Rebel Prospecting

Photo by Gabe Zapata

Photo by Gabe Zapata

College basketball recruiting is all about momentum, and UNLV is catching a serious wave right now.

In just the past month, three elite high school players in the Class of 2014 have included UNLV among their finalists. The Rebels are now regularly rubbing elbows with such basketball bluebloods as Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, etc.

Center Goodluck Okonoboh, shooting guard Rashad Vaughn and small forward Kelly Oubre have all short-listed the Rebels. Adding any of them to a class already headlined by the nation’s No. 12 prospect, 6-foot-8 early commit Dwayne Morgan, would make for an extremely impactful recruiting class.

So what are coach Dave Rice and his staff doing right? For one thing, they’ve been tireless, putting in the grinding travel, plus the sweet-nothings phone calls and texts that make players feel wanted. And some of the success spurs from what the staff did right last year: Rebel fans can thank NBA No. 1 draft pick Anthony Bennett for drawing up the best-case-scenario blueprint for recruits dreaming of pro stardom. In a single season, he proved that UNLV is a viable path to the top. Across the nation, recruits are talking about Bennett’s rocket path to stardom.

And Rice is not about to miss that ride.

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