Rebels basketball:

Sophomore forward Savon Goodman leaving UNLV basketball program

Following his offseason felony charges for an alleged burglary, Goodman and the coaches decided it was best he move on

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV forward Savon Goodman yells to his teammates during their annual preseason Scarlet and Gray scrimmage Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack. Goodman is sitting out the season while his legal troubles are resolved.

Savon Goodman in Court

UNLV basketball player Savon Goodman appears for an arraignment in Las Vegas Justice Court at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Friday, August 30, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Savon Goodman will not play another game for UNLV, Rebels coach Dave Rice announced this afternoon. Goodman has decided to leave the program following his offseason felony charges related to an alleged burglary in May.

“I have enjoyed my time at UNLV and am thankful for the support of the fans, my teammates and coaches since I have been here,” Goodman said in a statement issued by the university. “However, I have felt a lot of pressure the last few months. I feel it is best for me to leave the program at this time. Even though I am from Philadelphia, I will always think of Las Vegas as another home.”

Goodman, a sophomore forward from Philadelphia, allegedly stole $500, a pair of shoes and 26 video games in May from a friend’s apartment. Goodman was charged Aug. 15 in Las Vegas Township Justice Court with conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary and grand larceny. The latter two are felonies.

Rumors about the incident got out in May and when coaches asked him about the situation at the time Goodman denied it. On Aug. 24, Rice announced that Goodman wouldn’t play this season but his future with the program was still uncertain.

Although he’s been practicing with the team, on Thursday night Goodman wore street clothes and watched UNLV’s Scarlet/Gray Showcase from the bench. He wasn’t introduced to fans with the rest of the roster.

It’s not immediately clear if Goodman will finish the semester at UNLV. He has to be in Las Vegas on Nov. 12 for a preliminary hearing. That same day the Rebels host UC Santa Barbara in their second regular season game of the season.

“I respect Savon's decision and will always be here to support him,” Rice said in the statement. “I wish him all the best.”

Goodman’s potential spot in the rotation this season was immediately filled by freshman Jamal Aytes. Though Goodman showed plenty of potential — as a freshman he averaged 3.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game — his absence won’t be devastating for UNLV going forward. The Rebels already have a couple of commitments from top forwards in the class of 2014 and there are many local talents in the front court in the class of 2015.

Already a roster full of new faces, Goodman's departure leaves only senior Carlos Lopez-Sosa and juniors Khem Birch and Bryce Dejean-Jones as returners who logged at least five minutes per game last season.

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

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