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REBELS BASKETBALL:

UCLA transfer Mike Moser wastes no time committing to UNLV after weekend visit

6-foot-8 Portland product is second in UNLV’s crop of newcomers for 2011-12 season; Staff extends offer to Bishop Gorman’s Johnathan Loyd

Updated Monday, April 26, 2010 | 4:35 p.m.

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Mike Moser

Before Friday afternoon, Mike Moser never had met Chace Stanback.

The two stand 6-foot-8, suited up for a year at UCLA after decorated high school careers and play an eerily similar style of basketball.

After getting a chance to see how well things have worked out for Stanback in his two years in Las Vegas since leaving Westwood, it was hard for Moser to consider going anywhere else.

Moser, who Rivals.com ranked as a four-star recruit and the No. 92 recruit in the 2009 senior class, informed Lon Kruger and his staff Monday afternoon of his intention to transfer to UNLV, less than 24 hours after returning to Portland from his weekend visit to Las Vegas.

"There's a lot of guys similar to me who made the same choice to go to UNLV, and are going to end up being very successful," Moser said, comparing his situation to those of Stanback, Derrick Jasper and others. "Those guys are doing really well, they had a great year last year, that stood out to me, seeing that if these guys could do it, it probably wouldn't be bad for me, either."

Moser went to play for Ben Howland at UCLA after earning Mr. Basketball honors in Oregon as a senior, averaging 28.3 points and 13 rebounds per game in the 2008-09 season. He also left Grant High as the school's all-time leading rebounder.

But, much like Stanback, he went largely unused in his lone season with the Bruins, spending most of his time wearing warm-ups.

Moser appeared in just 15 games for the 14-18 squad, averaging 0.6 points. 0.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists while playing 4.7 minutes a game.

"(Chace) kind of had the same thing (at UCLA) before I did — we weren't playing, it was real tough not getting an opportunity. A lot of things were predetermined when we got there and it just didn't work out," Moser said. "It wasn't all a bad experience. I met a lot of good people. It's a good school, but in the end it just didn't work out."

Moser said the interest between he and UNLV after announcing his intent to transfer was mutual, as the Rebels' staff had gotten in his ear while he was being recruited out of high school.

He had also considered San Diego State, Saint Mary's and Portland State upon his departure from UCLA, but the success that transfers from big-name programs have had at UNLV in recent years was hard to ignore.

Especially that of Stanback.

Coming out of Fairfax High in Los Angeles in 2007, Rivals ranked Stanback as a four-star prospect, as well, and had him as the No. 69 senior in his class.

He sat in the shadows for a year on a loaded squad that advanced to the Final Four behind the likes of Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook. That season Stanback appeared in 25 games, averaging 5.8 minutes, 1.8 points and 0.7 rebounds an outing.

After sitting out during a redshirt year per NCAA transfer rules, Stanback averaged 10.7 points and 5.8 boards a game this season for a 25-9 UNLV squad that earned the program's third NCAA tournament berth in four years.

"It's always tough not to be able to play, but I'll have a chance to put on some more weight, get bigger and stronger, tighten up my skills and just become a better player," Moser said of the year that lies ahead.

Moser sees himself making a similar contribution to what Stanback has given once he's eligible.

Not only does he have a similar frame at 6-8 and 205 pounds, but the two play nearly identical games.

Moser can play both inside and out, can line up anywhere from shooting guard to power forward and can defend four spots on the floor. He's a high-energy guy who is aggressive on the glass and has a nice shooting touch from the outside.

Plus, he takes up another spot in what essentially is UNLV's 2011 recruiting class, which already includes 6-foot-6 prep forward Grandy Glaze. Glaze is ranked by Rivals as the No. 83 player in the 2011 senior crop.

Following the 2010-11 season, UNLV will lose Tre'Von Willis, Kendall Wallace, Matt Shaw and Derrick Jasper to graduation.

"I think it's gonna be a really good opportunity," Moser added. "I'm going to have an opportunity to definitely come in and play with the guys they're going to be losing after my redshirt year, so I think it's a great fit.

"The sky's really going to be the limit after that."

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Bishop Gorman High senior guard Johnathan Loyd exits the Sunset Regional championship game in the final minutes to teammates cheering on the bench in the Gaels' 79-62 victory against host Palo Verde.

Bishop Gorman guard Johnathan Loyd draws offer from UNLV

All along over the last year or so, the UNLV staff had told Bishop Gorman's Johnathan Loyd that Findlay Prep's Cory Joseph was their top target in terms of a point guard in the 2010 recruiting class.

Joseph committed to Texas on Friday, and within 48 hours, Loyd had a scholarship offer from his hometown school.

Loyd, who led the Gaels to back-to-back large school state titles, already scholarship offers on the table from Michigan State, Florida, Northwestern, George Washington, SMU and a handful of others. He was believed to be down to two finalists — Northwestern and GW, which were the two schools who had shown him the most interest over time.

That could all be changing now.

"It was nothing John took offensive to — They were honest to John about it," Gorman coach Grant Rice said of UNLV's recruitment of Loyd. "Oklahoma and Washington State tried to get involved late and Jonathan decided he wasn't going to take visits to those schools. But I know his interest was sparked (when UNLV offered) and his interest is high."

Rice said that Loyd was on the verge of making a commitment early this week, but late interest from both UNLV and Oregon has him stepping back and taking his time.

Loyd's brother, Michael Jr., emerged into the spotlight during this year's NCAA tournament for BYU and will be a junior for the Cougars next season. His father, Michael Sr., played for Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV from 1978-81.

The 5-foot-8 Loyd has speed to burn and was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year this spring. He averaged 14 points and 8.2 assists per game for Gorman as a senior and amassed 103 victories in his four seasons on the varsity squad. Also, in his first season of playing football for the Gaels, he helped his team to a state title, scoring eight total touchdowns (six on punt/kick returns and two on interception run-backs).

For more on this story as it develops, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.

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