The Hoarse Whisperer: Terry Looking for More from Miners
UTEP’s 59-50 win over resilient Arkansas-Pine Bluff was a lozenge for Rodney Terry’s temper, clearly swollen after the Miners’ tough first loss to New Mexico State Tuesday night in Las Cruces.
What Terry needed Saturday was a lozenge for his throat, his voice a jagged bark by the time he made his way to the media room after the game.
But, for Tuesday’s temper or Saturday’s soreness, the irritant was the same: UTEP isn’t making shots.
“You got a good mic for me right now. That’s great,” joked Terry. “My voice is just about gone right now from telling guys to shoot the basketball.”
For your viewing pleasure, the shooting stats for UTEP’s starting back court: Daryl Edwards, 1-for-7; Souley Boom, 2-for-7; Jordan Lathon, 0-for-2.
Nigel Hawkins came off the bench to contribute a pair of buckets, shooting 2-for-4. TCU transfer Kaden Archie continues to get back into game shape after being declared eligible last week and went 2-for-5 from the field Saturday.
But, as he was in Las Cruces, UTEP's front court phenom Bryson Williams continues to be the difference-maker offensively.
Though he shot 4-for-6 from beyond the arc at NMSU, Williams didn’t attempt a three-pointer against the Lions (1-7) Saturday but was an efficient 6-for-11, hit all seven of his free throws and contributed team highs in points (19) and rebounds (7).
However, other than Williams, UTEP (6-1) hasn’t shaken the nagging, offensive cough that cost them dearly against the Aggies Tuesday.
Something worth a tongue depressor and a thorough check-up? Not to Terry, who -- despite the discomfort -- believes his Miners just need to dress for the weather and button up offensively.
“Oh, we’re going to be fine with that (shot-making) moving forward,” said Terry, who's made it clear since Tuesday's loss that he has yet to see the best version of his team. “I mean, every team in the country goes through that at the start of the year in terms of settling in and making shots.
“We spend a lot of time on our shooting and we’re not going to make that a point of emphasis where we’re (becoming) afraid to shoot or not want to shoot. I want our guys to play with a free mind and...just do what they practice.”
Until then, keep the eucalyptus handy.