POSTED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 5:39pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 10:55pm
(El Paso) — Tim Floyd looked out on the practice court and took as much note of the players that weren't there as those who were.
The Miners began practice on Tuesday and while basketballs were bouncing in the Foster-Stevens center, Isaac Hamilton was dribbling in Pauley Pavilion at UCLA.
UTEP's star recruit backed out of his scholarship with the Miners and has appealed a decision that keeps him from playing basketball at another school this season. While that appeal is being adjudicated, Hamilton has signed a scholarship and is practicing with UCLA with plans to play for the Bruins this season.
Meanwhile Tim Floyd is looking for a point guard.
"I think it very fair to talk about who's not here...because there was so much coverage of this class which was ranked in the top ten in the country. It's not that we don't have talent, we're void of people in the most important part of the floor which is the back court. That's where you win in college basketball and I think by all accounts Jacob Thomas and Isaac Hamilton were projected starters in the back court and we lost our starting back court."
Thomas is an academic casualty and there was more bad news for the UTEP roster.
Mat Wilms a 7-1 redshirt freshman, has a shoulder injury and could face season ending surgery.
Welcome to UTEP basketball 2013-2014.
The good news is Coach Floyd usually finds a way to win. There is enough talent to still win a Conference USA tile and earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
But as Floyd looked out over the court on Tuesday, he may have been thinking of what might have been.