Once the scholarship came open last month, UTPA men’s basketball coach Dan Hipsher wanted to fill it with a fifth-year senior.
With four of his top five scorers departing, the new coach wanted some immediate help as his team entered the Western Athletic Conference. Well, come Saturday, he got it.
The Broncs officially signed Javorn Farrell, a transfer from UMass, to a scholarship agreement. He chose UTPA over Colorado State, Kent State, Marshall, Florida Atlantic and Hofstra.
“We wanted a veteran that could come in and contribute right away with the scoring we lost on the front line,” Hipsher said. “He comes out of a great league in the (Atlantic 10).”
Farrell, a 6-5 guard originally from Virginia, didn’t play last season due to an ankle injury. Because he already graduated, he was able to take advantage of an NCAA rule and will be able to play immediately for UTPA. Normally, players have to sit out a year when they transfer.
“I like the coaching staff a lot, they’re a good group of guys and they know their basketball,” Farrell said. “The move to the WAC is definitely something I’m looking forward to.”
What separated UTPA from the other schools on Farrell’s list wound up being his relationship with the coaches. His recruiting was done by associate head coach, and Hipsher’s son, Andy Hipsher, though the entire staff played a role. With most of the players gone for the summer, Farrell’s visit was run heavily by the coaching staff.
He came into town Thursday and left Saturday morning. Before he left, he signed.
“He was ready to sign, so of course we had the papers ready for him,” Dan Hipsher said. “No doubt about it. It’s a good one for us.”
Farrell didn’t want to stretch anything out. Having already gone through the process when he was coming out of high school, he wanted this one to go easy. Once he spent a few days at UTPA, his mind was made up.
“I gained a sense of trust with the coaching staff,” Farrell said. “I’ve done a lot of background reading on the coaches there, I’ve heard a lot of great things.”
Farrell averaged 8.5 points per game and 25.5 minutes per game as a sophomore in 2010-11 with UMass. The following season, those numbers dropped to 6.3 and 21.5 due to the emergence of some other players.
He figures to immediately help the Broncs, who lost a good chunk of their scoring with Brandon Provost, Aaron Urbanus, Ruben Cabrera and Jesus Delgado all departing. They are bringing in four freshmen — Jake Raspopovich, Alex Majewski, LJ McIntosh and Marcel Simon — to fill those scholarships. Farrell’s spot came open in early May when AJ Moutry was released.
“He’s a really good all-around player,” Dan Hipsher said. “He can score the ball, he can get to the rim … he can play anywhere from the point to the 3. Really, really has a good mind for the game.”
Todd Orodenker covers UTPA Athletics for The Monitor. You can reach him at (956) 683-4431 or via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ToddO243.