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While One UTEP Basketball Team Shines, The Other Continues To Improve

UTEP Basketball
Gabe McCulley drives for a basket against NMSU. (Photo by Steve Kaplowitz)

It was a big weekend for both UTEP basketball teams. On Saturday, the women remained unbeaten and set a school record for the best start in program history (8-0) with a 53-43 win at New Mexico. The exciting thing about the women’s team is that they have a tremendous amount of depth and can score at every position. Head coach Keitha Adams appears to have her best team since the 2007-08 group that went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. I hope the rest of El Paso begin to support this team, since Coach Adams does everything possible to build a supportive fan base around the community.

As far as the men’s team, they are continuing to make strides every game. Last night’s 73-69 win over New Mexico State was a big confidence booster, and showed the value of senior leadership. Since Gabe McCulley’s return two games ago, the Miners look like a different team. His spark was evident against Oregon, even though he only played a few minutes. However, McCulley logged 36 minutes against the Aggies and set career highs with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Without players like Randy Culpepper, Julyan Stone, JeremyWilliams, and Christian Polk, McCulley has a chance to play a bigger offensive role with Tim Floyd’s young team. McCulley has the ability to attack the basket and finish with a two-handed dunk. He also rebounds well and gives the Miners a burst of energy whenever he takes the court. I don’t know if UTEP will be able to win 14-16 games like I predicted prior to the start of the season, but they will improve each week.

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