With starting guard C.J. Cooper being one of four seniors to move on at the end of the 2014-15 season, UTEP was in search of another player capable of playing the point next season. Head coach Tim Floyd has found a player capable of doing so, as it was reported Saturday night by the El Paso Times and ESPN.com that former Oregon guard Dominic Artis will be a Miner.
Artis, who attended Diablo Valley CC in California this past academic year but did not play basketball, played two seasons for Dana Altman before he and two other players were dismissed from the Oregon program last spring. Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin were named in a sexual assault investigation but were not charged. Like Artis, Dotson will resume his playing career in Texas as he committed to Houston earlier this spring.
Austin, who played for NJCAA Division I national champion Northwest Florida State last season, has yet to pick a college.
In two seasons at Oregon Artis averaged 6.4 points and 2.7 assists in 20.5 minutes per game, shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. Artis’ freshman season was interrupted by a foot injury, and a nine-game suspension for a violation of NCAA rules didn’t help matters at the start of the 2013-14 season.
He joins a UTEP perimeter that needs to account for the loss of their top two assist men in Cooper and Julian Washburn, with another junior college guard in Lee Moore joining the program as well. Omega Harris, who averaged six points per game as a freshman in 2014-15, is the team’s most productive perimeter returnee.
Artis, who will have two years of eligibility remaining, is the fifth addition to the UTEP program. In addition to Artis and Moore, the Miners will also add freshman forwards Josh McSwiggan, Paul Thomas and Christian Romine.