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UNLV Men’s Basketball News: James Hampshire joins Runnin’ Rebels

Kevin Kruger and his staff have now filled out all 13 roster spots for the 2021-2022 season. In other news, Bryce Hamilton rejoins UNLV and the Runnin’ Rebels add a non-conference opponent.

NCAA Basketball: Pacific at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

James Hampshire, a 7-foot-1 center from Pacific, has committed to the UNLV basketball program. Hampshire will be immediately to play this season, as a graduate transfer, and have two more years of eligibility.

“We are thrilled that James is joining the Runnin’ Rebel program. He is an excellent athlete with great size and we are excited about his shot-blocking ability and the rim protection that he offers,” head coach Kevin Kruger said in a statement.

During the 2019-2020 season with Pacific, he led the team in blocked shots and rebounding. Prior to his time at Pacific, the Flagstaff, Arizona native spent time at Casper College, a junior college in Wyoming.

Hampshire brings depth to the center position and helps establish that position with a focus on defense with David Muoka, the reigning Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year, joining the program as well.

As a defender, Hampshire can move with defenders and help clog the lane to create difficult shots for any offensive player driving. UNLV will count on him to be a presence in the paint to help block shots and fill the void left by Mbacke Diong.

One of either Hampshire or Muoka will be on the floor at all time to fill the center position and be the defensive anchor on the floor for UNLV.

Hamilton Returns

In case you missed it, Bryce Hamilton will be returning to UNLV after originally entering the transfer portal.

Hamilton was the leading scorer for UNLV each of the last two years, leading the Runnin’ Rebels with 17.9 points per game last year.

With his return and the addition of Hampshire, Kruger has filled out all 13 scholarship spots on the roster. Here is a quick breakdown of who is currently on the roster by position:

Guards: Jordan McCabe, Marvin Coleman, Keshon Gilbert, Bryce Hamilton, Michael Nuga, Justin Webster, Josh Baker and Donovan Williams.

Forwards: Reece Brown, Royce Hamm and Victor Iwuakor

Centers: Hampshire and Muoka

Walk-Ons: Trey Hurlburt and Kendrick Gilbert

Schedule News

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported that UNLV and San Francisco will play this season.

The first matchup will be Dec. 4 at San Francisco, and the Dons will play at UNLV during the 2022-2023 season.

San Francisco finished 11-14 last season, but they were a top 100 Ken Pom team and have finished in the top 100 each of the last three seasons.

UNLV now has six non-conference games scheduled, home games against UCLA and Cal, road games at SMU and San Francisco, and two neutral site games at the MGM Main Event (which features Arizona, Michigan, and Wichita State).