EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After UConn was upset by New Mexico State in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, head coach Danny Hurley came to the Borderland for reinforcements.

Hurley inked Burges graduate Tristen Newton in the offseason, successfully convincing Newton to transfer to UConn after starring at East Carolina for three seasons.

Newton’s 2021-22 campaign was especially successful; the man who scored over 3,000 points in his high school career averaged 17.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists for the Pirates a season ago.

Lightly-recruited out of high school – the hometown UTEP Miners didn’t even offer him – Newton was guided to UConn, in part, by Huskies assistant coach Kimani Young, who played at UTEP in the 1990s for Don Haskins.

“Ever since the first phone call, I knew that they cared about their players,” Newton said. “They’re players’ coaches. They’re going to push you hard and want the best for you. That’s what drew me here.”

Now, the El Paso native and cousin of Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones will be relied upon to steer the ship in 2022-23 for the Huskies.

A pure scorer in high school – he averaged almost 40 points per game as a senior at Burges – Newton has shown an ability to make plays for others at the college level. With RJ Cole graduating, Newton will have the opportunity to step in and play point guard from day one for the Huskies.

“I saw them last year and they were a great team,” Newton said. “I feel like I can come in and help the team. We have great teammates, key pieces that will be great for us, so I feel like we’ll be a good team.”

Playing against Big East competition will no doubt provide Newton with the biggest challenge of his college career, but he’s ready for it.

He’s still learning Hurley’s system, but once he does, a lot will be expected of Newton. If his track record is anything to fall back on, he’ll be just fine.

“I feel like I’m getting there. It’s a lot of terminology stuff, I’ve seen a lot of it before. So once I get the terminology down, I feel like I’ll be alright,” he said.

Newton and the Huskies will open the 2022-23 campaign at home vs. Stonehill on Nov. 7.