Kris Clyburn is expected to play a big role for the Rebels this season, so there was a slight cause for concern when the sophomore swingman underwent knee surgery last month. But according to Clyburn, he’s on track for a speedy recovery and should be back on the court in time to participate when the Rebels head to the Bahamas for an exhibition series August 14-17.
“The procedure went pretty well,” Clyburn said on Tuesday. “I’m about three weeks in and I’ll be back in two or three more weeks, right before the Bahamas.”
That’s good news for the Rebels, who will need Clyburn’s production on both ends of the court. As a freshman at Ranger CC last year, the 6-foot-6 wing scored 14.3 points per game while winning his league’s Defensive Player of the Year award. He’s listed as UNLV’s starting small forward in the latest RunRebs roster projection.
Clyburn was at the Desert Reign ProCity Summer League on Tuesday, sitting with teammate Uche Ofoegbu as they watched fellow newcomer Jordan Johnson play in the event’s early game. Clyburn said building chemistry is one of the team’s top priorities this summer, as the Rebels have nine new players on the roster playing under an entirely new coaching staff.
“Chemistry is real important,” he said. “That’s why we’re taking the Bahamas trip, so we can build more chemistry. At my juco last year, we did the same thing. We had all new people coming in and we had to work on our chemistry. So I understand how important that is.”
Clyburn also said the coaching staff has been stressing conditioning throughout the summer and that the players already on campus have responded, putting in extra time because they know Menzies plans on playing a fast-paced style.
“Everyone’s been getting their conditioning in and taking it real seriously,” Clyburn said. “We should be able to run just like [Menzies] wants to. We get a couple more freshmen in next weekend, so then we’ll probably be able to see what the whole team looks like. But right now, it’s looking solid.”