It is no secret that UNLV has a lot to offer. They play in a very good conference in the Mountain West, have excellent facilities, and are located in a city that is attractive for many with a growing population base. Now the Runnin' Rebels are capitalizing on that, and have made an impact on the recruiting trail.
First UNLV pulled a major coup when they landed class of 2013 power forward Christian Wood. Wood is a shot blocker and athlete who typically would end up going to a Pac 12 power. Also Wood has a solid face up game which he showed at the Nike Elite 100 for the nation's top underclassmen.
Landing Wood was huge because it got the ball rolling, and gave UNLV some momentum to work off of when it comes to recruiting.
While Wood was a great get, landing Katin Reinhardt is probably more impressive. Not only because Reinhardt had his choice of Pac 12 schools to attend, but also because he comes from one of the top prep programs on the West Coast in Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei.
At 6-foot-5, Reinhardt is one of the better shooters in the class, but he can do more than just that. Reinhardt has a solid ability to get to the rim, and is also a good athlete. Now he does need to learn the value of shot selection and being efficient on every possession, but the physical abilities and basketball skills are there for him to be a very impressive player.
For UNLV to be able to pull a player like that away from those power conference schools signals that they have stepped up their recruiting. While UNLV is already one of the top programs in the West given their success in recent years, they are bringing in an even higher caliber athlete right now, and that could lead to a lot of big things at the Thomas & Mack Center in the future.
So far Wood and Reinhardt are in the fold, but two other prospects are really feeling the love from the Rebels. Local products Rosco Allen and Ben Carter are both top targets. Both Allen and Carter attend Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman, and both have the ability to be impact type front court performers in the Mountain West.
Vegas is a town built on odds and luck. If Rice and his staff can have a little more luck on the recruiting trail with their other top targets, odds are people in Sin City will have a very competitive team to cheer for, for years to come.