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UTEP recruits rated as superior in C-USA

May. 25, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

HUNTINGTON -- UTEP's crop of men's basketball recruits is arguably the best this year in Conference USA.

Bleacher Report.com has the UTEP recruiting class ranked No. 25 in the nation while ESPN.com put the Miners at No. 33.

McDonald's All-American Isaac Hamilton is UTEP's most decorated recruit in 30 years.

Hamilton, a 6-foot-5 guard out of St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif., is the No. 14 player on the Rivals.com Top 150 list.

He averaged 23.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

UTEP's five-player class also includes Jacob Thomas, a 6-4 junior college transfer guard from Howard College in Texas, who was ranked No. 45 in the JucoRecruiting.com Top 100.

Marshall University signed four players, including Justin Edmonds and Cheikh Sane who were the Nos. 79 and 97 prospects respectively on the JucoRecruiting.com list.

Edmonds is a 6-4, 210-pound guard from Albion, Mich., who played at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio. He averaged 18.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in a season shortened to 15 games because of a knee injury. Smith signed in November 2012. The 6-6, 220-pound forward from Sacramento, Calif., put up 10.9 points and 4.7 rebounds a game for City College of San Francisco.

Cheikh Sane, a 6-9, 217-pound frontcourt player from Dakar, Senegal, also signed with Marshall. Sane showed a lot of improvement as a sophomore at Snow College in Utah when he averaged 10.4 points and 9.0 rebounds.

The Thundering Herd also signed point guard Jaylen Brantley from Springfield, Mass., who played at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. Brantley averaged 16 points and five assists in prep school. He might be an academic non-qualifier as a freshman.

UAB recruit Chad Frazier, a 6-4 guard coming from Gulf Coast (Fla.) Community College, was No. 16 on the JucoRecruiting.com list. The Blazers also added No. 38 C.J. Washington, a 6-8 forward from Tallahassee Community College.

Tulsa's top recruit was 6-4 guard Marquel Curtis from Williston State College (N.D.) who checked in at No. 39 in the JucoRecruiting.com ratings.

Other C-USA recruits ranked by JucoRecruiting.com were: No. 64, Ronald Ross, Middle Tennessee State (G, 6-3, Indian Hills Community College, Iowa); No. 71 Ude Ifeanyichurwu, Southern Miss (F, 6-9, Laramie County Community College, Wyo.); and No. 94 Antonio Robinson, East Carolina (G, 6-4, Louisburg College, N.C.).

North Texas announced the transfer of 6-2 guard Vertail Vaughns from George Mason University. Vaughns will graduate this spring from GMU and have one year of eligibility with the Mean Green.

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