UTEP Mines Philly Talent

UTEP recruited well under Billy Gillispie and the Miners appear to be continuing that momentum under first-year head coach Doc Sadler.

Make it three Philadelphia (Pa.) Lutheran Christian players that will be on the UTEP roster in the fall of 2005. Stanley Branch, a Philly Christian alum, is already on campus and joining him next season will be shooting guard Stefan Jackson and power forward Maurice Thomas.

The Miners accepted commitments from both this week. Looking for a connection from the high school to the college? Look no further than current UTEP director of basketball operations, David Anwar.

Anwar spent three seasons as the head coach at Lutheran Christian from 1998-2000. He's in his first year on the Miners staff and his connections to the school remain strong.

The Miners have scored a significant coup with the addition of the 6-foot-3 Jackson. He's a guy with a big time stroke and the resume of scorer who could have played at a higher level.

"He's comfortable and he's going down there where he can be a big scorer every night," Lutheran coach Darryl Schofield said. "Plus, there's a guy down there who can be like his big brother or his uncle."

Schofield said that Jackson relished being the big man on campus role. "A few places were calling but he felt that the best situation for him was to be a big fish in a small pond. The minutes were there too."

After Jackson, the Miners weren't finished. They snared his frontcourt teammate whom Schofield thinks is going to make an impact.

"He's one of the biggest sleepers in the country. No one ever heard of him and then once he started playing wondered how they missed this kid."

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