POSTED: Monday, October 25, 2010 - 4:45pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 8:42am
UTEP Head Basketball Coach Tim Floyd knows he has to get to know his players, and the Miners have to get to know him before the season starts. Floyd has already gotten a head start, with Assistant Phil Johnson leading the team in preseason workout drills while Floyd was out recruiting.
Floyd said, "I think it is much easier for 14 guys to adjust to one guy than one guy adjust to 14 guys. We are going to build an offense that we feel fits their skill level." Senior Guard Julyan Stone is adapting to the new offense. "This is all about getting the other play involved. Less one or two people showing what they have, it's everybody getting involved, and the ball is getting spread around a lot more this year."
UTEP has 8 seniors on the team, but a new Freshman from Tucson, Arizona named Michael Perez. He took a wild route to El Paso. "At first I was committed to St. John's, but then things didn't go well, and once I got cleared from the clearinghouse, UTEP came on late and I really loved the opportunity to play for coach Floyd," said Perez. Floyd added, "He can really jump out of the gym. He has a great midrange game, one dribble, two dribbles, the guy can score from 15 feet in. He knows how to play, doesn't turn it over. He uses his athleticism defensively."
UTEP has eight seniors who have combined to play in 610 Division I games - Randy Culpepper (103 games), Julyan Stone (103 games), Christian Polk (84 games), Wayne Portalatin (83 games), Claude Britten (82 games), Isaac Gordon (74 games), Jeremy Williams (60 games) and Eric Munoz (21 games). The eight seniors ties the 2005-06 team for the largest sum in school history.
Season tickets and C-USA Tournament all-access passes are on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150. In addition, Oct. 15 is the deadline for UTEP season ticket holders to reserve their seats for the Legends Classic games on Nov. 14 and Nov. 20 versus Mercer and Western Carolina, respectively.