EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — UTEP junior guard Jamal Bieniemy has become one of the top distributors in Conference USA (C-USA) this season. The Oklahoma transfer is averaging 4.3 assists per game (fourth in C-USA) and his assist-to-turnover ratio ranks in the Top 75 in the country, but head coach Rodney Terry wants his point guard to be more aggressive scoring the basketball.
The Miners are 4-2 when Bieniemy scores in double figures. On the contrary, UTEP is 3-6 when he scores less than 10 points.
“We told him that he needs to step up his offensive part of his game and be more aggressive scoring the ball,” said Terry. “Every time he’s in double figures, we’re a dangerous team. He becomes a third scorer for us — or possibly a fourth scorer for us — and it just really helps our team. It gives our team a great lift.”
In a win over UTSA on Saturday night, Bieniemy scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in his first collegiate double-double. It was the first time Bieniemy scored in double figures in five games, dating back to Jan. 9 when he scored 16 points against Rice.
“I’m staying aggressive on offense and using defense to get my offense going,” said Bieniemy. “I just need to stay within the flow of the game, continue to make plays for other guys and just keep leading the team.”
It has been an up-and-down start to Conference USA play for the Miners. At 4-6 in league play, UTEP is in a three-way tie for fourth place in the West Division with Rice and UTSA. A weekend series coming up against the first place UAB Blazers (14-2, 7-1 C-USA) presents quite the challenge at the Don Haskins Center, but it also provides an opportunity for the Miners to get back in a position they expect to be.