Rebels quick hits:

First initial will differentiate three Smiths on back of UNLV jerseys

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV forwards Khem Birch, left, and Roscoe Smith joke around on the bench during their exhibition game against Dixie State Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at the Thomas & Mack. UNLV won in overtime 81-80.

The Rebel Room

Jerry Tarkanian Statue

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Las Vegas Sun sports editor Ray Brewer and UNLV beat writer Taylor Bern discuss the recent news about UNLV's plans for a statue of the legendary coach outside of the Thomas & Mack Center.

D. Smith. K. Smith. R. Smith.

That’s what the back of the UNLV jerseys will look like for Rebels DeVille Smith, Kendall Smith and Roscoe Smith this season, coach Dave Rice said. The three players, all unrelated, share the most common surname in the United States, making that first initial an important way to differentiate between them.

Of course, there’s also their numbers — Roscoe Smith No. 1, Kendall Smith No. 15, DeVille Smith No. 33 — plus the way they look and play. And all three took different paths to Las Vegas.

Roscoe Smith, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, has been on campus for a year after transferring last year from UConn, where he helped win a national championship in 2011 as a freshman. He’s expected to move into the starting lineup with the ability to play both the small and power forward positions.

DeVille Smith is also a junior transfer but he won’t have to sit out because he’s coming from a junior college. The 5-foot-11 point guard started his career at Mississippi State before playing his sophomore year at Southwest Mississippi Community College, where he averaged 16.7 points and 5.5 assists per game.

DeVille Smith will be competing for the starting point guard spot with a few players, including freshman Kendall Smith, who averaged 27.5 points and 6.5 assists for Deer Valley High in Antioch, Calif., last year. Kendall Smith also could play minutes at shooting guard.

Last year the Rebels’ two leading scorers both shared the same first name, making the surnames for Anthony Bennett and Anthony Marshall more important for directing cheers or questions to each individual player. Now the Smiths are here to put the value back on the first name, because “Let’s go Smith!” just isn’t going to cut it.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. This is a cute article and all but what about touching on other topics such as:
    - Assistant coach search update
    - Player updates: like individually what are they working on over the summer to improve? Demetris Morant - has he bulked up any? Grown? Improved offensive game? Walker? Etc with the other players.
    Thanks.

  2. @Traval - Dave Rice still hasn't found an assistant. He's looking for a good recruiter and a guy who will fit in with the staff and team.

  3. Check out rebelnet.com-Traval. Lots of info on the players. Don't be too hard onTaylor, he does a very good job covering the Runnin Rebels. Much better than RJ.

  4. Hmmmm Smiff wun , smiff tu , and smiff free.

  5. Mike Peck was offered the job according to his wife who told my wife.