POSTED: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 7:40pm
UPDATED: Saturday, January 7, 2012 - 11:06pm
For the second year in a row, UTEP is honoring past great players at halftime of this season’s games. On Saturday, the Miners will retire the #10 worn by Tim Hardaway from 1985-89.
Hardaway led the Miners to 101 victories and four NCAA Tournament appearances. A three-time All-Western Athletic Conference honoree, he was chosen the league’s player of the year as a senior after averaging 22 points and 5.4 assists per game. He was also recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the best college player six feet tall or under, in 1989.
Hardaway is the Miners’ all-time leader for steals (262), and ranks second in assists (563) and fifth in scoring (1,586 points). Hardaway played 13 seasons in the NBA with Golden State, Miami, Dallas, Denver and Indiana, and was a five-time All-Star.
Effective Saturday, freshman swingman Julian Washburn will switch from wearing #10 to #4. The Miners have also retired #14 (Nate Archibald) and #45 (Jim Barnes).
The UTEP Miners (7-8, 0-1) play their first C-USA home game of the season against Houston (9-5, 1-0) on Saturday at 7 p.m. MT. UTEP is coming off a 76-60 loss at Marshall on Wednesday, while the Cougars topped Tulsa at home in overtime, 70-69. Houston comes to El Paso riding a five-game winning streak since a 79-74 loss to Oklahoma in the All-College Classic on Dec. 17.
The Miners have won four of their last five games in the Haskins Center and are 5-3 at home this season. Houston is playing just its second true road game of the season; the Cougars are 0-1 on enemy floors with an 81-78 loss at Texas State on Dec. 6.
UTEP is 39-8 in C-USA home games since joining the league for the 2005-06 season (7-0 in 2006, 5-3 in 2007, 7-1 in 2008, 5-3 in 2009, 8-0 in 2010, 7-1 in 2011). The Miners have won 17 of their last 18 C-USA home games dating back to the 2008-09 campaign.
UTEP is 5-1 in C-USA home openers (beat East Carolina 58-45 in 2006, beat UAB 76-63 in 2007, beat SMU 79-66 in 2008, lost to Houston 94-86 in 2009, beat SMU 49-45 in 2010, beat Tulsa 69-59 in 2011).
The Miners are 0-1 in conference play for the first time since the 2003-04 season and are trying to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2001-02.