Friday, May 10, 2013 | 12:56 a.m.
- UNLV’s Moser says he will transfer to Oregon
- Anthony Bennett needs shoulder surgery; draft stock not expected to slide
- UNLV headlines the field at 2013 Las Vegas Classic
- LDS missionary eager to begin UNLV basketball career
- Proposed Thomas & Mack Center upgrades could cost $60 million
- All UNLV men's basketball coverage
If everyone stayed put, the UNLV basketball coaching staff would be in for a very relaxing summer. If only things were that simple.
A new scholarship offer shows the staff is already working ahead, plus there’s a clue about possible changes coming after next season.
First, the new guy. On Wednesday, the Rebels offered a scholarship to Jeremy Hemsley, a class of 2015 guard out of Damian High in Southern California. UNLV coach Dave Rice is unable to comment on the status of high school recruits, per NCAA rules.
Hemsley, a 6-foot-4, 175-pound guard, also holds offers from New Mexico, UConn and Boston College, among others. He’s one of four 2015 preps with offers from UNLV and the only one outside of the Las Vegas area.
The others are Las Vegas High forward Ray Smith and Bishop Gorman duo Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter. Zimmerman, an agile 7-footer, and Jeter, the son of former Rice teammate Chris Jeter, both play for Rice’s brother, Grant Rice, with the Gaels.
Smith is making waves in recruiting circles while starring for the Las Vegas Prospects. San Diego State also has made an offer, and other West Coast schools are likely to follow.
On Thursday, Zimmerman got an offer from Baylor, adding to his ever-growing list that likely will ensure he has his pick of any school in the country.
With five incoming players already committed and ready to replace the five recent departures, plus class of 2014 forward Dwayne Morgan committed to replace UNLV’s lone senior, Carlos Lopez-Sosa, the Rebels have their 13 scholarships filled for the next two seasons. Of course, the odds that everyone currently under scholarship returns for the 2014-15 season are only slightly better than they were of Anthony Bennett staying for his sophomore year.
There will be changes because there always are. This year, it was Bennett to the NBA and Mike Moser to Oregon. The year before, Reggie Smith and Karam Mashour transferred to new schools.
While most of UNLV’s work is in the class of 2015, there will undoubtedly be holes to fill next season. It’s no secret that forward Khem Birch is primed to have a big junior season, and that’s likely why the Rebels’ lone scholarship offer without a verbal commitment in the class of 2014 is for Myles Turner, an elite center out of Texas.
Turner, listed at 6-11 and 225 pounds, holds no less than 20 offers, according to rivals.com, and that list includes both blue bloods (Kansas) and blue turfs (Boise State).
Birch already has the body and defensive ability to jump to the NBA — he’s currently an early second-round prospect in 2014 on draftexpress.com — so if his offense comes along this season, he could certainly be a first-rounder. Throw in a possible transfer or two, plus the vacant assistant coach position, and it’s clear this offseason is only slightly less taxing than the one before it.