UTEP basketball set to lose a fourth player, Deon Stroud

Freshman+guard+Deon+Stroud+pulls+up+for+a+jumper+over+Blue+Raider+defender+versus+Middle+Tennessee+State+Jan.+30.

Daniel Perez

Freshman guard Deon Stroud pulls up for a jumper over Blue Raider defender versus Middle Tennessee State Jan. 30.

Michael Cuviello, Sports Editor

Redshirt freshman Deon Stroud, a 6-5 guard with exceptional athletic ability, will transfer, according to Rivals.com. Stroud was seen as a possible future star for the Miner program. Becoming the fourth player to announce transfer intentions, Stroud became another major blow to the basketball program. 

 

 

Coming out of Trinity International High School in Las Vegas before previously playing at San Joaquin Memorial, located in Fresno, California, Stroud was considered a three-star prospect by ESPN. Averaging almost a triple-double a game in his senior season, Stroud was considered a very good all-around player. He averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists per game. 

 

Head Coach Rodney Terry lured Stroud from his former college located in his hometown. Sitting out all of the previous season, Stroud worked his way into the rotation this season. Starting two games this season as well as appearing in 24 games, Stroud was a prime candidate to start fulltime next season. 

 

Stroud averaged 4 points in 10 minutes per game, shooting 43% from the field for the Miners this season. Over the last four games of the season, Stroud averaged 7 points a game. Having a career-high 10 points against Florida International in January, Stroud earned his way into the rotation as a scorer off the bench. 

 

While many of the previous transfer candidates were expected, Stroud, after sitting out a full season, seems a surprising name to enter the portal, especially with all the open playing time now available. After only two seasons with Terry as coach, the Miners are a team in disarray with multiple unhappy players. 

 

It took previous coach Tim Floyd multiple seasons to have this level of departure among his players. As of yet, not much is being stated publicly about the dissatisfaction with the program by any players. Still, there have been rumored issues with players like Efe Odigie and Kaden Archie during the season. There were also two starters from this year’s team that entered the transfer portal midseason then reneged. 

 

Now down four players to the transfer portal, questions need to be answered as far as the direction of the Miners basketball program. Coach talk and spin are not going to calm the unsettled fans of the program. The Miners are a vastly weakened team from the already disappointing group that finished the season bounced in the first round of the conference tournament. 

 

Michael Cuviello may be reached at [email protected]