freshman and the 6-8, 240 pounder could make an immediate impact on the glass. He will not get up and down the floor, but he is a crafty post player who knows how to use his body on both ends of the court. Matt Wilms is 7-1 and will add some size to the roster, but he will need some time to fill out his large frame. Hooper Vint played in five games last season before redshirting due to a back injury. Vint, a 6-10, 220 pound center, averaged 4.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per contest during his brief playing stint last year. He can stretch the defense with his outside shooting and should be ready to pick up right where he left off.

Who to Watch:
The Miners could get a bulk of their scoring from the frontcourt even without McCulley. John Bohannon had a great freshman campaign, averaging a team high 11.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. He is a reliable scorer in the paint and can clean up the glass very effectively. He needs to stay out of foul trouble, but a year of experience should help in that regard. As long as UTEP remembers to play through Bohannon, their offense can be dangerous. Cedrick Lang, a part-time starter in 2011-2012, is ready to step into a full-time starting position this year. The 6-9 sophomore is a decent interior scorer and a strong rebounder. He can do the dirty work in the paint for Bohannon. Malcolm Moore missed most of last season, but is an experienced big man who will battle with the newcomers for playing time. That gives UTEP three quality returning rebounders, but wing Julian Washburn will help out on the glass too. Washburn can play pretty much anywhere on the floor and is another one of those freshmen who could be in for a big boost as a sophomore. The 6-7 wing averaged 11.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists as a freshman and was on the floor almost all of the time. He is not a shooter, but nobody on this team is, but he has the size and strength to create his own shot around the basket.

Final Projection:
Jacques Streeter will run the point after averaging 4.4 assists and just 2.0 turnovers as a junior. He really turned his game around last year and started doing a much better job of finding his teammates than he did earlier during his collegiate career while at Cal State Fullerton. Streeter can score, but this team has scorers; they need a patient point guard who will find the scorers in the paint and that is exactly what Street will do. The bigger issue on the perimeter is finding a shooter. C.J. Cooper and Jalen Ragland are options, but neither of them were anywhere near consistent from long range last season. Cooper is a backup point guard and Ragland is a big 6-6 wing. Ragland has plenty of potential, but most of it is not as a shooter. Coach Floyd can put a big lineup on the floor with the versatility of players like Ragland and Julian Washburn, but somebody needs to knock down some shots or the opposition can clog the paint and UTEP’s offense will sputter.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Jacques Streeter, Senior, Guard, 7.2 points per game
Jalen Ragland, Sophomore, Forward, 2.2 points per game
Julian Washburn, Sophomore, Forward, 11.2 points per game
Cedrick Lang, Sophomore, Forward, 6.3 points per game
John Bohannon, Junior, Center, 11.5 points per game

Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#87 Twymond Howard
#136 Chris Washburn