The UTEP men’s basketball team (13-17, 6-13 C-USA) will challenge Middle Tennessee (18-12, 11-8 C-USA) in its 2022-23 regular-season finale on “Senior Day” at 12 p.m. MT at the Don Haskins Center Saturday. Mattress Firm is the Presenting Sponsor of UTEP Men’s Basketball. The Miners are shooting for their fourth straight win on “Senior Day,” which will feature a pre-game ceremony honoring Shamar Givance. The Evansville grad transfer is the lone senior on the roster. UTEP is also looking to avenge an 84-72 setback at MT on Feb. 2 earlier this a year, a game in which the Miners made a late run to get within two before the Blue Raiders pulled away down the stretch. This marks the second consecutive campaign that UTEP is wrapping up the regular season at home, something that hadn’t happened since a three-year run (2014-15 through 2016-17). The Miners are trying to snap a two-tilt skid, after recently being clipped by WKU, 73-68, on March 2. The Blue Raiders are also vying to get back into the win column following a 64-50 vanquishing at North Texas. UTEP is 10-7 at home (3-6 C-USA) while the Blue Raiders stand 3-10 on the road (2-7 C-USA). The contest will be the final of 20 regular-season conference games, which are the most in program history. That eclipses the prior high of 18, which happened on several occasions. Jon Teicher (42nd year) and Steve Yellen (20th year) will be on the call on “The Home of UTEP Basketball” 600 ESPN El Paso. It will also stream on ESPN+ with Erik Elken (PXP) and Hooper Vint (analyst) describing the action. To purchase tickets, visit or call (915) 747-UTEP. Prices start as low as $9.15.
Middle Tennessee holds an 10-5 advantage in the series with UTEP, including an 84-72 win in Murfreesboro earlier this year on Feb. 2. The Blue Raiders have now claimed three straight in the series, but UTEP won the most-recent match-up in the Don Haskins Center, 67-66, on Jan. 30, 2020.
At 18-12, including 11-8 in C-USA play, Middle Tennessee is assured of a first-round bye at the upcoming 2023 Conference USA Championships (March 8-11). It isn’t a surprise for the veteran-laden squad, which joined Navy as just one of two programs in the country to neither lose a player to the NCAA transfer portal nor add one from it. The Blue Raiders brought back 11 players overall from last year’s team that won the C-USA East Division. MT puts up 70.6 points per game (seventh C-USA) while shooting a solid 45.6 percent (sixth C-USA), but its calling card is at the defensive end of the floor. It allows just 67.5 points per game (fourth C-USA), aided by defending the rim well with 4.9 blocks per contest (second C-USA/17th NCAA). The Blue Raiders also force 15.0 turnovers per game (fourth C-USA/37th NCAA). That plays a role in compiling 7.7 steals per game (fifth C-USA/63rd NCAA). MT also does a good job of crashing the offensive glass (11.0 offensive rebounds/game-third C-USA). It put together a 7-4 mark in nonconference play. After a 6-5 beginning to league action, the Blue Raiders won five of the next seven to improve to 11-7 within C-USA while locking up a top-five league finish. Last time out they fell, 64-50, at North Texas on March 2. The setback stopped a three-game winning streak. Individually, Eli Lawrence (12.5 ppg), DeAndre Dishman (10.4 ppg) and Camryn Weston (10.4 ppg) are all in double figures for scoring to lead the way. Both Weston (2.7 apg) and Dishman (2.1 apg) are effective passers. Dishman (5.4 rpg) is the top rebounder, but three others snag at least 4.0 rebounds per game to help MT sport a +1.8 rebounding margin (sixth C-USA). Teafale Lenard is the rim protector with 1.93 blocks per game (second C-USA/29th NCAA). Notable alumni include Kelly Holcomb (NFL QB from 1995-2007) and James McGill Buchanan (Nobel Prize Winner).
UTEP drained 10 3-pointers (most vs. DI opponent this year) and Calvin Solomon (season-high tying 16 points, seven boards), Tae Hardy (16 points), and Shamar Givance (15 points, six assists) all had quality nights, but the Miners couldn’t come up with enough stops in a 73-68 setback against WKU at home on March 2. The Miners overcame a nine-point, first-half deficit to pull ahead in the second stanza by one, but the Hilltoppers kept their composure to come away with win. It marked the 800th contest all time in the Don Haskins Center.
UTEP was 10-20 from distance against WKU, including 7-11 during the final 20 minutes of action. Tae Hardy led the charge with a career-high tying four 3-pointers. Shamar Givance followed by draining 3-4. Jamari Sibley (2-3) and Otis Frazier III (1-2) also got after it. The Miners did, however, slip to 4-1 on the year when making at least 50.0 percent from distance.
UTEP put up 41 points in the second half against WKU on March 2, marking the second time in the past three tilts and the third occasion over the last six games that it has tallied 40+ points over the final 20 minutes. The effort against the Toppers was aided by drilling seven triples in the second stanza.
UTEP enters Saturday’s game with 272 steals, which is currently third on the program’s single-season list. The school standard is 288 (2009-10) while the 1986-87 team holds second place at 284. The Miners are averaging 9.1 steals per game, and they have two games at minimum left on the docket (one regular season, one at C-USA tournament). Shamar Givance’s 61 steals is currently seventh at UTEP in a year while Calvin Solomon is tied for eighth with 60 thefts. Both are averaging about 2.0 steals per game, putting them on pace to finish as high as sixth on the list.
Shamar Givance 
(2.03 steals per game) and Calvin Solomon (2.00 steals per game) are both averaging at least 2.0 spg heading into Saturday’s game. If they can stay at or above that figure, they would become just the third and fourth players, respectively, to do so in a season. The 2022-23 team would also be the first in program history to boast multiple players to accomplish the feat. Naismith Hall of Famer Tim Hardaway accomplished the feat three times in his career (2.82, 1988-89, 2.41-1987-88 & 2.19-1986-87). Randy Culpepper (2.03-2010-11) is the only other player in program history to average at least 2.0 steals in a season.
UTEP has scored 2048 points this year while allowing 2054. The closest the Miners have come to being even on a season since 1947-48 was a two-point differential in 2011-12 (2021-2019).
Calvin Solomon 
registered a season-high tying 16 points against WKU on March 2. He now has hit double figures in five straight contests. That is a campaign long for the Houston native. It is the second-longest streak of his career. He had an eight-tilt stretch while competing with SFA.
After going 62-82 (75.6 percent) over the past three games at the charity stripe, including back-to-back contests with 25+ free throws made for the first time since the 2013-14 season, UTEP took a step in the wrong direction against WKU on March 2. The Miners finished the tilt 10-19 (52.6 percent) at the free-throw line.
UTEP limited WKU to 3-9 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range on March 2. The Miners had yielded 10+ 3-pointers in two of the prior three contests before locking down the Toppers from distance. It marked the fourth time this season that the opposition was held to three treys or less. Furthermore, the nine 3-point attempts served as an opponent campaign low.
After committing 15 turnovers or less in three of the past four games, UTEP was harassed into 19 miscues in the setback vs. WKU on March 2. The Miners tried to make up for it by forcing 17 turnovers, which was six above the seasonal average for the Toppers entering the contest.
UTEP was held to 33.3 percent shooting at (RV) FAU on Feb. 25, which was just the fifth time in (then) 29 contests that it failed to connect on at least 40 percent from the floor. The Miners got back to knocking down shots against WKU on March 2, drilling 46.2 percent (24-52). That readout was aided by going 10-20 (50 percent) from 3-point range.
The Miners went wire-to-wire at FIU (Feb. 23), marking the second time they had done so in a four-game stretch. UTEP also never trailed in its 77-66 win at UTSA on Feb. 11. It now has four wire-to-wire victories on the season, previously accomplishing the feat vs. non-Division I opponents Northern New Mexico College (Dec. 3) and Sul Ross State (Nov. 15).
UTEP enjoyed an 11-8 edge in second-chance points in the setback to WKU on March 2. The Miners have now won that category in 14 of the past 15 contests, with a +99 (198-99) differential during the stretch.
UTEP’S win at FIU on Feb. 23 completed a true season sweep (home and road) of the Panthers for the first time since the 2016-17 season, which was also their last victory in Miami. It marked the second sweep in league play for the Miners, who also won both match-ups against UTSA. It was the second straight season that UTEP had swept the Roadrunners, which is something that hadn’t happened in the series since the 2013-14 and 2014-15 campaigns.
Ze’Rik Onyema’s 
double-digit scoring streak of five straight was halted against WKU on March 2 when he was held to three points. He has still enjoyed a breakout season, with two separate surges of five consecutive games with 10+ points. He did so in the first five contests of the campaign and against recently.  
UTEP has pulled down 10+ offensive rebounds in 18 of the past 20 games and 25 times total on the season.  That’s the most since racking up 30 such tilts (in 37 total contests) in 2008-09. There was a streak of seven straight, which was the longest such run since posting eight in a row (twice) in 2008-09. UTEP’s 11.5 offensive rebounds per game are second in C-USA and 64th in the country. That figure moves to 12.3 orpg in C-USA only tilts, which is second in the league. Overall, Calvin Solomon is ninth in C-USA with 66 total offensive boards.
UTEP compiled 42 points in the paint against UAB (Feb. 16), marking the seventh game this season with at least 40 down low (five with 45+). The Miners’ high against a DI opponent this year was a 56-point effort at Rice on Jan. 14. UTEP was just shy of that figure (38) at FIU recently on Feb. 23.
Calvin Solomon 
paced UTEP in points (game-high 16), rebounding (six) and assists (three) against Charlotte on Feb. 9, making him the first Miner to lead the squad in the three major stat categories since Souley Boum at LA Tech on Feb. 17, 2022. Helping his scoring effort was going 8-9 at the charity stripe. That feat was duplicated recently by Shamar Givance, who racked up a season-high 22 points, eight rebounds and a career-high tying 10 assists at FIU on Feb. 23.
UTEP is an impressive 12-5 on the year when holding the opposition to fewer than 70 points in a game. It is 1-12 when failing to do so, with the lone win on the campaign in the situation coming at FIU (87-82) on Feb. 23.
After keeping five straight opponents, including the first three league foes, to less than 40 percent shooting, the opposition has found a way to crack UTEP’s defensive code since that point. Sixteen consecutive foes have eclipsed 40 percent, including four above 50 percent (happened twice in first 14 affairs). 
Mr. AND-1
Calvin Solomon 
had an old-fashioned 3-point play at (RV) FAU on Feb. 25, elevating his total to a team-high eight on the season. Otis Frazier III (four), Tae Hardy (four) and Kevin Kalu (four) share second place among active players.
UTEP went 5-2 in nonconference play when tallying at least 70 points, but it has gone 3-4 in the situation during C-USA action. The Miners are, though, 2-1 in the scenario the past three times they’ve accomplished the feat. That includes piling up 87 points in the triumph at FIU (Feb. 23).
UTEP has had to overcome big first-half deficits to pull out the win in two of its six league triumphs this year. The Miners dug themselves a 19-6 deficit eight minutes into the contest at Charlotte (Jan. 16). UTEP recovered and closed the half on a 27-8 surge to take a lead it would never relinquish to match the second-biggest comeback under head coach Joe Golding. That rally for the win came on the heels from fighting back from a 14-point deficit (19-5, 11:57 1H) against UTSA. Similar to the game at Charlotte, UTEP countered with a 25-6 surge to take the lead for good in the biggest comeback under Golding and largest in three years. In the 2019-20 campaign, the Miners overcame a 19-point differential to knock off Rice (68-62, Feb. 22, 2020).
Conference USA team have beaten up on each other throughout the entire slate of league play. Only (RV) FAU (17-2) and North Texas (15-4) have fewer than five losses in league action. UAB (13-6) and Middle Tennessee (11-8) are the lone others with winning marks in league play. The other seven teams are all below .500. UTEP is alone in 10th place at 6-13, one game back of LA Tech and FIU heading into the regular-season finale.
UTEP tops Conference USA in turnovers forced per game (16.9-12th NCAA), average home attendance (4,582) and overall home attendance (77,897). 
Shamar Givance 
(92) and Calvin Solomon (85) both have scoring streaks of at least 80 games. The next longest active streak for a Miner is Tae Hardy at 30.
UTEP has three wins on the season when trailing by at least eight points, including coming back from 13+ points in two of them. The Miners posted a 14-point come-from-behind win against UTSA (Jan. 11), their largest rally in three years. They fought back from down 13 in a triumph at Charlotte (Jan. 16) and overcame an eight-point differential in a win against NC A&T (Dec. 21). UTEP erased a 15-point deficit before succumbing in OT to Rice (Dec. 31), while twice fighting back from 10 down with under 10 minutes left in a 60-58 setback at LA Tech. It also wiped out a nine-point differential to lead by one with six seconds left before falling, 83-82, on a buzzer beater at Rice on Jan. 14. The Miners clawed back from down by nine at North Texas (Jan. 28) to get within one (35-34) with 10 minutes to play before eventually falling, 52-42. UTEP trailed by 11 late at Middle Tennessee and got within two before the Blue Raiders tallied the final 10 points for an 84-72 win on Feb. 2. In the tilt at WKU, UTEP fought back from 13 down to get within three only to have the home side ice the game with a pair of free throws on Feb. 4. In the loss against Charlotte, UTEP reduced an 18-point deficit with 13 minutes left to six points twice under four minutes before falling, 62-53, on Feb. 9. The the Orange and Blue worked an 11-point first-half deficit to one with 15 minutes left in regulation before UAB pulled away for the 79-66 triumph on Feb. 16. Last time out, UTEP overcame a nine-point first-half deficit against WKU on March 2 to pull ahead in the second stanza before ultimately falling, 73-68.
UTEP has a +2.1 rebounding margin (34.9-32.7) this season, which is good enough for fifth in Conference USA. Aiding that figure was a seven-game streak in which the Miners were even or better on the glass, which was the longest surge since doing so in nine consecutive contests during the 2009-10 campaign.
UTEP has allowed 73+ points in seven of the past nine tilts. That was proceeded by yielding 62.6 ppg over a seven-contest stretch. There have been 13 occasions total (1-12) where the opposition has topped 70 points this year, with nine happening on the road. Four of the seven times this campaign that an opponent has eclipsed 50 percent from the floor have happened away from home. Overall, UTEP’s scoring defense sits at 68.5 points per game (fifth C-USA).
UTEP’s five overtime contests are the most in a regular season in program history. Both the 1994-95 and 2011-12 Miners played in four OT games during the regular season.
This year’s team has matched the 1994-95 and 2011-12 teams for the single-season school record for overtime games at five. Both the ’94-95 and ’11-12 squads had four regular-season OT contests and one postseason OT tilt.
The Miners played back-to-back OT games at two different points this year, which is something that had never previously occurred at the school. Earlier this season, UTEP won consecutive OT games for the first time since the 2016-17 season (W, 88-87, FIU, 2OT, Jan. 14, 2017; W, 66-65, FAU, Jan. 16, 2017) with a double-overtime win against Alcorn State, (73-61, Nov. 22) and a 68-67 OT vanquishing of CSUB (Nov. 23). More recently the Orange and Blue dropped consecutive contests that both went to OT (L, 79-73, 2OT, at UAB, Dec. 23; L, 72-67, OT, Rice, Dec. 31).
UTEP has had two games (1-1 record) go to double overtime this year, marking the first time in program history that the Miners have had multiple double-overtime games in the same season.
Overall, UTEP is now 69-50 all time in overtime contests, including 3-4 under head coach Joe Golding. The seven OT contests under Golding are the most during the first two seasons on the sideline for a Miner head coach.
UTEP has kept 13 teams on the year to below 30 percent from the floor on 3-point attempts, including recently at FIU on Feb. 23 (2-12, 16.7 percent). The effort has helped the Miners sport a 3-point field-goal percentage defense of 33.2 to rate fourth in C-USA.
UTEP has battled through some injuries this season, with 32 man games across the board lost to injuries/illness. The breakdown is as follows: Malik Zachery (13 games), Jon Dos Anjos (11 games), Otis Frazier III (three games), Mario McKinney Jr. (three games) and Carlos Lemus (two games) have all missed time this year.
The old saying goes that free throws win ball games, but UTEP is 7-7 (had been 5-1) on the season when shooting 60 percent or less in a contest and 6-10 when eclipsing that figure. Included in the win count when falling short of 60 percent was a 40.5 percent (15-37) effort in a 60-55 triumph against LA Tech on Dec. 17. It marked the first time the Miners had won a game with 20+ misses at the charity stripe since topping UTSA, 81-74, on March 5, 2016 (20-40). It was the lowest FT% in a contest since making 14.3 percent (1-7) in a 58-45 setback to LA Tech on Jan. 18, 2015.
UTEP nailed at least 40.0 percent of its shots in 25 of 30 games on the campaign, including eight of the past nine to put a two-contest streak below that figure in the rearview mirror. The 24 total efforts include surpassing 40 percent in the first 11 tilts of the year, the longest stretch to begin a season since the 2010-11 team did so over the initial 15 contests. The Miners have been particularly accurate with 2-point attempts, drilling 51.8 percent inside the arc.
UTEP is leading Conference USA in average attendance (4,582) in 2022-23 after rating second in the category last year. WKU sits in second place at 4,026. The Miners also pace the conference in overall home attendance (77,897), with the UAB (70,637) rating second in that category.
UTEP shot out to 8-0 at home, joining the 2019-20 team (9-0 start) and 2003-04 squad (8-0 start) as the only this century to win its first eight home contests. The Miners are now 10-7 in El Paso, marking their fourth consecutive campaign with 10+ home triumphs. UTEP has a +5.8 (69.5-63.7 ppg) scoring differential in the Sun City. UTEP is shooting 45.3 percent compared to 41.8 by foes, has a +3.4 turnover margin (15.4-18.7), a +1.7 rebound margin (35.7-34.0) and has taken nearly 100 more free throws (396-300) in those 17 contests.
Three of the Miners’ 13 wins this year have come against teams that played postseason basketball a year ago, including two that went to the NCAA tournament. UTEP knocked off NM State (2022 NCAA second round) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2022 NCAA first four), in addition to Alcorn State (2022 NIT). All three of those teams won their conference. UTEP also has a victory against LA Tech, which was a stellar 24-10 last season.
Nearly half (six of 13) of the Miners’ victories this year have been by five points or less, demonstrating their toughness and grit. UTEP toppled NM State by three (67-64, Nov. 12), CSU Bakersfield by one (68-67, OT, Nov. 23), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by five (72-67, Nov. 25), LA Tech by five (60-55, Dec. 17), at Charlotte by two (60-58, Jan. 16) and at FIU by five (87-82, Feb. 23).
UTEP has a scoring defense of 63.7 ppg at the Don Haskins Center this season, with opponents shooting 40.9 percent overall and 31.5 percent from 3-point range. Only two teams (UAB, 79 points on Feb. 16 and WKU, 73 on March 2) out of 17 has tallied more than 67 points (in regulation) in El Paso, with three held in the 50’s and one in the 40’s.
Even though the Miners have had some close calls this year, they are 13-2 on the season when they have a lead with 5:00 to play in the contest. UTEP is also strong on the campaign (13-3) when up at the half.
Conference USA’s 11 squads thrived out of conference, with a combined mark of 87-34 between the 11 programs. The league features three programs with top-100 NET rankings, in the form of (RV) FAU (15), North Texas (51) and UAB (58).
UTEP has been aggressive offensively, which has resulted in it going to the line often. The Miners are second in C-USA and 25th nationally with 22.4 free throw tosses per game, aiding by piling up 43 attempts against Alcorn State on Nov. 22. It marked the most free throw attempts by UTEP since taking 47 in a season-opening victory against Loyola on Nov. 14, 2016. UTEP’s 14.1 free throws made per contest is third in the league and 89th nationally.
Southern Miss transfer Tae Hardy is doing a little bit of everything this year, pacing the Miners in scoring (12.9 ppg-12th C-USA) and rating third in assists per game (1.8) and steals per game (1.3-15th C-USA). He’s also shown endurance, placing second on squad at 32.4 minutes per game (10th C-USA). He has started 29 of 30 games. Hardy has been a consistent scorer, tallying at least eight points in 26 of those contests. He has five 20+ point efforts, including a game-high 21 at Middle Tennessee on Feb. 2. He has led or shared the top spot on the team in scoring in 16 tilts, easily by far the most on the team. Hardy also has a team-high 19 double-digit scoring efforts. He has shown ice in his veins, nailing two free throws of the one-and-one variety with six seconds left to give UTEP a one-point lead at Rice (Jan. 14) before the Owls emerged victorious, 83-82, on a buzzer beater. He’s been rolling lately, tallying double figures in scoring in seven of nine and 11 of the past 15.
Evansville transfer Shamar Givancethe only senior on the roster, has contributed in multiple ways this season while running the point for the Orange and Blue. He tops the team in assists per game (4.2-third C-USA), free-throw percentage-73.2 (min. 100 FTA), playing time (33.1-sixth C-USA) and steals per game (2.03-third C-USA/35th NCAA) while rating second in scoring (10.7 ppg). He has surpassed double figures in scoring in 14 of the past 20 outings, including a season-high 22 points recently at FIU on Feb. 23. He has four double-doubles-all on assists and points-, doing so at UAB (17 points, 10 assists, Dec. 29), at Rice (16 points, 10 assists, Jan. 14), against FIU (15 points, 10 assists, Jan. 19) and at FIU (22 points, 10 assists, Feb. 23). That matches the most double-doubles of that variety in six years since Dominic Artis also had four during the 2016-17 season. Givance has shown the ability for clutch play, making two free throws with 3.0 seconds left to help lift UTEP to a 68-67 OT win against CSUB on Nov. 23. He also nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer with four seconds left in regulation at UAB (Dec. 29). before the Miners eventually fell in double overtime. Recently, he was 9-10 at the charity strip in the final minute to ice the win at FIU on Feb. 23. He has also taken care of business of the court, being named to the Academic All-District Team on Feb. 21 while landing one of the coveted five spots on the C-USA All-Academic team on March 3.
Stephen F. Austin transfer Calvin Solomon has been an impact, all-around player for UTEP in his first year with the Miners. He is the lone player on the roster to have started all 30 contests. Solomon leads the team in rebounding (6.0 rpg-10th C-USA) and offensive rebounds (64 total, 2.1/game-ninth C-USA) while placing second in assists per game (2.03) and steals per game (2.0-fourth C-USA/38th NCAA) and checking in third in scoring (9.2). He has been on a tear of late, having produced double figures in scoring in five straight and 11 of the past 14 games (two over the first 16 contests). He has at least one steal in all but two contests this year. Solomon boasts two double-doubles on the year, with 16 points and 10 boards vs. No. 24 Florida Atlantic (Jan. 21) and 16 points and 11 rebounds at UAB (Dec. 29).
George Mason transfer Otis Frazier III has been a valuable piece for the Miners in 2022-23 despite having to battle through some injuries that cost him three games. He has started 24 of 27 games played, rating third in rebounding (3.9), fourth in offensive boards (40) and fifth in scoring (7.6 ppg). Frazier III is also connecting on 50.3 percent of his shots (second on team for players with 100+ FGA). His numbers are a stark improvement from his two years at George Mason, where he averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.7 rpg in 35 games played.
After failing to reach double figures in scoring over his first two seasons with the Orange and Blue, forward Ze’Rik Onyema has done so in 11 contests this year. That includes five straight to begin the season. He has regained that early-campaign form, having produced five consecutive double-digit scoring efforts in league play for the first time of his career before tallying three points last time out. He also recorded his first career double-double (10 points, career-high 10 rebounds) in the win vs. Alcorn State on Nov. 22 and then again recently at (RV) FAU with 11 points and a career-best 11 rebounds on Feb. 25. He paces the team (min 100 FGA) in field-goal percentage (54.9), is second in rebounding (4.3), third in offensive boards (42) and sixth for scoring (7.0 ppg). He put up 2.0 ppg and 1.6 rpg in 2021-22.
Kevin Kalu 
has done good work inside, nailing 58.6 percent of his shots (41-70). Overall, he is putting up 3.6 ppg (1.5 ppg as a freshman last year).  He is second on the team in offensive boards (45) and is sixth in rebounding (3.4 rpg), which was aided by a career-high 10 boards at UAB (Dec. 29).
Sophomore junior-college transfer Derek Hamilton has shown some potential in his 19 appearances off the bench this year. He is chipping in 2.7 points per game despite playing only 4.1 minutes per contest. Hamilton has been an accurate shooter, making 81.8 percent (9-11) at the free-throw line and 67.7 percent (21-31) from the floor.
Five active players are scoring between 7.0 and 13.0 points per game. Tae Hardy (12.9 ppg-12th C-USA) and Shamar Givance (10.7 ppg) are in double figures to lead the way. Calvin Solomon (9.2 ppg), Otis Frazier III (7.6 ppg) and Ze’Rik Onyema (7.0 ppg) round out the group. There have been 11 players (out of 13) to register at least one double-digit scoring contests.
UTEP is forcing the opposition into 16.9 turnovers per game to lead Conference USA and place 12th nationally. The Miners harassed the first eight foes to commit at least 15 turnovers, the longest stretch to begin a season since the initial 12 opponents did so in 1974-75. Seven opponents have made at least 20 giveaways, including UAB (21) on Feb. 16. Sul Ross State (Nov. 15) had 32, which was the most in nine years by a UTEP opponent. All but four teams (Kent State-10, Dec. 22; at North Texas-seven, Jan. 28 at WKU-13, Feb. 4; and at (RV) FAU-12, Feb. 25) have committed at least 14 turnovers.
UTEP’s pressure defense has resulted in 9.1 steals per game to rate second in the league and rank 14th in the country. Aiding that figure was a school-record 24 steals in the victory against Sul Ross State on Nov. 15. Six different Miners had at least three steals in the contest to help them surge past the prior school standard of 21 which had stood since 1994 (against Cardinal Stich on Dec. 20, 1994). It also had 16 against UAB on Feb. 16, tying for 10th all time. The Orange and Blue (272 entering Saturday) are third all time at UTEP for a single season. UTEP also remains on pace for 290 steals, which would break the program standard (288, 2009-10). The charge has been led by Shamar Givance (2.03 spg-third C-USA/36th NCAA), Calvin Solomon (2.0 spg-fourth C-USA/38th NCAA) and Tae Hardy (1.3 spg-15th C-USA), making the Miners the lone team in the league with three in the top 15 of the category.
Shamar Givance 
piled up a career-high seven steals at UAB on Dec. 29, which tied as the most in program history against D1 opposition and rates tied for second overall at the school against opponents of all levels. His efforts helped the Miners post 12 steals. UTEP heads into Saturday’s tilt with nine contests of 10+ steals on the season, with the last time it accomplished it coming at FIU on Feb. 23.
The Miners’ bench has provided at least 15 points in 22 of 30 games this year (14 with 24+ points), including going off for a season-high 51 against Sul Ross State on Nov. 15. UTEP’s campaign best vs. DI foes is 34, which happened both at DePaul (Dec. 10) and against NC A&T (Dec. 21).
UTEP played in front of an almost capacity crowd of 11,315 fans in the win against NM State on Nov. 12. It marked the largest home attendance for the Miners since an actual sellout (12,000) of the Don Haskins Center when they beat WKU, 93-89, in a game commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Texas Western NCAA Champions.
Between Jamari SibleyKevin Kalu and Ze’Rik Onyema, the Miners returned just 20.8 percent of their rebounding, 11.1 percent of their scoring and 9.0 percent of their assists from the 2021-22 squad. In total, the Miners lost four starters and 12 letter winners from last year’s squad, including a pair of All-Conference USA performers in Souley Boum (second team) and Jamal Bieniemy (third team).
UTEP lost four starters and 12 letter winners from last year’s team, giving the Miners a new look in year two under head coach Joe Golding. UTEP brought in six Division I transfers (Otis Frazier III, George Mason, Shamar Givance, Evansville, Tae Hardy, Southern Miss, Garrett Levesque, Tarleton State, Mario McKinney Jr., NM State and Calvin Solomon, Stephen F. Austin) while adding four junior-college transfers (Jon Dos Anjos, Florida SouthWestern College, Derick Hamilton, Bossier Parish CC, Carlos Lemus, Chipola College and Malik Zachery, South Plains) and two true freshmen (Antwonne Holmes, Chapin HS, El Paso, Texas, and Jamal Sumlin, Rhodes HS, Cleveland, Ohio). It should be noted that Dos Anjos spent his freshman campaign at Loyola Marymount (Calif.) before going the junior-college route.
The Miners’ six DI transfers combined to play in 379 contests, including making 165 starts, prior to their arrival in the Sun City. Shamar Givance (Evansville, 118 GP, 63 GS) and Calvin Solomon (Stephen F. Austin, 82 GP, 56 GS) are the most experienced of the bunch, but Otis Frazier III, George Mason, 35 GP), Mario McKinney Jr. (NM State, 38 GP, 5 GS) and Tae Hardy (Southern Miss, 30 GP, 26 GS) also have 30+ appearances.
UTEP got off to an 8-0 start at home (now 10-7), allowing it to join the 2019-20 team (9-0) and the 2003-04 unit (8-0) as the only this century to start at least 8-0. It marks the fourth straight season that the Orange and Blue have recorded at least 10 wins in the Sun City.
UTEP started off 0-6 on the road, but it went 3-4 over the final seven games to finish at 3-10 away from home this year. It had some tough calls, dropping the first three C-USA road tilts by a combined nine points. The Miners either were leading/tied or within two points in the final minute of regulation in each of those tilts. The nine points was the smallest differential when starting 0-3 on the road in conference action in program history (happened 18 times previously).
The Miners will have 18 contests (4-13 thus far in situation) broadcast/streamed on nationwide platforms, with 13 on ESPN+ (4-9), and one each on ESPNU (0-1), FS1 (0-1), the Longhorn Network (0-1) and Stadium (0-1).
–    UTEP (20-14) posted its first 20+ win season since going 22-11 in 2014-15. It marked the 27th 20+ win campaign in program history.
–    The Miners notched their first postseason appearance since 2015 and first postseason win since 2009.
–    The Miners finished 11-7 in league play to secure their first winning conference record since forging a mark of 12-6 in 2016-17. That was aided by winning 10 of 14 down the stretch, including halting back-to-back C-USA West Division Champion North Texas’ 15-game winning streak, 70-68, on “Senior Day” on March 5.
–    UTEP downed Old Dominion, 74-64, on March 9 for its first victory at the C-USA Championships in five years.
–    UTEP’s seven road wins were the most since going 8-2 in 2013-14.
–    The Miners had their first winning road record (5-4) in league play since 2016-17.
–    UTEP’s five league road wins surpassed its total (four) of such games from the prior three seasons combined.
–    UTEP had a six-game conference USA winning streak (Jan. 15 to Feb. 5), which was its longest since also posting six straight wins in 2016 (2/4-20/16). It marked the fifth winning streak of at least six C-USA games since the Miners joined the league in 2005-06.
–    This is the 102nd season of UTEP men’s basketball. The Miners made history by starting five African-Americans to defeat Kentucky, 72-65, and win the 1966 NCAA Championship on the way to inspiring the Disney hit movie Glory Road. Overall, UTEP has 17 NCAA Tournament appearances (last in 2010), 11 NIT bids (last in 2015), 12 conference championships (last in 2010) and 27 seasons with at least 20+ victories (last in 2022). The Miners have won five league tournaments (last in 2005).
–    The Miners have a strong presence in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with Don Haskins, Nate Archibald, Nolan Richardson, the 1966 team and Tim Hardaway all representing UTEP.
–    UTEP finished 20-14 in 2021-22, which was its most wins since going 22-11 in 2014-15.
–    The Miners returned one starter (Jamari Sibley), and three letter winners overall. The two other returning letter winners are Kevin Kalu and Ze’Rik Onyema.
–    UTEP has 12 newcomers: Jon Dos AnjosOtis Frazier IIIShamar GivanceDerick HamiltonTae HardyAntwonne HolmesCarlos LemusGarrett LevesqueMario McKinney Jr.Calvin SolomonJamal Sumlin and Malik Zachery.
Joe Golding
 is in his second year at UTEP and is the 20th head coach in program history. He is the eighth head coach for the Miners since legendary Hall of Fame Coach Don Haskins retired following the 1998-99 season. Golding is 191-174 in his 12th season as a collegiate head coach, including 33-30 at UTEP. Last year he became the fourth head coach (20 total) in program history to have a winning season in their first year on the sideline. Don Haskins was the first when he directed the Miners to a mark of 18-6 in 1961-62. Doc Sadler (27-8, 2004-05) and Tim Floyd (25-10, 2010-11) also achieved the feat. Overall, the prior 19 head coaches combined to forge an average record of 9-13 in their first year with UTEP. Previously Golding spent 10 years at Abilene Christian (158-144), helping it transition from a Division II to a Division I program. Golding led the Wildcats to the 2019 and 2021 NCAA Tournaments, including a stunning upset as a 14-seed of third-seeded Texas in the first round of the 2021 Big Dance.
UTEP will open play at the 2023 Conference USA Championships at The Star in Frisco, Texas, on March 8. The Miners’ seed and opponent remain to be determined. Jon Teicher (42nd year) and Steve Yellen (20th year) will be on the call on “The Home of UTEP Basketball” 600 ESPN El Paso.