Sam Houston State helped UTEP answer a few questions about its heart and identity Sunday afternoon in a 74-65 win for the home team.

The Bearkats also forced the Miners to ask a few questions of themselves. Fortunately, they had Julyan Stone to help them answer.

Are they ready for the Conference USA season, which begins Wednesday at home against Tulsa?

UTEP head coach Tim Floyd isn't sure, but not because he questions his team. He knew SHSU, defending champions of the Southland Conference and an NCAA Tournament team itself, would provide a real test.

But in paying so much attention to his new team the Miners' mentor simply hasn't seen a whole lot of C-USA basketball.

He likes what he sees from Julyan Stone, though...

Floyd talked after the game about Stone's influence and UTEP's gutsy second-half effort in the win.

Stone was inches away from a triple-double with 12 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in the win and said the game was a wake-up call, while teammate Randy Culpepper talked about coming out of his slump by relating his efforts to a recent encounter with a hypnotist.

Don't look for that YouTube video anytime soon, even though you can plainly see John Bohannon holding up the cell phone that contains the incriminating evidence.

UTEP takes on the Golden Hurricane at 7:05 p.m. MST. Time Warner Cable subscribers around the state can watch the game live on The Texas Channel. El Paso subscribers can catch it the next day and digital subscribers will be able to watch anytime they want On-Demand on ch. 831.