UNLV will look to land its next superstar recruit on Wednesday, when prized Class 0f 2014 forward Dwayne Morgan will announce his decision. The Rebels are among Morgan’s final three schools, along with Maryland and Georgetown, and some believe that Morgan is leaning toward coming out west to Las Vegas to play his college ball.
A 6-foot-7 junior at St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.), Morgan is ranked No. 13 in his class by Rivals.com (you can check his highlight video here). He’s an inside-out combo forward, a type which Dave Rice seems to love recruiting, and figures to be a good fit in an up-tempo system.
So what are the Rebels’ odds of landing him? The consensus is that UNLV is a slight favorite, despite being the furthest from home. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Morgan might choose Vegas:
1. UNLV is recruiting him the hardest
UNLV was the first school to offer Morgan a scholarship, and the Rebels have been recruiting him the longest. He’s gotten to know the staff very well and feels comfortable with them, according to this story, which quotes Morgan as saying he has a really good relationship with the UNLV coaches.
2. He wants to play fast
This has been a common refrain from everyone recruited by the Rebels since Rice became head coach. Rice coaches the type of offense that Morgan wants, and style of play is said to be very important to him — so important that Georgetown coach John Thompson III reportedly told Morgan he would alter the Hoyas’ normal “Princeton offense” in order to get in the open floor more and get Morgan more isolation touches. UNLV can offer a better system fit than either Maryland or Georgetown.
3. Baltimore is Vegas East
The Rebels have done well with Baltimore recruits under Rice, first reeling in Daquan Cook out of high school and then grabbing Roscoe Smith when he transferred from UConn. The program has strong ties to Morgan’s AAU team, and he’s said to be friends with Cook.
4. Morgan loved his UNLV visit
Morgan has said that his visit to UNLV was his favorite, despite the fact that he took in a Maryland—North Carolina game while visiting the Terrapins.
Add it all up, and the Rebels could be in for some good news Wednesday morning. It would be small consolation to fans who were disappointed by the first-round ouster from the NCAA tournament last week, but recruiting never stops.
On the flip side, if Morgan chooses one of the other schools, expect to hear whispers about UNLV’s “recruiting slump,” as he would be the third straight elite recruit to spurn the Rebels after Isaac Hamilton and Jermaine Lawrence.
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