Miners Defensive Identity Will Be a Constant For Joe Golding
Nine games into the season, we have started to learn a little more about the UTEP men's basketball team. First, we know that the bulk of their scoring will come from their guards. The Miners have plenty of depth at that position and newcomers like Jamari Sibley and Jorell Saterfield have both had some nice offensive moments.
We also know that defense will be this team's calling card as they prepare for their Conference USA schedule in a few weeks. That was never more evident than last Sunday, when UTEP put the clamps on the University of New Mexico and won 77-69 at the Pit. The Lobos two best players, guards Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House combined to shoot a dismal 3-19 for the game.
Head coach Joe Golding developed his reputation at Abilene Christian for his team's defensive prowess and that is starting to show with his group at UTEP. As long as the Miners do not face teams with lots of size and skilled big men, they should be able to compete well against smaller opponents. They also do not seem comfortable playing zone defense and instead, would rather play man for man no matter what they matchups are. That means players like Kevin Kalu, Bonke Maring, and Tydus Verhoeven will all be giving their best shot at trying to slow down Louisiana Tech dominant post threat Kenneth Lofton Jr.