UTEP extended their turmoil in Hattiesburg and Ruston for at least another year but the return of Keith Frazier is a big addition.

Last week:

1/4 at Southern Miss

The final score, 85-75, made the game seem closer than it was. The Miners got outplayed in every facet of the game as former UTEP verbal commit, Tyree Griffin torched the Miners with 19 points and 6 assists.

1/6 at Louisiana Tech

UTEP had a chance to come up with a big road win but couldn’t get stops defensively. La Tech extended their 4 point halftime lead to 13 and never really let the Miners back in it.

The Good:

•Isiah Osborne. With the absence of Frazier, Osborne has led UTEP in scoring during conference play with 19 PPG.

•Three Point shooting. The Miners lead C-USA in three’s made during conference play (42) and three-point % (53.8%).

•Kobe. The freshman has a 3-1 Turnover ratio during conference play and is shooting 12-17 70.6% from the field and 11-13 84.6% from three.

•Keith Frazier is back.

The Bad:

•Starting lineups. The Miners have started 11 different lineups this year, only one team in the country has more.

•Matt Willms. UTEP needs him to produce a little more than he did last week ( 7.5 PPG and only 1.5 RPG)

•Turnovers. The Miners committed a combined 30 turnovers last week while opponents combined for only 16.

Weekly Facts:

•Omega is tied for 14th on the all-time scoring list and is only 12 points away from John Tofi for 13th.

•UTEP has hit 11 or more three’s in 3 straight games for the first time in school history. The 14 made vs La Tech tied for the second most in school history.

•Miners are 24-4 in their last 28 home C-USA games.

•UTEP ranks 348 out of 351 schools in total steals

The Week Ahead:

1/11 vs FAU (6-9, 0-3 C-USA)

FAU is not a very good offensive school, only scoring 52.7 PPG during conference play. Defensively though, the Owls rank 4th in C-USA only allowing 64.7 PPG. They are led by 7 footer Ronald Delph who averages 13.1 PPG and 8.8 RPG. Miner should be just fine and get back on the winning track.

1/13 vs FIU (7-9, 1-2 C-USA)

Miners better be careful with this Panthers team. They took MTSU to OT and have played the Miners well over the years. They are led by a trio of guards in Tejon Jacob (16.6 PPG), Brian Beard Jr. (15.2 PPG) and Eric Lockett (13.8 PPG).

Final Thoughts:

Last week was rough for UTEP with losses to Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech but this week doesn’t seem so grim. With Keith Frazier coming back into the fold and a visit from the Florida schools, the Miners are set to make another midseason turnaround.

The key will be defensively though. UTEP gave up 91 PPG in games last week compared to 62.5 PPG in their first two conference games. If the Miners can shore that up, their offense has kind of come “alive” recently with the improved play of the freshman class.

It’s only a matter of time that UTEP gets things clicking and puts together one of their best performances of the year.

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