Dave Rice on the Endless (Recruiting) Trail

Rebel basketball looks to the future

Photo by Anthony Mair

Bishop Gorman’s Stephen Zimmerman. Photo by Anthony Mair

The 2014 recruiting class—led by 6-foot-6 former Findlay Prep shooting guard Rashad Vaughn—is perhaps the best in UNLV basketball history, but coach Dave Rice hasn’t stopped to savor the moment.

Partly because the 2014 class features players unlikely to stick around for more than a year or two, and partly because the program has so much recruiting momentum, Rice is targeting some of the top high school players in the nation for 2015 and ’16. The Rebels have offered scholarships to at least 10 players ranked in the top 50 for 2015, and they’ve offered at least 11 of the top 50 players for 2016, with Bishop Gorman 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman headlining the 2015 class and Martinsville, Virginia, forward Thon Maker topping the 2016 group.

The Rebels’ recruiting reach continues to expand: If there’s an elite talent in the high school ranks—no matter where he’s from—there’s a good chance Rice has pitched him on the merits of UNLV. And sometimes the recruiting trail leads right to your doorstep: Several prestigious AAU tournaments and the LeBron James Skills Academy are headed for Las Vegas this summer.

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