Five-star forward in the class of 2014 commits to UNLV

Dwayne Morgan, who visited campus in February, goes to the same high school as current UNLV freshman Daquan Cook

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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.

Less than a week after UNLV suffered another early loss in the NCAA Tournament, it notched another victory on the recruiting trail.

Five-star forward Dwayne Morgan had an event at his high school Wednesday morning and made his announcement, committing to the Rebels over finalists Maryland and Georgetown. The live stream for the class of 2014 small forward was so popular that the site showing it, DMVElite.com, crashed before the announcement.

The difference for Morgan was the attention the Rebels paid to him. UNLV was his first offer and the coaching staff stayed persistent more than hometown favorite Maryland, whom Morgan wrote didn't "recruit me as hard as UNLV or Georgetown."

"Throughout my recruitment UNLV stayed the most consistent and involved," Morgan wrote on zagsblog.com. "There were about two games that they were not in attendance for this past summer."

The team’s first 2014 commit is a coup for UNLV, which convinced another East Coast kid to travel west. Morgan, ranked No. 13 in his class by Rivals, attends St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, the same school as UNLV freshman guard Daquan Cook, who hosted Morgan during his visit in February.

Redshirt sophomore Roscoe Smith, a UConn transfer, is also a Baltimore native. Throw in freshman Savon Goodman, a Philadelphia native, and by the time Morgan steps on campus, about a third of the scholarship players could be from the East Coast.

UNLV assistant coach Heath Schroyer, a Maryland native, is the Rebels’ recruiter for that region.

Morgan visited UNLV on Feb. 9 for the 64-55 victory against New Mexico. Watching most of the game next to his mother, Tabitha Chambers, a former forward at Clemson, Morgan saw a lot to like.

“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 in February. “That would be a perfect fit.”

Morgan, who will likely be a McDonald’s All-American next season, also said he wasn’t made any promises about playing time.

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

Despite the end-of-season disappointments in the NCAA Tournament the past two years, the current coaching staff hasn’t lost many battles on the recruiting trail.

Last year, they got Katin Reinhardt early, convinced Bryce Dejean-Jones this was a good place to transfer and then beat out Kentucky and Florida for Anthony Bennett. To top it off, the Rebels added Goodman and Roscoe Smith.

That rolled into this season, when UNLV did very well when it got players to take a visit. Jelan Kendrick, Kendall Smith and DeVille Smith all made commitments immediately after visiting campus. The Rebels didn’t get Jermaine Lawrence, though that may not count as a loss since they had pulled back earlier in the race. The only down-to-the-wire battle they lost was Isaac Hamilton, who took his talents to El Paso, Texas.

Including transfers, Morgan is the eighth top-100 player to commit to UNLV during Rice's tenure and the fourth ranked in the top 15.

With a guard-heavy class coming in this year, Morgan provides some more size for the future. He’ll combine with Bishop Gorman grad Demetris Morant and current Findlay Prep forward Chris Wood in the front court. That would also be Khem Birch’s senior year, though a stellar junior campaign could propel him into the NBA draft.

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

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  1. Great to get Morgan on board. I think the kid cn play very well and has good size. Welcome to UNLV!

  2. Very nice pickup. Getting a top 30 guy from the East Coast is quite a bonus. Great news.

  3. Nice job coaches. How about some specifics on his size since the article references that?

  4. @lcr - He's 6'7"-6'8", and his mother is 6'6" tall. He may very well grow another inch or two. Also, he's trying to get to 215 lbs. by the time he arrives on campus.

  5. Any top students coming to UNLV? For the top basketball recruits UNLV gets every yr sweet 16 should be a given every yr.

  6. Saw some video on this kid and he can really play. Great pickup rebs........

  7. All that talent, but WASTED without a legitimate "POINT GUARD".

    This year especially, UNLV & COACHES were way OVERRATED to say the least. Didn't utilize Bennett's skills at his full potential. Guess what? It won't surprise me if he goes in the top three (3) concerning NBA DRAFT.

  8. Poly - I don't think you can put that all on the Coaches as far as Bennett is concerned. How many times did the guards look for AB to post up and he was shoved off the block or outfought for position and he simply gave up and floated to the perimeter? Anthony is a terrific talent and was flat out awesome in some games this year but he very often played with minimal effort and intensity and did not fight hard enough to gain good inside position to receive the ball. More often than not he would rather hang out on the perimeter and look for a jump shot. Now maybe you can say that the coaches did not demand he do this more and sit him until he does. That is something we all have debated throughout this year. Because of his talent he will be a lottery pick but he has a whole lot to learn to be successful at the next level. If he had stayed for another year or two I am quite certain he would be much more effective on the blocks and his effort would be much more consistent.

  9. "Didn't utilize Bennett's skills at his full potential. Guess what? It won't surprise me if he goes in the top three (3) concerning NBA DRAFT."

    Based on watching almost every game this season, I'd say Bennett put up what was necessary to to get his stats ready and his face on the scout reels, and then pulled back to protect his NBA stock. How many times did we hear from TV/radio commentators, "Bennett came out on fire and has been non-existant the second half." Hit the stats, protect yourself. Total bummer how the NBA has impacted college hoops.

  10. Great pickup, but can we win a tourney game first?

  11. @YE - I don't think that will be a problem. I think Dave Rice wins his first tournament game next year.

  12. Wow...another 5 star recruit coming to UNLV. This Dave Rice guy should be fired (sarcasm). Can't wait for 2014 to see Dwayne on the hardwood.
    Thanks for choosing the scarlet and gray!

  13. The reason this kid is coming to UNLV is because he knows it's a lax program , pretty much do what ya want, be late for practice, no discipline, and ohhh the best part ,,,, it's not impotant to win games just play ghetto roundball man. Hey kid go to another school that's gonna teach ya college basketball.

  14. @fedup2here (Kenny Rogers) - Tell us all how your conversation with Dwayne Morgan went?

  15. Shut up Rice , I mean Phillips, I wasn't talking about you.