UTEP Big Man Vince Hunter to go Pro

UTEP standout Vince Hunter declared for the NBA Draft on Thursday after just two seasons with the Miners. (Source: USA Today Sports)
UTEP standout Vince Hunter declared for the NBA Draft on Thursday after just two seasons with the Miners. (Source: USA Today Sports)

Thursday was a day that was filled with players declaring for the NBA Draft. Kentucky saw it’s top seven (7!) scorers declare for the draft, with potential first overall selection Karl-Anthony Towns leading the way. A little bit later on, Duke’s Jahlil Okafor also declared for the draft. Towns and Okafor are the likely candidates to be the first overall selection in the draft, with the other likely to go with the second pick. Right now, it looks as though they sit 1a and 1b on many draft boards, as you can’t really go wrong with either.

There was another notable announcement on Thursday that got overshadowed by the “stars” making their decisions. Another talented big man declared for the draft, and he goes by the name of Vince Hunter. The UTEP Miner forward officially entered his name into the 2015 NBA Draft, and is a name to watch come draft day.

Hunter, a 6’8”, 200-pound forward out of Detroit, MI, has enjoyed a strong career at UTEP, even though he was only in a Miners’ uniform for two seasons. In 2014-15, he averaged 14.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Hunter opened the season with five straight double-doubles, and finished the season with 13 double-doubles under his belt.

Hunter’s ability to be an impact player on the offensive end, and in terms of rebounding, bring up some comparisons to UC Santa Barbara big man Alan Williams. Hunter is an effective shooter from the field, shooting above 50% in both years at UTEP. He pulled down an impressive 527 rebounds over his two year career in El Paso, TX.

One knock on Hunter is his size. He stands at only 6’8” and 200-pounds, which is relatively small for a power forward in the NBA. He also doesn’t have the deep shooting range to give a team some flexibility at the 3-spot. However, his talent and impact on the game in terms of rebounding will definitely earn him some looks leading up to the draft in June.

– T.B.