UTEP took the bus to Tucson, but they passed The Airport Test before Thursday night's game.
The test, of course, is basketball parlance for how big and athletic a team looks when you see them walking, in team logo warmups, through a terminal.
"They're as big and physical of a team as we'll face," UA coach Sean Miller said.
So big, in fact, that Miller declared the 72-51 win the "first time" his three freshman big men "played against size in college basketball."
They responded well, holding Miners center John Bohannon scoreless and with only one rebound before he fouled out after 21 minutes.
"We got crushed on the boards, but I have to give them credit - Arizona is a big, athletic team," Bohannon said, "and we just didn't bring our 'A' game."
Combined, center Kaleb Tarczewski and forwards Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley made 7 of 14 shots for 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.
One game after being out- rebounded by small-college Charleston Southern, the Wildcats out-rebounded UTEP by an astounding margin, 35-15.
Thursday night, the UA had nearly as many offensive rebounds (13) as the Miners did on both sides of the ball.
"Last game we didn't get as much rebounds as we normally should, so coach got on us, and that's basically it," said Jerrett, who finished with seven points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes. "We wanted to come out and show we could rebound."
Forward Solomon Hill was a bit more blunt.
"I think Grant had an off night," he said.
Hill said that Ashley, who made 3 of 8 shots for nine points and five rebounds, helped to fill in. Hill said Ashley is "better suited for zone right now" and thrived when UTEP ran a triangle-and-two defense that trapped off the first past.
"He gets in the seams," Hill said.
Miller said that he "thought Brandon Ashley played a great game for us."
Perhaps forgotten when pundits discuss the Wildcats' freshman forwards is second-year forward Angelo Chol, who scored six points and grabbed two offensive rebounds in 13 minutes against the Miners.
"He's our team's best post defender," Miller said. "He's one of those guys that's probably sacrificing a little bit of minutes right now."
Hill said Chol is "still finding his way" in the block, "especially with having other big guys down there with him."
Maybe Chol is overlooked, Hill said, "just because of his physical makeup." His body resembles a wing player's, Hill said, which helps when switching off a pick to guard a ball-handler.
"He creates a mismatch for us, unlike a bruiser like Kaleb is," Hill said. "On the pick-and-roll, he's there."
• Jerrett said he feels "comfortable" on the floor after only two games.
"It's just basketball," he said.
• Bohannon said that McKale Center's atmosphere "is what you play for" in college.
"I was telling the team - you don't get too many shots to play in a place like this," he said. "Next time an opportunity comes around we'll have to make the better of it."
• UTEP coach Tim Floyd praised the Wildcats for making 8 of 13 three-point attempts in the first half.
"In the second half, they only had one," he said. "They really didn't need them. They just drove it in."