The 1961-62 season was a bit of a turning point for both Iowa State and Texas Western/UTEP. For Iowa State, they’d see slight improvements in hiring coaches like Maury John or Lynn Nance for his two good seasons (1977-78 and 1978-79).
However, after three straight seasons in the past being ranked in the AP Poll at least once (1955-56 to 1957-58), the Cyclones wouldn’t be in the AP Poll again until the December 15, 1987 poll where they were ranked #20.
UTEP, on the other hand, had 25 of their previous 35 seasons (before hiring Coach Haskins) see the Miners win 50% or less of their games. After Haskins was hired? Only 14 of their 58 seasons to date had the ≤.500 win percentage, with Haskins having six of those.
Now on to the game, where names like Nolan Richardson (former Arkansas head coach), Willie Brown, and of course Bobby Joe Hill took the floor for Texas Western. For Iowa State, names such as Vince Brewer and Marv Straw took the floor to open the season with a tip at 7:30 p.m. at The Armory.
Following the win, the Miners went home to see their new arena, Memorial Gym, which they used until 1977.
The Miners would go 18-6 in the 1961-62 season, good enough to finish second in the BIAA (Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association) in the last year of that conference’s existence.
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