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UTEP men's basketball team season "unexpected"

By: Joshua Zuber
EL PASO, Texas - Saturday night's game against Rice is a good way to describe the year the UTEP men's basketball team has had to endure.
We were down five boards? Seven boards? By halftime? It was not good, coach Tim Floyd said after Saturdays game during his press conference.   
It was not a good start to the season either.
First, the team lost prize recruit Isaac Hamilton.
Then there was an altercation in the Bahamas between coach Tim Floyd and USC coach Andy Enfield.
And it was just earlier this month, three UTEP men's basketball players were kicked off the team and an FBI investigation ensued. 
It has been determined that three men's basketball players Justin Crosgile, Mckenzie Moore and Jaley Ragland did participate on betting in one or more sporting events, Ricardo Adauto said Jan. 7 during a press conference.
The investigation is still ongoing.
But now, just like the second half of Saturday night's games, things started to look up.

We had a 30 to 10 run in the second half in the ball game, Floyd said.
ESPN 600's Steve Kaplowitz says the game is like this season: unexpected.
It's funny how sometimes people rise to the challenge. Maybe once you eliminated those three players off the team - they were problems. Maybe they weren't allowing the rest of the teams to execute. It's hard to really say, Kaplowitz said.
Coach Floyd also credits the fans.
I thought they were phenomenal. We don't win without them, Floyd said
That excitement may be why it was close to a sell-out game.
Attendance was at more than 11,000 out of a 12,000 seating capacity.
Which gives UTEP fans hope that with nine conference games remaining, six on the road, that the team is now, finally, in a good position to become conference USA champs.
They haven't done that since the 2009-2010 season.



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