Analysts unanimously agree that UTEP’s 2013 basketball recruiting class ranks among the nation’s best. HOOPSCOOP Online Editor and Publisher Clark Francis was the latest to chime in on Monday. He said UTEP has a top-10 class with two top-25 players.
“I have UTEP’s class rated ninth in the country,” Francis said. “I have Isaac Hamilton as the no. 19 player and Vince Hunter as the no. 21 player. When you sign two guys who are at that level, that’s what gets your class rated that high.”
The Miners’ recruiting class is also rated no. 12 nationally by 247sports.com, no. 16 by Rivals and no. 29 by ESPN.
Hamilton is a 6-5 guard from Los Angeles, and Hunter is a 6-8 forward from Detroit.
“Hamilton is one of the best shooters in the country and Hunter is a big-time athlete,” Francis said. “I saw Hunter twice this summer, at the Pangos All-American Camp in June and in Las Vegas in late July. This guy is a major sleeper. He is a thoroughbred athlete in transition.”
The Miners also signed 5-10 guard Josh Brown, 6-6 forward Jake Flaggert, 6-3 guard Andre Spight and 6-4 guard Jacob Thomas, a junior college transfer.
“Jacob Thomas would be a top-150 guy if he were a high school player,” Francis said.
It hasn’t taken coach Tim Floyd long to put the UTEP program back on the national map.
“How does Tim Floyd walk into California and get Isaac Hamilton? Well, he used to coach there, he knows a lot of people and he has a relationship with the family,” Francis said. “That makes a big difference. Recruiting is about relationships and who you know and taking advantage of those relationships.”