The UNLV basketball team was in need of some good news in the off season. After a trip to the Bahamas, the Rebels have returned with some positive gains. One of those positives is that they have a new commitment in Florida high school basketball player Troy Baxter.
CBS’ Jon Rothstein broke the news on Twitter:
Why is this such a great gain for UNLV?
The last thing the Rebel basketball program wants to start is a culture where transfers are the only ones who want to join the UNLV program. Sure, their knowledge and experience may be a reward for the Rebels. However, nothing draws in a crowd more than brand new talent.
Recently, season ticket sales for basketball at the Thomas and Mack were divulged. What was great news for the once lowly Rebel football attendance was poor news for the Runnin’ Rebs basketball program. Season ticket sales for Rebel basketball fell from 9,411 in 2012-2013 to 6,561 in 2015-2016 (with the trend dropping in the years in between).
In order to curve this dismal state of Rebel hoops, the program will need to continue to do whatever they can to lure in players like Baxter.
Baxter is ranked in the ESPN Top 100. He is from Gainesville, Florida and attended Oldsmar Christian High School. As a highly touted recruit in his position of Forward, he received offers from Arizons State, UCLA, South Florida, and UNLV. After originally committing to stay in his home state of Florida, Baxter recently decided to head for Sin City.
Yesterday, he sent out this tweet:
Runnin' Rebels ⚫️ ❗️❗️❗️ pic.twitter.com/W8hOhaoy69— Troy Baxter Jr (@WitnessTroy) September 1, 2016
Baxter is listed at 6 foot 8 and 195. He comes into UNLV as one of the top players in his position and could make an immediate impact on a Rebel program in dire need of some “star” caliber talent.
New coach Marvin Menzies has to be pleased with Baxter’s decision so that he can keep the lights bright and seats filled at the Thomas and Mack moving forward.