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Five-star big man Stephen Zimmerman picks UNLV

Dave Rice snags a local five-star big man.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

UNLV has landed a top-10 player for the 2015 class, as Stephen Zimmerman announced on Twitter that he would be remaining in Las Vegas.

Zimmerman is listed as the third best center in his class and ninth best player overall, according to 247. The seven-footer from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas was also assumed to be considering Kentucky, UCLA and Arizona.

This is a huge commitment for Dave Rice, who will enter the 2015-16 season coaching for his job. Not only does landing Zimmerman give UNLV one of the best players in the country, but it shores up a gaping hole in UNLV’s 2015-16 roster.

The Rebels currently have Oregon transfer Ben Carter and rising sophomore Goodluck Okonoboh as the only guaranteed post players on the roster. Christian Wood has yet to make an announcement on his future. Wood was UNLV’s top post threat this past season and is considered a first-round pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

If Wood returns, the potential weakness in the frontcourt will become a major strength for the Rebels. But if Wood decides to go pro, Zimmerman may be the top offensive option in the post immediately.

Okonoboh is known for his shot-blocking ability, and Carter never averaged three points per game in his two years at Oregon. At the very least, Zimmerman’s decision pushes Dwayne Morgan further down the depth chart as a post.

Zimmerman joins Derrick Jones (4-star SF) and Jaylen Poyser (3-star SG) as members of UNLV’s 2015 class. 2016 commit Justin Jackson (4-star SF) could also reclassify and join the Rebels next season.

The Rebels are also expecting transfers Nigel Williams-Goss (Washington) and Ike Nwamu (Mercer) to visit Las Vegas this weekend. Williams-Goss would have to sit out a year, while Nwamu would be eligible immediately.