Chat live Thursday with UTEP basketball coach Tony Barbee
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#1 Mar 3, 2010
i got a question. How much will buy you out of El Paso?
#2 Mar 3, 2010
New Utep sports website worth a read.( www.minerrush.com ) good articles and better discussions.
#3 Mar 3, 2010
How do you get your players to defend with the intensity that they have shown throughout the season?
#4 Mar 4, 2010
Watch Culpepper's Dunk make Sports Center top plays
#5 Mar 4, 2010
Who is your choice as the C-USA Men's Basketball Player of the Year?
GO VOTE @ http://conferenceusa.cstv.com/
#6 Mar 4, 2010
article from Huntington, WV newspaper:
Landon: UTEP's Culpepper too hot for the Herd
March 03, 2010 @ 12:25 AM
Marshall got 'pepper sprayed.
Herd defenders' eyes couldn't have burned more, couldn't have watered more, couldn't have reddened more if UTEP coach Tony Barbee had bottled mercurial guard Randy Culpepper and sprayed him in their faces.
That's how devastating Culpepper was as he sprayed 3-pointer after 3-pointer after 3-pointer.
Marshall simply couldn't find a way to put a lid on the 'pepper spray.
The result was an 80-76 loss to 24th-ranked UTEP Tuesday night before 7,894 disappointed fans at the Henderson Center.
"He scored 35 points on somebody in the second half," said Marshall power forward Tyler Wilkerson, after watching Culpepper torch the Herd for 22 second-half points. "He's a shooter. He makes shots.
"You can't stop him when he gets hot."
Which is exactly what Culpepper did.
It all started when he nailed a 3-pointer from 28 feet at the halftime buzzer. That was exactly what the Herd didn't need. Culpepper's fuse was lit.
"When he makes one like he did at the end of the half," said Marshall coach Donnie Jones, "it gets him going."
Did it ever.
Culpepper exploded for three more treys -- all from the left wing -- during the first 2:28 of the second half.
"I can't say we weren't trying to guard him," said Jones. "We fouled him on one 3-pointer he made."
Marshall guard Chris Lutz suffered the indignity of Culpepper nailing a trey right in his face and, then, having to watch as the UTEP guard fell on his back.
Then, Culpepper converted the four-point play.
So, in a span of only 2:30 he 'pepper sprayed the Herd for 13 points.
"That's probably as hot as I've ever seen anybody get," said Wilkerson. "If you give him any space, it's probably going down. It was his night. He's a good jump-shooter."
But Culpepper? He disagreed.
"That wasn't the hottest I've ever been," he said. "When I played against East Carolina I had 31 points in the first half. I ended up with 45.
"And it was the same way. I hit like nine threes."
The key is getting loose in transition.
"Culpepper really got two or three looks when we lost him in transition," said Jones. "He's a shot-maker. That's what he does. He was the recipient of a lot of catch-and-shoots."
The most amazing part of the 'pepper spray experience is Culpepper looks anything but dangerous. Standing about 5-foot-9 (forget that bogus program height of 6-foot) and weighing a measly 165 pounds, he isn't the least bit imposing.
Until the basketball is in his hands.
"He's like Devan Downey at South Carolina," said Jones. "He's 5-foot-9. But he scored 39 points against UCF."
Culpepper finished with 32 points against Marshall on 11-for-18 shooting, including 7-for-11 from behind the arc. He scored 22 of those points during the second half.
But it was that 'pepper spray burst early in the second half that really did the damage. Culpepper got so hot, he forced Marshall's coaching hand.
Jones didn't dare try to double-team Derrick Caracter inside because Culpepper had gone incendiary.
"If I get hot, it's a long night for the other team," said Culpepper. "That's my motto. I don't think anybody can stop me when I get hot."
That's because inch for inch and pound for pound, Culpepper might be the most explosive scorer in college basketball.
Just ask Marshall.
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