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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Men's Basketball

UTEP’s Williams ‘best player’ Houston has faced all season

Head coach Kelvin Sampson had praise of UTEP's Bryson Williams, calling him the "best player we've played all year." | File photo

Head coach Kelvin Sampson had praise of UTEP’s Bryson Williams, calling him the “best player we’ve played all year.” | File photo

Houston will look to bounce back from their loss to Oklahoma State when they host UT-El Paso on Thursday night at the Fertitta Center.

The Miners come to Houston with a strong 8-1 record with their only loss of the season coming in a three-point defeat to New Mexico State.

“The best player we’ve played all year will be Bryson Williams from UTEP,” head coach Kelvin Sampson said. “We haven’t played (anyone) better I think.” 

The 6-foot-8-inch junior forward from Fresno leads the Miners in three different categories with 19.9 points, 7 rebounds and almost a block a game.

“He is a load, Bryson Williams No. 11,” Sampson said. “I’ve watched about I don’t know how many hours of tape and just watching the team, when you watch their team, your eyes just gravitate to No. 11. They are well-coached, they’ve got a good plan, and they give him the ball.”

Williams is shooting 65.6 percent from the field, and he also leads the Miners in 3-point field-goal percentage at 66.7 percent through nine games.

Despite Williams’ impressive play, the Miners are far from a one-man show.

The Miners are a team filled with transfers, who have contributed a lot to their success.

One such player is sophomore guard Souley Boum, who played for San Francisco a season ago. 

Boum is averaging 11.6 points, 2.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds this season for UTEP.

“They got another kid that started at LSU,” Sampson said. “They’ve got a major, major college team.”

Senior Daryl Edwards is the transfer from LSU, and he is averaging 9.9 points a game with nearly two rebounds a game.

The Miners are another tough opponent the Cougars will face in a schedule that has seen them play against BYU, Oregon, South Carolina and Oklahoma State.

“It’s another good challenge for us and that’s a good thing,” Sampson said. “You know, the better teams we play, the more it helps us. This team though, on its own, has got to figure out how they’re going to win.”

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