T.J. Otzelberger has eight incoming recruits for the 2020-2021 season and only three graduating seniors. Which meant some current players on the roster would likely transfer out.
Now, one of UNLV’s most talented players has entered the transfer portal. Junior guard Amauri Hardy will transfer from UNLV, as confirmed by Stadium and ESPN.
Hardy will graduate this summer and become a grad transfer, making him eligible to play immediately. The move was first reported by The Riot.
This past season, Hardy averaged 14.5 points per game in 34.6 minutes played per game. He shot 41 percent from the field and 33 percent from three. He also averaged 3.3 assist and rebounds this season, where he was named to the third-team all-conference.
While Hardy was one of UNLV’s most important players last year, the writing appeared to be on the wall that he would not be one of the top options on next year’s team. With Bryce Hamilton emerging as a star and David Jenkins being eligible, it appeared that Hardy, whose style of play did not fit with Otzelberger’s system, would have been a third or fourth option on the team.
It sounded that Hardy wanted to stay, but he is currently looking at options where he can be one of the top options.
Ramsey Hardy said his son, Amauri, wanted to come back to #UNLVmbb, but didn't "think he was in the plans for next year." He said Amauri has received calls more than 15 schools, including some Power Fives. Did not want to name them yet.— Mark Anderson (@markanderson65) March 19, 2020
He is the third UNLV player in the past week to transfer. Both Jonah Antonio and Jay Green announced that they will transfer as well.
Antonio will also graduate this summer and be eligible to play this season. Jon Rothstien of CBS Sports is reporting that Antonio has received interest from some big-name schools, including Maryland, Seton Hall, Xavier, and Wichita State.
Wichita State, Marquette, San Francisco, and Georgia are also in the mix. https://t.co/7mMcL3NfM3— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 19, 2020
He averaged 6.9 points per game and shot 31.5 percent from three. While his numbers were down compared to his time at Mount Saint Mary’s, the treat of Antonio as a shooter has intrigued many teams.
Green, a redshirt sophomore, will have to sit out this season and will have two years of eligibility remaining. This season, he played in 17 games and made two starts.
Following the Hardy announcement, news came that junior forward Cheickna Dembele has been ruled physically unable to play next year after several injuries. He will remain enrolled at the university with the intentions of graduating. The Riot, who first reported on Hardy’s future, also mentioned that Dembele could return to the program as a grad assistant.
Hearing that both Amauri Hardy and Cheickna Dembele will graduate this summer Dembele will become a grad assistant for Unlv due to injuries and Hardy will look to transfer #unlvmbb— The RIOT (@RebelRiotRadio) March 6, 2020
Where does the roster stand now?
After the recent movement, this is what UNLV’s roster looks like now, with 15 total players and 13 scholarships.
Current Players: Marvin Coleman, Mbacke Diong, Bryce Hamilton, Trey Hurlburt (Walk-On), David Jenkins, Donnie Tillman, Moses Wood.
Incoming Recruits: Nick Blake, Reece Brown, Edoardo Del Cadia, Nick Fleming, Isaac Lindsey, Jhaylon Martinez, Devin Tillis, Donovan Yap.
UNLV is still one scholarship over. There could still be some movement from players on the current roster entering the transfer portal. The player to keep an eye on for that is Donnie Tillman, who was injured late in the season and received punishment for breaking team rules.
Another possibility is one of the incoming recruits playing a year at a prep school. A possible candidate for that is Isaac Lindsey, who missed his senior season of basketball in high school after suffering an injury from football. Lindsey also said that Otzelberger wants him to put on 20 pounds of muscle.
One more thing to keep an eye on is that Otzelberger may not be done adding, he could be looking to add a transfer who will have to sit out a year, like Caleb Grill.
Grill, a freshman guard, announced he will transfer from Iowa State. He was committed to South Dakota State when Otzelberger was the coach, but decommitted and elected to go to Iowa State.
Grill would have to sit out next year, but will have three years of eligibility remaining.