UTEP loses Matt Willms for the season, Omega Harris for at least one semester

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UTEP will be without the services of center Matt Willms and guard Omega Harris for at least the first semester of the 2015-16 season.

Willms suffered a flareup of a stress fracture in his foot that cost him six games last season. It’s the same injury — a fracture of the navicular bone — that has cost Joel Embiid his first two seasons in the NBA.

“He’s a very, very talented young man,” Floyd said of Willms, who averaged 5.2 points and 4.3 boards as a sophomore. “He kind of deferred to Cedric Lang so that Cedric could start his senior year, but he started for us as a freshman.”

“We thought he would play in the NBA maybe one day.”

The Miners also found out in mid-July that guard Omega Harris will miss at least the first semester due to academic ineligibility. Harris averaged 6.7 points as a freshman last season. With Vince Hunter turning pro and Lang, Julian Washburn and C.J. Cooper graduating, the Miners will need to replace six of their top seven scorers from a season ago.