Culpepper Part of New Era

Randy Culpepper and Tony Barbee used to live in the same town and then Barbee moved to El Paso. Well, guess who has a new neighbor?

The University of Texas-El Paso scored a pair of commitments that should help make the coaching transition a little easier. New skipper Tony Barbee has to be excited about guard Randy Culpepper and forward Malcoln Kirkland, a forward out of Madison (Miss.) Central.

Culpepper is a player who could figure to have a major impact on the program. In a national context, this is one of the highest scoring players in the Class of 2007. Last season Culpepper hit for 31.3 points a game at Memphis Sheffield.

Speaking of Memphis, Barbee is no stranger to the area. Having spent a significant portion of his coaching career with John Calipari, Barbee knows his way around the city. Though the Tigers weren't recruiting Culpepper, Barbee knew all too well of the scoring reputation the young gun carried with him all through his high school career.

Malcoln Kirkland
UTEP, Colorado, Mississippi, East Carolina and SE Missouri were on the big time scoring guard in the end. The 5-foot-10 Culpepper found a certain comfort zone around Barbee.

"I just feel that the coaches they have can get me where I'm trying to go; to accomplish my goal (of making it to the league)."

The guard will be joined by Kirkland as two of the first recruits for Barbee in his new job.

"We went on the visit together," Culpepper said. "(Kirkland) can play; he's a good ballplayer."

Make that 2 good ball players for the Miners.

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