In wake of national signing period, UTEP women’s basketball head coach Kevin Baker and staff have been scouting players to make up their 2018 recruiting class, which still has room to grow.

This off-season, the Miners lost leading scorer Najala Howell, who led the team in scoring (11.9 ppg) and recently committed to play for New Mexico, starting point guard Faith Cook, guard Rachel Tapps and guard Roeshonda Patterson.

They complimented their losses by signing three JUCO transfers from Texas, with Alexis Bryant, Jade Rochelle and Alexis Hoy signing their NLI.

The Miners also received a local verbal commit from the class of 2019, standout guard Katia Gallegos of Franklin.

Here’s a look at each player:

Alexis Bryant  (Forward, 6-foot-1)

San Jacinto College (Pflugerville High School)

The Round Rock native in Alexis Bryant played two seasons at San Jacinto College (JUCO) and is coming off a Region XIV tournament appearance with her team. She made the All-Conference list and ranked as the No. 9 JUCO center, per the Dan Olson Report.

She finished the 2017-18 seasons averaging 13.0 points per game and 8.8 boards per game. She also started 19 of her freshman season games, scoring 8.0 points per game.

Coach Baker on Bryant:

"Alexis is a very versatile post player with great hands and is light on her feet. She can score the basketball in a variety of ways. She can really defend and rebound well also. Alexis is a great addition and fit to our team."

Jade Rochelle (Forward, 5-foot-11)

Blinn College (Grandview High School)

From her roots in Grandview, to her emergence through two seasons at the JUCO level, Jade Rochelle has easily earned a spot for a Division I program like UTEP. This past season the forward averaged a double-double (10.9 points per game and 10.3 boards per game). She’s a hungry player, starting 27 of 29 games as a freshman and was named an all-conference honorable mention during her first season.

In high school, she finished as an All-State recognized player through the 2015-16 season. She helped lead Grandview High School to the area playoffs in 2014-15, regional quarterfinals in 2013-14 and regional finals in 2015-16.

Coach Baker on Rochelle:

"Jade brings great athleticism to our team. She plays extremely hard and finds different ways to score baskets. Her biggest strength is the way she goes after the ball and gets rebounds. We are excited about the energy she will bring to our program."

 

Alexa Hoy (Guard, 5-foot-9)

Hill College (Rockwall-Heath High School)

Named the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Award, combo guard Alexa Hoy has a lot to bring to the Miners’ backcourt. She scored 16.0 points per game, scoring 40.4 percent from the floor and shoots exceptionally well beyond the arc at 35.1 percent.

Her efforts in her freshman season, where she scored in double figures 24 of 28 games, earned her an All-Conference and All-Region first-team recognition. Hoy could be an immediate starter, or off-the-bench help for UTEP next season.

Coach Baker on Hoy:

"Lex can shoot well from the perimeter, she can handle the ball in the open floor and she is a winner. She will help our team in many ways. She gives us a scoring threat from the outside and she can get to the rim off the dribble. She is long, athletic and she has won everywhere she goes. We look for her to have an immediate impact on our team."

Katia Gallegos (Guard, 5-foot-6)

Franklin High School (Class of 2019)

Starting off the 2019 recruiting class early, hometown standout Katia Gallegos announced her verbal commitment to the Miners this weekend upon graduation. Gallegos finished her junior season as by far the best women’s basketball talent in El Paso, averaging 19.0 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, 4.2 assists per game and 3.5 steals per game. Gallegos led Franklin to a 27-6 season and a first-place finish in district 1-6A.

She also earned a spot on the Under-16 Mexico National Team, where she traveled with the team to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the FIBA U16 Women's Americas Championship.