UTEP put the finishing touches on the class of 2016 after receiving an LOI from recent commit Chris Barnes.
"We have lost some perimeter players and we are hopeful that Chris will be able to help our basketball team," UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. "We feel like he's a good athlete. Any time you have a guy with great athleticism who plays hard, you know he's going to get better. It remains to be seen how much he'll play next season. It will depend on his learning curve and adjustment period, but we don't sign guys unless we think they can help us. He comes from a good program at Compton High School and has a nice reputation in southern California. We look forward to welcoming him to our program."
Barnes averaged 12 points, five rebounds and five assists last season. He garnered first team All-League recognition in leading Compton to a 19-11 record. He comes from the same high school that produced two-time NBA All-Star DeMar DeRozan, who was also signed by coach Floyd at USC.
"Chris is an exceptional athlete whose best years are ahead of him," said Compton High School coach Tony Thomas. "UTEP has gotten a sleeper and a steal."
Barnes was named the SoCal Prep Legends Athlete of the Week in mid-January after scoring 13 of his 17 points in the second half of a come-from-behind victory over Long Beach Millikan High School. He played at Millikan as a junior, averaging 20 points for a 20-9 team and earning first team All-State and All-League honors. He was a member of a state title squad at Bishop Montgomery High School (Torrance, Calif.) as a sophomore in 2014.
So is UTEP done for the class of 2016?
It appears UTEP is still active in the 2016 recruiting period, but the focus could possibly be turning to a prop 48 prospect or maybe a possible surprise addition before the late signing period ends.
Stay tuned for more....