UTEP Men’s Basketball head coach Rodney Terry announced his 2018-19-basketball roster this afternoon at the Foster Steven’s Center.
“We feel like this recruiting class helps us this year and helps us move into the future in terms of our recruiting class for 19 as well,” Terry said. “We still have some needs in ’19 that we still need to cover for our program, but we feel like we’ve gotten off to a great start.”
The roster sits at 18 players at the moment. Four Miners will be returning from last year’s team, highlighted by the lone senior Paul Thomas, junior Isiah Osborne, and sophomores Evan Gilyard and Kobe Magee. Freshman guard Brandon Averitt and junior Isaiah Rhyanes both worked for the scout team and will be on this years team.
The Miners will feature a total of 12 new additions. The newcomers are Souley Boum, Ountae Campbell, Giles Dekonick, Jakobe Dill, Kaosi Ezeagu, Nigel Hawkins, Efe Odigie, Deon Stroud, Garrett Sullivan, Anthony Tarke, Tydus Verhoeven and Bryson Williams.
Players that will be sitting out the year due to NCAA transfer rules are Boum (San Francisco), Tarke (NJIT), Verhoeven (Duquesne) and Williams (Fresno State). In addition, Stroud will sit out the year to focus on academics.
Meanwhile, Miner fans will get to see two Fresno State transfers hit the floor this upcoming season, Campbell, and Dekoninck. Both are expected to get some game time with the young Miner team.
Coach Terry highlighted that he wants his program to be built on player development and have an athletic team with a lot of length that can be versatile and guard multiple positions.
“We like to think guys are going to get better once they get here from the time they leave,” Terry said.
Out of all the incoming freshmen for this upcoming team, Terry talked highly of his new guard Hawkins, who had been recruited since the eighth grade.
“Nigel Hawkins has a chance to be a terrific player, he understands the game, he’s going to get a chance to get on the floor early.”
Terry still has some scholarships available, that he may or may not use. As of now six of the current 18 Miners will be walk on’s.
To close out the press conference Terry discussed the upcoming basketball schedule. The schedule is still not finalized yet, as contracts with teams still need to be signed. But it was recently announced that UTEP would go on the road and face Marquette on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Terry acknowledged that the teams they were looking to play in the non-conference portion of the schedule were teams that share a similar style of basketball with the best teams in Conference-USA.
Assistant coach Lamont Smith helped put the schedule together, Terry commended him on the outstanding job he has done in terms of putting together a competitive schedule.