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NCAA 2015

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Isaac Hamilton asks for release from UTEP; Tim Floyd denies request

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Isaac Hamilton had a wide-open recruitment through the process, with nothing ever being too concrete. He would cut his list to five, then add a school. He would name leaders, then discuss his other schools. When he surprisingly chose UTEP back in November, it caught many people off-guard -- but was a major coup for Tim Floyd and the Miners.

After all, UNLV, UCLA, Baylor, Washington and San Diego State were also in the mix for the five-star guard.

That happiness has lasted less than a year, however, as news broke over the weekend that Hamilton asked for a release from his letter of intent -- and UTEP denied his request.

“He had two choices -- one, not to sign the letter of intent or two, to file an appeal. I'm not releasing him,” Floyd told the El Paso Times. “We have made our schedule based on having Isaac. People have bought season tickets based on our having Isaac. It's too late. He can appeal and we'll wait to see what happens. If he is allowed out, we might as well not even have letters of intent.”

The Los Angeles Times then reported that Hamilton is hoping to enroll at USC, in order to be closer to home because of an ill grandmother.

“It's not a secret,” one source said of where Hamilton wants to go.

Because UTEP denied his release, Hamilton is appealing to the National Letter of Intent Steering Committee.

If Hamilton wins his appeal, he can choose another school and suit up immediately. If he loses his appeal, he will either have to play at UTEP or transfer to a different school and sit out a season.

Sources with knowledge of the situation don't believe he will ever end up playing at UTEP, regardless of the appeal's outcome.

Hamilton is the younger brother of Denver Nuggers forward Jordan Hamilton, and the older brother of five-star senior Daniel Hamilton, who has committed to Connecticut.

Here's an interesting side note: USC and UTEP are both playing in the Battle 4 Atlantis in November. While the bracket hasn't been announced yet, a head-to-head game should have plenty of storylines.

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