Many Rebel fans have been waiting with varying degrees of patience for the class of 2017 to wrap up for the UNLV men's basketball program. Mostly because the bitter taste of last season can't be washed out of our collective mouths until talent and wins start to erase the bad memories of the 2016-17 campaign. Lots of exciting players popped up onto coach Marvin Menzies' and his staff's radar in the late signing period, which added to the excitement and impatience for fanatics of the team.
Five players that remain uncommitted in particular have the ability to catapult the Runnin' Rebels into contender status. Brandon McCoy, Shakur Juiston, Amauri Hardy, MJ Walker and our mystery shooter extraordinaire that must remain nameless for the time being have been wildly speculated upon as to where they will end up.
Brandon McCoy, the McDonald's All-American remains the cream of that crop. The do it all big man is down to UNLV and Oregon (Although national prognosticator's and P5 snobs will insist the Rebels have no shot here). To make it very clear, these are not a guesses, or opinions; I fully expect McCoy at UNLV next season for his lone year as a collegiate athlete.
Shakur Juiston is the number one JUCO prospect in the country and would be McCoy's partner in crime in the post. UNLV, Iowa State and Depaul have been mentioned as his final suitors. Depaul has an AAU connection to Juiston and Iowa State has a lot of recent success on their side. That being said, Juiston will also suit up in Scarlet and Gray for 2017-18.
Amauri Hardy is just wrapping up a visit to the UNLV campus and he is the floor general of the future for coach Menzies. The one time Oklahoma State commit went to Memphis and had a great visit, but ultimately he will be running the show for the Rebels over the next four years. That will end the Jordan Goldwire and Chris Darrington courtships by the staff.
MJ Walker is the other McDonald's All-American to show interest in the Rebels. The ultra talented two-guard just was at Virginia Tech to meet with Buzz Williams and his upstart Hokies. I don't know if Walker will end up there, but I can say with certainty that he will not be at UNLV. That situation has cooled.
Finally, our highly touted man of mystery (I'd like to drop a name here, but I won't). Just be sated by the notion that I fully expect him to be at UNLV. He's a 4 star player who is an assassin shooting the ball, but he has far more dimension than that. One thing I can say is that you will all be very excited once his name does surface.
So, if you have been keeping track, that will be four more additions to the UNLV program, McCoy, Juiston, Hardy, and our mystery player. They will be added to Green, Beck, Smith and Mbacke-Diong. That means we will see some transfers out to make room. All in all when this comes to fruition as I see it happening, UNLV will indeed be a contender for the MWC crown. There will be a lot of new faces, so chemistry and cohesion will have to be addressed, but the talent will obviously be there to take the Mountain West Conference tourney championship and the one auto bid the league will receive.