UTEP Opens Up C-USA Schedule at UTSA on Thursday
This year for Rodney Terry and his staff features a long journey of firsts. And tonight will be the first opportunity to see how the Miners stack up in C-USA for the new regimes' inaugural game in the league.
UTEP (5-6) will tip off their first conference road game against UTSA (6-7) on Thursday at 6 p.m. MT.
Stretching back to the 2016-17 season, the Miners are currently on a three-game losing streak against the Roadrunners.
"Steve’s [Henson] a really good coach and does a great job with his guys,” first-year UTEP head coach Rodney Terry said. “We [while at Fresno State] got to play those guys two years ago when he first got the job. He’s done a great job with the program in terms of getting his guys to play hard. From an offensive standpoint, they really want to score the basketball. They want to get out and run, play fast. They have two guards who will give you fits on any given night in Jackson and Wallace. Between the two of them, they’ll shoot 20 three’s every game.”
For the Miners, they enter the matchup already stacking among the best in conference in different statistical categories. Freshman forward Efe Odigie is first in C-USA with 9.2 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Evan Gilyard's 18.4 points per game ranks him sixth in C-USA scoring and his .453 3-point field goal percentage is first in the conference.
UTEP enters the game off a win against Wyoming in the consolation game of the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, where Odigie put up his fifth double-double of his career. The win avenged the Miners' loss to Norfolk State the day before, where they shot just 27 percent from the floor.
On the other hand, though, UTSA features a sophomore duo that have both made names for themselves in the league. Guard Jhivvan Jackson leads C-USA in scoring (20.9 ppg), while guard Keaton Wallace (18.2 ppg) is eighth in scoring.
UTSA started the season vastly different than UTEP did. They began with a disgruntling 0-5 start, but quickly marched back and won six of their last eight games, including a 70-67 win over SE Oklahoma State last Saturday.
Tonight's game will be televised on ESPN+ and will tip-off at 6 p.m.