POSTED: Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 5:35pm
UPDATED: Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 8:16pm
Darius Nelson scored 19 points and fellow freshman Cedrick Lang had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds as the Orange beat the White, 73-70, in UTEP Basketball’s tip-off scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at the Don Haskins Center.
With a couple thousand fans looking on, the Miners unveiled their new-look 2011-12 squad with 10 newcomers, including eight freshmen.
“I’m pleased that we had this turnout,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. “This is something that we plan to do annually before a football game. We were pleased to see some potential, some skill level, some guys who can make some shots, some unselfishness, some strength and some athleticism. I’m really encouraged about where this will ultimately end up.
“We weren’t getting back on defense, which is probably something we’ve worked on more than anything. I didn’t really see a commitment by the point guards getting us into our offense and moving it side to side. But overall we were pleased.”
Two of UTEP’s three returning players – senior forward Gabriel McCulley and sophomore center John Bohannon – did not play in the scrimmage as the Miners launched a new era of hoops. McCulley is out for 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery for a stress fracture in his leg, and Bohannon tweaked his hamstring in practice.
Eight Miners scored in double figures, as Malcolm Moore, Michael Perez, Hooper Vint and Julian Washburn collected 18 points apiece. C.J. Cooper and D’Von Campbell chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
UTEP will play a couple of exhibition games this week – versus Eastern New Mexico (Thursday) and Sul Ross State (Saturday) – prior to the regular season opener versus 2010 NCAA Tournament participant UT San Antonio on Friday, Nov. 11. Tip-off for all three games is 7 p.m. MT.