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FILE: Middle Tennessee vs UTEP in a CUSA match-up, Don Haskins Center El Paso

UTEP Basketball Team to Prep for 2017-18 Season in Costa Rica

The UTEP men’s basketball team will look to blend a mix of returning talent with promising newcomers when it plays three preseason games in Costa Rica this August.

“The significance of this is that we have a terrific group coming in, seven new players that will be added to our core group of returners,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said on Wednesday.  “This trip gives us a tremendous opportunity to bring these young guys along and get them better.”

The trip is slated for Aug. 15-20, and fans are invited to join the team in Central America.  Travel packages will be available for purchase, with details forthcoming.

Floyd said the teams the Miners face will be composed of professionals from Central and South America, as well as “the best players Costa Rica can offer.”

College basketball teams are permitted to take a foreign tour once every four years.  This will be the first foreign tour by a UTEP men’s basketball squad since the 2005-06 club traveled to Spain and the Canary Islands.

Perhaps the best thing about the tour, besides the cultural and game experience, is the fact that the Miners will get 10 days of practice in El Paso ahead of time.

“It gives our team a chance to get off to a better start than we had last year,” Floyd said.

The 2016-17 Miners rallied from a 2-13 start to finish 13-4 and tie for third place in Conference USA with a 12-6 mark.

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