Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 | 4:50 p.m.
It didn’t take long for Jamal Aytes to find his next destination. Less than 48 hours after UNLV announced the freshman forward had decided to leave the program, BYU announced it was welcoming him with open arms.
“Jamal will be a great addition to our program,” BYU coach Dave Rose told the Deseret News.
BYU was one of the main teams recruiting Aytes when the San Diego, Calif., native committed to UNLV in August. Aytes appeared in four of UNLV’s seven games, averaging 2.8 points in 9.3 minutes per game.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of BYU basketball,” Aytes told the paper. “I feel very comfortable with the coaching staff and I think I’ll fit in really well. This is where I want to finish my college career.”
Aytes will have to sit out a season and should be eligible for the Cougars at the end of the 2014 fall semester.
The situation is interesting from the outside for several reasons, starting with how quickly Aytes made his decision. BYU was involved with Aytes down to the wire in August, but you almost never see a transfer officially decide where he’s going so quickly after deciding to leave.
That raises some eyebrows, and it’s even more complicated considering UNLV coach Dave Rice was a longtime BYU assistant under Rose.
JUCO guard to visit UNLV next week
As one player leaves, another potential student-athlete decides to come take a visit. Chipola Junior College sophomore guard Torian Graham will come to campus from Tuesday through Thursday, according to a source.
UNLV coaches aren’t allowed to comment on potential recruits, per NCAA rules.
Graham, a Durham, N.C., native, originally committed to North Carolina State and then ended up enrolling at Chipola, which is located in Marianna, Fla. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 173 pounds, Graham is considered one of the top junior college players in the country.