Jamal Aytes leaves UNLV, officially transfers to BYU

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

UNLV announced Wednesday that freshman forward Jamal Aytes had decided to transfer to another school. Friday it was made official that Aytes has elected to transfer to BYU.

Jamal Aytes was considered a top 2013 prospect available in the summer, getting heavy interest from BYU, Gonzaga, and West Virginia among others. Aytes eventually chose UNLV over BYU, most likely assuming he would receive reasonable playing time as a Rebel than he would anywhere else.

It did appear as though Aytes would have an opportunity to contribute to the Runnin' Rebels early on with Savon Goodman leaving the program after dealing with issues off the court. This wasn't the case however. The 6-foot-6 forward played in only four of UNLV's 7 games this year, averaging 9.3 minutes and 2.8 points. So it really just came down to Aytes wanting to see more playing time and that's understandable. He's a talented individual and although he won't suit up as a Cougar till the end of the fall semester next year, he will see more action when he is eligible for BYU than he would as a member of UNLV anytime soon.

"I have enjoyed my time at UNLV," Aytes said "...but transferring gives me a better opportunity for playing time sooner in my career."

The Runnin' Rebels have bigger prospects on the way in 2014, with 5-Star recruit Dwayne Morgan and ESPN's #4 ranked Center Goodluck Okonoboh committing to UNLV earlier this year. So although it would've been nice to hold onto Aytes and allow him to develop into a valuable asset for UNLV going forward. It's most likely not gonna be a major factor in the coming seasons for the Rebels. And barring any injuries, I couldn't see Aytes finding his way into the line-up more often than he had up to this point.

Best of luck to Jamal over at BYU. He should see valuable playing time in coming seasons with the Cougars and the more time he has to develop, the better of a player he will become.

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