UTEP Fans Really Want Bryson Williams to Make up His Mind
It will not be nationally televised on ESPN or have millions of dollars donated to charity from the event. However, "The Decision" starring current UTEP forward Bryson Williams has Miner fans in a frantic state as they wait to learn his final destination.
Since he announced that he was entering the Transfer Portal on April 16th, the list of schools reaching out to the two-time All Conference forward has been impressive to say the least. Williams has been extremely transparent during this process and he has listed every school that has shown interest on his social media accounts.
If you are not keeping score at home, Bryson had the following High Major schools reach out: Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, USC, Arizona State, Washington, Washington State, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Vanderbilt. In addition, the following Mid Majors have spoken to him: San Diego State, DePaul, and Tulane. That is a total of 14 schools not including UTEP. Some of them are not just NCAA Tournament teams, but bonafide powerhouses. However, the Miners have an advantage that none of the others schools can boast. They are the only school he has played for over the last two seasons and El Paso is the city he has lived in since the fall of 2018.
Despite Rodney Terry leaving the program last month for an associate head coaching position at Texas, Williams has continued to workout with his UTEP teammates. He has also practiced with the team for the last few weeks under new head coach Joe Golding. That has given him a good indication of the coaching style he would get under the new regime while staying in shape as he weighs his options. As Williams Tweeted a few days ago, he met with Coach Golding and they discussed the direction of the program.
Another factor that will need to be considered is Arturo Ormond. The former Miners assistant coach was Bryson Williams AAU coach in Fresno. They have been together since Williams was a youngster and many feel that Ormond will end up at his next destination. If Ormond is retained in some capacity with the new UTEP men's basketball staff, then it is almost certain that Williams will stay a Miner.
UTEP fans are growing impatient and they want a decision soon from Bryson Williams. In my opinion, the longer he takes to decide, the better the chances that he will remain a Miner. The other college basketball programs can Zoom with Williams, but they are limited in their recruiting tactics due to COVID. Coach Golding and staff have been patient with their recruiting, since they know how much better they would be next season if Bryson elects to stay a Miner. The team has a returning nucleus of guards Souley Boum, Jamal Bieniemy, Keonte Kennedy, and Christian Agnew, while forward Tydus Verhoeven is also considering his return to the program, despite also being in the Transfer Portal.
My message to all Miners fans is patience. If Bryson chooses to leave UTEP, then Coach Golding will quickly lock up the best replacement that he can find either in the Portal or in Junior College. However, the prospect of him returning to what is already a veteran group of guards is too good to rush. Hopefully, patience will pay off and the 2021-22 Miners will have their two best returning players for the new coaching staff to work with.