Will Isaac Hamilton be the next elite high school recruit to pick UNLV?
One of the top players in the Class of 2013 (ranked No. 16 nationally by Rivals), Hamilton is set to announce his college decision live on ESPNU on Friday at 4 p.m. The Rebels have reason to be optimistic, as UNLV is one of his finalists along with UTEP, UCLA and Baylor. Hamilton and his younger brother visited the UNLV campus last weekend and took in the Rebels' season-opening blowout win over Northern Arizona, so coach Dave Rice and his staff got to make a good impression before Hamilton made his decision.
One source familiar with Hamilton's recruitment told me he believes it's down to UNLV or UTEP, while other reports indicate that UCLA is still in the mix. Hamilton's saga has been unpredictable from the beginning, as he's revised his list of finalsts several times, postponed visits, cancelled visits, added schools and given differing opinions depending on who was interviewing him at the time.
But the one thing he's been most consistent about was that he wouldn't make a decision until the spring. Apparently that timetable has been accelerated, a move that could be interpreted as UNLV sealing the deal during the official visit.
A long, lanky 6-foot-5 slasher, Hamilton is a top-notch scorer at the point guard position. Some schools recruited him as a shooting guard, but UNLV sees him as a point guard in Rice's up-tempo system. That was a big selling point for Hamilton, who wants to stay at the 1.
As of Thursday night, the UNLV staff was still in the dark on Hamilton's decision. They expect Hamilton to let them know before he goes live on TV, but for now they're playing the waiting game.
Hamilton's recruitment takes on an added dimension because of his brother, Daniel Hamilton. Daniel is an elite prospect in the Class of 2014 (ranked No. 19 by Rivals), and most schools believe the brothers are a package deal. Daniel told me during the visit that it would take a huge offer from another school to separate them, so a commitment from one is really like picking up two top-20 players.
It would be a recruiting home run, and Rice has already proven that he can hit the long ball. On Friday, we'll find out if he can do it again.
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