#54 UTEP Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

UTEP Miners

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #54
Conference Rank: #1 C-USA

UTEP Team Page#54 UTEP Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy UTEP Basketball Tickets

UTEP is moving in the right direction under Coach Tim Floyd. The last two seasons have been a bit of a rebuild, but Coach Floyd is rebuilding very well. Yet, it is tough to call the Miners 2012-2013 campaign a rebuilding year since they did finish third in Conference USA with a 10-6 record. Without teams like Memphis around anymore in the new look conference, the Miners are among the favorites.

2012-13 Record: 18-14, 10-6
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: Tim Floyd
Coach Record: 58-41 at UTEP, 386-221 overall

Who’s Out:
Jacques Streeter is a big loss. The point guard dished out an impressive 5.3 assists with an even more impressive 1.7 turnovers. Streeter could do it all with the ball in his hands. The backcourt also lost Konner Tucker, who tallied 10.1 points per game. He connected on nearly 40 percent of his outside shots and that is going to be tough to replace. The big loss in the frontcourt is Chris Washburn. He was usually the first big man off of the bench and he is only getting better. But he will not be getting better at UTEP. The frontcourt depth takes even more of a hit with the loss of little used Malcolm Moore and Twymond Howard.

Who’s In:
Unfortunately for UTEP, this class is now more about who is not here instead of who is here. McDonald’s All-American Isaac Hamilton is trying to get out of his commitment and will not suit up for the Miners. Andre Spight is headed to the junior college ranks for now. What is left is not all that bad, but Hamilton would have been a starter from day one and Spight could have been as well. Josh Brown could be a starter too. The point guard put up huge numbers during his prep career in Los Angeles, California. It may take some time before Brown can be anywhere close to the efficiency Streeter possessed, yet he can make a nice impact right away. Jake Flaggert and Vince Hunter add some size to the wing. Speaking of size, Matt Willms, a redshirt freshman, stands at 7-1 and 220 pounds. With a year of gaining strength under his belt, Willms is ready to at least see quality minutes off of the bench. And without Washburn, Willms will need to be ready to play.

Who to Watch:
John Bohannon, Cedrick Lang and Julian Washburn form a great frontcourt trio. Bohannon is the big man under the basket and averaged 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. The offense can run through Bohannon and that will likely happen more now that Streeter is gone. Lang does the underappreciated dirty work in the paint. He is not going to score much, but he is a beast on the glass. Washburn is a great defender, but he also led the team with 12.3 points per game. The 6-7 wing is a tough matchup for most opposing small forwards in Conference USA.

Final Projection:
The frontcourt is very good and the backcourt has some potential, but it is limited without all of the freshmen coming in. C.J. Cooper has some experience running the point and is the best returning outside shooter. McKenzie Moore, who started 15 games as a sophomore, is a good all-around scorer. UTEP will need the 6-6 shooting guard to knock down more shots and take advantage of the open looks he should get when the opposition doubles Bohannon. Jalen Ragland is another big wing who does give Coach Floyd a few options on the perimeter. As long as somebody can replace the shooting lost with Tucker and the leadership lost with Streeter, the Miners have the tools to be the best team in Conference USA. A tough non-conference slate should get them well prepared for the conference slate and hosting the conference tournament is going to be a huge boost when it comes down to that one bid the league will likely get.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
C.J. Cooper, Junior, Guard, 5.1 points per game
McKenzie Moore, Junior, Guard, 8.6 points per game
Julian Washburn, Junior, Forward, 12.3 points per game
Cedrick Lang, Junior, Forward, 5.7 points per game
John Bohannon, Senior, Center, 10.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.8 (262nd in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.6 (50, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (86, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.7 (122, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (239, 11)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.1 (107, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.7 (225, 8)
Rebound Margin: -1.8 (251, 11)
Assists Per Game: 13.4 (127, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (101, 3)

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#19 Isaac Hamilton


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