UTEP continues to struggle in putting a complete game together.

Last week:

1/20 vs UTSA
UTEP only scored 19 points in the second half of the game that led to the Miners falling 65-61. They came out hot and led by 16 at one point in the first half but it ended up being a just a four point lead at halftime. It was a game UTEP really shouldn’t have lost but it seems they keep finding ways to give up games.

The Good:

•Isiah Osborne. Osborne leads the team in scoring during conference play and ranks 10th in C-USA (17PPG).
•Freshman. Freshman lead the Miners in the majority of stats during conference play; Rebounds per game (Wade 6RPG), Assists per game (Magee 3.1APG), FG% (Wade 54.8%), 3PT% (Magee 63.6%) and Blocks per game (Wade 1 BPG)

The Bad:

•Keith Frazier. Since returning to the team, Frazier has played In two games totaling 16 minutes and has scored 0 points on 0-7 shooting.
•Three-point shooting. The Miners shot 8-30 vs UTSA. In the past two games UTEP has shot 11-48 for 23%.

Weekly Facts:

•UTEP is 0-9 when two or fewer players score in double figures.
•Gilyard is averaging 12.5 PPG over the past 4 games.
•Kobe Magee has the 4th best assist to turnover ratio in conference (2.8).
•UTEP is 1-4 when playing on Thursdays.

The Week Ahead:

1/25 at UAB (13-7, 4-3 C-USA)
Well the Blazers are coming off two straight losses so expect them to be locked in and ready to go. Not good news for UTEP. Already lacking depth and size in the frontcourt, the Miners are going to have problems defending the paint against all C-USA players Chris Cokely and William Lee. Freshman Zach Bryant is going to be a tough matchup for whoever the coaches decide to put on him. Think the Blazers come out hot and UTEP struggles getting anything going on offense.

1/27 at MTSU (14-5, 6-1 C-USA)
MTSU is where the Miners probably imagined themselves years ago. Several C-USA championships, NCAA Tournament appearances and NCAA wins. But now UTEP is at the bottom of the standings and will probably be a 10+ underdog on Saturday. Nick King and Giddy Potts are the motors of this MTSU team and if the Miners think they have a chance it’ll start with stopping them.

Final Thoughts:

The sign of a good team is when they find ways to find even when not playing at their best. The sign of a bad team is when they find ways to lose games they have no business losing. Right now, UTEP is the latter. The Miners have given some games away this year and last week versus UTSA was another one. They had a 16 point lead, led at halftime and held the Runners to 36% shooting. But still the Miners found a way to lose.

This team is talented but something is missing. In previous years the team had one or two guys you could look at and say “that’s the team leader”. Over recent years those names include Dominic Artis, Jacques Streeter, Cedrick Lang, John Bohannon, and Gabe McCulley. This year though? I don’t see one.

Being an All C-USA player and senior, everyone imagined that would have been Omega Harris or even Matt Willms. Well Willms has been injured for most of the year and Omega is probably having his worst season since his freshman year. From the outside looking in, it doesn’t seem that there is a leader especially down the stretch of games.

If something is going to change from here until the end of the year someone is going to have to step up and be that guy.

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