Men’s basketball takes on Texas Tech in exhibition game

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Men’s basketball takes on Texas Tech in exhibition game

Former Miner Evan Gilyard drives to the basket vs. Florida International.

Former Miner Evan Gilyard drives to the basket vs. Florida International.

Priscilla Gomez

Former Miner Evan Gilyard drives to the basket vs. Florida International.

Priscilla Gomez

Priscilla Gomez

Former Miner Evan Gilyard drives to the basket vs. Florida International.

Isaiah Ramirez, Staff Reporter

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The UTEP men’s basketball team will hit the court this weekend as it takes on the 2019 national championship runner-up Texas Tech for an exhibition game. The proceeds from the matchup with the Red Raiders will be donated to the GECU foundation in support of the victims of the Aug. 3 mass shooting in El Paso.  

Expectations are high for this Miner squad which includes a number of exceptionally skilled players. Notable returners from last season’s campaign include sophomore guards Jordan Lathon and Nigel Hawkins along with sophmore forwards Kaosi Ezeagu and Efe Odige 

Three of the top four scorers on last year’s team return for the Miners, all scoring in double figures for the season. Odige was the team leader in rebounds and le,d Conference USA in rebounding average with 10.1 per game.  

 The Miners also have several highly touted Division I transfers. Redshirt sophomore forward Tydus Verhoeven and redshirt junior Bryson Williams are two versatile big men that bring multiple qualities to the UTEP frontcourt.  

 Redshirt sophomore guard Souley Boum and sophomore guard Kaden Archie are two guards that can contribute both scoring and passing abilities to the Miner backcourt. The mixture of solid returnees and several high caliber transfers only add fuel to this team’s arsenal of explosive talent.  

Awaiting the Miners at the Don Haskins Center in this matchup will be a Texas Tech team that was narrowly defeated by the University of Virgina 85-77 in last season’s National Championship game. The Red Raiders beat UTEP 86-61 last season in an exhibition, while going 31-7 on the season.TexasTech lost arguably their best player Jarrett Culver to the NBA draft but still have junior guard Davide Moretti who was a big part of the Red Raiders team last season. Moretti averaged 11.5 points per game and 2.4 assists per game and was named an All-Big 12 third team selection last season.  

The Red Raiders have a talented bunch of transfers this upcoming season as well in sophomore forward Joel Ntambwe and senior guard Chris Clarke. Both Clarke and Ntambwe previously played at Division I programs.  

“We’re excited about our guys, their work ethic and what they’re doing to prepare,” UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said . 

 UTEP’s matchup versus Texas Tech takes place at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Don Haskins Center. Tickets for the exhibition game are $10 with general admission which is first come first serve  seating. This game is not part of the 2019-2020 season ticket.   

Isaiah Ramirez may be reached at [email protected] 

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