UTEP Completely Changes Look in Win Against Ball State
If you were lucky enough to stay up late last night, something astonishing happened in UTEP's second game of the Diamond Head Classic against Ball State. Head Coach Rodney Terry switched up his lineup and gave valuable minutes to four players who have not seen the court nearly as much as fans would like them to. Here was the breakdown:
Kaden Archie - 30 minutes, 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 turnovers, 1 block, and 1 steal
Anthony Tarke - 25 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 3 steals
Nigel Hawkins - 19 minutes, 2 points, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal
Efe Odigie - 14 minutes, 12 points, 4 rebounds
Before you get too worried about the 11 combined turnovers between Archie, Tarke, and Hawkins, the UTEP team committed 23 turnovers. Odigie and Deon Stroud were the only two Miners to not commit a turnover in the game, although Stroud only played two minutes. Turnovers have been a problem for UTEP but they overcame it last night to pick up their first win away from the Don Haskins Center this season.
The big takeaway from last night's 71-70 win over Ball State was that Coach Terry gave his bench a chance to play, while starter Tydus Verhoeven had just seven minutes and Erik Vila did not see the floor at all. It is especially encouraging that the Miners bench contributed in a big way since the team has been suffering from a lack of offensive output outside of Bryson Williams, Souley Boum, and Daryl Edwards. Their bench outscored Ball State 31-20 and Williams still led the team with 16 points. UTEP had a much better shooting distribution as a team last night and that could be the start of a good offensive trend for the Miners. Let's hope it continues tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 pm against Boise State and during C-USA play which starts next week.