Men’s basketball shoots for the top

UTEP+Mens+basketball+new+head+coach+Joe+Golding+during+practice+on+Oct.+27.

Alberto Silva Fernandez

UTEP Men’s basketball new head coach Joe Golding during practice on Oct. 27.

Emily Autumn Velasquez, Sports Editor

The UTEP men’s basketball team has been putting in a lot of hard work in preparation for the upcoming season that officially kicks off on Nov. 9 with the help of their new head coach Joe Golding.  

Golding was recently at Abilene Christian University where he led the Wildcats to the past two NCAA tournaments. This is season 11 of Golding’s career as a collegiate head coach and his first season here at UTEP. Golding’s record as a head coach is 158-144.  

“I’m humbled. I’m honored to be the head coach of UTEP. I think there’s a lot of work to do but I think the timing is right,” Golding said in a post-practice interview on Oct. 27. 

UTEP has four stars returning to the team that include forward Jamari Sibley, guard Souley Boum, guard Keonte Kennedy and forward Tydus Verhoeven, with eight lettermen in total. Some other returning lettermen include guard Christian Agnew, guard Cam Clardy, forward Gilles Dekoninck and forward Ze’Rik Onyema. 

The practices have been intense and full of energy in order to improve themselves as a unit every day to be the best team possible. The Redshirt junior Souley Boum was named preseason all-conference honoree, the league office announced on Thursday, Oct. 21. 

“We just try to come in every day, focus on getting better, being a unit. We obviously want to win conference,” said Boum in a post-practice interview Oct. 27. 

Redshirt junior Souley Boum was named preseason all-conference honoree, the league office announced on Thursday, Oct. 21. 

Boum was a 2021 All Conference USA third team member and ranked third in C-USA in scoring with 18.8 ppg, as well as fifth in the league in total points with 450. He also led the Miners in steals with 34.  

UTEP also has six new members on the team this year that include point guard Kezza Giffa, forward Alfred Hollins, forward Kevin Kalu, forward Bonke Maring, guard Jorell Saterfield and forward Jamari Sibley. 

“Change is hard, it’s not easy, and it feels like there’s so much we are trying to do. We are changing things on both sides of the ball,” Golding said in a post-practice interview Oct. 27. 

Hollins is a recent addition to the team, transferring from Oregon State and has been putting in extra work this offseason after not having played a game since December of 2020. 

The Miners are looking to improve after finishing last season fifth in C-USA West with a record of 8-8 in the conference. Last season, Souley led the team in points with 18.1 points per game, free throws with 81.3% made and three-point field goals with 38.7% made. Kennedy led in rebounds with 5.9 rebounds per game. Bieniemy led in assisted with 4.0 assists per game. And Verhoeven led the team with 0.9 blocks per game and 62.7% of his field goals made. 

The team is encouraging the people of El Paso to come out and support them for their season opener and hopefully make the Don Haskins one of the toughest places to play in the country again.   

The Miners’ first game takes place 7 p.m. MT Tuesday, Nov. 9 against the Western New Mexico Mustangs at the Don Haskins Center. Additionally, UTEP will play five of their first seven games at the Don Haskins Center, including the Golden Turkey Classic Nov. 22 and Nov. 24. 

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Eisenberg Family Ticket Office at (915) 747-UTEP, email [email protected], visiting www.UTEPMiners.com/tickets or in person (Brumbelow Building on UTEP campus, 201 Glory Road) Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

All stats provided by UTEP Athletics. 

Emily Autumn Velasquez is the sports editor at The Prospector and can be reached at [email protected]; @emilyautumn20 on Twitter.