Five-star center Brandon McCoy is coming to UNLV. The seven-footer announced today that he will be Runnin’ Rebel, choosing to come to Vegas over Oregon, Arizona, Michigan State and San Diego State.
Blessd and truly thankful to say I've committed to UNLV !!! pic.twitter.com/w4aw8gFidU
— Brandon McCoy (@flyguyfreddyy) April 26, 2017
McCoy is a top-15 player in the class of 2017 and suddenly gives UNLV the chance to dream about wins in year two under Marvin Menzies.
At the very least McCoy should provide a backbone to the Rebel defense. He will be a rim protector for UNLV, which allowed layups at the second highest rate in the Mountain West. At the very best, McCoy will make a major impact on both ends of the floor and give UNLV a post-up threat.
Marvin Menzies excelled in developing big men at New Mexico State, which was capped by Pascal Siakam being drafted by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft. Multiple times this year McCoy has commented on Siakam being drafted. If McCoy stays at UNLV for a few years, Menzies may be able to work his magic on the most talented post player he’s coached.
McCoy gives UNLV fans a reason to build expectations. The talent in next year’s lineup will be far superior to the 2016-17 squad. Jordan Johnson will run the point. The transfer sat out this season after posting the second most assists in the nation last year at Milwaukee. Plus the Rebels will get Dwayne Morgan back. The forward played in just eight games this past season before hip and shoulder injuries ended his year.
The trio of McCoy, Johnson and Morgan will give UNLV one of the best rosters in the Mountain West. Finishing in the top four of the Mountain West doesn’t mean much now that the conference has devolved in to a one-bid conference. But the Rebels should be able to play with – and even beat – anybody they face in 2017-18.
McCoy is fifth player in Menzies’ 2017 class. He joins Tervell Beck of OnPoint Academy, Mbacke Diong from Florida Prep Academy, Anthony Smith from Feather River Community College and Jay Green out of Hillcrest Prep. Smith and McCoy share a connection, as McCoy’s guardian, Shaun Manning, was Smith’s AAU coach.
UNLV still has one more open scholarship and it could go to a high school point guard like Jordan Goldwire or Amauri Hardy. Or Menzies could go with another big man, as the nation’s top junior college recruit, Shakur Juiston, is considering UNLV.