UTEP Basketball Leaps into 2012-13 Season
Oct. 12, 2012
The UTEP basketball team conducted its first practice of the 2012-13 season on Friday night, a little over three weeks prior to the exhibition opener against Southeastern Oklahoma (Nov. 3).
"Guys tried hard," UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. "We didn't get anybody hurt. There was more talking than we would like, but that goes hand-in-hand with the first day. I'm looking forward to day two."
The Miners concentrated on defensive principles in the two-hour session, running 2-on-2's, 3-on-3's and 5-on-5's. The guards also went through passing and cutting drills while the forwards and centers worked on rebounding.
"Everything we did in the spring and summer was geared towards offense," Floyd said. "Every single second has either been devoted towards individual player development or team offense. We have moved towards defending and incorporating the offense that we learned against the defense."
Twelve of the 14 players on the 2012-13 roster participated in Friday's practice, the exceptions being sophomore guard McKenzie Moore and freshman center Matt Willms. Moore will be eligible to play and practice in December, and Willms is a non-qualifier who will redshirt this season.
Floyd admitted before practice that his team has upgraded its personnel coming off a 15-17 year.
"We've never tried to sell a team short," he said. "We feel like we're more talented than we were a year ago. We should be; we were starting from scratch a year ago. We have added [players]. Whether or not it all translates into wins, given that we're still the 12th-youngest team in the country and the strength of our non-conference schedule, I don't know. I know I'm excited about seeing who we're going to be and where we're ultimately going to be. This year is going to serve us really well as we continue to move forward."
The Miners will sign autographs from 4:30-5:30 at the North side of the Sun Bowl prior to the Oct. 20 football Homecoming game against Tulane. They will take to the floor for the annual Orange and White scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 27 in the Don Haskins Center. Admission is free.