After long months of travel and recruiting, first-year UTEP men’s basketball head coach Rodney Terry has solidified and officially announced the Miners’ 2018-19 hoops roster on Tuesday.
The revamped roster includes 18 total players, including four letterwinners returning from last season.
“We’re excited about announcing this class and this roster for this coming season,” Terry said. “My staff has done a great job identifying student-athletes who we think can come in here, represent this program and this community the right way, both on and off the court.”
The 2018-19 roster features senior Paul Thomas, junior Isiah Osborne and sophomores Evan Gilyard and Kobe Magee.
The 12 newcomers include Souley Boum, Ountae Campbell, Gilles Dekoninck, Jakobe Dill, Kaosi Ezeagu, Nigel Hawkins, Efe Odigie, Deon Stroud, Garrett Sullivan, Anthony Tarke, Tydus Verhoeven and Bryson Williams.
“We have several youngsters here on campus right now and a couple of other guys joining as the summer comes to a close,” Terry said. “But we’re excited about this group along with four returning scholarship players back from last year’s team with one senior being Paul Thomas. Along with the four scholarship players, we have two walk-ons as well. So, it gave us six returning guys from last year’s roster. We have 12 new additions, as eight of those guys are recruited guys we brought on board and four of those guys will be preferred walk-ons. So, our roster is set at 18 guys at the moment. Some guys will participate this year and there will be some guys who won’t participate with this year’s recruiting class.”
Freshman Brandon Averitt and redshirt junior Isaiah Rhyanes are the pair of walk-ons from last season’s roster.
Boum (San Francisco), Dekoninck (Fresno State), Tarke (NJIT), Verhoeven (Duquesne) and Williams (Fresno State) will sit out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules, while Stroud, a freshman, will also sit out to focus on academics. The incoming freshmen include Dill, Ezeagu, Hawkins and Odigie.
“We feel like this recruiting class helps us this year and helps us moving into the future, in terms of our recruiting class for 2019 as well. We still have some needs, obviously, in 2019 that we need to cover for our program. But we feel like we got off to a great start,” Terry said.
#25 Brandon Averitt
Freshman | Guard | 6-1, 150
2017-18 SEASON: Worked with the scout team.
#3 Evan Gilyard
Sophomore | Guard | 5-10, 155
2017-18 SEASON: Started in 13 of 31 games played … averaged 9.1 points per game and 3.9 assists … set a UTEP record by connecting on 84.4 percent from the charity stripe … ranked seventh in Conference USA in free throw percentage … led the team in free throws made (81) and attempted (96) … also posted a team-best 19 charges drawn … averaged 10.6 points per game in C-USA play … concluded freshman campaign by scoring a career-high 29 points against UTSA on a season-high 36 minutes in the C-USA Tournament … dished out a career-high six assists in his collegiate debut against Louisiana College … set career-bests in free throw attempts (10) and free throws made (nine) against FIU.
#15 Kobe Magee
Sophomore | Guard | 6-1, 150
2017-18 SEASON: Made 16 starts in 30 contests played … averaged 4.5 points per game, 2.0 rebounds per game and 1.7 assists per contest … led Conference USA in three-point field percentage for league games only (.531) … overall, shot 44.2 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from beyond the arc … ranked second in C-USA in three-point percentage for all games … assist/turnover ratio was a team-best 1.58 (52-33) and ranked second on the squad in assists (52) … made 31 three-point field goals, tied for fourth all-time among UTEP freshmen … put up career-high 16 points against New Mexico … played a season-high 37 minutes and scored 11 points against UTSA … dished out a season-best eight assists at LA Tech … registered a career-high five rebounds three times (vs. Lamar, vs. Howard, at UTSA).
#13 Isiah Osborne
Junior | Forward | 6-5, 180
2017-18 SEASON: Started in 19 of 29 contests played … led the Miners in scoring for Conference USA games (11.9 ppg), and overall ranked third on the squad at 9.4 points per contest … added 3.7 rebounds per game and registered a .328 three-point percentage and .627 free throw percentage … started 14 of the 17 C-USA contests that he appeared in … scored in double figures 12 times … led the team in scoring (17 points) in his UTEP debut against Louisiana College … scored season-high 25 points at LA Tech … put up 22 points and grabbed seven boards at Charlotte … paced UTEP with 21 points during a victory against FIU … recorded 20 points on a season-most five three-pointers at UTSA.
#54 Isaiah Rhyanes
Junior | Center | 6-9, 220
2017-18 SEASON: Worked with the scout team and did not see game action.
#1 Paul Thomas
Senior | Forward | 6-8, 210
2017-18 SEASON: Started in 29 of 31 games played … averaged 8.1 points per game with a .461 field goal percentage … tied for the team lead in rebounding (5.4 rpg) … ranked 19th in Conference USA in rebounding … corralled six rebounds versus Boise State … made the first two three-pointers of his college career at NM State, part of a 14-point showing … added five rebounds versus the Aggies … tallied 11 points and five boards versus Washington State … led the Miners in points (16) and rebounds (eight) against Incarnate Word … collected 12 points and seven rebounds versus North Dakota State … posted eight points, six rebounds and a team-high three assists in the C-USA opener against North Texas … added nine points versus Florida Atlantic … scored 12 points at UTSA … posted seven points at UAB while leading the Miners in rebounds (six) and assists (three) … made both of his three-point attempts and scored 10 points versus WKU … led UTEP by securing seven rebounds against Marshall … picked up his first double-double of the season versus UTSA with 11 points and 11 boards … hit the game-winning jumper with 2.6 seconds remaining in an 87-86 triumph at Charlotte … registered his second consecutive double-double against the 49ers with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while adding four assists and two steals … posted 12 points and eight rebounds at Rice … tallied six rebounds versus UTSA in the C-USA Tournament.
#0 Souley Boum
Sophomore | Guard | 6-3, 160
Oakland, Calif. (Oakland Tech HS/San Francisco)
PRIOR TO UTEP: Earned West Coast Conference All-Freshman team honors after ranking second on the squad and 25th in WCC in points per game (10.9) as a true freshman at San Francisco during the 2017-18 campaign … started in 12 of 36 contests played for the Dons … led USF with 121 free throws made, a USF freshman record … connected on a team-high 82.9 percent of his free throws, while ranking sixth in WCC … scored 394 points (second-most points by a freshman in USF history) … pulled down 95 rebounds, dished out 37 assists and recorded 19 steals … registered 20-plus points in seven different contests, including a season-high 26 on 8-of-11 shooting at Portland … matched season high in points with another 26-point effort against Colgate on 9-of-16 shooting (season high in made field goals) … in back-to-back games, combined to make 24-of-27 free throws (17 points on 12-14 FTs vs. UCSB, 16 points on 12-13 FTs vs. Eastern Washington) … added a season-high seven rebounds against Eastern Washington … dished out a season-high four assists against Pepperdine … opened collegiate career with a 22-point performance against Long Beach State (8-of-9 FTs) and followed with a 21-point effort in his second collegiate contest.
PERSONAL: Full name is Souleymone Boum … son of Mariam Diallo … born in Oakland, Calif. … nickname is Sou.
— Ountae Campbell
Sophomore | Guard/Forward | 6-4, 195
Los Angeles, Calif. (Fresno State)
PRIOR TO UTEP: Redshirted at Fresno State during the 2016-17 season … played in seven games as a freshman during the 2015-16 season with the Bulldogs … logged 12 minutes for an average of 1.7 minutes per game … posted two points and three rebounds … posted a dunk in the Bulldogs’ win over Pacific … played at Brentwood High School … named CIF All-Division-V Team … All-Alpha League first team … team captain … averaged 13.5 points per game, 3.5 steals per game and 7.0 rebounds per contest as a senior … played on the varsity squad during the sophomore (7.3 ppg) and junior (7.0 ppg) campaigns.
#33 Gilles Dekoninck
Sophomore | Forward | 6-6, 205
Diest, Belgium (Huntington Prep/Fresno State)
PRIOR TO UTEP: Played seven games during the 2017-18 season at Fresno State … scored two points on only shot attempt and tallied a rebound against Cal State Monterey Bay … made a free throw against UC Santa Cruz … registered a rebound against Colorado State … played three minutes twice (vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, vs. Cal State Monterey Bay) … while a senior at Huntington Prep, averaged 20 points, four assists and seven rebounds per contest … scored 16 points during a win against Teays Valley Christian White … was a member of the Belgium U18 National Team.
PERSONAL: Gilles Dekoninck is the son of Bert Dekoninck and Lucette Bokken … has one sister … born in Diest, Belgium.
#5 Jakobe Dill
Freshman | Guard | 6-3, 175
Beaumont, Texas (Beaumont Central High School/Heritage Academy [SC])
PRIOR TO UTEP: Ranked by TexasHoops.com as the no. 38 player in the Class of 2018 rankings … played at Heritage Academy (South Carolina) during the 2017-18 season … named team MVP after averaging 28 points per game during senior season … paced Heritage Academy with 17 points against Redemption Christian (NY) … went 9-of-11 from three-point range in just 24 minutes against Savannah Fall … scored 20 points (6-9 3pt.) versus West Ridge Academy … poured in 26 points against York Prep … named 2016-17 District 22-5A MVP while at Beaumont Central HS … named 2017 Beaumont Enterprise Super Gold Boys Player of the Year after averaging 24.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and three assists during the 2016-17 regular season … led Jaguars to a 13-1 record in 22-5A and a co-district title … scored a game-high 31 points against Class 4A no. 1-ranked Silsbee Tigers while with club team Houston Defenders, and scored 14 points against DC Blue Devils … All-District 22-5A second team in 2016.
PERSONAL: Full name is Jakobe Rashad Dill … son of Jay and Christie Dill … has four sisters … born in Dallas, Texas … cousin, Rashard Lewis, a two-time all-star who played in the NBA for 16 seasons (Seattle SuperSonics 1998-2007, Orlando Magic 2007-10, Washington Wizards 2011-12 and Miami Heat 2012-14) … nickname is Kobe.
#25 Kaosi Ezeagu
Freshman | Forward | 6-10, 240
Brampton, Ontario (GTA Prep at Mississauga Secondary School)
PRIOR TO UTEP: Top-24 player in Canada after averaging 11.4 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per contest during the 2017-18 season … named the Defensive Player of the Year by the National Preparatory Association … averaged a double-double, making him the only player in the league to achieve the feat … named co-MVP of the Signature All-Canadian Showcase … made the start and finished with eight points and seven rebounds during the 2018 BioSteel All-Canadian basketball game on April 9, 2018 … played at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn., during 2016-17 campaign … efforts helped Hawks to a 31-7 overall record, including a USA National Prep Tournament championship on March 4, 2017 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. … has a 7-1 wingspan with comparisons to Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors by hashtagbasketball.com.
PERSONAL: Kaosi Ezeagu is the son of James and Patience Ezeagu … has one brother … born in the Bahamas … also played soccer, volleyball and football in high school.
#2 Nigel Hawkins
Freshman | Guard | 6-4, 185
Houston, Texas (Cypress Falls HS)
PRIOR TO UTEP: Ranked the no. 15 player in the state by TexasHoops.com … two-time All-State and State MVP as a junior at Cypress Falls High School … rated the no. 6 player in Houston by RCSSports.com … back-to-back District MVP as a junior and senior after leading Cypress High School in scoring at 21.1 and 17.9 points per game, respectively … tallied 14 contests of 20-plus points, helping Cypress to a 31-4 overall record with a 13-0 district mark … the Eagles advanced to the 6A Region 1 & 3 quarterfinals … during senior campaign, scored a season-high 33 points while adding six boards during a victory against Mitchell … opened final high school season with a 30-point effort while adding eight rebounds and five assists in a win against Tompkins … poured in a career-high 36 points and dished out three assists during junior season against South Houston … District Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore after averaging 14.0 points, 3.0 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game … recipient of the 2017 Guy V. Lewis Award … 2018 Houston Sports Authority Boys Basketball High School Player of the Year nominee.
PERSONAL: Full name is Nigel Duron Hawkins … son of Steve Michael Hawkins and Tonya Hawkins-Medina … has two brothers and one sister … born in Houston, Texas … father 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) … uncle, Eric Snow, played in the NBA (Seattle SuperSonics from 1995-98, Philadelphia 76ers from 1997-2004 and Cleveland Cavaliers from 2004-08) … likes to golf as a hobby … nickname is Hawk Time.
#32 Efe Odigie
Freshman | Forward | 6-9, 280
Houston, Texas (Pro-Vision Academy)
PRIOR TO UTEP: Rated the no. 22 player in the state by TexasHoops.com … top-10 player in Houston by RCSSports.com … state champion … averaged a team-leading 14.2 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 61.2 percent from the field for the Houston Hoopstars on the 2017 summer circuit … scored 20-plus points in 13 contests and recorded 12 double-doubles … notched a season-high 26 points during a win against Shooting Stars-blue … opened 2017 summer circuit with a 23-point effort versus TJ Ford … recorded first double-double of summer after posting 23 points and 11 rebounds against RL9 Grey in the second game of the summer … registered second double-double, scoring 20 points and pulling down 12 rebounds against LA United in the third contest … registered a season-high 16 rebounds and scored 16 points against LCCAVS … pulled down 15 boards at Triumph Gold … averaged 1.2 blocks per game … blocked season-high five shots at SSA … registered four blocked shots against Houston Hoops DJ.
PERSONAL: Full name is Omoefay Johnson Odigie … son of Curtis Odigie and Paula Lafleur … has one brother and three sisters … born in Houston, Texas … graduated valedictorian in high school … mother played basketball at Nicholls State and sister, Tiffany, played basketball at Alabama State … nickname is Alpha.
#23 Deon Stroud
Freshman | Guard/Forward | 6-5, 190
Fresno, Calif. (Trinity International [Las Vegas, Nev.])
PRIOR TO UTEP: Rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN … averaged 20.5 points per game, 10 rebounds per game and seven assists per contest … named All-District … selected to the Fresno Bee’s All-Star team in 2017 … named team MVP after averaging 20.1 points per game and 10.5 boards per contest during junior season … played freshman (6.5 ppg) and sophomore (17.0 ppg) seasons at San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) … Panthers went a combined 51-13 during those two seasons … named All-State and All-District during sophomore season.
PERSONAL: Full name is Deon Jeremin Stroud … son of Leroy Harris and Shay Greathouse … has one brother and one sister … uncle, Carl Ray Harris played basketball at Fresno State … born in Fresno, Calif. … played football in high school … nickname is Deon.
#20 Garrett Sullivan
Freshman | Guard | 6-5, 190
Easthampton, Mass. (Williston Northhampton HS/Hillcrest Prep Academy [AZ])
PRIOR TO UTEP: Two-year letterman at Hillcrest Prep Academy (AZ) … won the 2016-17 Grind Session National Championship … averaged 15 points and six assists per contest at the shooting guard position during senior season … scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers against Belmont in the quarterfinals of the NEPSAC Class A Tournament … scored team-high 19 points in a victory against Salisbury … earned 2018 All-NEPSAC Class A honorable mention … recognized as one of the top guards in the state by the New England Recruiting Report … scored 18 points, helping Williston secure a NEPSAC Class A tournament berth … chipped in with 10 points during a victory versus Pomfret.
PERSONAL: Garrett Sullivan is the son of Tim and Lisa Sullivan … has two sisters.
#12 Anthony Tarke
Sophomore | Guard/Forward | 6-6, 220
Gaithersburg, Md. (Gaithersburg HS/New Jersey Institute of Technology)
PRIOR TO UTEP: Will sit out the 2018-19 season per NCAA transfer rules and have two years of eligibility starting in 2019-20 … led NJIT in scoring last season (15.7 ppg) and ranked second in rebounding (6.2 rpg) … garnered first team All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors … registered career-high 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds at Kennesaw State … matched career best with another 27-point effort at Lipscomb … dished out a season-high six dimes and scored 17 points against FDU … notched a double-double that included 19 points and a career-high 12 rebounds at Rutgers … pulled down 11 rebounds and tallied 20 points for second double-double of season at North Florida … tabbed an Atlantic Sun Conference All-Freshman Selection in 2016-17 after averaging 9.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game… opened collegiate career with a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) against Sarah Lawrence … notched second career double-double with a season-high 23 points and 10 boards against North Florida … registered third double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) versus Stetson … named ASUN Newcomer of the week twice, the first was for averaging 17.5 points and 8.0 rebounds during a two-game span (Jan. 9-15), while the second was for an 18-point, seven-rebound effort during a win against USC Upstate.
PERSONAL: Full name is Anthony Shey Tarke … son of Elizabeth Tarke and Willibroad Anthony … has two brothers and two sisters … born in Washington D.C. … named to honor roll in high school.
#4 Tydus Verhoeven
Sophomore | Forward | 6-9, 215
Manteca, Calif. (Menteca HS/Duquesne)
PRIOR TO UTEP: Played in all 32 contests during freshman season at Duquesne … started final 27 games of the 2017-18 season … broke school’s freshman blocked shot record (71) … eighth freshman in the 42-year history of the Atlantic 10 to lead the league in blocks (2.22 bpg overall/2.33 in A-10 games only) … exploded for a season-high 21 points on a 7-for-7 effort from the field and 7-for-8 at the free throw line against Saint Louis … played a season-best 34 minutes, while recording four blocked shots and chipping in with four rebounds and three assists against the Billikens … tallied a season-high nine boards, blocked seven shots, dished out three dimes and scored 12 points against Robert Morris … blocked a season-high nine shots (DU freshman record) and dished out a career-best five assists, while adding four points and eight rebounds against George Mason … grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots at VCU … averaged 16.5 points per game, ripped down 12.7 rebounds per contest, blocked 6.0 shots per game and chipped in with 2.8 assists on average as a senior at Menteca High School … named Valley Oak League MVP by conference coaches after leading the Buffaloes to a 14-0 league record.
PERSONAL: Tydus Verhoeven is the son of Jodi Verhoeven … mother played basketball at Fresno State (1991-94) and was drafted by the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks … born in Baldwin Park, Calif. … also participated in track for two years and football and volleyball for one year each at Manteca HS.
#11 Bryson Williams
Junior | Forward | 6-8, 225
Fresno, Calif. (Roosevelt HS/Fresno State)
PRIOR TO UTEP: Rated a Top-5 Division I transfer by CBBCentral.com … previously played at Fresno State for two seasons … made 58 starts in 65 games played (2016-17, 2017-18) … averaged 14 points per game during sophomore season, ranking second on the squad … earned All-Mountain West third team honors … led the Bulldogs in total rebounds (195) and rebounds per game (6.1) … ranked second on the team in points (441) and field goal percentage (59.6) … posted four double-doubles … scored 22 points and pulled down nine boards at Arkansas … poured in a career-high 30 points on 14-of-17 shooting in a triumph against Cal State Monterey Bay … recorded a career-high 13 rebounds and scored 10 points during a win against CSU Bakersfield … registered 19 points and 10 rebounds in a victory against Colorado State … played a season-high 40 minutes (14 points, eight rebounds) at New Mexico … scored 23 points and tallied nine rebounds against San Diego State in the MW Tournament … averaged 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game during freshman season (2016-17) … scored season-high 18 points at Utah State … matched season best with another 18-point effort at San Diego State … Roosevelt High School all-time leading scorer with 2,302 points, which ranks as the fifth-most in Central Section history and the most-ever in the city of Fresno … averaged 34 points and 18 rebounds per game during senior season.
PERSONAL: Son of Donald and Corinthia Williams … has a younger sister.