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Starting guard Keonte Kennedy to transfer from UTEP

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EL PASO, Texas - The exodus of basketball players from UTEP appears to have reached it's climax.

Starting guard Keonte Kennedy, who finished third on the team in scoring last season, officially entered the transfer portal on Tuesday. Kennedy is the 11th player from last year's UTEP roster to depart since the season's end.

Kennedy was also the team's leading rebounder last season.

https://twitter.com/KeonteKennedy/status/1516469363334807553?s=20&t=xq4Ej0kPjWE7qj_Sx9AgQw

A redshirt sophomore from Austin, TX, Kennedy came to the Miners in 2019 after transferring from Xavier. He was recruited by former head coach Rodney Terry.

Known for his athleticism and streaky scoring, Kennedy only played in 19 games in 2020-21 due to a nagging foot injury. But once he returned on February 26th, Kennedy scored double figures in each of the team's seven remaining games.

He will two years of eligibility at his next school.

In addition to Kennedy, forward Che Evans also entered the transfer portal on Tuesday morning. Evans did not play a game for the Miners after transferring into the program midseason from San Diego State.

Entering his second season, UTEP head coach Joe Golding will have his work cut out for him in replacing a roster that overachieved to a 20-14 record.

With previous departures, the Miners need to replace 92% of their scoring from last season.

It's worth noting that of the five departing players who played the most minutes, only one (Jorell Saterfield) was recruited by Golding's staff.

With the COVID-19 season granting transfers immediate eligibility, players are entering the portal at a rapid rate.

As it currently stands, the only players remaining from UTEP's roster last season are forwards jamari Sibley, Ze'rik Onyema, and Kevin Kalu.

Golding does have four players incoming to the program. He has secured commitments from Cleveland, OH high school guard Jamal Sulin, junior college forwards Derick Hamilton (6-10) and Jon Dos Anjos (6-7).

In addition, the Miners are bringing in New mexico State transfer guard Mario McKinney Jr., who played in both NCAA Tournament games for the Aggies last season.

Golding and his staff continue to hit the road recruiting this week as they look to fill their roster, one that will be very different than what fans have been accustomed to seeing at the Don Haskins Center.

Nate Ryan

Nate Ryan is an ABC-7 sports anchor/reporter.

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