EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – UTEP power forward Tydus Verhoeven is returning to the Miners for the 2021-22 season, he announced on Twitter on Monday night.
The Manteca, Calif., native started all 24 games for the Miners in 2020-21, averaging 4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Verhoeven served mainly as a defensive specialist for UTEP in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
“You mind if I stick around El Paso? @UTEPMBB let’s get to work!” wrote Verhoeven in a tweet tell fans he was returning to the Sun City.
Verhoeven initially entered the NCAA Transfer Portal on April 1, before Rodney Terry left his post as UTEP’s head coach to be an assistant on Chris Beard’s staff at Texas. He bided his time, staying silent as the Miners hired new head coach Joe Golding on April 14.
Golding gave UTEP’s players that had entered the Portal before his arrival the opportunity to go through practices this spring to get a feel for his program. Verhoeven took advantage, practicing with the Miners the last few weeks. It’s likely that that experience ultimately played a part in his decision to stay on campus in El Paso.
Golding also weighed in on Twitter after Verhoeven’s announcement, writing, “Absolutely! Let’s Get to Work. Great day to be a Miner!”
Verhoeven, a redshirt junior in 2020-21, will still have two years of eligibility remaining with the Miners, due to a policy enacted by the NCAA. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA has said that the 2020-21 season will not count against any athlete’s eligibility, effectively giving every athlete a free year, so Verhoeven will still be a redshirt junior in 2021-22.
Verhoeven, who arrived at UTEP as a transfer from Duquesne in 2018, is the fourth of UTEP’S five starters from 2020-21 to elect to stay with the Miners under Golding, joining Jamal Bieniemy, Souley Boum, and Keonte Kennedy.
The only starter left to make a decision: star forward Bryson Williams, who averaged 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in 2020-21. Williams has received interest from a bevy of Power-5 programs since entering the NCAA Transfer Portal on April 16, including Arizona State, Texas, USC, and Washington.
UTEP is also vying for Williams’ services, in hopes he returns to the fold for next season. If he does, Golding will have six of UTEP’s top seven scorers from 2020-21 on the roster in his first season as head coach.