The Best Names and Potential Targets for UTEP Basketball in Recruiting
As the UTEP men's basketball staff continues to try and recruit the best talent for the second year of Joe Golding's tenure at the helm, Miner fans have been anxiously awaiting news of possible commits and signees.
There have been several prospects UTEP was after who have recently committed to another university. For example, the Miners were targeting Kieves Turner from South Plains College (JUCO), but the guard committed to San Diego today.
Nonetheless, UTEP has six scholarships, including four starting spots, to fill. Entering his second year at the helm, head coach Joe Golding and the staff is tasked with supplementing the lost talent with newcomers.
Here are the best names and potential targets for UTEP basketball in recruiting
According to JucoRecruiting.com, Justin Thomas is ranked No. 56 in the most recent top-100 prospect list. The 6-foot-6 combo guard/forward transferred to Navarro Community College from Queens University. He had an offer back last September from Texas A&M and will have three years of eligibility.
The New York native averaged 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. This is one example of the coaching staff going after a pair of teammates in recruiting. However, the Miners lost out on his teammate Deuce Turner, who committed today to San Diego.
The sophomore guard averaged 14.1 points per game last season, while joining the 1,000-career points club at Mississippi Valley State. He was named the SWAC Freshman of the Year in 2020.
Division I transfers
Dae Dae Grant is officially a prime target for UTEP, as the Miami (OH) transfer took his official visit this past weekend. The 6-foot-2 scoring point guard averaged 17.5 points and 4.1 assists per game in 2021-22 for a Miami (OH) team that went 14-18 and finished seventh in the MAC. In addition to visiting with the Miners' staff, Grant also took a visit to Duquesne this weekend.
On paper, Grant reminds me of former point guard Jamal Bieniemy.
About two weeks ago, the Miners reportedly were speaking to Anderson Kopp from Kansas City. The 6-foot-5 guard from Houston has two years of eligibility left under his belt. He averaged 8.3 points on 42% shooting from 3-point range. He's heard from other teams like Chattanooga, Lipscomb, North Dakota State, Southern Utah, among others.
He could be the perfect knockdown 3-point specialist that the Miners are looking for.
At the start of April, UTEP made the initial connection with UIC transfer Zion Griffin. The forward, who will be a graduate transfer, averaged 11 points and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting 50.7% from the field.
Along with Grant, Tevin Brewer also visited Duquesne this weekend. Miner fans might remember the undersized, yet talented guard from Florida International. He averaged 15.2 points and 5.6 assists per game this past season. He is a three-year starter and has gained significant attention among the mid-major ranks.
Combo guard/forward Russell Harrison was a JUCO All-American at Clarendon College before playing one season at Louisiana Monroe. He totaled 13.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while hitting 46% of his field goal attempts in 2021-22. The Lubbock, TX native is being recruited by the likes of Western Kentucky, UTSA, Sam Houston State and Florida International.
The Toronto, ON product in Shamar Givance is a highly sought-after guard across the transfer portal. Givance has heard from Iona, Buffalo, BYU, Nevada, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and Duquesne. He averaged 13.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists on 41% shooting from the field.
Here's the Evansville connection.
Jawaun Newton, a four year player at Evansville, is looking for his final destination for his last season of college basketball. The El Paso native is coming off a strong season where he averaged 12.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.
If the Miners were to get both Newton and Givance in their backcourt, the duo can bring their Evansville connection to the 915. Newton reportedly visited UTEP last weekend, per KTSM's Colin Deaver.
Another C-USA connection here in UTEP recruiting. The Miners are after Tae Hardy, who averaged back-to-back double-digit scoring seasons for the Golden Eagles. He is coming off averaging 13.7 points per game in 2021-22. He visited UTEP last weekend as well, per Jake Lieberman.
Over the last few days, UTEP started making contact with Chicago State transfer Ali Abdou Dibba. He totaled 13.4 points on 51% shooting from the field in 2021-22. However, he played in just five games this year due to international travel restrictions and a hand injury. He's earned interest from the likes of Boston, Charleston, Tennessee State and Northeastern.
Another recent target for the Miners is reportedly Eastern Illinois transfer Barlow Alleruzzo IV. The 6-foot-9 forward has two years of eligibility left. He has played in 26 career games and totaled 3.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.