Andres Acosta | El Paso Herald-Post
The new-look UTEP men’s basketball team will open the 2019-20 campaign with five consecutive games in the Haskins Center that include matchups against rivals NM State and New Mexico.
The Miners will also play at Houston while competing in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic prior to Conference USA action.
UTEP coach Rodney Terry’s squad will open on Nov. 5 against New Mexico Highlands in the Haskins Center. The Miners will then host NM State (Nov. 12), Eastern New Mexico (Nov. 15), New Mexico (Nov. 19) and East Central University (Nov. 27). Following the homestand, UTEP will play at NM State (Dec. 3).
UTEP will compete in the 58th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational Dec. 16-17. The Miners will open against North Carolina A&T Monday night (Dec. 16) while taking on either UC Irvine or Kent State Tuesday night (Dec. 17).
The Orange and Blue will face a challenging road test at 2019 NCAA Tournament team Houston Dec. 19. The Cougars finished 33-4 last season, following their loss to Kentucky in the tournament.
UTEP will play at the Diamond Head Classic and will face its second consecutive March Madness participant in Washington during first-round action Dec. 22. The Miners will face either host Hawai’i or Ball State Dec. 23, while the third contest will be played on Christmas Day. On the other side of the bracket, Houston will take on Portland, while Georgia Tech will play Boise State.
Following its trip across the Pacific, UTEP will open C-USA action on the East Coast, playing at FIU (Jan. 2) and at Florida Atlantic (Jan. 4). The home portion of league action will commence against Southern Miss (Jan. 9), which will start a string of three straight conference opponents in the Sun City. The Miners will also host LA Tech (Jan. 11) and UTSA (Jan. 15) during a rare Wednesday night contest.
Three consecutive road games in the state of Texas are next on the slate, as the Miners will play at UTSA (Jan. 18), at Rice (Jan. 23) and at North Texas (Jan. 25). UTEP will host Middle Tennessee (Jan. 30) and UAB (Feb. 1), and will then play at Charlotte (Feb. 6) and at C-USA defending champions Old Dominion (Feb. 8).
The Miners will host WKU (Feb. 13) and Marshall (Feb. 15) before C-USA ‘Bonus Play’ begins. The Miners will play two more road games and two more away games prior to the 2020 C-USA Championships in Frisco, Texas, March 11-14.
The revamped 2019-20 roster will feature six transfers (6-6 sophomore guard/forward Kaden Archie, 6-3 sophomore guard/forward Souley Boum, 6-6 junior guard/forward Anthony Tarke, 6-9 sophomore forward Tydus Verhoeven, 6-11 junior forward Eric Vila, 6-8 junior forward Bryson Williams).
A pair of freshmen (6-5 guard/forward Deon Stroud, 6-3 guard Jesse Zarzuela) will grace the roster and will join six returnees (6-4 senior guard/forward Ountae Campbell, 6-6 junior forward Gilles Dekoninck, 6-10 sophomore forward Kaosi Ezeagu, 6-4 sophomore guard Nigel Hawkins, 6-4 sophomore guard Jordan Lathon, 6-9 sophomore forward Efe Odigie).
Odigie is the top returning scorer at 12.7 points per game and top rebounder at 10.1 rebounds per game. Lathon led the Miners with 74 assists, while Hawkins led the way in steals (25), minutes per game (33.8), made free throws (97) and free-throw percentage (79.5). Ezeagu led the team with 24 blocked shots.
UTEP Men’s Basketball Season Tickets, starting at $160, are on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150.