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Dominic Artis was the missing piece in UTEP's backcourt puzzle

Former Oregon guard Dominic Artis has the on court game to take UTEP to the next level of program growth under Tim Floyd, but his off-court transitions seem to be even more impressive.

We all know it, we've hammered the topic on this forum and others, UTEP has had scoring woes under Tim Floyd despite elite, top of the C-USA respected defensive play.

But Dominic Artis is here to change that, and add new offensive dimensions, as well as scoring ability to UTEP's already legit cavalry of returning/red-shirting weapons.

The well-built, 6'1 guard gives UTEP something it hasn't had since Tim Floyd took over, a guard who can pass and score at a high-consistent level, and change the game with draw dropping quickness/ball handling with a point guard mentality of play making via the dribble drive.

"Control the pace of the game, and definitely in transition,"  Artis said of things he will help bring to UTEP right of the bat. "Being able to knock down open shots, and get our big men going."

Despite not playing in a Division one game since March 22nd, 2014, Artis says he is still at top level form, and has been working extra hard to get back to the top-100 player form, and of course a second chance at this level.

"I really don't," Artis replied when asked if the year-layoff would affect him.  "I been really working harder from everything I have been through and it has pushed me to succeed more."

The well-spoken California native has definitely matured off the court and mentally over any negative and wrongfully tagged label and will be a respected leader on this team, he also says the Oregon ordeal put his basketball and personal life into prospective.

"Getting something taken away from you it's definitely an adjustment, but I feel like I've progressed from it. I live by a saying now of just being honest, in my speech and what I do.   Surrounding myself with good people is definitely something I feel is a plus here with my teammates."

The possibility of him and fellow teammate Omega Harris holding down UTEP's back court is something that has the potential to become something very special.

"That can be very special," Artis said of playing alongside Harris.  "With his speed and athleticism and our ability to make shots."

"I feel like he has the opportunity to solidify that position." Tim Floyd said of the addition of Artis. "I've always felt like my best teams, in fact the best teams in this school's history played with two point guards at the same time. We may be at a point where we are able to do that."

While red-shirting and missing a year of basketball, Artis was able to get plenty of workouts in, taking 500 shots a day, weight training three times a week, and most importantly to him; re-connecting with his family.

"Just from being home, I got a lot closer."  Artis said of his support system that helped him through the layoff.  "I left high school right after my senior year so I left home very early and just got re-connected with my family a lot and it meant the world to me."

So while Artis was working on himself, on and off the court, and even with a "tarnished" character label, he worked through it all in a mature manner, and was 247Sports' number one ranked JUCO player in the class of 2015.

Something that Artis deserved, not only for his talent, but for the perseverance of progressing on in his personal life to prove to coaches like Tim Floyd that he deserved a second chance under bright lights.

"The writing means a lot and the publicity, but really I'm just confident in what I can do, so it was nice to see that."

Artis also can't wait to play in the Don, where he saw firsthand how the atmosphere can be as a freshman at Oregon.

"The fans we're crazy, the atmosphere was just incredible.   People kind of brush that to the side but playing in front of people is nice."