Andres Acosta | El Paso Herald-Post
The new-look UTEP men’s basketball team will battle 2019 national runner-up Texas Tech in an exhibition game for a very special cause on Saturday, Oct. 12 in the Don Haskins Center.
All proceeds will be donated to the GECU Foundation in support of the victims of the tragedy in El Paso.
“I’ve got great respect for [Texas Tech coach] Chris Beard,” UTEP coach Rodney Terry said. “He has done a phenomenal job. When you go up against his teams, you know that they’re going to be well prepared and defensive minded. We’re excited about facing one of the best teams in the country.”
The Miners return three of their top four scorers from the 2018-19 squad in sophomore forward Efe Odigie (12.7 ppg/10.1 rpg), and sophomore guards Nigel Hawkins (12.6 ppg/4.5 rpg) and Jordan Lathon (10.9 ppg/5.0 rpg/2.7 apg).
UTEP also introduces a heralded recruiting class that features Division I transfers Kaden Archie (TCU), Souley Boum (San Francisco), Daryl Edwards (LSU), Anthony Tarke (NJIT), Tydus Verhoeven (Duquesne) and Bryson Williams (Fresno State), as well as junior college big man Eric Vila.
Texas Tech is coming off a 31-7 campaign. The Red Raiders knocked off Northern Kentucky, Buffalo, Michigan, Gonzaga and Michigan State en route to the NCAA Tournament title game, where they dropped an 85-77 overtime decision to Virginia.
Texas Tech has reloaded for the 2019-20 season by adding transfers Chris Clarke (Virginia Tech), T.J. Holyfield (Stephen F. Austin), Joel Ntambwe (UNLV) and a host of talented freshmen.
The Red Raiders also return junior guard Davide Moretti, who averaged 11.5 points with 73 three-pointers a year ago.
“It’s the start of a new season, and there’s always a lot of buzz around a new team,” Terry said. “We’re excited about our guys, their work ethic and what they’re doing to prepare. We’re going to bring tremendous effort every night and we need El Paso to get behind us!”
Fans can win exclusive prizes, including courtside seats to a UTEP men’s basketball game, team autographed basketballs and authentic jerseys, by participating in the #DefendTheDon campaign.
Beginning on Wednesday (Sept. 25), fans are invited to post pictures or video with their tickets to the Texas Tech exhibition on social media. Fans should tag UTEP Athletics (@UTEPAthletics) and use the hashtag #DefendTheDon in their posts, while encouraging others to purchase tickets to the Texas Tech exhibition and support the Miner men’s basketball team.
Beginning on Thursday (Sept. 26), 17 prizes will be awarded in 17 days. For more information, follow the Miners on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Tickets for the #ElPasoStrong exhibition are just $10 with general admission (first come/first served) seating. The exhibition game is not part of the 2019-20 UTEP season ticket. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now at the UTEP Ticket Center, 2901 North Mesa next to the Don Haskins Center and the UTEP Ticket Center East Side location, 1452 Zaragoza Suite A-1500.
Tickets can also be purchased by calling (915) 747-5234 or online.
Parking for the exhibition game will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and is not reserved.