Best recruiter in the post Haskins era

MinerManiac

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Jun 28, 2001
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On Kyyote's Den, Kyyote recently posted a thread (http://kyyotesden.com/Den/index.php/topic,2237.0.html) asking who was the best UTEP player recruited in the post Haskins era, and which coach had recruited him. Later in the thread he indicated that the real purpose of the thread was to determine which of the post Haskins coaches was the best recruiter. In order to determine which of these coaches has been our best recruiter, we have to look at the recruiting classes that they brought in. Below are the recruiting classes for each coach we’ve had since Haskins retired. Please note that this is my best effort for a short period of time. It is certainly possible that I have missed some significant players. If so, my apologies, and please let me know whom I missed.

Jason Rabedeaux:

Class of 2000:
Eugene Costello (JC)
Brian Stewart (D1)
Chris Neal (JC)
Leonard Owens (JC)
Nick Enzweiler (HS)
Antone Jarrell (HS)
Montrel Allen (HS)

Class of 2001:
Luke Martin (HS)
Joe Devance (HS)
Jason Johnson (HS)
Justino Victoriano (JC)
Jason Hammock (?)
Alex Anthis (Foreign)

Class of 2002:
Gio St Amant (HS)
John Tofi (HS)
Omar Duran (JC)
Chris Craig (JC)
Darius Mattear (JC)
Alex Anthis (HS)
Keion Kindred (HS)

Rabedeaux came in with a reputation as a great recruiter, and those of us who followed his first recruiting class initially thought he had done a great job. This seemed to be confirmed when the team made the NIT in 2001. The next year, however, without Brandon Wolfram, these players were only able to lead the team to a 10-22 record. The class of 2001 has to be one of the worst in UTEP history, which is ironic, as we brought in more top notch talent on official visits that year than we probably ever have before or since. Unfortunately Rab missed out on every top notch prospect he recruited that year. Gio, Tofi, and Craig were definitely difference makers on Rab’s last class, one he never had a chance to coach.

Billy Gillispie:

Class of 2003:
Brent Murphy (JC)
Nathan Nixon (HS)
Fili Rivera (JC)
Omar Thomas (JC)
Joshua Washington (HS)
Jason Williams (JC)

This was Gillispie’s only recruiting class with the Miners, and it was a fantastic one. Rivera, Thomas, and Williams were all studs. If I remember right, Nixon and Washington were walk-ons, so you can’t hold their lack of success against Gillispie.

Doc Sadler:

Class of 2004:
Miguel Ayala (JC)
Stanley Branch (HS)
Vernon Carr, Jr (HS)
Kelvin Davis (HS)
Will Kimble (D1)

Class of 2005:
Kevin Henderson (JC)
Stefon Jackson (HS)
Maurice Thomas (HS)
Edgar Moreno (D1)

Class of 2006:
Malik Alvin (HS)
Xavier Dawson (JC)
Franklin Jones (HS)
Marvin Kilgore (JC)
Victor Ramalho (JC)
Jeremy Sampson (JC)
Pearson Smith (JC)
Corey Speight (JC)
Dale Vanwright (HS)
Tavaris Watts (JC)

To be fair, Sadler took over after Gillispie left for aTm, and proceeded to lose incoming recruits Ivan Almonte and Alex Galindo. We had thought at the time that he recovered nicely with Branch, Carr, and Davis, but none of these players ever produced for us and all three left early. DJ is, of course, the one great player he signed. One very notable whiff: back in 2005 we were recruiting another player out of Philadelphia, Dionte Christmas. It was my understanding from people close to the program that Christmas really wanted to come to UTEP, but the staff didn’t think that his game was suitable for mid major level basketball. He went to Temple instead, where he scored over 2000 points in his career, making first team all-conference twice. His last class was a disaster, with Kilgore easily being the best of the lot.

Tony Barbee

Class of 2007:
Claude Britten (HS)
Manuel Cass (HS)
Randy Culpepper (HS)
Gabriel McCulley (HS)
Wayne Portalatin (HS)
Julyan Stone (HS)

Class of 2008:
Blaise Ffrench (HS)
Jason Jones (HS)
Arnett Moultrie (HS)
Chano Rashiduddin (HS)

Class of 2009:
Marcus Ruppel (HS)
Myron Strong (JC)
Jeremy Williams (JC)
Christian Polk (D1)
Derrick Caracter (D1)

The top player in the class of 2007 was supposed to Manuel Cass, but he ended up being kicked off of the team very early on for disciplinary reasons. Even without him that was an outstanding class, forming the core of a team that would win the conference and make the NCAA Tournament three years later. Division 1 transfers Caracter and Polk really bolstered the 2009 class. While none of these players ever had significant careers in the NBA, three of them (Stone, Moultrie, and Caracter) spent some time in the Association.

Tim Floyd:

Class of 2010:
Rashanti Harris (HS)
John Bohannon (HS)
Michael Haynes (HS)
Desmond Lee (HS)
Michael Perez (HS)
Julian Washburn (HS)

Class of 2011:
D’Von Campbell (HS)
C.J. Cooper (HS)
Mitch Marquis (JC)
Malcolm Moore (JC)
Darius Nelson (HS)
Jalen Ragland (HS)
Hooper Vint (HS)
Jacques Streeter (D1)
Cedric Lang (HS)

Class of 2012:
Konner Tucker (D1)
Twymond Howard (HS)
Anthony January (HS)
Chris Washburn, Jr. (HS)
McKenzie Moore (HS)
Dustin Watts (HS)
Matt Willms (HS)

Class of 2013:
Josh Brown (HS)
Jake Flaggert (HS)
Vince Hunter (HS)
Andre Spight (HS)
Jacob Thomas (JC)
Isaac Hamilton (HS)
Justin Crossgile (D1)

Class of 2014:
Shaq Carr (HS)
Omega Harris (HS)
Marqywell Jackson (HS)
Earvin Morris (JC)
Chris Sandifer (HS)
Lew Stallworth (HS)
Trey Touchet (HS)
Terry Winn (HS)

Class of 2015:
Dominic Artis (JC)
Brodricks Jones (HS)
Josh McSwiggan (Foreign)
Lee Moore (JC)
Christian Romine (HS)
Paul Thomas (HS)

When you consider that Bohannon was Barbee’s recruit, Floyd really struggled with his initial class. Does anyone know which coach recruited Washburn, Barbee or Floyd? If it was Floyd, then he had at least one hit in the class, if it was Barbee, Floyd completely struck out. To be fair, Floyd didn’t have a full season to recruit, missing out on the fall signing period. There is definitely some nice talent in these classes: Hunter, Harris, Morris, and Moore, for example. Cedric Lang was a great “diamond in the rough” signing. Still, to me, in six recruiting classes, there should be more good players who actually spent significant time on the team.

So who’s the best recruiter? If Gillispie had recruited more than one class to UTEP then he might have been a contender here, but, since he didn’t, Tony Barbee is the clear winner.
 

jamasterj

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Dec 3, 2001
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As much as I hate to say it, Barbee. I watched a video of their game against Oklahoma on YouTube the other night and we were playing lights out, loose and very confident. DAMN, why did we have to play the runner up right off the bat! I honestly think that was one of our best teams since the 80's. {sigh}
 

unihorn

MI Miner Maniac
Dec 1, 2007
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Memory lane reading those names! I didn't move back here until 2005, but the greatest players since then to me are:

Stephon Jackson
Randy Culpepper
Julyan Stone
Derrick Caracter
Vince Hunter

So I'd agree with Barbee for my time.

Great post, OP.
 

allminer

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Feb 12, 2005
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Barbee has had the best class. Best players post Haskins...Caracter, Culpepper, Stone, Rivera, DJ, Omar (Thomas), Washburn and Hunter. Never was impressed by Moultrie, wasn't coachable, so much wasted potential.
 

miner661

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Jun 28, 2001
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Overall, Tony Barbee has been far and away the best recruiter of talent during the post-Haskins era. The worst, far and away, has been Doc Sadler. Ironically, in my opinion, Sadler did land the best basketball player UTEP has had during the post-Haskins era, in Stefon Jackson.

By the way, Maniac, you missed Thomas Gherke in Gillispie's lone class. Other than that, job well done.
 
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unihorn

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Overall, Tony Barbee has been far and away the best recruiter of talent during the post-Haskins era. The worst, far and away, has been Doc Sadler. Ironically, in my opinion, Sadler did land the best basketball player UTEP has had during the post-Haskins era, in Stefon Jackson.

By the way, Maniac, you missed Thomas Gherke in Gillispie's lone class. Other than that, job well done.

Hard to argue with Stefon Jackson -- that guy carried his teams on his back.
 

miner661

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Hard to argue with Stefon Jackson -- that guy carried his teams on his back.

I appreciate the fact he didn't leave his freshman year after Jason Williams broke his jaw in practice. The dude was/is a Miner through and through.
 
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mikesarabia

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Oct 28, 2006
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Great job MinerManiac!! Excellent post and interesting information. First to answer your question, it was Floyd that recruited Julian Washburn. I also think Desmond Lee was a Barbee recruit that fell into Floyd's doghouse almost immediately and he eventually left. I too agree that Barbee brought in the best talent to make a "team". He had a good mix of strong guard play (Culpepper, Stone, Polk), athletic forwards (Moultrie, Williams, McCulley) and height and size at the center position (Caracter, Britten, Portalatin). Floyd has had some good recruits but has also struck out too many times and taken chances on players that don't cut it at this level.
 
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UTEPMiners8106

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I appreciate the fact he didn't leave his freshman year after Jason Williams broke his jaw in practice. The dude was/is a Miner through and through.

Didn't he ask Doc to lift Williams' suspension after a couple of games?
 

MinerManiac

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Barbee has had the best class. Best players post Haskins...Caracter, Culpepper, Stone, Rivera, DJ, Omar (Thomas), Washburn and Hunter. Never was impressed by Moultrie, wasn't coachable, so much wasted potential.

I loved Moultrie during his freshman year, but was a bit disappointed in him during his sophomore season. He was, however, All-SEC during his one year at Mississippi State. He would have been fantastic for us if he and Floyd had seen eye to eye.

Overall, Tony Barbee has been far and away the best recruiter of talent during the post-Haskins era. The worst, far and away, has been Doc Sadler. Ironically, in my opinion, Sadler did land the best basketball player UTEP has had during the post-Haskins era, in Stefon Jackson.

By the way, Maniac, you missed Thomas Gherke in Gillispie's lone class. Other than that, job well done.

Thanks 661. Yeah, I forgot about Gehrke, and shouldn't have. Good catch.

I appreciate the fact he didn't leave his freshman year after Jason Williams broke his jaw in practice. The dude was/is a Miner through and through.

Didn't he ask Doc to lift Williams' suspension after a couple of games?

There was a lot to love about DJ: his fantastic mid range game, his great shot selection, his consistency, his ability to get to the line and knock down his free throws. But it was his actions as a freshman, when Williams broke his jaw, and he not only decided to stay with the team, but asked Sadler to reduce Williams' punishment for the good of the team, that cemented him as a favorite of mine forever.
 

kickballpro

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Mar 24, 2006
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Great post.

Gillispie took over a dog of a program that was in complete shambles, and with one class took them to the Big Dance. Talk about impressive.

Barbee obviously is a highly skilled recruiter. He brought top notch athletes here and guys that went on to play in the league or in Europe's top leagues.

Floyd is currently known for quantity but not quality.
 

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