FILE: “They really moved the ball well against our zone,” Floyd said. “It seemed like when we decided to go zone, we had a lot of young guys in the lineup. Tirus [Smith], Trey [Wade] and one of our freshman point guards out there and our (zone) doesn’t like quite as good. Nothing looks quite as good with the youth as it does with the older players early.
UTEP Coach Tim Floyd announced on Thursday that Jacob Eyman, Avery Martinez and Teddy Ochieng have signed national letters of intent to join the Miner basketball program for the 2018-19 season.
A 6-8, 205-pound power forward, Eyman is a senior at Los Alamitos (Calif.) High School. He averaged 13.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks as a junior, when he was league MVP and earned a spot on the Press-Telegram Dream Team. He shot 59 percent from the field last season, leading Los Alamitos to a conference title and the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. He is on pace to become Los Alamitos’ all-time leading shot blocker (131 blocks in 59 career games entering the 2017-18 season) and a top-five rebounder (428 career boards) in school history.
“We are excited to have Jacob in our program,” Floyd said. “We are very impressed with his work ethic. He plays hard and competes on both ends of the floor. He is a big-time athlete and quick leaper. He can score it in the paint using both hands. He’s a great offensive rebounder. We love how well he runs the floor and finishes plays at the rim. He uses his jumping ability well on the defensive end of the floor as a rim protector. He’s a young guy who we think has a tremendous upside.”
“Jacob is a huge competitor,” Los Alamitos coach Eddie Coutermarche said. “He’s probably the best defensive player that I have ever coached. UTEP is getting a very athletic, very dynamic athlete who has a lot of upside.”
A 6-5, 160-pound shooting guard, Martinez is a senior at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Montebello, Calif. Originally from Costa Rica, he was a second team Whittier Daily News All-Area selection and second team All-Southern Section (Division I-AA) last season when he averaged 20 points per game. Martinez played with the So-Cal All Stars during the 2017 offseason.
“We are excited to welcome Avery to our program,” Floyd said. “Avery is a 6-5 guard who can play multiple positions. He’s a great defender who can guard multiple positions on the perimeter. He’s a tremendous shooter and scores effectively around the rim because of his size. One of the best things that we like about Avery is how hard he plays on both ends of the floor. He understands how to play the game, being that both of his parents were basketball stars in Costa Rica and run one of the premier basketball academies in Costa Rica.”
“Avery is a really hard-working kid. He is a warrior,” Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary coach Alon Margalit said. “He has a tremendous competitive spirit. He’s long, he’s athletic, he’s versatile, he can hit threes, he can get to the basket, he can handle the ball and he can defend multiple positions. He’s a great leader and a team captain.”
A 6-8, 200-pound power forward, Ochieng is a teammate of Martinez at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School. Originally from Kenya, Ochieng was a member of his country’s U-18 team. He is in his first season at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School.
“We are excited about the future with Teddy,” Floyd said. “He is a 6-8 elite level athlete that can jump out of the gym. He has natural athleticism that you cannot teach. He has a huge upside and ceiling with his ability to play multiple positions. He runs the floor well offensively and defensively. He can shoot the three and attacks the rim off the dribble. He has a great defensive presence around the rim blocking shots. He’s only been in the states for little over a year so he’s still learning how to play the game, but we believe he will continue to grow and develop because of his great work ethic.”
“Teddy is a leader and a really great kid,” Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary coach Alon Margalit said. “He is passionate about basketball. He’s tall and athletic and can hit the three-ball. I see tremendous things in his future.”