EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP women’s basketball held their first official practice on Wednesday as the Miners prepare for the 2022-23 season.

UTEP women’s basketball head coach Kevin Baker heads into this season with six players from last year’s squad returning and nine new comers. The Miners are hoping to use these practices to see what tools they’ll have for the upcoming season.

“We’ve got a lot of new faces, a lot of different talent levels, we got them from a lot of different places,” said Baker. “They can do a lot of different things. We got tremendous depth on this team already so we are excited about that and the fact that if we can get them to come together, like we think we can, we can end up having something really special.”

The Miners return six players (Mahri Petree, Grace Alvarez, Avery Crouse, Elina Arike, Eliana Cabral, and Adhel Tac) from last season’s squad. Meanwhile there are nine new comers (Jazion Jackson, Erin Wilson, Veonce Powell, Zhane Thompson, N’Yah Boyd, Thaniya Marks, Sabine Lipe, Soleil Montrose, and Adela Valkova) listed on the roster.

The focus for the Miners leading up to the regular season will to make sure everyone is on the same page.

“We’ve got to mesh, we’ve got to get some chemistry. That is the hardest thing,” said Baker. “You can have a full team of talent but if you don’t mesh and come together, it wouldn’t be as good as you possible could be. We’ve got to come together as a unit and that just comes from getting together in a gym, hard work for two and a half hours every single day, learning how to play with each other. I think we are going to be okay.”

UTEP will open up their season with an exhibition against Western New Mexico on Nov. 5 at the Don Haskins Center.