Josh McSwiggan announced today in just a matter of hours that they are both leaving the UTEP men's basketball program.


The two players were both being counted on to become big producers for the Miners over the next three seasons. Their sudden departure from the UTEP men's basketball program was sudden and unexpected, and it currently leaves Tim Floyd and his coaching staff with more scholarships to fill in the late period. Earlier this morning, I explained that the Miners could have 14 scholarship athletes for next next season, and the maximum number a team carry is 13. Suddenly, the Miners have at least one more scholarship to fill and possibly more in the coming days (or in this case hours or even minutes). At least UTEP fans could breathe a big sigh of relief when freshman star Terry Winn tweeted that he is planning to stay.

It's obvious from those Tweets that Winn knows this will be his team for at least one season. As for Dominic Artis and the rest of the UTEP roster, only time will tell if they return for 2016-17. Here is the current scholarship count as we know it:
1. Dominic Artis - SR
2. Terry Winn - SO
3. Matt Willms - JR
4. Trey Touchet - SO
5. Jake Flaggert - JR
6. Omega Harris - JR
7. Paul Thomas - SO
8. Kelvin Jones - FR
9. Deon Barrett - FR
10. Tim Cameron - FR
11. Roman Silva - FR
12. Chris Barnes - FR

Judging from the current look of UTEP's roster, Artis and Winn will need to lead this team. Willms is the clear third option, but his injury history makes him a question mark at best. Omega may be the Miners' biggest Wild Card since we still do not know his status for next season. Last we heard, there were rumors that his scholarship had been pulled for violating team rules, but Coach Floyd has not commented on Harris' current status with the Miners. Touchet and Flaggert could both be forced into seeing extended minutes next season while the five freshmen adjust to Division 1 college basketball. Thomas was supposed to redshirt next season, but the departures of Romine and Jones could force Floyd into keeping the 6'8 forward on the active roster. As a whole, UTEP men's basketball has more question marks than The Riddler.

Artis is the team's lone senior next season, so UTEP cannot afford to miss on scholarships in the late signing period because they will only have one to offer for 2017. However, with the large number of players that have either turned pro or transferred, it might not matter much to Coach Floyd and his staff.

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