Catching Up With UTEP Basketball’s Early Signees

Coach Tim Floyd and the Miner staff have added reinforcements for the 2017-18 season.
April 3, 2017

Four basketball standouts who signed national letters of intent to play for UTEP in November enjoyed prolific 2016-17 seasons.

Evan Gilyard, Kobe Magee, Tirus Smith and Roderick Williams will join the Miners for the 2017-18 campaign. Gilyard is a 5-10 guard from Simeon Career Academy in Chicago. Magee is a 6-1 guard from Brandeis High School in San Antonio. Smith is a 6-9 forward out of Petal (Miss.) High School. Williams is a 6-7 forward from Los Angeles, Calif., who played at East Los Angeles College last season and will have three years of eligibility at UTEP.

Gilyard was first team All-State and first team All-City in leading Simeon to a 29-4 mark, a city championship and runner-up finish in the state of Illinois. He averaged 17 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals. Gilyard scored 32 points twice and had a triple-double against Edwardsville High School with 32 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. He also posted three consecutive double-doubles versus Westinghouse (19 points/11 assists), Schurz (15 points/12 assists) and Farragut (21 points/11 assists). He was MVP of the Pontiac Holiday Christmas Tournament and the Penny Hardaway National Hoop Fest in Dallas and Memphis. Gilyard led Simeon Career Academy, which also produced NBA standouts Jabari Parker and Derrick Rose, to a 125-11 record.

Magee was named the 2017 District 28-6A Offensive MVP and All-Region by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC). He averaged 17.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.6 steals this season, shooting 44 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point range and 71 percent from the line. He led Brandeis High School to 19 wins and a district co-championship. A four-year varsity starter, Magee concluded his career as Brandeis’ all-time leading scorer with 1,876 points and also collected 396 rebounds, 334 assists and 112 steals while leading the Broncos to a 93-30 record.

Smith garnered All-District 6A honors this season after averaging 14.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and two blocks per game. He shot 51 percent from the field and 32 percent from three-point range. He compiled 10 double-doubles on the year, with season-highs of 30 points (versus Neshoba Central HS) and 19 rebounds (versus South Jones HS). Smith scored 1,003 points in just two and a half seasons of varsity basketball. He was appointed to The Clarion-Ledger’s “Dandy Dozen” as one of the 12 best players in the state of Mississippi last season.



Williams was recently rated the no. 11 junior college prospect in the country by He was chosen the 2017 South Coast Conference Co-Player of the Year and was also California Community College Athletic Men’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCMBCA) All-California First Team. He led East Los Angeles College to a 23-7 record this season, and the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Quarterfinals. The Huskies were also co-champions of the South Coast Conference North Division. Williams was first on the team in scoring (18.8 ppg) and tied for the team lead in rebounding (7.8 rpg). He shot 59.5 percent from the field and 68.7 percent from the line. Williams scored 20+ points in 14 games with three 30-point performances.

The first day of the spring signing period is Wednesday, April 12.

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