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May 11, 2016, 08:54:47 AM by kyyote
Views: 2098 | Comments: 13

There are two things to talk about.  One is how there was an ambush and the other was the reason for the ambush.  Let me start by saying that I in no way claim to be a card carrying, paid "journalist".  However, the internet did provide a different outlet for sports coverage, and with a quarter million hits a month during the CMP heyday the Den was certainly a player, and for awhile I did provide an outlet for news.  I attended many press conferences, for a number of sports and coaches, so I can speak about this a little from a certain perspective. 

Let me start with the ambush.  No doubt, this was the spider waiting for the prey to get good and stuck to the web, then in for the bite to paralyze, and a nice long wrap to mummification.  Kaplowitcz has THE Miners talk show in town.  The only one.  That means that he has power.  He is not simply a reflection of the fans, which is what he would claim, he also sets tone, and steers conversations in directions he chooses.  Let me add that I have worked with Steve and he is a fine person.  But, let us not forget that Steve is a self made man who has risen to where he is because he is ambitious knows that in his business you need to have an audience.  So, Steve has let us say, allowed the flames, if not fanned them, of discontent and perhaps too much used the vehicle of transfers to do it.  That works great for him and his fan call in show. 

Media has a strangely symbiotic relationship with sports teams, and perhaps even more so with college teams.  They need each other.  But, there is a reason Marshawn Lynch doesn't speak to reporters and it is because they are always looking for the "story" and the "stories" aren't nice write ups about players donating their time to Boys Clubs.  If a reporter starts reporting on the teams dirty laundry, he will be uninvited, or be shunned.  So, some criticism of the team is allowed if it is seen as being honest and on target, but be careful because if you are allowed inside and are seen as less than honest or off target, well think how you feel when you believe a trust has been violated.  Then, throw in the fact that your living and in some cases your whole life's work perhaps, such as I feel CTF believes is included in what is being discussed.

So, this thing had been building.  Some will say that CTF should have taken Kappy aside and given him a clue. Some will say CTF shouldn't have had to because of the trust.  I will take a third track, probably leaning toward CTF's side.  I believe that CTF wasn't calling him out for simply violating the trust.  He was calling him out for not doing his homework.  Kappy's excuse was that it is an OPINION show.  Played exactly into what CTF was saying.  If your show is an opinion show, it is up to the host to be knowledgeable enough to present facts to base opinions on-not to feed into them.  CTF has coached the Bulls in Chicago and the Trojans in LA.  He has had plenty of pro's criticize him.

Now, the ambush.  Floyd is a grown up man and has been working in a real grown up man's world for 50 years.  Ask yourself if Don Haskins would suffer a fool.  I am not saying that Kappy is a fool, but he has stepped into the ring.  He thinks that because he won a couple of fights in a Tough Man competition that he can step in the ring with a weakened old guy.  Shit...Who let the kid put on trunks and step into the ring to spare?  So, this was a put you in your place thing.  It was also, very specifically a spend some time in a gym and learn the sweet science and then when you are just giving opinions you will at least base them on some knowledge.  But, the reason the old man beat his ass for awhile instead of just knocking him the fuck out was because of the personal insult to the old man's integrity.  Again, ask yourself what would have happened if Kaplowitcz had insulted Don Haskins integrity.   Integrity?  Yes.  Tim Floyd has said that this is not just a job coaching a basketball team.  This is the team that he loves in the town that he loves basically taking over the business his "father" built up over decades.  So yeah, he was beating his ass like a rented mule.

I would bet 5 bucks that Steve learned the lesson of his professional life.  A few, actually.  I would bet another 5 bucks that once Steve's asshole stops hurting he will learn from the lesson and not be hard headed.  Well, maybe three or four bucks, anyway.  We will see.

As for the press conference news, I think CTF did clear the air about some of the questions many have had.

Some people these days don't understand that their are some people who believe that a handshake or a man's word are better than a contract.  There are some people who would damned near kill you for calling them a liar to their face.  I know, these days people talk a lot of shit.  Some people don't.  Anyone have any questions about what kind of man Tim Floyd is?  Not me.  I knew who Don Haskins was, too. 

May 10, 2016, 03:59:58 PM by Dawgma
Views: 1721 | Comments: 8

Saw a video on periscope through Ritter where Floyd was discussing this year's recruits.  Kaplowitz asked a question and Floyd came back with why don't you tell me since you've been saying there is trouble with the team.  He said he was doing his listeners a disservice about what he says on his show and started reading off stats "since I have you here" about the number ofor transfers this year.  Didn't hear what ksppys response was...someone needs to post that video.  I'm at work....
April 29, 2016, 12:29:02 PM by USAFminersfan | Views: 674 | Comments: 0

April 27, 2016, 11:04:51 AM by Chanson
Views: 4382 | Comments: 30

OK, this is obviously theoretical, but that is what this site is for. Plus, the other post I put up caught a ton of outside attention and I wanted to keep this among the loyal Den true members.

2014 could have been great, but we struggled with perimeter play.
2015 could have been great, but we struggled with post play.

The even mix is there know with what we have. Ced, Wash, & Hunter found a way to be good, but couldn't close. We lose them and we found ways to win with a star studded back court, but couldn't close. We only lost Morris and Moore, but gained a lot more with some interior players. Until I see actual proof that Omega is gone, then I am counting him as playing next year. That being said, we have experience coming back and I seriously like what I see.

Artis- This is our modern day Hardaway (you like that, huh). He had his struggles, but who doesn't with a new team.
Omega- Takes the place of Moore and we all know he can with his speed (preferably controlled).
McSwiggan- Not proven, but his experience and maturity equals that of Moore & Morris. We all have seen his footage against superior players on a global scale. He sat on the side of D1 ball for a year, like Winn.
Winn- Proven stud and we have him for another 3yrs
K.Jones- Sat on the side for a year & was THE reason for a state championship. This guy is coming as Ced after 2yrs.
Willms- Knows he needs to avoid injury and won't be as reckless on the court. This guy shut down Trzuski from AZ. He is good.

Flaggert- Can't drive, but can do everything else
Bhudda- Will have all offseason to work on footwork and post moves. He will be effective.
Thomas- Played like he didn't know the system or speed of the game. He does now and when he was on, he showed that he was good.
Touchet- Can fill the 1 through 3 positions and I loved how this kid was not afraid. Coaches love this kid
Barrett, Cameron, & Barnes will be limited, but Barrett plays like a water bug while Cameron is a Moore type of player, but needs the D1 experience to get better.
Silva- I'm hoping will Red Shirt, especially with the nice size we already have.

We have the right mix and can make up for the losses with a lot more options in the paint. If we can get back to the CTF standard defensive play like we saw in 2014, we win the CUSA tournament.
April 16, 2016, 10:47:23 PM by kuhlero
Views: 2570 | Comments: 23
April 16, 2016, 02:16:51 PM by Chanson
Views: 560 | Comments: 0

I was at the game with my younger son and I witnessed a lot more good than bad.

Last years issue with corner backs is resolved. As a matter of a fact, the Defense looked spectacular. It was very difficult to spot play makers on either side of the ball unless you are a QB. So, here is what my perspective was on the game.

Best- Defense- except for goal line, everyone looked fantastic and were very quick to get to the ball.
Worst- Receivers- These guys couldn't catch a cold. Wow do they need some work on "catch, secure, & move."

     QB- Johnson looked like he wanted the job. The kid can move well, can throw well, but needs to work with his receiving crew on where to be and positioning. Metz looked improved, but still needs work.
     RB- Everyone looked like they will contribute. The Miners had a healthy combo of quick and strong working behind the QB. We will need to be deep in this area if the Receivers don't pick it up.
     Receivers- Can't catch the ball. A lot of dropped balls and footwork along with missed cues looked to be an issue. Pease really has his work cut out for him.
     Oline- Looked pretty good. I saw 1 clear sack along with a few other touch and go situations. I like the direction they are going especially with the run and at goal line situations.

     Dline- Held there own against a pretty big Oline. I didn't see much pressure on the QB and plugging the holes looked OK, but overall, they are on the right track.
     LB- Very quick much better tackling. This is the shinning star of our defense and if we stay away from injury, we will be in for a treat.
     CB- This area looked to be much improved. The only issue I have is since the receivers looks so terrible, the corners either were rock stars or were playing against an inferior opponent.
     S- Against the run they were very quick to respond and didn't allow big plays to happen. Against the throw it is the same response as with the CB. Either they were rock stars or inferior opposition didn't test them.

Obviously there were no special teams playing and this aspect can make or break a team. I hope Kug is not taking this area lightly.

Overall the only downside was the throwing game. That has got to change and very soon. My favorite QB was Johnson. The kid looked to have all the tools. He will need to work with receivers more push them to give some effort. The defense was solid and allowed only a couple of 1st downs and no big plays. If we all can remember, the chunk plays are what killed us the last few years and I think the speed of this defense core stopped that bleeding.

I'd love to hear other thoughts on those who were able to see the scrimmage.

Go Miners
March 24, 2016, 01:20:02 PM by Chanson
Views: 2264 | Comments: 12

This is a shocker to me. Rush states he is being recruited for his perimeter defense, but the ESPN write up I cut and pasted here suggests otherwise. I really think this kid has fantastic raw talent, but damn does he have issues. He has been at 4 high schools in 4yrs. This offer tells me a couple of things.
1) Cameron may not be wearing an orange jersey next year.
2) We might be losing a perimeter player. (I'm thinking Flaggert)

This is a HUGE risk CTF is taking and it seems it will take this kid a few years to sharpen up his turn over ratio, footwork, ball skills, and attitude. I'll keep my finger on the pulse of this particular development as it unfolds.

Here is the ESPN write up on the kid.

 Barnes is an explosive guard-type who is evolving as a basketball player. His burst off the dribble is special and he can separate from his defender with ease. He can either explode to the rim for the dunk or stop on a dime and nail the jump shot. He gets great lift on his jump shot and his shot has improved overall in the past year. His rebounding in traffic is impressive and he is a one-man fast break once he leads the break.

 Barnes needs to work on his decision making. Utilizing the jump stop will be essential in his development. There are many times he forces the issue, which leads to many turnovers or an ill-advised shot. Recognizing what the defense is giving him and making the appropriate basketball play will enhance his stock. Improving his ball handling against pressure and adding mid-range scoring skills (floater, pull-up, etc.) will improve his game. Defensively, there are many areas that need attention: bending his knees, sliding his feet, and utilizing his length to be a lock-down defender. He is solid playing the passing lanes and he can block the occasional shot at the rim, but overall his perimeter defense needs attention.

Bottom Line:
 Barnes is a major talent and has the physical tools to be a Division I player. However, his decision making on and off the court (four high schools in four years) needs to improve.
March 18, 2016, 03:52:37 PM by kyyote
Views: 4069 | Comments: 26

I am going to stick my neck out there.  We have held the title for 50 years.  This year, anniversary of the event was celebrated nationally and at home, and more importantly was the changes that game brought about in the millions of everyday thoughts and actions that take place daily that began with the trickle that turned into an eventually sea of change.  That can never be taken from UTEP's roots, nor will "it" ever be "broken".  Never.  Ever.

As for the only Champion from the state of Texas, I believe it is time to end that(ducking).  I do not believe it does us any good to be the tallest person at the Little People's convention(as please don't make me politically incorrect of that one). What I would rather see is Texas schools, especially UTEP duking it out for the National Championship every year.  I want Texas to be where it is at, and UTEP to have been the pioneer and best of the best of the Texas schools.
March 05, 2016, 08:48:24 AM by kyyote
Views: 2456 | Comments: 16

in the Post-Haskins Era.  The second part of the question is who was responsible for bringing them to UTEP.  Stone has been to the NBA as has Moultrie.  Hunter isn't there yet, but I believe he will be soon, as he is tearing it up in the NBA D league.  There have been a number of players who have done well in Europe, and I would have loved to have seen Culpepper get a chance to play against the D league players.  So, part one, which player since The Bear has been the best to don the Orange and Blue, and part two who brought in the best player?

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