Can UTEP MBB Start 8-1 In CUSA Play? No Way…Right?
After a conference opening loss at home to Charlotte a few weeks ago, there was an uneasy feeling from Miner Nation that maybe this was a preview of things to come for the rest of the season. Even after bouncing back to defeat Marshall two nights later, the jury was still out as to what to expect from Coach Tim Floyd and his short-handed roster.
How quickly things change as UTEP surprised everyone by sweeping a two-game road trip with huge wins over Middle Tennessee State and UAB. If you predicted wins in both games, my hat’s off to you as most would have been satisfied with a split and NO ONE would have been surprised with two losses.
Fresh off the blowout win over UTSA in Coach Floyd’s 400th career win this past Saturday, UTEP is starting to look like the one of the surprise teams in CUSA at this point of the season and only getting better with every game. As UTEP sits at 4-1 in conference play let’s take a look at the schedule over the next four games.
Next up, the Miners will face one of the top teams in CUSA as they welcome Louisiana Tech (17-4 overall and 4-1 in CUSA) to El Paso this Thursday night. In arguably one of the toughest games to date, this matchup with the Bulldogs could determine if UTEP keeps pace with the top teams or starts to fade. Not a do or die game by any means, but could be a statement to the rest of CUSA that this team could be even more dangerous come March heading into the conference tourney.
Not a gimme by any stretch of the imagination, but for arguments sake and home court advantage, give UTEP the win and a 5-1 conference mark.
After two likely wins (one at home and one on the road) over bottom feeders Rice and ECU, the Miners could be sitting at 7-1 with only an unproven Old Dominion team standing in their way of that 8-1 conference record. The Monarchs have a 4-1 conference record; however, the record is a bit deceiving since the competition is not quite up to the level UTEP has played this season.
Not to mention after returning from Virginia, the Miners host FAU and FIU to improbably run their record to 10-1.
Maybe you can keep those orange-colored glasses on for at least another week.