UTEP currently has just one scholarship point guard on its roster, resulting in head coach Tim Floyd and his staff actively pursuing another option in the Class of 2016. Thursday the Miners landed that recruit, as 5-foot-10 point guard Deon Barrett announced that he’ll be attending the Conference USA school. Barrett is UTEP’s first verbal commitment in the Class of 2016.
Barrett, who attends Lancaster HS in Lancaster, Texas (located in Dallas County), just recently received a scholarship offer from UTEP and it didn’t take him long to commit. Barrett, who won a Class 5A state title alongside Texas A&M freshman Elijah Thomas last season, will take his official visit to UTEP this weekend. Barrett averaged 15 points and seven assists per game as a junior, a year in which he showed himself to be a good perimeter shooter as well as a distributor.
As noted above UTEP was in need of additional depth and a possible answer for the future at the point guard position. At present time junior guard Dominic Artis is UTEP’s lone scholarship point guard, with the academic ineligibility of sophomore Omega Harris (he’ll miss at least the first semester) leaving the Miners without a player who could occasionally spell Artis at the point.
While Barrett obviously can’t help UTEP with that depth issue this season, he can upon his arrival on campus for the 2016-17 season.
With Brodricks Jones asking San Diego State for a release from his National Letter of Intent last month, a talented four-star prospect was suddenly on the market. Sunday Jones’ second recruitment came to an end, as it was confirmed to NBCSports.com that he’ll join Tim Floyd’s program at UTEP. Jones made the decision while visiting the El Paso campus, doing so days before scheduled trips to Memphis and Providence.
News of Jones’ commitment was first reported by CBSSports.com.
Jones is the seventh addition to the UTEP program, joining junior college transfers Dominic Artis and Lee Moore, and freshmen Josh McSwiggan, Paul Thomas, Kelvin Jones and Christian Romine. And with the Miners losing Vince Hunter to the NBA, the addition of Jones is an important one for them for the 2015-16 season.
UTEP also returns veterans Hooper Vint (redshirt senior) and Matt Willms (redshirt junior) to the front court, however it was reported earlier this week that Willms is expected to miss the entire season due to a foot injury (guard Omega Harris is expected to miss the fall semester for academic reasons per that same report).
With that being the case, the addition of Jones becomes even more important for a team that will be young in the paint this upcoming season.
With a chance to move into first place in Conference USA Thursday night, UTEP went through a highly frustrating evening at Louisiana Tech. The Miners saw their best player, Vince Hunter, get into first-half foul trouble and that contributed to their 77-60 loss to the Bulldogs.
Hunter picked up two fouls before the first media timeout, and he committed his third foul with 5:08 remaining in the first half. Cedrick Lang scored 18 points and grabbed ten rebounds to lead the way for UTEP. Also of note from the game was the fact that UTEP head coach Tim Floyd was ejected from the game with 10:05 remaining.
In the eyes of Conference USA Floyd failed to leave the court in a timely manner, and on Friday the conference announced that it has suspended Floyd for one game.
When he was ejected, he failed to immediately leave the playing court area. According to the conference’s standards of conduct, and delay or contrary action following an ejection will result in an automatic suspension from the following contest.
As a result of the suspension Floyd will miss UTEP’s game at Southern Miss on Saturday. UTEP (11-4 Conference USA), which had won seven straight games prior to Thursday’s defeat, is tied for second in C-USA with UAB and trails Louisiana Tech (13-3) by a game in the loss column.