After transferring from UConn two years ago, Roscoe Smith sat out his first year due to transfer regulations. This season however, Smith was one of the few bright spots on a disappointing Runnin' Rebels team, averaging 11.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game this season. He also ranked 10th in the country with 16 double-doubles. The 6-foot-8 forward does possess athleticism and 7-foot-1 wingspan to potentially compete at the next level.
Although Smith solidified himself as one of the nation's best rebounders, he was often times a weakness on the defensive end for UNLV. He will also need to improve on offense if he wants to succeed at the next level. But if he does happen to make an NBA team, you can bet that his hustle and rebounding ability will earn him minutes.
The biggest concern for Smith declaring might simply be the level of talent in this draft class. Smith currently doesn't show up on any mock drafts for 2014.
A realistic outcome would be Smith going undrafted and then finding his career path through either the NBA Summer League or perhaps even overseas. Smith was too far away from graduation to do a grad-transfer year at another school as Bryce Dejean-Jones plans to. Jones has received interest from multiple schools, including Kentucky. He's set to visit Iowa State next week.
While some may have been optimistic about Smith staying another year with the program, considering he would be taking on a much smaller role with the incoming recruiting class, his departure seemed more likely. The Rebels are still waiting to find out what junior forward Khem Birch will elect to do. His potential departure would also be a result of fewer minutes due to the presence of incoming freshman Goodluck Okonoboh and talented sophomore Christian Wood.
"I had a great experience at UNLV and really enjoyed playing for Coach Rice and his staff," Smith said in a statement. "I am ready to take the next step in my career, but I love UNLV and will always be a Runnin' Rebel. I am planning to finish my classes this semester in addition to preparing for the draft."
I wish Roscoe Smith nothing but the best as he pursues a career in the NBA. He played with a lot of heart and there's no question that if he continues to improve on several aspects of his game, his hard work and determination will ultimately pay off. Thanks for being a Runnin' Rebel.