Rebels basketball:

Four-star forward wowed by weekend trip to UNLV

Dwayne Morgan saw the perfect mix of style and environment in the Rebels’ 64-55 victory against New Mexico

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Class of 2014 recruit Dwayne Morgan and his mother, Tabitha Chambers, watch UNLV play New Mexico on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV beat New Mexico 64-55.

UNLV vs. New Mexico - Feb. 9, 2013

UNLV forward Anthony Bennett celebrates a dunk against New Mexico during their game Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas is a main attraction on the AAU basketball circuit, so it’s rare for a UNLV basketball recruit to have never stepped foot in the city before. That was the case for 2014 target Dwayne Morgan, a four-star forward for Baltimore’s Finest and St. Frances High who attended Saturday’s 64-55 victory against New Mexico. And what was his first impression?

“Wow,” Morgan said after the game.

Morgan came to Las Vegas early Saturday with his mother, Tabitha Chambers, a 6-foot-6 former forward for the Clemson Tigers. So you know he’s got the genes. And with suitors stretching coast to coast, Morgan, who measures about 6-foot-7 and 190 pounds, will have his choice of destination.

Morgan said he’s also looking at Arizona, Missouri, Indiana, Georgetown and UConn, among others. Those schools will have something to live up to after this weekend, though.

“There’s nothing like this,” Morgan said. “I knew I was going to get some love, but not as much as I got.”

Morgan watched about the last 10 minutes of the game from the student section. UNLV couldn’t have picked a better game to sell Morgan on the program, both because 17,738 packed the Thomas & Mack Center and the Rebels played more closely to the style they’ve been able to sell to recruits than in recent games.

Morgan said he wants to play in a run and gun offense that puts versatile players at each spot. Against New Mexico, the Rebels pushed the ball in transition far more than in recent games, and the crowd was amped from early on after an opening 9-2 run.

“They like to get it down the floor and everybody on the team can pretty much shoot, and I can shoot for my size,” Morgan said. “That would be a perfect fit.”

Morgan has taken other visits and surely he’ll go on more between now and making a decision anytime from this summer to the early signing period in November. If his first reactions hold, though, those schools will have a challenge matching this experience.

“This one was one of the best I ever had,” Morgan said.

There are two Baltimore natives on the current UNLV roster in junior Roscoe Smith, who’s redshirting this season, and freshman Daquan Cook, who’s hosting Morgan this weekend.

While style of play may be the deciding factor for Morgan, playing right away also matters. He said that’s an opportunity the UNLV coaching staff told him he would have with the Rebels.

“They said nothing would be given to me, I’d have to prove it,” Morgan said.

If the Rebels’ impressions are nearly as positive as Morgan’s, the high school junior may be spending a lot more time in Las Vegas in the near future.

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

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  1. I hope Dwayne Morgan comes to UNLV. The guy would be a great player for us.

  2. Why doesn't the Las Vegas Sun report on recruits coming to visit the UNLV football program?

  3. @vegasbike (John Dough) - Lets face it. The football team sucks.

  4. How about the paper giving some space on a highly rated student coming to UNLV? Never happen. We stress to much on athletics. I wonder how many if any graduate from this top university.

  5. @ chazbean... Seriously dude, this is a sports page! I doubt the Rebel Yell even touts an incoming savant or a so-called highly rated student. An academician I get, a potential wunderkind, not so much. Besides, given the low standards the Clark County School District has set to graduate students from high school, the odds of a highly rated student coming from this area is... well, highly unlikely. I'm not saying there aren't some local students who don't exceed the norm, but to ask the Sun to devote space to some genius kid, just so mommy and daddy can revel in the fact their gene pool has allowed such an achievement, is ludicrous. I don't know about you, but I'd rather read about the heroics on the playing field, not the results of the national spelling bee.

  6. Mr. Morgan is the type of recruit UNLV needs to haul in. Dave Rice has to continue to recruit extremely well in the next 2-3 yrs. to establish the type of team he wants playing here. We have some excellent men coming in next yr. Hopefully at least one can step up and take over for the major loss of Anthony Marshall's leadership, guts and integrity.