When I wrote up the UNLV 2009-2010 college basketball round-up last month, I discussed a variety of reasons for optimism going into 2010-2011 and beyond. One of the big reasons for excitement was some potential big recruiting targets on the horizon. The Rebels were in the running for Rivals #7 overall prospect Cory Joseph, and athletic swing man Dwayne Polee.
Although finalists for the services of Joseph, the Rebels lost out to Rick Barnes and the University of Texas. Polee remains uncommitted, but after appearing close to choosing UNLV, he's expanded his search over the last two months to include Oregon and New Mexico, along with UNLV, St. John's and Georgia. While he's still available, I'm not exactly holding my breath over him signing a letter of intent with the Rebels.
In the midst of this recruiting business, the Rebels dismissed rising senior forward Matt Shaw from the team after a failed drug test. The NCAA announced Shaw failed the test at the NCAA tournament and would be suspended for all of what would be his 5th year (he had 1 medical redshirt). The loss of show opened up another scholarship, which Kruger quickly filled with UCLA transfer forward Mike Moser. Moser will sit out 2010-2011 and be eligible to play the following season.
The timing of Moser makes sense for the Rebels. Next season, UNLV appears to be in solid shape rotation-wise, which would have made for tricky allocation of playing time for Joseph or Polee. After next season, Tre'Von Willis, Derrick Jasper, and Kendall Wallace all graduate, and Moser will then have . Having a transfer from a big time program will work in a similar to Chace Stanback's time with UNLV. Stanback also came over from UCLA and is a very similar player to Moser. Some schools try not to bring in too many transfers, but Lon Kruger has done a solid job building the program through transfers. The school gets the occasional big recruit, but not enough to build a consistent program at this point. So, transfers it shall be.
The Rebels have one scholarship remaining for the coming season and have offered it to Polee, and also recently to local product Jonathan Lloyd. If the last name sounds familiar, it's because he's the younger brother of now-former BYU guard Michael Lloyd. The Rebels had met with Lloyd in the past but they let him know from the get-go that Cory Joseph was their first choice. With the loss of Joseph and potentially Polee, Coach Kruger decided to offer the last scholarship to Lloyd. Lloyd is a 5'8 point guard who helped lead Bishop Gorman High School to the Nevada 4A state title, and was named the state player of the year.