UNLV rounds out 2012-13 roster by adding Philly forward Savon Goodman

Rivals.com's No. 72 overall prospect in 2012 class becomes eighth newcomer on next year's Rebels squad

OK, now they’re done adding.

It’s been a summer of comings and goings within the UNLV men’s basketball program, but on Friday, what will be the final piece of the 2012-13 roster was put in place.

The Rebels received a commitment from and officially signed Philadelphia forward Savon Goodman. Rivals.com ranks the 6-foot-6 Goodman as the No. 72 overall prospect in the 2012 recruiting class.

Goodman was one of the top remaining unsigned prospects in the 2012 senior crop, and chose UNLV over SMU and Pitt after taking an official visit to Las Vegas two weeks ago. A former Villanova commit, Goodman is UNLV’s eighth newcomer to this year’s roster, joining incoming freshmen Anthony Bennett, Daquan Cook, Demetris Morant and Katin Reinhardt, and transfers Khem Birch (Pitt), Bryce Jones (USC) and Roscoe Smith (UConn).

Given the heavy immediate playing time potentially available to Goodman elsewhere, a commitment late this week came as almost a bit of a surprise to UNLV second-year coach Dave Rice and his staff.

When Goodman was on campus for his visit, the staff laid out the reality of the current situation on the table: They likely want to redshirt two players next season, and if Roscoe Smith’s immediate eligibility waiver is approved by the NCAA, Goodman will almost certainly redshirt this upcoming season.

If Smith’s waiver is denied and he’s forced to redshirt, Goodman could end up playing, though the possibility of a redshirt year could still be on the table.

“I was very honest through the whole process with Savon about Roscoe Smith,” Rice said. “Savon knows if the waiver (for Smith) is approved, he’ll redshirt.”

Whether he begins playing for the Rebels in 2012-13 or 2013-14, Rice likes what he’ll be getting.

Rice said he sees Goodman developing into a small forward for the Rebels. He’s able to score at will at the rim thanks in part to great instincts and athleticism, while still developing as a shooter. Goodman is very strong and versatile in transition — A natural fit within UNLV’s uptempo offense.

But his biggest strength is his ability to defend. Rice said Goodman can defend four different positions on the floor.

The big question with Goodman, which ultimately led to his making a college decision so late, involved whether he’d be able to academically qualify or have to reclassify as a member of the 2013 class and attend prep school for a year.

He graduated earlier this week from Constitution High and is all squared away academically. He averaged 26 points and nine rebounds per game as a senior, leading Consitution to Public League and state championships. He spent his first three years of high school at Academy of the New Church Boys School in Bryn Athyn, Pa.

He’ll begin attending classes at UNLV during the school’s third summer session, which begins the second week of July.

Goodman was selected as a Parade All-American and was a member of the USA Elite National Team that won the title at the FIBA World Championships in France this past April.

Now comes the interesting part.

Rice and his staff have hit big time and time again on the recruiting trail in piecing together next year’s team, but now they have to figure out how all of the pieces will fit together.

UNLV has 13 scholarship players, with Birch becoming eligible at the conclusion of the fall semester. Rice will likely look to redshirt two players, while the competition for the spots within the Rebels’ rotation promises to be heated.

“It’ll be very healthy for everyone,” Rice said of the competition this summer and fall. “The way we want to play, we need to have nine or 10 guys playing.”

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