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Michael Perez Leaves UTEP Men’s Basketball Team

UTEP Miners Basketball
Michael Perez averaged 6.47 points per game over his two seasons at UTEP. (Photo by Steve Kaplowitz)

In today’s social media age, many breaking sports stories are no longer broken by the newspapers, radio, or television. Instead, they are first mentioned on either Facebook or Twitter. UTEP junior guard Michael Perez is the latest example of this phenomenon. He announced his decision to leave the UTEP men’s basketball program on his official Twitter page last night.

“After A Lot Of Thinking, I Decided To Make It Official…I Will Be Transferring From The University Of Texas @ El Paso For Personal Reasons. I Want To Thank All My Coaches For The Support & Making Me A Better Teammate, Player, Person & Student.  I Want To Thank My Teammates For Everything This Year! It Was Too Fun Being Able To Hoop With Y’all. You All Will Be Successful. Lastly I Want To Thank Everyone In El Paso! I Enjoyed My Two Years Here & I Really Appreciated Your Continued Support. Thanks For Everything.”

Perez was a likeable basketball player, and seemed to turn his game around after a huge four-game stretch early in the season when he averaged 18 points against Oregon, NMSU, UNLV,and Southern. Perez played well in the Diamondhead Classic, and scored a career-high 25 points against Clemson.   However, his production declined in the final month of the season and he was never able to regain his shooting touch.

Perez did not a giving reason for his decision to transfer, but I believe he could see the writing on the wall. UTEP head coach TimFloyd has recruited an impressive group of players for next season, including guards Dustin Watts and 6-7 McKenzie Moore, who sat out this season. Perez was going to have a tough time getting minutes next season, and would have had to settle into a sixth-man role. That might not have been attractive enough to keep him in El Paso for his final two seasons of eligibility. Perez joins D’Von Campbell as Miners who have elected to leave the men’s basketball program since the end of the season last month. Do not be surprised if one or two more departures follow before the end of the late recruting period.

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