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UNLV's Patrick McCaw declares for the NBA Draft

The mass exodus from the UNLV men's basketball program continues, as sophomore guard Patrick McCaw declares for the NBA Draft.

The day that all Runnin' Rebel fans feared has finally come.  Patrick McCaw released a statement announcing that he will be declaring for the upcoming NBA Draft, foregoing his two remaining years of eligibility at the college level.

"I feel that I have accomplished what I wanted in collegiate athletics and it is time to take the next step in my basketball career," he said in a statement. "I would like to thank my coaches, Dave Rice, Todd Simon, Stacey Augmon, Ryan Miller, Max Good, Kreigh Warkentien, Jason Kabo, Rich Hilliard, Dave Tomchek, Curtis Terry and all staff & managers associated with the UNLV Men's basketball program for their support and guidance during these past two years. It is their assistance in helping to refine my skills that has given me the added confidence to embark on this journey.

"I would like to thank my teammates, my brothers, for their friendship and dedication to the game — which inspired me to take the court with my best foot forward every game. I would like to thank UNLV, the institution who believed I was worth the investment and gave me the platform to showcase my skill, talent, and teamwork. Last, but not least, to the UNLV Rebel fans who have made my time in Vegas an experience I'll always remember. I appreciate the love & support. No matter where this journey may take me, I will always be a Rebel."

While this announcement wasn't unexpected, it is still a devastating blow for the program that might have maintained some slight hope that their best player would return for one more season.

With McCaw being viewed as a potential NBA draft pick, there was never too much of a concern that he would transfer.  Sitting out a red shirt season would make zero sense for the sophomore.  The hope was that he wouldn't receive enough positive feedback at the NBA combine and elect to play one more season at UNLV, thus making, soon to be officially announced (hopefully), coach Chris Beards first season at UNLV a little easier.

That possibility has all but been put to rest with this announcement.

McCaw led the Rebels in points per game this past season, at 14.7 and becomes the second Rebel to declare for the NBA Draft.  The first being Stephen Zimmerman Jr.

With McCaw's announcement becoming official, all eyes will now turn to Derrick Jones Jr, as he is also expected to test the NBA waters.

Good luck in the NBA Patrick.  Thank you for everything over the past two seasons, especially this moment.