UTEP Basketball Hits Recruiting Trail for Both Immediate and Future Needs
After picking up Oklahoma transfer point guard Jamal Bieniemy on Thursday, the UTEP men's basketball team kept up on the recruiting momentum throughout the weekend.
They received a commitment from JUCO transfer point guard Emmanuel White out of Coastal Bend College and also offered local Chapin standout guard KJ Lewis from the class of 2023.
White, who spent his sophomore season at Coastal Bend College, will have two seasons of eligibility for the Miners. The 6-foot-5 point guard will assist as a serviceable insurance policy for Bieniemy in the backcourt. White averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game during the 2019-20 season, where his squad finished 12-19 (5-14 conference). Prior to Coastal Bend, White signed with Blinn College out of high school.
Coincidentally, White is very familiar with Bieniemy and fellow Miner transfer Kristian Sjolund. The three players were integral pieces to the Tompkins High School (Katy) 2018 6A state title championship basketball team, which lost to Allen in the state finals (49-47).
With the addition, the Miners still have a pair of scholarships under their belt.
Then came a really interesting offer—Chapin High School's Lewis, who came off a monstrous freshman season. The 6-foot-4 incoming sophomore plays all over the floor—point guard, shooting guard and forward. This is the first local product that Rodney Terry's staff has offered and the first Divison I offer for Lewis in his young career.
During his freshman campaign, Lewis averaged 16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, as Chapin (26-6, 14-2 5A) finished second in district play. The class of 2023 prospect is thought of as a dominant player on the defensive end with his shot-blocking skills, along with being an impact player on offense.
This could prove to be a significant impact signing down the line for Terry's staff, especially if they keep a talent like Lewis home.