UNLV continues to stockpile talent

In their heyday in the early 90's no one was more talented than UNLV. Then Dave Rice the player was on the floor, now Dave Rice the coach is looking to get that same talent level to Las Vegas.

When Dave Rice took over at UNLV for Lon Kruger who departed for Oklahoma, one of his goals was no doubt build a team like the one he was on in 1990 that came home with a national title. The team Rice was on was loaded with future pros like Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, and Stacy Augman.

While Rice still has a long ways to go to recapture the 1990 Running Rebels, there is no doubt that he is absolutely loading up his roster, the most recent commitment coming from class of 2014 five-star prospect Dwayne Morgan.

Morgan is a 6-foot-7 forward who looks just as comfortable on the wing as he does as a stretch power forward. He is a big time athlete and someone who is very skilled. The Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances product is one of the players in the 2014 class with the most upside, and he looks like he could be a key piece to one loaded roster.

When looking ahead with Morgan now in the fold, UNLV could have an embarrassment of riches for the 2014-15 season. Connecticut transfer Roscoe Smith as well as junior college standout Jelan Kendrick will both be seniors, and then four-star class of 2013 prospect Christian Wood will be a sophomore. Those four should form a deep, athletic, versatile, and talented combination of forwards.

Not to be out done, UNLV could also have senior Khem Birch manning the center position as one of the top shot blockers in the country with raw but athletic backup Demetris Morant. The duo would provide a defensive presence to complement the offensively gifted forwards.

In the backcourt the Runnin Rebels should have the services of a pair of multi-year returning starters in Katin Reinhardt and Bryce Dejean-Jones. Also young guards Kendall Smith and Daquan Cook will be getting more experience in back up roles, so there would be a lot of scoring punch and athleticism in the backcourt as well as the frontcourt.

Overall the commitment of Morgan just gives UNLV one more big time piece to the puzzle as Rice and his staff look to load up with big time talent. Whether Rice, Augman (who is an assistant coach), can accomplish as coaches what they did as players and get UNLV back to the Final Four remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure they are stockpiling talent and making the Runnin Rebels one of the most talented and athletic rosters in the country.

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