Where are they now? UTEP Men's Basketball Edition

Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

It happens all the time. Players transfer out of programs for a variety of reasons. This one's for those Miner fans who ever wondered what ever happened to the players who transferred OUT of UTEP and moved on to (sometimes) greener pastures.

What ever happened to?

Blaise Ffrench

How can Miner fans forget a name like that? Blaise was a 6-2 point guard recruited by Barbee in an era when Stone, Culpepper, and the just-transferred Sun Devil Christian Polk dominated the minutes for the Miners. Ffrench transferred to St. Peter's out of the MAAC and has morphed into a star player for the Peacocks. He is currently second on the team in scoring with 13.4 ppg, second on the team in rebounds with 4.5, and the team assist leader with 6.3 per game. Oh, and most recently he hit a game-winner with 4 seconds left to lift his Peacocks to 1-0 in the MAAC over defending conference champ Iona.

Darius Nelson

The most recent of ex-Miners. Nelson transferred out of UTEP very early on last year after receiving less playing time than anticipated. At least that was the official word. Nelson landed much closer to home at Cal State Fullerton, which also happens to be Jacques Streeter's former school. He will be eligible to play for the Titans December 22nd.

Myron Strong

Myron was part of the most recent dominant Miner team, 2010's 15-1 squad. He was kicked off the team early on in the Floyd era, sparking much controversy in Miner Nation. Myron went back to his hometown of Memphis soon afterward and played the star role for the Victory University Eagles. He averaged 25 points per game in his 3 games against Division 1 opponents that year.

Jason Jones

Jones was another Barbee-recruited guard who actually belonged to the same class as Culpepper and Stone. He spent two years in a Miner uniform and, if I remember correctly, was progressing well before realizing he'd never get much playing time with Polk coming in to become UTEP's third guard. The Memphis product transferred back to his home state and is currently a senior at Middle Tennessee. Jones received immediate playing time for the Blue Raiders his first year in Murfreesboro, but has since seen his minutes reduced substantially. His second year at MTSU, the Blue Raiders had their best season in decades (27-7) but Jones experienced a nagging back injury which might explain his reduced minutes and numbers since.

Chano Rashidudin

Another not easily forgettable name. Barbee brought the big-bodied Chano in to provide some support in the post for Claude Britten and Kareem Cooper. Chano had limited minutes in a Miner uniform though and often seemed tired. Chano transferred to Arkansas State from the Sun Belt Conference and, according to his stat lines, continued to be a marginal player.

Malik Alvin

Here's an example of a player really going downhill after UTEP. Alvin was a Doc Sadler recruit that Barbee inherited and gave the Miners significant minutes in his lone year in El Paso. Malik transferred to Binghamton from the America East Conference and found immediate success with the Bearcats. After sitting out a year to comply with transfer rules, Alvin's Bearcats won the America East Conference and made it to their first and only NCAA Tournament. They lost to Duke in the first round as a 15 seed. Alvin was a solid player for the Bearcats, but he grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons when he was charged with stealing condoms from a Wal-Mart. If you read the link, it also will tell you that he gave a 66-year old woman a concussion while he was trying to make a getaway. Alvin was one of 5 players kicked off the Binghamton team a few years ago, which essentially sunk their promising basketball program for the foreseeable future.

As you can see, most Ex-Miners retreat to a school closer to home and find mild to great success on the court. The only transfer I can think of who transferred to a better conference was Arnett Moultrie, who's currently with the Philadelphia 76ers. With Floyd at the helm, something tells me there could be many more ex-Miners out in Division 1, as his reputation has long been to over-sign players.

Here's hoping to great seasons this year for Blaise Ffrench and Jason Jones, and great post-basketball careers to all the Miner Exes.

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