With national signing day just 48 hours away, speculation about where some of the top unsigned players for the 2017 class and where they might end up is running rampant. UNLV is in the mix for its fair share of supremely talented prospects and role players alike. Here's a breakdown of some of the players that are considering the Rebels.
Brandon McCoy is of course the number one topic of discussion among UNLV faithful. National writers seem to think the Rebels are just a throwaway addition to his list, but UNLV is more than just a finalist; they're the front-runners. Now, keep in mind in the world of 5 star recruiting that a lean can flip in an instant, but I have no reason to believe that anyone other than coach Marvin Menzies will be landing the McDonald's All-American from San Diego. McCoy has indicated that he could verbal as early as Wednesday, but he has also hinted it could drag out until the end of April.
Shakur Juiston was just on campus, and my source imparted to me that he had a tremendous visit. Juiston, who is the number one ranked JUCO prospect in the country from Hutchinson would be the perfect compliment to McCoy in the Rebel frontcourt. Kansas and Iowa State are also in the mix, but after the Lawson brothers transferred from Memphis to Lawrence today, I get the overwhelming feeling it will be between the Rebs and Cyclones for his services.
A few blue-chip guards have also popped up on UNLV's radar late in the game. MJ Walker, Amauri Hardy and Makai Ashton- Langford have all been mentioned recently as having interest in playing their college ball in Las Vegas.
Walker is a multidimensional 6'5 guard, and is another McDonald's All-American being coveted by the UNLV staff. He has been rumored to be a package deal with McCoy. The Jonesboro Georgia native is a consensus 5 star recruit and is regarded as a top 20 overall player in the 2017 class. In short, he is a game changer.
Amauri Hardy originally committed to Brad Underwood at Oklahoma State, but he reopened his recruitment after Underwood left to take the Illinois job. Hardy is a new era point guard that likes to relentlessly attack the basket and can score the ball in a myriad of ways. I think his game is very comparable to former UNLV great, Marcus Banks. Hardy is a 4 star prospect out of the Farmington Hills area in Michigan, which is UNLV assistant Rob Jeter's territory.
Ashton-Langford to me is the name that is purely conjecture. There's an Andre LaFleur connection, but I can't find anything tangible that links him to being recruited by the UNLV staff. He would be a remarkable pickup either way. His speed is uncanny and he is a solid floor general. He decommitted from UConn and is a 4 star, top 40 type.
A couple JUCO guards are also in contention. Daryl Edwards from NW Florida State College is visiting this upcoming weekend. He is a sharp shooter that is considering Iowa State (That's been a steady theme the last few years). Edwards knocked down 45% of his attempts from distance. Chris Darrington from Vincenes JC has also been offered apparently. He is a smallish guard in the mold of Jovan Mooring. He can shoot the lights out and score from anywhere.
After the worst season in school history and some recent defections, UNLV is obviously in need of a lot of talent. Coach Menzies and his staff are working tirelessly to get the best they can to the Vegas valley. Regardless of the way the 2017 class shapes up, you can see quite clearly from the amazing players listed above that they are making a lot of progress in getting kids interested to play in Vegas again.