January 2, 2010

The Miners head on the road to play Texas Tech.

Lubbock, Texas- The Miners had a very productive first half of the basketball season in 2009. Will they keep the momentum going into 2010? They have a tough test but the Miners travel up north to Lubbock to face the #20 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. Minerdigs.net Publisher Eddie Delgado gives a preview of the UTEP-Texas Tech game plus some season stats.

Overview

UTEP (9-2) vs. Texas Tech (11-2)
Television: Time Warner Cable 24 (Metrosports) and Fox Southwest (Ch. 676 DirecTV)
Radio: 92.3 The Fox
Texas Tech leads the series, 42-18. Last Meeting: UTEP 96-78 (Dec. 17, 2008; El Paso, Texas.)

Last year's showdown in the Don Haskins Center

Randy Culpepper and Stefon Jackson combined for 55 points as they led UTEP to a giant 96-78 win over the Raiders. This particular win broke a seven game losing streak the Miners had over the last decade.

Last time in Lubbock
The Miners have not won a game in Lubbock against the Red Raiders since Jason Rabedeaux was coaching the Miners. UTEP defeated the Red Raiders 81-80 (Dec. 5, 2000).

Unfortunately that stayed the case as UTEP was up six points in Lubbock in 2008 and eventually squandered away the lead. This happened to Randy Culpepper and Julyan Stone's freshman year with the Miners.

UTEP wins the Bank of the West Don Haskins Invitational

The tale of two games in the same tournament. The Miners blew out Norfolk St. 93-56 on Monday Night. Randy Culpepper had 24 points in the win, and Derrick Caracter had a double double 15 points and 15 rebounds.

The next night was totally the opposite offensively as the Miners were held to a season low 58 points in a 58-47 victory over the Air Force Falcons in the Don Haskins Invitational Championship.

Post Game Notes

--Randy Culpepper was named the tournament MVP

--Arnett Moultrie and Derrick Caracter were named to the All-Tournament team as well as Randy Culpepper.

Here is a link of the Miners receiving the championship trophy. (Credit goes to KROD's Duke Keith for the Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBWGawkWZFw

A Caracter is emerging

What can be said about Derrick Caracter? He has really made a great effort to make big on his second chance. In his last six games with the Miners he has achieved a double-double in four out of the six games he's played in. The Miners were indeed well balanced before he started playing against NMSU. Caracter has just added to the balance and maybe the missing peace to a NCAA tourney bid come March.

Freshman Guard Marcus Ruppel to transfer

Minerdigs.net Staff learned via email that Marcus Ruppel has left the team and looking to transfer. In a statement released by UTEP sports information director Jeff Darby; Coach Barbee said.

"Marcus has decided to continue his playing career at a place where he can receive immediate playing time," Barbee said. "We have a deep and experienced ballclub, and Marcus has expressed a preference to be with a program where he can make an immediate impact. We wish him the best."

Scouting Texas Tech
After starting off strong with a win over a ranked Washington Huskies squad the Raiders have been having some hiccups as of late. The Red Raiders lost to the New Mexico Lobos 90-75. A week and half prior to losing the Lobos the Raiders lost Wichita State 85-83.

The Red Raiders are undefeated at home this season. Yet, they have seemed to been in a rut since the Wichita St. loss. They barely escaped beating Mc. Nesse St 76-75 on Jan. 1.
Interesting this see how the Miners come out against Tech, knowing that this was a team they beat last year.

Projected Starting lineup

Be advised, the starting lineups listed below are a MinerDigs.net projection and may/may not reflect the Jan. 3 game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

UTEP Miners

(Jr., PG) Julyan Stone 8.5 ppg
(Jr., SG) Randy Culpepper 18.7 ppg
(Jr., G/F) Christian Polk 11.8 ppg
(So., F) Arnett Moultrie 12.8 ppg
(Jr., C) Claude Britten 12.2 ppg

Texas Tech Red Raiders
(G) John Roberson 13.6 ppg
(G) Nick Okorie 9.2 ppg
(F) Mike Singletary 15. 8ppg
(F) Darko Cohadarevic 8 ppg
( F) D'Wayln Roberts 8.1 ppg

Conference USA Standings to date

--Elsewhere around Conference USA-

UAB had a trip up against Virginia this past week but lost, although they salvaged the week with a last second buzzer beater of Arkansas. Memphis also lost to a ranked Tennessee squad this week as well. Southern Miss and Tulsa have some games against other decent teams in Vanderbilt and Colorado (these games were in progress at the time of publishing). Marshall's record might look great but has come against some rather small D1 schools in less than stellar conferences. Houston dropped two this week to La. Tech and UTSA.

UAB 11-2
Marshall 10-2
UTEP 9-2
Tulsa 9-3
Memphis 9-3
Southern Miss 9-3
UCF 8-5
Houston 7-5
Rice 6-6
SMU 5-6
Tulane 5-7
East Carolina 5-8




Up next on the schedule
The out of conference schedule is pretty much over other than the game with BYU on Jan. 9th. The Miners will begin Conference USA play on Jan.6 at home against SMU. They have road games against Houston (Jan. 13) and Memphis (Jan. 20) with a home game sandwiched in between against Southern Miss (Jan 16).

Eddie Delgado is the Publisher for Minerdigs.net and may be reached at eadelgad@miners.utep.edu.


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