And now for the only non-freshman in the 2014 class, shooting guard Earvin Morris who has two years of NCAA eligibility with the Miners.
Morris is from Memphis, TN, and finds his way to UTEP via Kent State, then last season he played at Tallahassee Community College.
Morris scored in double figures in 19 out of his 22 games a year ago, in which he started all 22, shooting 45 percent from deep, and 51 percent from the field.
Tim Floyd On Morris:
"Earvin is a very versatile player who can play different positions and score in a lot of ways," Floyd said. "He is a very instinctive passer, has the ability to shoot the three and can create his own shot. He played at a very competitive level in junior college. He can come in and help our team score in a variety of ways. We love his ability to post in addition to being able to face the basket. He has a very nice mid-range game, which is rare in today's game.
"Earvin made tremendous improvement from his freshman year to his sophomore year of college under the direction of coach Eddie Barnes. He displayed a willingness to be coached which translated into a great sophomore season."
He was the do it all guy on a very talented JUCO team that competed in what some call the toughest conference in all of JUCO ball, Morris led his team in scoring, averaging 14 points a contest, and was second on the team in rebounds per game.
Morris is the only 2014 Miner addition with D-1 experience after appearing in 17 games as a true freshman with Kent State. When I asked about the posibility of UTEP playing Kent State in the Sun Bowl Invitational, Morris face light up with intrigue and responded simply, "Oh yeah December 22nd".
Before his one year stint with the Flashes, Morris lead his Memphis area high school team to a state championship his senior year where he recorded a double-double in that championship game.
Morris was 3-star by Rivals coming out of high school, and I could see him filling the immediate needed role of shooter/scorer left by Lajen Naglrad.
Although Morris is a definite upgrade from Ragland, as Morris can defend both guard spots, as well as the three, and is way more consistent with his shot, his versatility could be a huge matchup advantage for the Miners in certian lineups. Morris seems to already understand how to get in the Miners rotation with defense, and noted he is a prideful defender something that is a huge trend in the class of 2014.
Morris can also create his own shot, and said once he is in a rhythm, no one has been proven to slow him down, proven by his shooting percentages from behind the three point line and floor last year in JUCO.
Listed at 6'4, Morris is a wiry 6'4, and fits the physical mold of a typical CTF guard. His long arms are going to be huge key in his defense, his stroke from deep is absolutely beautiful and he shows a pure overall shooting motion.
As mentioned Morris can also create his own points and others off the dribble and is going to provide a much needed scoring threat off the bench but will definitely be a solid candidate to start at the two as well. He also says he recruited mainly by assistant coach Ken DeWeese. I would also project that he will be a savvy creator of offense for himself and others, something UTEP hasn't consistency had inside the guard spot the past couple of seasons.
A guard with the athleticism, and production capability like Morris will fill a definite need, his leadership and experience is a tangible that separates his immediate production and impact from the rest of the class of 2014.