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UTEP Men’s Basketball Travels to Oregon

THE TIP-OFF UTEP (1-3) plays its second road game of the season on Tuesday at Oregon (3-1). It marks the first-ever meeting between the Miners and the Ducks. The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Northwest beginning at 8 p.m. Mountain time. The Miners are coming off a 53-35 loss to Stephen F. Austin on Saturday at the Don Haskins Center. Following the encounter with the Ducks, UTEP will take a 12-day break between games for finals, and return to the court versus I-10 rival NM State on Dec. 11 in El Paso. UTEP is facing a Pac-12 Conference opponent for the first time since falling to Oregon State, 81-73, in the championship game of the College Basketball Invitational on April 3, 2009 in the Haskins Center. The Miners are 117-157 all-time versus schools currently in the league (30-59 versus Arizona, 45-51 versus Arizona State, 4-2 versus Colorado, 2-3 versus Oregon State, 0-1 versus UCLA, 0-1 versus USC, 31-35 versus Utah, 4-3 versus Washington, 1-2 versus Washington State), including 36-96 on the road. UTEP?s last road win over a Pac-12 opponent came in the 2000-01 opener at Washington, 73-61.

UTEP AT A GLANCE The Miners are starting fresh this season with nine newcomers, including a Division I transfer (junior guard Jacques Streeter), a junior college transfer (junior forward Malcolm Moore) and seven freshmen. UTEP returns just three letterwinners and one starter (senior forward Gabriel McCulley) from last year?s unit that finished 25-10 overall and tied for second place in Conference USA with an 11-5 mark. The Miners lost 82.5 percent of their scoring and 70.6 percent of their rebounding production from the 2010-11 squad, which had eight seniors.

SCOUTING OREGON The Ducks have been idle since winning at Nebraska, 83-76, last Wednesday. It was Oregon?s third straight victory after opening the campaign with a 78-64 setback at Vanderbilt. Oregon is led by senior guard Garrett Sim and junior forward E.J. Singler, who average 14.0 and 12.8 ppg respectively. Singler is the younger brother of former Duke star Kyle Singler. Oregon shoots well from the field (.481), with its top five scorers (Sim, Singler, Olu Ashaolu, Tony Woods, Tyrone Nared) hitting 59.5 percent of their shots (69-of-116) collectively. The Ducks have also shot 118 free throws to their opponents? 90. The Ducks play in Matthew Knight Arena, which opened on Jan. 13 of this year. They have posted an 11-3 record in the $227 million facility, including a 5-0 mark in last season?s College Basketball Invitational. The Ducks won the postseason event, beating Creighton in three games in the finals. Oregon is 2-0 at home this season with wins over Eastern Washington (73-65) and Southeast Missouri State (86-61).

FLOYD VERSUS OREGON & DANA ALTMAN UTEP?s Tim Floyd is certainly familiar with the Ducks, having served as the head coach at USC for four seasons (2005-09). Floyd?s all-time record when coaching against Oregon is 7-2 (3-1 home/4-0 away/0-1 neutral site), all with the Trojans. Floyd?s unblemished mark in Eugene includes four games at the Ducks? former home arena, MacArthur Court. Two of the games were decided by six points or less and another was a nine-point decision in overtime. Floyd and Oregon?s Dana Altman have coached against one another once previously. Floyd?s Iowa State Cyclones handed Altman?s Creighton Blue Jays a 70-52 loss in Omaha, Neb. on Jan. 18, 1995.

MINERS BEGIN DEMANDING STRETCH UTEP will play its next three games versus teams (Oregon, NM State, UNLV) with a combined record of 15-2 entering the week. UNLV is 7-0 and coming off a 90-80 win over top-ranked North Carolina on Saturday. The Runnin? Rebels will host the Miners on Dec. 14 after UTEP and NMSU hook up in game two of their I-10 rivalry series on Dec. 11 in the Haskins Center. The Aggies won the initial matchup in Las Cruces, 89-73, on Nov. 19.

UTEP?S LAST GAME Jereal Scott scored 16 of his 17 points in the first half, and Stephen F. Austin blew out to an early 12-4 lead en route to a 53-35 win over UTEP on Saturday at the Don Haskins Center. After the Miners scored the game?s first four points on buckets by Michael Perez and John Bohannon, the Lumberjacks reeled off 12 unanswered — including 10 by Scott — to forge the eight-point advantage six minutes into the game. UTEP was playing catch-up the rest of the night, falling behind by as many as 20 points in the second period. The Miners closed the gap to four points (14-10) on a layup by Cedrick Lang with 12:32 remaining in the half before Stephen F. Austin strung together seven points in a row, going ahead 21-10 on a jumper by Antonio Bostic at the 7:51 mark. UTEP trailed 28-17 at the break and couldn?t get closer than nine points in the final 20 minutes. The Miners were held to a record-low point total in the Don Haskins Center and were outrebounded 35-23. The Lumberjacks also shot 48.9 percent from the field. UTEP?s previous low point total in the Haskins Center was 41 versus Villanova on Dec. 29, 1980. The Miners also failed to place a player in double figure scoring for the first time since March 6, 2004 at Boise State, as Julian Washburn led the way with nine points. Lang added seven points as UTEP shot 31 percent from the floor. Bostic scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting for the Lumberjacks, who led the nation in scoring defense last season and entered the game yielding 58.3 ppg in 2011-12.

UTEP IN THE C-USA STATISTICS (Through games of Nov. 27)

Category Stat Rank Scoring offense 56.0 12 Scoring defense 64.0 8 Scoring margin -8.0 12 Free throw % 68.7 6 Field goal % 40.5 10 Field goal % defense 44.9 12 3-point field goal % 31.3 9 3-point field goal % defense 41.7 12 Rebound margin -1.7 10 Blocked shots 4.3 8 Assists 12.8 7 Steals 4.0 11 Turnover margin -3.0 11 Assist/turnover ratio 0.8 9

Individual Category Stat Rank C. Lang Blocked shots 1.5 8 C. Lang Rebounding 6.0 t16 J. Streeter Assists 4.3 3 J. Streeter Assist/turnover ratio 2.1 6 J. Streeter Free throw % 78.6 t10 J. Streeter 3-point field goal % 58.3 1 J. Streeter 3-point field goals 1.8 10 J. Washburn Minutes 32.5 10 J. Washburn Steals 1.3 t15

MINERS WERE ICE-COLD FROM THE FIELD The Miners struggled mightily to put the ball in the hole the last time out against Stephen F. Austin. UTEP shot 31 percent (13-for-42) from the floor, its lowest figure since Feb. 25, 2009 versus SMU (29.2 percent). The Miners? 13 field goals were their smallest tally in a game since March 21, 1993 at Georgetown (13). UTEP scored less than 20 points in both the first half and second half versus the Lumberjacks, the first time it has done that since Feb. 17, 1979 at Wyoming (10 points in the first half/17 in the second).

BIZARRE NOTE OF THE WEEK UTEP has shot exactly 8-for-25 from the field in the first half of each of its first three home games. The Miners have hit 32 percent (24-of-75) of their shots in the first half at home this season, and 46.2 percent (30-of-65) in the second half. In contrast, UTEP shot better in the first half (14-for-26, 53.8 percent) than the second half (11-for-29, 37.9 percent) in its lone road game to date at NM State on Nov. 19.

GETTING TO THE LINE WAS A STRUGGLE TOO The Miners were 6-for-8 from the charity stripe against Stephen F. Austin, ending a streak of 20 consecutive games in which they shot at least 10 free throws. The last time the Miners attempted less than 10 foul shots in a home game was on Dec. 29, 2010 versus Air Force, when they were also 6-for-8. The good news is that after struggling at the charity stripe in the opener against UTSA (11-for-20, 55 percent), the Miners have gone 35-for-47 over the last three contests (.745).

WASHBURN LEADS THE WAY Julian Washburn scored a team-high nine points against Stephen F. Austin as the Miners didn?t have a player with double digit points for the first time since March 6, 2004 at Boise State (Omar Thomas nine points in a 59-45 loss). The last time UTEP played a game with no starters in double figure scoring was on Dec. 8, 1979 versus Indiana, when Anthony Burns paced the Miners with eight points in a 75-43 loss to the top-ranked Hoosiers.

REBOUNDING HAS BEEN AN ALL-OR-NOTHING AFFAIR The Miners have been either very good or very bad on the boards this season. UTEP outrebounded UT San Antonio 36-26 and UC Riverside 37-27 in the first two games of the year. But the Miners have been dominated by each of their last two opponents on the glass — 42-27 by NM State and 35-23 by Stephen F. Austin. UTEP compiled 48 defensive rebounds in its first two games and has had 34 in its last two. The Miners have played back-to-back games with less than 20 defensive boards for the first time since December of 2007, when they compiled 16 at NM State and 18 versus Southeast Louisiana. UTEP is 16-1 under coach Tim Floyd when outrebounding the opposition, and 10-12 when being outworked on the boards.

MINERS TAKING BETTER CARE OF THE BASKETBALL UTEP has lowered its turnover count in each of the first four games this season. The Miners had 21 giveaways versus UTSA, 17 against UC Riverside, 16 at NM State and nine versus Stephen F. Austin. The Miners? nine turnovers on Saturday marked their fewest since March 10, 2011 against Marshall (seven). UTEP is now 6-2 under coach Tim Floyd when having single-digit turnovers, including a 69-68 loss at Tulsa last season in which it coughed up the basketball seven times.

STREETER PLAYING A BIG HAND IN BALL SECURITY The Miners have committed 42 turnovers over the last three games, but only two have come at point guard Jacques Streeter?s expense over that span. Streeter has been on the floor for 91 minutes over the last three outings and dished out 12 assists with only two giveaways. It?s nothing new for the Cal State Fullerton transfer, who led the Big West Conference in assist/turnover ratio during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 campaigns. In 67 college games, Streeter has had nine error-free performances. His career assist/turnover ratio is 2.19 (306-140).

LANG HOLDS HIS OWN BLOCK PARTY Cedrick Lang swatted four shots versus Stephen F. Austin, the most by a UTEP player this season. It also marked the most rejections by a Miner freshman since Stanley Branch had four against Texas Tech on Dec. 4, 2004. UTEP had seven blocks versus the Lumberjacks after totaling 11 in its first three games.

MINERS GIVE UP 53 … AND LOSE UTEP came up on the short end of the scoreboard versus Stephen F. Austin despite yielding only 53 points. The last time the Miners were beaten when allowing fewer points was on Feb. 5, 2000 at San Jose State (47-44 loss to the Spartans). Coach Tim Floyd?s teams had won 30 straight games when giving up less than 60 points dating back to his years at USC.

TOP OFFENSIVE GAME TO DATE CAME ON THE ROAD UTEP scored a season-high 73 points at NM State on Nov. 19. The Miners were held to fewer than 70 points in eight of 11 road games last season. UTEP also established season-bests for field goal percentage (.455), field goals (25), free throws (20) and free throw attempts (27) against the Aggies.

FRESHMEN TAKING BIG BITE OUT OF THE PRODUCTION UTEP freshmen have contributed 60.3 percent of the team?s points and 58.0 percent of the rebounds this season. Julian Washburn tops the squad with 10.0 points per game. The only freshmen to lead the Miners in scoring all-time are Earl Fuller during the 1977-78 season (10.5 ppg), and Giovanni St. Amant during the 2002-03 campaign (13.6 ppg).

GOING SOLO Although it?s very early in the season, UTEP has just one player averaging double figures in scoring — freshman Julian Washburn at 10.0 ppg. The Miners have played only six seasons since 1950 where they had a single double-digit scorer — 1952-53 (Bill Brewer 14.8 ppg), 1953-54 (none), 1964-65 (Orsten Artis 11.2 ppg), 1974-75 (Gary Brewster 15.4 ppg), 1977-78 (Earl Fuller 10.5 ppg) and 1982-83 (Luster Goodwin 12.3 ppg).

LANG SPEARHEADS REBOUNDING ATTACK Cedrick Lang has led the Miners in rebounding in three of four games this season, collecting five caroms versus UTSA, nine versus UC Riverside and six at NM State. With a 6.0 average, Lang could become only the third freshman to lead the Miners in rebounding, joining Anthony Burns during the 1977-78 season (9.4 avg.) and Arnett Moultrie during the 2008-09 campaign (8.2 avg.).

CAMPBELL IS ANOTHER FRESHMAN MAKING HIS MARK D?Von Campbell is one of three players to score in double figures in two of the first four games (John Bohannon & Jacques Streeter are the others), but the only freshman to achieve the feat. Campbell is collecting 6.5 ppg (tied for third on the squad) while shooting 40 percent from three-point land and 75 percent from the line. He is second on the team in steals (four) and is one of two players with a positive assist/turnover ratio, along with Streeter.

VINT PROVIDING SCORING PUNCH IN RESERVE Freshman Hooper Vint scored eight points off the pine against both UC Riverside and NM State and leads the team with 22 bench points on the year. Vint has shown a deft shooting touch for a 6-10 player, making 7-of-12 field goals (.583), 2-of-4 three pointers (.500) and 6-of-6 free throws (1.000). He buried three pointers on back-to-back possessions in the second half versus UC Riverside on Nov. 13, propelling the Miners to a 52-41 victory.

WASHBURN IS A MINUTE MAN Julian Washburn leads the Miners with 130 minutes (32.5 avg.) in four games. A freshman hasn?t led UTEP in playing time since the 2002-03 season, when Giovanni St. Amant was on the floor for 1,052 minutes. While Washburn is averaging a team-high 10.0 points per game, he has draw even more praise for his defensive exploits. Coach Tim Floyd has labeled Washburn as the team?s best on-ball defender.

STARTING OVER UTEP has the fifth-most inexperienced team in the country in terms of returning point production.

SCHOOLS THAT RETURN LESS THAN 20 PERCENT OF THEIR POINTS St. John?s 3.7 percent (85-of-2,313) Towson 5.3 percent (109-of-2,053) Boston College 10.8 percent (263-of-2,440) Texas 17 percent (459-of-2,701) UTEP 17.5 percent (433-of-2,470) Fairleigh Dickinson 17.8 percent (333-of-1,866) Wofford 19.98 percent (500-of-2,502)

MINERS SIGN THREE Coach Tim Floyd announced the signings of forwards Twymond Howard (Pearl, Miss./Pearl HS) & Chris Washburn Jr. (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie HS) and guard Dustin Watts (Seattle, Wash./O?Dea HS) to national letters of intent earlier this month. The trio of high school stars will join the Miners for the 2012-13 season. Howard is rated a four-star recruit, the no. 14 small forward in the country and the no. 69 player nationally by The brother of current Miner freshman Julian Washburn and son of former NBA player Chris Washburn, Washburn is rated a four-star prospect and the no. 23 center in the country by Watts garnered All-State and All-League honors as a junior, leading O?Dea High to a 25-4 record.

McCULLEY IS LONE SENIOR Forward Gabriel McCulley is the only senior on the 2011-12 team. McCulley redshirted the 2009-10 season and begins his fifth year in the UTEP program. He has played in 106 games for the Miners and averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds, scoring in double figures 10 times. McCulley started the final seven contests of the 2010-11 campaign. The Memphis native is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery for a stress fracture in his leg, with his return targeted for December. McCulley is the only player on this year?s roster with a degree in hand. He graduated from UTEP with a degree in Criminal Justice in December of 2010 and is pursuing his Masters in Leadership Studies. Perez is one of three returning lettermen on this year?s squad, along with sophomores John Bohannon and Michael Perez.

MINERS HAVE ROOKIE CLASS OF SEVEN The Miners have seven freshmen this season — one shy of the school record — in guards D?Von Campbell, C.J. Cooper & Tim Jacobs, forward Cedrick Lang, swingmen Jalen Ragland & Julian Washburn and center Hooper Vint. Cooper, Lang, Moore and Ragland were all members of state title teams as preps. Jacques Streeter also knows a thing or two about winning, having led Findlay Prep School to a 32-1 mark and national runner-up finish during the 2007-08 season.

FLOYD ERA CONTINUES Tim Floyd is in his second season as UTEP?s head coach after directing the Miners to 25 wins in his initial year at the helm of the program. Overall Floyd is 354-193 in his 18th year as a collegiate head coach with stops at Idaho (1986-88), New Orleans (1988-94), Iowa State (1994-98), USC (2005-09) and UTEP. Floyd?s teams have made 12 postseason tournament appearances, including eight trips to the NCAAs and four visits to the NIT.

DEFENSIVE EXCELLENCE UNDER FLOYD In 547 collegiate games, Tim Floyd?s teams have allowed less than 70 points 366 times, less than 60 points 190 times and less than 50 points 53 times. Floyd?s teams are 165-25 when allowing fewer than 60 points, and 51-2 when yielding fewer than 50 points.

NOTING UTEP?S ILLUSTRIOUS BASKETBALL HISTORY The Miners have won seven undisputed conference regular season titles in their basketball history, including in 1941 (Border Conference), 1957 (Border Conference), 1970 (Western Athletic Conference), 1984 (WAC), 1985 (WAC), 1987 (WAC) and 2010 (Conference USA). Overall UTEP has won 12 conference championships, including five that it shared with other teams in 1959 (Border Conference), 1983 (WAC), 1986 (WAC), 1992 (WAC) and 2004 (WAC). To this day, UTEP is the only Division I school in the state of Texas to win a national championship in men?s basketball with the storied 1966 title. UTEP has made 29 postseason tournament appearances, including 17 trips to the NCAAs.

Source: UTEP Athletics

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