UNLV is guaranteed to have at least one open scholarship for 2014 with the graduation of center Carlos Lopez-Sosa. And there’s already one high school prospect committed to fill that spot — Baltimore native Dwayne Morgan. But Dave Rice is planning as if the Rebels are going to need more from the Class of 2014.
“We know we’re definitely losing Carlos,” Rice said. “And I think that in the natural progression of a college program, you have to consider the possibility of other players moving on. So we’re recruiting as if we’re going to have three scholarships available in 2014 to replace those players. That’s our thinking.”
Rice wouldn’t speculate as to which current players might be candidates to leave early, but it’s probably safe to guess that Khem Birch is one of the possible departures. He’s coming off a sophomore season in which he won Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors, and he’s already acknowledged thinking about going pro.
Another possibility would appear to be Bryce Dejean-Jones, the junior shooting guard who projects to be the Rebels’ leading scorer this season. Dejean-Jones has already missed one season due to sitting out a transfer year, so he’s on pace to graduate in the summer of 2014. So it would make sense if he were thinking about leaving after this year as well.
And as we saw with Katin Reinhardt, early entries for the pros aren’t the only way for scholarships to become available. There’s always the chance that the Rebels could see players transfer during the season.
Whatever happens, Rice and the Rebels’ staff are being proactive and recruiting as if there will be three openings in 2014.
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