Miners Go Winless at the Old Spice Classic
There is not enough Old Spice after shave on the planet to cover up the trail of stink the UTEP Miners left on the court in Orlando.
After falling 68-61 to Oklahoma in the opener on Thanksgiving, the Miners ended their tournament with two straight twenty plus point losses to Clemson and Vanderbilt.
The three losses drops the Miners to 1-4 on the young season. So far, 2012 is very reminiscent of 2011. To put it nicely, the Miners are offensively challenged.
For a lot of fans, 2013 can't get here fast enough. UTEP's first five star recruit, Isaac Hamilton, will be instant offense for the Miners. Floyd did try and warn us that his team was probably a year away from being really special.
Floyd had this to say after the loss to the Sooners:
“We turned it over early. We had several turnovers that led to cheap runouts. They had three offensive board baskets. And their pressure bothered us. After we closed the lead in the first half, we turned it over on back-to-back trips - John Bohannon in transition, and Malcolm Moore flipped it out of bounds underneath [the basket].” In the second half, we closed it again and missed four consecutive point blank layups that would’ve changed the game. We weren’t able to take care of what we needed to take care of late, and Pledger knocked down a big shot.”
On Friday, Clemson went 12-16 from downtown in their 69-48 win over UTEP. Vanderbilt was a much more modest 9-19 in their 73-49 victory earlier today.
Floyd was left searching for answers after the loss to Clemson.
“Obviously we didn’t come out of the locker room very good tonight." Defensively, I’m really disappointed with the fact that we gave up 10 threes in a half. This means, to me, that if you can’t guard the three-point line you can’t guard. We’ve got work to do in that area. We’re still trying to find lineups that work. We’re still making too many mistakes. We’re getting exposed a little bit right now for who we are. But we’re going to continue to work.”
If there is a silver lining for the Miners in the loss to Vandy, it is that the Commodores didn't take their first double digit lead until the 7:58 mark of the first half.
They may be a year older, but one thing hasn't changed from last year. The Miners still struggle to manufacture points, and they don't have a true go to scorer. Tim Floyd is going to have to go back to the drawing board and figure out a way for his team to maximize their offensive possessions. UTEP's best offense might be a sound defense that can create turnovers that lead to transition baskets.
The Miners won't have a lot of time to sulk as they host NMSU on Wednesday.