Sophomore Evan Gilyard Declares His Transfer from UTEP Basketball
As UTEP men's basketball starts their offseason following their 8-21 finish to the season, sophomore guard Evan Gilyard announced today on Twitter that he will be transferring from the program.
Gilyard led the Miners in scoring this year at 13.6 points per game, while shooting 37.5 percent from 3-point range.
"After much consideration, I have decided to transfer and continue my collegiate basketball career elsewhere. I would like to wholeheartedly thank my teammates, coaches, fans, the El Paso community and the supporters of the UTEP Men's Basketball program. I am grateful for the experience and relationships I have acquired while here. I will never forget the unwavering love and support from the passionate fans of UTEP, you all will be greatly missed. As I make this transition I know that God will see me through. Thank you all, much love - Evan Gilyard Jr. #EG3,"
He finished off his sophomore season starting 20 of 28 games for the Miners and was a prime scorer for the team this year. After a monstrous start to the season, where he averaged up to nearly 20 points per game, Gilyard slowed down a bit in conference play and saw his stats decline too. Through the 18 C-USA games, he averaged 10.9 points per game and was third on the team in scoring.
His freshman season was electric as well, averaging 9.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.9 apg and 0.8 spg, shooting 38.1 percent from the field, 29.2 percent from outside. His field goal percentage this year at 32 percent dipped a bit, but he substantially improved his outside jumper at 37 percent. His .844 free throw percentage set a new UTEP freshman record as well.
With two seasons of eligibility still under his belt, the 5-foot-10 Chicago native could play with any team and hang in with some of the best competition wherever he decides to transfer. He can be a prime rotational starter for any team in need of a ball handler and true scorer. His ability to attack the paint is unwarranted and despite his size, he makes up for it with a quick release and shifty drive to the hoop.
The Miners, who enter the offseason with one too many scholarships, will likely see at least one more player transfer from the program. It was sophomore Kobe Magee next that transferred on the same day.
We also cannot rule out the possibility of players on the team that could transfer out, if they feel the need to. Under the new NCAA Division I college basketball rules, opposing coaches are allowed more leeway in talking to other players and getting in their ears. If one of these dynamic freshmen gets a call from a big program, it could persuade them to leave. Knowing the kind of player Rodney Terry and his staff recruits though, I don't see this happening because of how bought in the players seem.
Still, Terry doesn't take it for granted.
"Around the country, if you don't have relationships with your players and don't spend time with them, someone else is trying to talk to them as well," Terry said following the loss to Middle Tennessee at home. "The Jordan Lathon's, the Nigel Hawkins'—those guys have shown flashes throughout the course of the year. Freshmen are always going to be up and down. We got a chance to coach one of the best freshman ever in Kevin Durant and he even had peaks and valleys. That's freshmen. They're striving to be consistent on a regular basis. I thought that my freshmen have tried to do that all year long."
We have to re-recruit these guys because they've shown us that they can play at a high level as well. Yes, you have to have good relationships and tell them that they are the building blocks. We tried to play all of our freshmen significant minutes this year because they were given an opportunity to play through that. They got a chance to grow in games. Kaosi got a chance to grow in games. Someone that might need to redshirt and continue to develop but he got a chance to play and do some things. We'll be better moving forward. - Rodney Terry