SB Nation - Rice Owls http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/rice-owls Stories From Around SB Nation About Rice Owls Former VCU Assistant Mike Rhoades Already Turning Heads at Rice http://www.midmajormadness.com/2014/4/6/5586998/former-vcu-assistant-mike-rhoades-already-turning-heads-at-rice Parks Smith http://www.midmajormadness.com/2014/4/6/5586998/former-vcu-assistant-mike-rhoades-already-turning-heads-at-rice Sun, 06 Apr 2014 10:56:42 -0400 <img alt="" src="http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31218945/20140104_jla_rb1_645.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>Mike Rhoades has only been at Rice a couple of weeks and he's already turning heads around the country as he tries to resurrect the Owls. </p> <p>Last month I wrote an article labeling then VCU assistant Mike Rhoades as the hottest commodity in the mid-major coaching game. My high praise of Rhoades had me scratching my head when he decided to take the job at Rice after being so selective in the past. Let's face it, the <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/rice-owls" class="sbn-auto-link">Rice Owls</a> aren't exactly synonymous with basketball glory.</p> <p>Rhoades took the job at the academic titan in Houston and said the following in his press conference when asked about the academic rigors of the school:</p> <blockquote> <p>I'm not afraid or scared of that. We're going to build something special here. We came here because we are going to win." via the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/article/Mike-Rhoades-fulfills-a-dream-at-Rice-5357669.php#/0">Houston Chronicle</a></p> </blockquote> <p>You hear a quote like that at just about every introductory press conference for a coach, but Rhoades is already proving me, at least, wrong in my doubts regarding him taking the job in Houston. Rhoades has already hired Scott Pera from Penn and J.D. Byers from Radford; both are great additions in their own way.</p> <p>Pera has learned how to recruit with some of the stiffest of academic restrictions in the country, and he also coached Houston Rockets star <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/28776/james-harden" class="sbn-auto-link">James Harden</a> in high school and at Arizona State. While it may not seem like much, having a "friend" like Harden in your hometown can be another bargaining chip for Rhoades on the recruiting trail.</p> <p>While Pera brings nearly 20 years of experience, J.D. Byers is a young, energetic assistant who has worked with Rhoades before at Division III Randolph-Macon. The other valuable experience that Byers brings to the table is he learned how to resurrect a program under a different former VCU assistant, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/25729/mike-jones" class="sbn-auto-link">Mike Jones</a>, at Radford.</p> <p>Beyond hires, Rhoades has already been busy on the recruiting trail and garnered a big three star commitment from Chino Hills, Ca., forward Bishop Mency.</p> <p>Don't expect the Owls to shoot up to the top of Conference USA and end their 34 year <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/march-madness" class="sbn-auto-link">NCAA Tournament</a> drought next year, but expect the team to be competitive and become a real factor in the conference over the next three years. Rhoades has said that Rice's administration is willing to invest in it's basketball program and in doing so may have begun a basketball renaissance in Houston, especially with the crosstown Cougars hiring Kelvin Sampson.</p> Villanova basketball report cards: Dylan Ennis http://www.vuhoops.com/2014/4/3/5549626/villanova-basketball-report-cards-dylan-ennis Chris Lane http://www.vuhoops.com/2014/4/3/5549626/villanova-basketball-report-cards-dylan-ennis Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:00:02 -0400 <img alt="" src="http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/31077159/459622305.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>A season of up and downs finished poorly for the Rice transfer. He'll need to improve over the summer.</p> <p>A transfer from the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/rice-owls">Rice Owls</a> basketball program, Dylan was the lesser known Ennis brother as he watched his younger brother Tyler catapult into the natioinal spotlight (and off to the NBA) after a fantastic season for Syracuse. Still, hopes were high that Ennis could become the type of scintillating offensive guard that Villanova lacked in recent years.</p> <p>Here's how the first year on the Main Line went for <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/175209/dylan-ennis">Dylan Ennis</a>:</p> <h3>What was expected</h3> <p>Even last year when he wasn't eligible, practice reports heralded Ennis as a very athletic guard with a sweet stroke from the outside. Much was expected of him on both ends of the floor.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.vuhoops.com/villanova-basketball/2013/10/21/4831860/villanova-basketball-preview-2013-dylan-ennis">As we wrote in Wisdom of Crowds</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p id="paragraph12"><b>Best Case Scenario</b>: Ennis could step up to become a starter or key reserve to run the point and distribute the ball to his teammates. The Villanova offense would have a floor general to help make it run more efficiently. The defense would have an athletic and energetic body to execute as well.</p> <p><b>Worst Case Scenario</b>: Ennis comes off of the bench and never really gets enough minutes to make an impact as the coaching staff sticks with Chennault and Arcidiacono. He struggles to adjust to the defensive scheme and ends the season leaving much room to improve.</p> </blockquote> <p>An early season injury delayed Ennis' debut until the Battle 4 Atlantis, and he didn't disappoint once he hit the hardwood. He caught fire to the tune of 67% from downtown in the 3-game stretch in the Bahamas, but other than strong outings against Providence, Seton Hall, Temple and Creighton, was very poor from the outside the rest of the way, finishing just above 30% for the year. Whether it was mechanics or confidence, this needs work in the offseason.</p> <p>On a brighter note, Ennis' energy off the bench on defense was an asset for most of the year, and should give him the confidence to be a leader on that end of the floor next season.</p> <h3>Vote from Wisdom of Crowds</h3> <p>In Wisdom of Crowds, we asked readers to vote on their prediction for how many points per game Ennis would average this season. 20% (73 voters) led the charge with a 7.7 ppg prediction, while 15% (56 votes) were more optimistic with a 9.4 ppg prediction.</p> <p>Just 5% of the community were closest with their 5.5 ppg or less prediction, as Ennis finished the year with a 5.1 ppg average.</p> <h3>Season Actuals</h3> <table class="tableizer-table"><tbody> <tr class="tableizer-firstrow"> <th>MIN</th> <th>FGM</th> <th>FGA</th> <th>FG%</th> <th>3PM</th> <th>3PA</th> <th>3P%</th> <th>FTM</th> <th>FTA</th> <th>FT%</th> <th>RPG</th> <th>APG</th> <th>BPG</th> <th>SPG</th> <th>PF</th> <th>TO</th> <th>PPG</th> </tr> <tr> <td>16.2</td> <td>47</td> <td>133</td> <td>35.3%</td> <td>25</td> <td>83</td> <td>30.3%</td> <td>33</td> <td>42</td> <td>78.6%</td> <td>1.7</td> <td>1.6</td> <td>0.3</td> <td>0.3</td> <td>1.6</td> <td>0.7</td> <td>5.1</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <p> </p> <h3>Best Game</h3> <p>His 17 point outing at home against Providence was definitely the high point of the year - he shot 4-5 from distance and added 2 steals in a 30-point blowout of the Friars that helped set the tone in the Big East that 'Nova should be feared.</p> <h3>Worst Game</h3> <p>And 0-for-everything effort in the home victory against Butler was the point at which Ennis' season took a nosedive, at least on the offensive end. Several bricks, and a couple of airballs most likely led to confidence issues on the offensive end that carried through the final game of the year.</p> <h3>Final Grade</h3> <p><b>C+</b> - A fast start likely unfairly raised expectations for Ennis, but he also scorched some pretty good competition in the Bahamas. Luckily, he was able to keep his struggles limited to one end of the floor and continue to provide good play on defense. The ugliness of the offense is the lasting impression, however.</p> <p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table { border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif font-size: 12px; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } </style></p> <fieldset class="poll-box"> <legend>Poll</legend> <h5 class="poll-title">What grade would you give Dylan Ennis for this season?</h5> <div id="poll_container_227625_689391490" class="poll_container"> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">1%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>A+</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">2</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">0%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>A</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">1</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">0%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>A-</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">0</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">1%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>B+</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">4</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">4%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>B</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">12</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">17%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>B-</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">54</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">16%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>C+</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">52</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">29%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>C</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">94</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">18%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>C-</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">58</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">5%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>D+</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">17</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">3%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>D</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">11</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">2%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>D-</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">7</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <div class="poll_option clearfix"> <div class="poll_option_percentage" style="display:none">3%</div> <div class="poll_option_result"> <h5>F</h5> <div class="poll_option_bar"><span class="vote_count">11</span> votes</div> </div> </div> <p class="poll-total-votes"><strong>323</strong> votes | <span class="poll-has-closed">Poll has closed</span> </p> </div> <script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ new SBN.Poll('poll_container_227625_689391490').animateResults({renderImmediately:true}); }); </script> </fieldset> Coaching Carousel: VCU's Mike Rhoades Hired at Rice http://www.midmajormadness.com/2014/3/25/5547482/coaching-carousel-vcus-mike-rhoades-hired-at-rice Parks Smith http://www.midmajormadness.com/2014/3/25/5547482/coaching-carousel-vcus-mike-rhoades-hired-at-rice Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:48:39 -0400 <img alt="" src="http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/30669419/20140123_ajl_rb1_072.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>Shaka Smart's top assistant is moving on to take the head job at Rice. </p> <p> <link rel="stylesheet" href="http://cdn3.sbnation.com/assets/3608425/mustreads.css"></p> <div class="must-reads"> <h4> <span class="must-reads-star"><img src="http://cdn2.sbnation.com/assets/3608771/star.png"></span> Must Reads <span class="must-reads-star"><img src="http://cdn2.sbnation.com/assets/3608771/star.png"></span> </h4> <div class="snippet-n tiles"> <div class="row"><a style="background-image: url(http://cdn2.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/30498303/20140320_jla_ah2_446.0_standard_730.0.jpg);" class="cell" href="http://www.midmajormadness.com/2014/3/22/5536296/coaching-carousel-is-vcus-mike-rhoades-the-nations-hottest-coaching"> <div class="hgroup"> <h2 class="photohead">VCU's Mike Rhoades the Nation's Hottest Coach?</h2> <h3 class="meta"><span class="byline">Parks Smith </span></h3> <span class="blurb">Every year there seems to be rumors that pop up about Shaka Smart's long term future, could this year's rumors center around his top assistant instead? </span> </div> </a></div> </div> </div> <div class="must-reads-compact-container"> <h4> <span class="must-reads-star"><img src="http://cdn2.sbnation.com/assets/3608771/star.png"></span> Must Reads <span class="must-reads-star"><img src="http://cdn2.sbnation.com/assets/3608771/star.png"></span> </h4> <div class="must-reads-compact-link-container"><a href="http://www.midmajormadness.com/2014/3/22/5536296/coaching-carousel-is-vcus-mike-rhoades-the-nations-hottest-coaching?utm_source=sbnation&utm_medium=mustreads&utm_campaign=blogs">VCU's Mike Rhoades the Nation's Hottest Coach?<span class="must-reads-compact-byline"></span></a></div> </div> <p>Rice will replace Ben Braun with highly touted VCU assistant Mike Rhoades. Rhoades has been an assistant under Shaka Smart since 2009 when he made the transition from Division III Randolph-Macon where he amassed a 197-76 mark in 10 years with the Yellow Jackets. Rhoades had Randolph-Macon as the nation's number one team at one point, appeared in the Sweet 16, and garnered several Coach of the Year honors.</p> <p>Rice only had one winning season under Ben Braun and the Owls were 7-23 this past year. The Owls have not made the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/march-madness">NCAA Tournament</a> since 1970 and have not been a contender in Conference USA in quite awhile.</p> North Texas Storms Back to Drop Rice 63-62 in Overtime http://www.minerrush.com/2014/3/11/5498360/north-texas-storms-back-to-drop-rice-in-overtime asalom http://www.minerrush.com/2014/3/11/5498360/north-texas-storms-back-to-drop-rice-in-overtime Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:33:09 -0400 <img alt="" src="http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/29886375/20140109_kkt_an4_609.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>Rice came out ready to play, but they couldn't hold on as they fell to North Texas 63-62 in overtime. </p> <p><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/145824/brandan-walton" class="sbn-auto-link">Brandan Walton</a> scored 17, Chris Jones finished with 16, and Jordan Williams chipped in with an 11 point 14 rebound performance to lead North Texas to a 63-62 win over Rice in the opener of the Conference USA tournament.</p> <p>Rice took the lead early on a <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/176439/max-guercy" class="sbn-auto-link">Max Guercy</a> made layup just 30 seconds into the ballgame, and would hold on to that lead nearly for the entire remainder of the contest. The Owls would lead by as many as 11 on multiple occasions in the first half, and would enjoy a 30-21 lead at the intermission.</p> <p>North Texas would chip away at the Rice lead, and would take their first lead since the 18:00 mark of the first half on a <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/123335/colin-voss" class="sbn-auto-link">Colin Voss</a> jumper that put the Mean Green ahead 41-39 with 9:26 to play.</p> <p>The Owls would answer with seven straight to go up 46-41, and they would extend that lead to as many as seven with just 1:52 to play. UNT would respond though, closing regulation on a 7-0 run to force the extra frame.</p> <p>Rice would once again find themselves with a lead late in the overtime, leading 62-61 with :24 to play, but a foul on the Owls' Ross Wilson with :11 left sent Chris Jones to the line for the tying and go ahead points.</p> <p>Marcus Jackson would miss a shot at the buzzer, and the 10th seeded Mean Green escaped 63-62. They will now advance to take on 7th seeded Tulane tomorrow at noon.</p> <p><i>Make sure to stay tuned to MinerRush for in depth coverage of the Conference USA tournament, as well as all things UTEP sports. Also, make sure to <a href="https://twitter.com/sbnminerrush" class="twitter-follow-button" data-show-count="false">Follow @sbnminerrush</a> on Twitter and as always don't forget to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/MinerRush">like our Facebook Page.</a> Picks Up, and Go Miners!</i></p> Last Second Three Lifts Florida Atlantic Past UTEP 71-69 http://www.minerrush.com/2014/2/14/5410838/last-second-three-lifts-florida-atlantic-past-utep-71-69 asalom http://www.minerrush.com/2014/2/14/5410838/last-second-three-lifts-florida-atlantic-past-utep-71-69 Fri, 14 Feb 2014 03:30:37 -0500 <img alt="" src="http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/28591517/img_6979.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>In a wild one at the Don Haskins Center, FAU used a last second desperation bank three to knock off league leading UTEP 71-69. </p> <p>It was a rough start for the Miners, one they couldn't get out of for the first twenty minutes. FAU jumped out to a quick 7-4 lead three minutes in, and continued to pour it on the rest of the first half.</p> <p>By the 12 minute mark, the Owls were shooting a blazing hot 61% from the field, and were on a 10-0 run that opened their lead to 13 at 19-6.</p> <p>Cold shooting would continue to bury the Miners, and Florida Atlantic would eventually lead by as many as 15 at 38-23 with just under two minutes remaining, and would take a 38-25 lead into the break.</p> <p>Little would change in the early going of the final 20 minutes, as the Owls would open on a 7-0 run to quickly push their lead to 20 just two minutes in.</p> <p> </p> <p>The Miners would fight to get the lead back to 12 with 11:30 to play, but a couple of dagger buckets by FAU put them back up 16 just one minute later. Things were just starting to get interesting though.</p> <p>UTEP would continue to chip away at the Owl lead, and finally broke it to single digits at 65-56 on a <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/146256/julian-washburn">Julian Washburn</a> jumper with 3:56 to play. Intense pressure defense from the Miners produced back to back 10 second violations, and a couple more made baskets eventually brought the deficit to five at 65-60 with still over two to play.</p> <p>An FAU free throw on the ensuing possession put the lead back to six, but a huge <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/146255/c-j-cooper">C.J. Cooper</a> three cut that in half with 1:15 on the clock. A made layup by the Owl's D'Andre Johnson extended the lead to five with 39 ticks left, but another big three, this time by Washburn, left the Miners down just two with 33 second to go.</p> <p>The Miners were able to force a turnover, and following a timeout, C.J. Cooper knocked down a contested three to give UTEP the go ahead score with 12 second remaining, but an FAU desperation three banked in with two seconds left, and the Owls escaped 71-69.</p> <p><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/230039/vince-hunter">Vince Hunter</a> led the way for the Miners, scoring 18 point to go along with 4 rebounds. <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/124469/john-bohannon">John Bohannon</a> finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds, Julian Washburn also had 16 points of his own, and C.J. Cooper finished with 15, 5 assists, and no turnovers.</p> <p>FAU's Marquan Botley finished with a game high 23 points, including the game winning shot, and <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/125190/pablo-bertone">Pablo Bertone</a> chipped in with 18. No other Owl scored in double figures.</p> <p>The Owls, who dominated the boards in the fist half, won the rebounding battle 29-27, and also shot 52% to the Miners' 47.1%. The biggest difference in the game, perhaps, was FAU's 10-20 shooting from distance, to the Miners 4-7 (three came in the closing moments).</p> <p>Coach Floyd had this to say following the game:</p> <blockquote> <p>"I want to credit Mike Jarvis and his staff with the job they did. They're very disciplined offensively. They used great shot selection for the entire game, made us guard for long periods of time, much like Rice. I thought they were very effective the last seven seconds of shot clock situations, and they made us pay...Our formula for winning was no different tonight. The other team shoots more threes, we shoot more free throws. Tonight they made their threes. They were ten for twenty. We didn't defend the three point line as well as we have. I don't discredit what happened on the last possession. We switched it, he had to shoot it over a 6'11 guy, and he banked it in. Credit to the kid."</p> </blockquote> <p>Indeed, its hard to take any credit away from FAU. The Miners started out extremely slow, much like they have the last couple of games at home, and the Owls were able to execute, and just make more shots than the Miners. Tonight, the team that played better won the game.</p> <p>Still though, it is an extremely tough loss to take. While the Miners played poorly for about 30 minutes, they were able to erase a 20 point deficit, take the lead with 12 seconds to go, and unfortunately had to watch a desperation three bank in to hand them the loss.</p> <p>When asked about the final play, FAU coach Mike Jarvis had this to say:</p> <blockquote> <p>"Well first of all understand this, we coaches can call anything we want, the kids have to make the plays...What we wanted to do was get the ball in Marquan's hands, push it up the floor, get a couple shooters ahead of him, and have our big guys set a middle screen. The play was really designed for him to penetrate and pass to either Pablo or <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/players/176103/jackson-trapp">Jackson Trapp</a> for a shot, but he said you know what I feel it, he took it, I think he might of got hit, that might have helped it go in too."</p> </blockquote> <p>Whatever made the shot go in, it went in. Again, it is a tough one to take, but its one the Miners have to take, overcome, and move forward into the remainder of the season.</p> <p>The loss drops the Miners to 18-7, and 8-2 in Conference USA play, but more than anything likely puts the nail into the coffin of any at large hopes. On the bright side, fellow league leader Southern Miss also lost, losing 84-60 at UAB.</p> <p>So, after all is said and done on this Thursday night, the Miners still maintain a share of the lead in Conference USA. Now though, there are four teams tied for that lead, as UTEP, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, and Middle Tennessee all sit at 8-2 in league play.</p> <p>The Miners will now prepare for a Saturday matchup with Florida International, before hitting the road to take on Tulane and Southern Miss. A home contest against Tulsa will follow that, and a final road swing featuring North Texas and UTSA will end the regular season. Saturday's contest against FIU is slated for 7:05 p.m. MT.</p> <p> </p> <p><i>Make sure to stay tuned to MinerRush for coverage of all things UTEP sports. Also, make sure to <a href="https://twitter.com/sbnminerrush" class="twitter-follow-button" data-show-count="false">Follow @sbnminerrush</a> on Twitter and as always don't forget to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/MinerRush">like our Facebook Page.</a> Picks Up, and Go Miners!</i></p> UTEP Rallies Past Rice For 68-57 Win http://www.minerrush.com/2014/2/2/5370144/utep-rallies-past-rice-for-68-57-win asalom http://www.minerrush.com/2014/2/2/5370144/utep-rallies-past-rice-for-68-57-win Sun, 02 Feb 2014 02:28:15 -0500 <img alt="" src="http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/27893545/img_6792.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>It was an ugly performance by the Miners, one you'd hope they'd quickly forget. Still though, they rallied together, and found a way to win, improving to 16-6, and 6-1 in Conference USA play. </p> <p>In what was perhaps the worst, yet in ways best performance of the year for the Miners, UTEP rallied back from a nine point halftime deficit, and surged ahead in the final nine minutes of the contest to drop Rice 68-57.</p> <p>For the second game in a row, the Miners' opponent opened up the game hot from downtown. Rice nailed its first two shots from deep, and jumped ahead 8-0 before the Miners even knew what had hit them.</p> <p><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146256/julian-washburn" class="sbn-auto-link">Julian Washburn</a> finally got the Orange and Blue on the board with a pair of free throws nearly four minutes in, but UTEP would continue to struggle on both ends of the floor for the the majority of the first twenty minutes.</p> <p>The Owls actually led for the entirety of the first half, and while Washburn was able to keep the Miners within striking distance, Rice would eventually take a nine point lead into the locker rooms.</p> <p>UTEP would respond though, opening up the second half with a quick 9-0 run to tie the ball game up with 16:17 to play. The Owls, however, responded with a run of their own, and quickly pushed the lead back to seven at 37-30 just two minutes later.</p> <p>Rice would continue to nail big shots and keep the Miners off balance offensively for the first ten minutes of the final half, but that would be as long as they could hold them off.</p> <p>Down 47-38 with 9:08 to play, the Miners dug deep, banded together, and found a way to chip back into the game. Five consecutive free throws brought them to within four at 47-43, and following a made bucket by the Owls, a huge <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/230033/jake-flaggert" class="sbn-auto-link">Jake Flaggert</a> three ball put UTEP back within three.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146255/c-j-cooper" class="sbn-auto-link">C.J. Cooper</a> four point play with 6:03 to play put the Miners ahead 51-49, and though there was one more tie just moments later, the Miners would own the rest of the game.</p> <p>Three consecutive three point trips by the Miners put them up 60-51 with 3:23 to play, with the final one being another Flaggert three that effectively ended the ball game. The Miners would go up by as many as 14 in the closing moments, and in the end walked away with the 68-57 victory.</p> <p>Julian Washburn, who almost single handedly carried the Miners in the first half, led the way with 17 points and 8 rebounds, to go along with 5 assists. C.J. Cooper also finished with 17 points, all of which came in his huge second half.</p> <p><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/230039/vince-hunter" class="sbn-auto-link">Vince Hunter</a> finished the night with 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, and while no other Miner scored in double digits, both <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146259/cedrick-lang" class="sbn-auto-link">Cedrick Lang</a> (8 points and 9 rebounds) and Jake Flaggert (6 points) were both instrumental in the win.</p> <p>Rice was led by Marcus Jackson who finished with 14 points and 3 assists, and also Max Geurcy who had 11 points and 5 assists. <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/145980/seth-gearhart" class="sbn-auto-link">Seth Gearhart</a> and <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/176441/nizar-kapic" class="sbn-auto-link">Nizar Kapic</a> finished with 9 points apiece.</p> <p>The Miners, who shot and ice cold 30.8% from the field in the first half, used a 54.5% performance in the second half en route to a 41.7% effort for the game. Rice was held to just 29.6% from the field in the final twenty minutes, and just 35.7% for the contest.</p> <p>UTEP, who was dominated on the glass in the first half, came back to win that battle 36-34, and also forced the Owls into 11 turnovers while committing 10 of their own.</p> <p>Coach Tim Floyd had this to say following the win:</p> <blockquote> <p>"I don't want to sit here and start talking about how we were flat...I'd prefer to talk about Rice and what a great job their coach does with that team to come in here and play with that kind of poise, on the road, in front of our crowd who I thought was outstanding. We don't win that game on the road without our crowd...Our athleticism, our will to defend the first four minutes of the second half, and then the last ten minutes of the ball game were the keys to the game for us."</p> </blockquote> <p>That may certainly be the case. The official attendance of 11,036 was by far the largest of the season, and definitely did their part when the Miners needed them the most.</p> <p>Rice entered the contest with a great gameplan, executed it well, knocked down shots, and nearly came up with a huge win in the Haskins Center.</p> <p>The Miners must be able to adjust and defend a bit better against teams that can shoot the three ball. Louisiana Tech and Rice both shot plenty from distance this week, and truth be told if a few more go down for those teams, this week's record could've easily gone from 2-0 to 0-2.</p> <p>Regardless of that though, the Miners, once again, showed that they are a team that is evolving into the complete package. As its already been said a few times tonight, what that team did in the final ten minutes of that ball game is exactly what good teams do. In fact, that's what championship caliber teams do.</p> <p>Now, the Miners will have to get back to the drawing board, and prepare for a tough road swing that will feature a pair of games against two opponents who are more than capable of defending their home court. They'll take on ECU on Thursday and will then face Old Dominion Saturday. Tipoff for Thursday's game is slated for 7:00 p.m. MT, and the game will be carried live by Fox Sports 1.</p> <p><i>Make sure to stay tuned to MinerRush for coverage of all things UTEP sports. Also, make sure to <a data-show-count="false" class="twitter-follow-button" href="https://twitter.com/sbnminerrush">Follow @sbnminerrush</a> on Twitter and as always don't forget to <a href="http://www.facebook.com/MinerRush" target="_blank">like our Facebook Page.</a> Picks Up, and Go Miners!</i></p> Villanova's Dylan Ennis out 6 weeks with broken hand http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2013/10/27/5034856/dylan-ennis-injury-broken-hand-villanova jlpennington http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2013/10/27/5034856/dylan-ennis-injury-broken-hand-villanova Sun, 27 Oct 2013 13:28:55 -0400 <img alt="" src="http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/21864787/20120303_ajw_at5_297.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>The Wildcats' backup shooting guard won't be ready by season's beginning in a few weeks.</p> <p><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/teams/villanova-wildcats">Villanova Wildcats</a> shooting guard Dylan Ennis will miss six to eight weeks with a broken hand,&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24142533/jay-wright-hopes-dylan-ennis-returns-from-broken-hand-in-6-weeks">according to Jeff Borzello of CBSsports.com</a>.</p> <p>Ennis, who sat out last season after transferring from the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/teams/rice-owls">Rice Owls</a>, broke his dominant right hand when he smacked it against freshman Darrell Reynolds' leg during a drill in practice. Villanova coach Jay Wright told Borzello that Ennis will be out at least four weeks, at which point Villanova will reassess the injury. The six- to eight-week range is more likely.</p> <p>The injury ensures Ennis will miss at least a handful of games at the beginning of the season.</p> <p>He was expected to be a part of the Wildcats' rotation early on, backing up starting shooting guard Ryan Arcidiacono. Ennis averaged 8.5 points and 4.1 assists per game in his freshman season at Rice in 2011-12 before transferring to Villanova.</p> <p>Villanova opens its season with four low non-conference games before participating in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas, where the Wildcats play the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/teams/usc-trojans">USC Trojans</a> on Nov. 28 before a potential second game against the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/teams/kansas-jayhawks">Kansas Jayhawks</a>.</p> <h4>More from <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball?utm_source=sbnation&utm_medium=nextclicks&utm_campaign=articlebottom">SB Nation College Basketball</a> </h4> <p>&bull; <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2013/10/24/5023900/2013-preseason-all-america-team-marcus-smart-andrew-wiggins-ncaa?utm_source=sbnation&utm_medium=nextclicks&utm_campaign=articlebottom">SB Nation's 2013-14 All-American team</a></p> <p>&bull; <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2013/10/24/5022412/louisville-cardinals-rick-pitino-dynasty?utm_source=sbnation&utm_medium=nextclicks&utm_campaign=articlebottom">Pitino: Louisville's close to mini-dynasty</a></p> <p>&bull; <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2013/10/22/4865774/mid-major-basketball-profile-indiana-state-cinderellas?utm_source=sbnation&utm_medium=nextclicks&utm_campaign=articlebottom">The march toward midnight: All Cinderellas are not created equal</a></p> <p>&bull; <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/2013/10/15/4841874/college-basketball-top-100-players-2013-2014?utm_source=sbnation&utm_medium=nextclicks&utm_campaign=articlebottom">Counting down college basketball's top 100 players</a></p> <p>&bull; <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2013/10/15/4837064/rucker-park-basketball-new-york-city-cross-country-journey?utm_source=sbnation&utm_medium=nextclicks&utm_campaign=articlebottom">Flinder Boyd: 20 minutes at Rucker Park</a></p> <p><iframe src="http://www.sbnation.com/videos/iframe?id=34139" frameborder="0" seamless="true" marginwidth="0" mozallowfullscreen="true" webkitallowfullscreen="true" name="34139-chorus-video-iframe"></iframe></p> The SMNT, Steve Nash, the SMNT and some NCAA teams in Canada highlight Canadian Content http://www.raptorshq.com/2013/7/31/4573782/the-smnt-steve-nash-the-smnt-and-some-ncaa-teams-in-canada-highlight rbala http://www.raptorshq.com/2013/7/31/4573782/the-smnt-steve-nash-the-smnt-and-some-ncaa-teams-in-canada-highlight Wed, 31 Jul 2013 08:15:03 -0400 <img alt="" src="http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/17148247/20130626_ajw_bm4_219.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>The Senior Men's National Team was announced this past Friday, Steve Nash is making news with his Inter Milan tryout, Warren Ward is officially a pro, Cambrian has a new coach and did we mention the Senior Men's National Team was announced all here in Canadian Content ... </p> <p> </p> <p><b><i>First we start off with some National Program news ... </i></b></p> <p>What everyone's been waiting for ... <a target="_blank" href="http://www.basketball.ca/senior-men-s-management-announces-camp-attendees-p154760">SENIOR MEN&rsquo;S MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCES CAMP ATTENDEES | Canada Basketball</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.thestar.com/sports/basketball/2013/07/29/canadian_mens_basketball_camp_kelly_olynyk_anthony_bennet_andrew_wiggins_wont_be_attending.html">Canadian men&rsquo;s basketball team strong on paper but will it translate into international success? | Toronto Star</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.torontosun.com/2013/07/29/steve-nash-heralds-golden-age-canadian-basketball">Steve Nash heralds golden age of Canadian basketball | Basketball | Sports | Toronto Su</a>n</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/basketball/nash-sees-massive-potential-in-the-golden-age-of-canadian-basketball/article13478520/">Nash sees massive potential in the &lsquo;golden age of Canadian basketball&rsquo; - The Globe and Mail</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/07/29/fiba-americas-roster-shows-new-depth-in-canadian-basketball/">Training camp roster shows depth in Canadian basketball ahead of FIBA Americas tournament | National Post</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/Senior+entering+golden+Canadian+basketball/8726799/story.html">Senior men entering &lsquo;golden age of Canadian basketball&rsquo;</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/basketball/Canada+sport+choice+gets+trey+mendous+lift+from+Steve/8727363/story.html">Canada&rsquo;s new sport of choice gets trey-mendous lift from Nash, Triano, Parrish</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://o.canada.com/2013/07/30/senior-mens-national-team-who-will-make-the-cut/">Senior Men&rsquo;s National Team: Who will make the cut? | canada.com</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--canada-s-men-s-basketball-program-a-growing-force-after-influx-of-young-talent-224315146.html">Canada's men's basketball program a growing force after influx of young talent - Yahoo! Sports</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20130726/canada-basketball-anthony-bennett-steve-nash/index.html">Canada expands influence in NBA - NBA - SI.com</a></p> <p> </p> <p>Big shout to JWNT player Jamie Weisner for earning All Tournament honors in Lithunia ... <a target="_blank" href="http://www.gazettetimes.com/sports/beavers-sports/basketball/osu-women-s-basketball-weisner-one-of-top-players-at/article_a6906df2-f8db-11e2-8070-001a4bcf887a.html">OSU women's basketball: Weisner one of top players at tournament : Basketball</a></p> <p> </p> <p><i><b>Now for the pro looks ... </b></i></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/lakers-steve-nash-try-inter-201916239--nba.html">Lakers' Steve Nash to try out for Inter Milan - Yahoo! Sports Canada</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/29/lakers-expect-to-have-nash-gasol-ready-for-training-camp-kobe-well-see/">Lakers expect to have Nash, Gasol ready for training camp. Kobe&hellip; we&rsquo;ll see | ProBasketballTalk</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/36999/nash-dishes-on-retirement-health-and-soccer">Nash dishes on retirement, health and soccer - Los Angeles Lakers Blog - ESPN Los Angeles</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/22944749/video-steve-nash-talks-health-and-why-it-didnt-work-with-dwight-howard">Steve Nash talks health and why it didn't work with Dwight Howard - CBSSports.com</a></p> <p> </p> <p>It's official in Germany that Warren Ward is a pro ... <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wn.de/Welt/Sport/Sonstige/Basketball-Trier-verpflichtet-Kanadier-Ward">Basketball : Trier verpflichtet Kanadier Ward - Sonstige ...</a></p> <p> </p> <p><b><i>Here are a couple of high school looks ... </i></b></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://zagsblog.com/recruiting/canadian-big-man-kasongo-adding-offers/">Canadian Big Man Kasongo Adding Offers | ZagsBlog.com</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kingscountynews.ca/Sports/Other-Sports/2013-07-30/article-3331141/%2526ldquoThe-only-time-I%2526rsquoll-get-to-experience-something-like-this,%2526rdquo-says-Dickie-of-Games/1">"The only time I&rsquo;ll get to experience something like this," says Dickie of Games - Other Sports - The Register/Advertiser</a></p> <p> </p> <p><b><i>Now for a few CIS/CCAA news bits ... </i></b></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.examiner.com/article/rice-hoops-travels-to-canada-for-three-exhibition-games">Rice hoops travels to Canada for three exhibition games - Houston Rice Owls | Examiner.com</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.herald-dispatch.com/sports/x1495872180/Herd-prepares-for-exhibition-games-in-Canada">Herd prepares for exhibition games in Canada - The Herald Dispatch</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/story/2013/07/29/sby-cambrian-college-mens-basketball-team-richard-whitfield.html">Cambrian College gets 'demanding' basketball coach - Sudbury - CBC News</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/story/2013/07/29/sby-cambrian-college-mens-basketball-team-richard-whitfield.html"></a> </p> <p><i><b>And last but not least we have some assorted stuff for you here ... </b></i></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.lfpress.com/2013/07/26/london-picked-to-host-three-ontario-tourneys">London lands 3 Ontario tourneys | The London Free Press</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.jpost.com/Sports/From-the-booth-to-the-court-to-Israel-321110">From the booth to the court to Israel | JPost | Israel News </a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.cjnews.com/index.php?q=node/111627">Shulman&rsquo;s Maccabiah experience cut short by injury | The Canadian Jewish News</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.canada.com/sports/Basketballers+have+history+bringing+home+titles+Nanaimo/8717106/story.html">Basketballers have a history of bringing home titles to Nanaimo</a></p> <p> </p> <p>RIP Ricky Dunkley and our condolences to Tyrone Watson ... <a target="_blank" href="http://www.thespec.com/news-story/3915175-clairmont-brothers-blessed-with-skill-plagued-by-tragedy/">Clairmont: Brothers blessed with skill, plagued by tragedy </a></p> Report: Alleged Racial Allegations in Transfers Out of Rice Now on the Record http://www.midmajormadness.com/2013/3/29/4160574/report-alleged-racial-allegations-rice-transfers-arsalan-kazemi-oraby Benjamin Miraski http://www.midmajormadness.com/2013/3/29/4160574/report-alleged-racial-allegations-rice-transfers-arsalan-kazemi-oraby Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:03:36 -0400 <img alt="" src="http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/10619285/20121123_ter_bh4_355.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>Sports Illustrated has obtained documents that detail the racial allegations that were believed to be behind the transfer of several players out of Rice, including Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi.</p> <p>Over the summer, it was big news when <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/100233/arsalan-kazemi">Arsalan Kazemi</a>, Rice's best player, and one of the preseason favorites for Conference USA player of the year, decided to transfer. The list of teams was short and Kazemi eventually landed at Oregon.</p> <p>The Iranian was granted a hardship waiver, which at the time seemed strange, and gained immediate eligibility. All of this didn't make sense given that NCAA had just clarified the rules on hardship waivers. </p> <p>Then the news started to leak about the exodus from the Owls being caused by racial slurs that had been directed at both Kazemi and now USC's <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/124192/omar-oraby">Omar Oraby</a>. No one was willing to talk on the record.</p> <p>So this makes it a minor coup for <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/-college-basketball-mens-tournament/news/20130329/arsalan-kazemi-rice-racial-allegations/?mobile=no">Sports Illustrated to have obtained documents detailing the allegations</a> leveled by the departing players at the administration, including Rice athletic director Rick Greenspan:</p> <blockquote> <p>In his hardship waiver, Kazemi claimed that Greenspan routinely made insulting remarks based on ethnicity and religion to him, two other players (Oraby and forward <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/145975/ahmad-ibrahim">Ahmad Ibrahim</a>) and a former assistant coach (Marco Morcos) during his three years at Rice.</p> </blockquote> <p>Kazemi still refuses to talk about it, even though it comes up in every interview now that Oregon has found its early season form again. The Ducks are set to play Louisville in the Sweet 16 on Friday night, and this article certainly won't stop more questions from being directed at the center.</p> <p>Greenspan has denied all of the allegations, and the school has been reluctant to say more than that the people involved deny it and that Rice supports diversity.</p> <p>But the <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/-college-basketball-mens-tournament/news/20130329/arsalan-kazemi-rice-racial-allegations/?mobile=no">details included make it hard to say that nothing happened here</a>. There are too many incidents, and it isn't one student making these claims.</p> <blockquote> <p>Anthony Ibrahim, who helped bring Kazemi to the U.S., told SI.com on Thursday that he knew about the allegations in Kazemi's waiver request and believes them to be true. "There's no reason to lie," he said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Without Kazemi, Ibrahim and Oraby this season, the Owls were ridiculously bad, running to a 5-26 record that included a loss to a non-Division 1 team. They managed just a single victory in Conference USA.</p> <p>Oregon: still dancing.</p> UTEP at Rice Game Preview/Open Comment Thread http://www.minerrush.com/2013/3/2/4056950/utep-at-rice-game-preview-open-comment-thread asalom http://www.minerrush.com/2013/3/2/4056950/utep-at-rice-game-preview-open-comment-thread Sat, 02 Mar 2013 13:52:55 -0500 <img alt="" src="http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/8970271/20130112_lbm_bd2_471.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>The UTEP Miners and the Rice Owls get together for a Saturday afternoon Conference USA matchup at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston, TX. </p> <p>The Miners enter the contest at 15-12 overall, and 8-5 in Conference USA play. They come in fresh off a much needed home win over Houston, after having lost four of their previous five games.</p> <p>The Owls come into the game at 5-22 overall, and just 1-12 in conference action. Their last win also happened to be a home win against Houston, however that came back on January 30th. Rice has since dropped 7 straight.</p> <p>These two teams have met 26 times, with the Miners holding a 15-11 advantage. They have also won 11 of the last 15 matchups, and have taken 2 of 3 at Tudor Fieldhouse. The last time they met was February 6th in El Paso, a 65-53 victory for the Miners.</p> <p>UTEP is led by sophomore guard/forward <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146256/julian-washburn">Julian Washburn</a> and junior center <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/124469/john-bohannon">John Bohannon</a>. Washburn leads the Miners in scoring with 11.5 points, and also averaged 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists a game. Bohannon, who is fresh off a career night (24 points, 17 rebounds) averages 11.1 points, and 6.4 rebounds a game.</p> <p>Rice is led by senior guard <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/100232/tamir-jackson">Tamir Jackson</a> and freshman guard <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/176439/max-guercy">Max Guercy</a>. Jackson is averaging 16.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, while Guercy averages 10.2 points, and 2.5 assists.</p> <p>This is a game that the Miners should dominate. The Owls were decimated by departures in the off season, and it has shown in their 5-22 record. While they have improved throughout the season, there is no question that they are outmatched nearly every time they step on the floor.</p> <p>The Owls are not a deep team, nor are they big. The Miners should be able to control the glass, and the tempo of this game. And, if their bigs plays anything like they did just days ago against Houston, this one could really turn into a route.</p> <p>Considering the Owls are at home, they'll probably keep it close for a while. But in the end, the size and defensive intensity of the Miners will be too much for them to handle.</p> <p><i><b>Miners 68, Owls 55<br></b></i></p> UTEP Takes Care of Rice, 65-53 http://www.minerrush.com/2013/2/6/3962594/utep-takes-care-of-rice-65-53 asalom http://www.minerrush.com/2013/2/6/3962594/utep-takes-care-of-rice-65-53 Thu, 07 Feb 2013 01:00:06 -0500 <img alt="" src="http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/7785495/ced_lang.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>It wasn't the most impressive win, but the Miners took care of business Wednesday night, and walked away with another double digit win against Rice. </p> <p>Wednesday night, the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/teams/rice-owls">Rice Owls</a> came into the Don Haskins looking to pick up their second win in C-USA play, while the Miners looked to make it seven in a row at home, including 4-0 in conference action.</p> <p>The Miners came out strong in the early going, quickly building a 13 point advantage at 23-10 just past the midway point of the first half. The Owls got the score back to eight on multiple occasions, but the Miners continued their solid play, and took a 14 point lead into the intermission.</p> <p>The Owls were able to cut into the lead a bit in the opening minutes of the second half, but the Miners responded with an 7-1 spurt to push their advantage up to 17. Rice continued to fight, and got the game back to an eight point difference at 48-40 with 7:19 remaining, but that was as close as they would get.</p> <p>Over the next four minutes, the Miners outscored the Owls 12-4 to get the lead back to 16, and virtually shut the door on any comeback attempt. Rice continued to keep the game respectable, but in the end the Miners walked away with the 65-53 victory.</p> <p>The Miners were led by <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146255/c-j-cooper">C.J. Cooper</a> who finished with a game high 14 points in only 16 minutes of action. <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/124469/john-bohannon">John Bohannon</a> finished with 11 points, and 3 rebounds in only 11 minutes of action, and <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146256/julian-washburn">Julian Washburn</a> finished with 10 points and 4 assists.</p> <p>The Owls were paced by <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/100232/tamir-jackson">Tamir Jackson</a> who had 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists, while <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/176439/max-guercy">Max Guercy</a> went for 11 points and 2 rebounds, and <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/176447/austin-ramljak">Austin Ramljak</a> finished with 10 points and 3 rebounds.</p> <p>For the game, the Miners shot 51.1% from the field, including 52.6% from three point range, and also shot 63.6% from the line. The Owls were held to 41.2% from the field, and 35.3% from three point land, while shooting 62.5% from the line.</p> <p>Despite being at a huge disadvantage as far as size was concerned, the Owls were able to outrebound the Miners 30-27, including 10-6 on the offensive end. Both teams turned the ball over 9 times, but one glaring statistic was the Miners 6 blocks to Rice's 0.</p> <p>Here's what Coach Floyd had to say following the game:</p> <blockquote> <p>"We did not get an offensive board for a basket in the second half, which is really discouraging against a smaller team...We didn't outrebound them, which is discouraging...I thought <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/176511/mckenzie-moore">McKenzie Moore</a> played really well. He played really unselfish. <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146259/cedrick-lang">Cedrick Lang</a> played well. C.J. won two games for us last year, Southern Miss at home and a game out in Hawaii...this guy can make shots...We knew that at some point he would help us win a game this year, and he did tonight...I think we'll watch a lot of film tonight and tomorrow on [Tulsa] and see what's worked against them for other people...They play a real spirited man-to-man defense, and we're going to have to play a lot better than we did at their place...We recognize that we'll have opportunities against Southern Miss and Memphis. There are still a lot of games to be played..We know that we let one kind of get away from us at UAB, but at the same time maybe we stole one at East Carolina that we had no business winning...We're not a dominant team by any means. We have to get better every night out. But I like our team. And I really like us in the years to come with what's happening right now and what's coming in here in the future. As long as we get an opportunity this year, we're going to try to steal every game we can, and look up and see where this thing is at the end."</p> </blockquote> <p>The win improves the Miners to 13-8 on the season, and 6-2 in conference play. Memphis still leads the league, and improved to 8-0 in conference play after knocking off SMU tonight, but this conference is still yet to be decided.</p> <p>UCF also improved to 6-2 in league play after handing Southern Miss their first loss in conference, leaving 4 teams with a reasonable shot at claiming the regular season crown. And with home games still to come against both Memphis and UCF, the Miners have as good a shot as anyone.</p> <p>Again though, they'll need to continue to play well, and will need to learn how to play well on the road as well. That's where this conference will be decided.</p> <p>Up next, the Miners will round out their three game home stand with a matchup against Tulsa on Saturday. That one will be crucial as they'll then hit the road in three of their next four. It's coming down to it; should be an interesting finish to the C-USA season.</p> UTEP Miners vs. Rice Owls Game Preview http://www.minerrush.com/2013/2/6/3960556/utep-miners-vs-rice-owls-game-preview bmurray6 http://www.minerrush.com/2013/2/6/3960556/utep-miners-vs-rice-owls-game-preview Wed, 06 Feb 2013 14:55:15 -0500 <img alt="" src="http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/7757641/img_4687-001.0_standard_400.0.jpg" /> <p>The UTEP Miners will take on the Rice Owls tonight in a CUSA game at the Don Haskins Center. Tip off is slated for 7 pm El Paso time.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/teams/utep-miners">UTEP Miners</a> (12-8, 5-2 CUSA) will take on the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/teams/rice-owls">Rice Owls</a> (5-16, 1-6 CUSA) tonight at the Don Haskins Center. This is the first match up between the two schools this season. The Miners will head to Houston on March 2<sup>nd</sup> for the second meeting between the two schools. UTEP's next home game will be on February 9<sup>th</sup> as the Miners will take on the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/teams/tulsa-golden-hurricane">Tulsa Golden Hurricane</a>.</p> <p>This will be 26<sup>th</sup> meeting in the series between the Miners and the Owls. The Miners lead the all time series 14-11. UTEP last played Rice back on February 29<sup>th</sup>, 2012 back at the Don Haskins Center. The Miners fell to the Owls 68-61 behind <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/52750/connor-frizzelle">Connor Frizzelle's</a> 12 points. <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/100233/arsalan-kazemi">Arsalan Kazemi</a> also had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Owls. <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/27371/gabriel-mcculley">Gabriel McCulley</a> led the way for the Miners scoring 17 points in his final home game. John Bohannon had 13 points and 9 rebounds. <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146256/julian-washburn">Julian Washburn</a> also pitched in with 13 points.</p> <p>The Rice Owls are currently in a rebuilding mode after posting a 19 win season last year. A big blow to the team came during the offseason when their most prolific player Arsalan Kazemi requested and was granted a transfer to Oregon for his senior season. Other than that, this team has only four players returning from that squad last season. Don't be surprised by their horrible record, this Rice team has stuck in almost all their games this season with the opportunity to win and simply came up short. Rice's lone CUSA win came against their cross city rival (<a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/teams/houston-cougars">Houston Cougars</a>).</p> <p>Rice last played on February 2<sup>nd</sup> at home against East Carolina. The Owls lost by a final of 79-63. Senior guard <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/100232/tamir-jackson">Tamir Jackson</a> (6'3 194 lbs) led the way for the Owls scoring 19 points to go along with 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. The only other Owl in double figures was Junior guard <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/176447/austin-ramljak">Austin Ramljak</a> (6'3 170 lbs) who had 12 points, 2 steals, a rebound and an assist.</p> <p>Rice is currently ranked 304<sup>th</sup> in the nation in points per game at 61.0. The Owls are currently ranked 347<sup>st</sup> in rebounds per game at 25.3 and 290<sup>th</sup> in the nation in assists at 11.2 per game. Rice shoots 40.7 percent from the field which ranks them 286<sup>th</sup> in the nation.</p> <p>The Miners are coming off a 62-50 win over Tulane back on February 2<sup>nd</sup>. The score really did not dictate how the Miners played that night. UTEP once again saw the stat monster known as <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/176511/mckenzie-moore">McKenzie Moore</a> (6'6 190 lbs) emerge on the floor. McKenzie had 14 point points to go along with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block. Sophomore guard/forward Julian Washburn (6'7 205 lbs) had 12 points, an assist and a rebound. Senior guard <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/99829/konner-tucker">Konner Tucker</a> (6'4 185 lbs) had 11 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. This game had some controversy as Junior forward John Bohannon (6'10 210 lbs) suited up but did not play as per Coach Floyd's choice. Instead we saw Freshman center <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146260/hooper-vint">Hooper Vint</a> (6'10 220 lbs) get some minutes that will surely help him come next season.</p> <p>The Miners are currently ranked 259<sup>th</sup> in the nation in scoring at 63.8 points per game. UTEP ranks 302<sup>nd</sup> in the nation in rebounding (31.5) and 160<sup>th</sup> in assists (13.0) per game. The Miners are currently ranked 94<sup>th</sup> in the nation in field goal percentage at 45.0 percent per game.</p> <p>Statistical Leaders:</p> <p>UTEP Miners:</p> <p>Points- Julian Washburn (12.2), Konner Tucker (11.9), <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/124469/john-bohannon">John Bohannon</a> (10.7)</p> <p>Rebounds- John Bohannon (6.5), McKenzie Moore (5.1), <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/146259/cedrick-lang">Cedrick Lang</a> (4.5)</p> <p>Assists: <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/52615/jacques-streeter">Jacques Streeter</a> (5.2), Julian Washburn (1.7), McKenzie Moore (1.7)</p> <p>Rice Owls:</p> <p>Points- Tamir Jackson (16.4), <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/145978/julian-debose">Julian DeBose</a> (9.9), <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/176439/max-guercy">Max Guercy</a> (9.7)</p> <p>Rebounds- Tamir Jackson (6.2), Julian DeBose (4.6), <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/145980/seth-gearhart">Seth Gearhart</a> (3.0)</p> <p>Assists- Max Guercy (2.6), Tamir Jackson (2.4), <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-basketball/players/176443/keith-washington">Keith Washington</a> (1.7)</p> <p>Final thoughts: The Miners are 5-2 in CUSA play. While this is a good record, I believe that we should be 7-0 and tied for first place with Southern Mississippi and Memphis but the truth is, we tend to shoot ourselves in the foot on the road. Having a three game home stand right now in the middle of conference play is the best thing that can happen for this UTEP team. If UTEP can go 3-0 while at home, I believe that they will get their confidence back heading into their match up against the University of Houston next Wednesday. For UTEP to win tonight against Rice they must score early and score often. We tend to let the lesser teams stick around when we should be blowing them out of the water. Score points, play tough defense and sink your free throws and you got yourself a win.</p> <p>Prediction: Miners 67, Owls 59</p>