UTEP Sophomore Guard Nigel Hawkins Enters the Transfer Portal
UTEP sophomore guard Nigel Hawkins re-entered the transfer portal Thursday morning, following the men's basketball season which came to an end last week in the C-USA Tournament.
CBS 4 news director Lou Romano wrote on Twitter that head coach Rodney Terry confirmed that Jordan Lathon will not return next season either.
And here's the first of what could be several UTEP basketball players in the transfer portal this offseason following an underwhelming season for Miner basketball (17-15, 8-10 C-USA).
The 6-foot-3 guard out of Houston saw all his numbers depreciate this season—shooting numbers, total assists and, expectedly, minutes per game.
Hawkins had a rather unusual sophomore season. He served as the team's backup point guard through the first stretch of the season, averaging 3.8 points during non-conference action. Following the Diamond Head Classic, Hawkins first entered the transfer portal right before conference play happened. Once fellow point guard Jordan Lathon entered the transfer portal a day after him, Hawkins decided to return to the team and became UTEP's starting point guard. However, 10 days after Lathon's departure from the team, he had a change of heart and rejoined the Miners following their road swing against Florida International and Florida Atlantic.
When asked about Lathon rejoining the team, Hawkins had a rather unusual response back in early January.
"It's really good...ummm, yeah," Hawkins said.
Hawkins started 10 games at point guard for the Miners after Lathon left the squad. He helped the Miners stabilize their backcourt by helping in the scoring and assisting categories. During his starting time with the Miners, the team went 4-6 in the conference. By the time UTEP played Charlotte on Feb. 6, Lathon regained the starting point guard job from Hawkins.
On the same road trip, following their loss to Charlotte, Hawkins injured himself in shootaround before the Old Dominion game on a non-contact injury. He did not return to the lineup for the rest of the season for the Miners.
This season featured a dramatic depreciation of minutes for Hawkins. Last year, he started in all 27 games for the Miners and was third on the team in points per game (12.6) and averaged 33.9 minutes per game. Hawkins led last year’s team and was sixth in C-USA for free throw percentage (79.5) and made free throws (97). He received a C-USA Freshman of the Week award on Jan. 14.
During the 2019-20 season, he averaged 4.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while averaging 19.8 minutes. He started in 10 of 27 games played this year, serving primarily as the backup point guard.
Hawkins' father, Steve Michael Hawkins, played in the NBA for four teams (Boston Celtics in 1997, Sacramento Kings in 1999, Charlotte Hornets from 1999-2000 and Cleveland Cavaliers from 2000-01). His uncle, Eric Snow, played in the NBA as well (Seattle SuperSonics from 1995-98, Philadelphia 76ers from 1997-2004 and Cleveland Cavaliers from 2004-08).
The Miners will now have an extra scholarship going into this offseason following the departure of Hawkins.