Some comments from Aggies assistant Mick Durham
"I think he is the featured guy now, not to take anything away from Culpepper. Last year as a freshman he wasn't too much of a factor but now with a year under his belt, his game is expanding. They do a lot of dribble drive motion that comes from Memphis. He is on the perimeter handling the ball but he is still around the high post and the low post. I think his shooting will get better as years go on."
It also sounds like the Aggies will play more man this year and that slowing point guard Stone is important. Off the bench, the Miners have jc transfer Jeremy Williams (6-7, 215) at power forward and Isaac Gordon as a guard off the bench. Gabriel McCulley, a wing, has been injured and 6-7 freshman guard Marcus Ruppel will also get some minutes.
"They spread you out and try to penetrate. We didn't play man last year but we might mix it up more this year. DJ (graduated senior guard Stefon Jackson) scared us last year so we played more zone."
UTEP 11-2 15:23
Aggies still havent had a field goal or even a clean look. UTEP's pressure is impressive so far
NMSU made it 3-point game and started shooting freethwos with 13 minutes left in the first half
UTEP 33-19 339 Stone is a tough matchup for NMSU. hes scored the last six points. NMSU closed to within two but a 10-0 utep run opened it back up
UTEP 39-24 at half
UTEP outscored NMSU 22-9 in the last eight minutes...NMSU was 28 percent in the first half
UTEP 71-47 5:15
JY and Gib are struggling....not a good night for NMSU. And Bandja Sy still has a lot to learn...apparently about the game as well after trying to save a backcourt violation, even though it was on an inbounds
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Randy Culpepper led Texas-El Paso with 18 points in a 79-58 victory over New Mexico State on Tuesday at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M.
UTEP junior guard Julyan Stone added 17 points and Chrisitan Polk added 11 to help UTEP start 5-0 for the first time since a 6-0 start in 2000-01.
Jahmar Young led the Aggies with 17 points.
UTEP (5-0) never trailed and led by as many as 18 in the first half. The Miners outscored NMSU 22-9 in the last eight minutes of the first half, including a 19-5 run where the Aggies (2-4) didn’t score a field goal.
The Aggies closed to within 13 early in the second half, but the Miners extended their lead to 21 with 13:27 left after outscoring NMSU 13-9 in the first 6:30 of the second half and led by 27 late in the second half.
The Miners shot 44.3 percent for the game, holding the Aggies to 28.6 percent.
UTEP outrebounded NMSU 48-38 and scored 27 points off 17 NMSU turnovers.