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UCLA transfer Carlino will take official visit to UNLV this week

Freshman guard’s trip to Las Vegas to include taking in Wednesday game vs. UC Santa Barbara



UCLA coach Ben Howland poses with freshmen, from left, Tyler Lamb, Joshua Smith, Matt Carlino and Jack Haley during the team’s media day in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Carlino announced his intent to transfer from UCLA on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010.

Updated Monday, Dec. 13, 2010 | 10:30 a.m.

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Matt Carlino

On Monday morning, not long after UNLV's compliance office received a scholarship release form from UCLA granting permission to speak with Matt Carlino, the transferring guard's father, Mark, confirmed to the Sun that his son will take an official visit to UNLV this week.

No dates have been set in stone, but the visit will more than likely take place from Tuesday to Thursday, meaning that the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Scottsdale, Ariz., native will be in attendance for the Rebels' Wednesday night game at the Thomas & Mack Center against UC Santa Barbara.

Carlino just announced on Friday that he would be looking for a new home for the spring semester and beyond.

After not playing in the Bruins' first seven games of the season, Carlino, who spent his third and final year of high school at Bloomington (Ind.) South High, was quick to start the search for his next destination.

It is believed that Carlino is looking to make a decision in the next week or two. Following UCLA coach Ben Howland's attempt to convert him to a shooting guard, he's looking for a suitor who will allow him to compete for time at the point.

Roughly 24 hours after leaving UCLA, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound guard was in Salt Lake City as part of an unofficial visit to BYU. He was at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday night to watch the undefeated Cougars pick apart Arizona, 87-65, then headed back home to the Phoenix suburbs on Sunday.

He's scheduled to visit Butler next weekend.

Ironically, Carlino was originally scheduled to visit UNLV back in April on his way home from an official campus visit to UCLA. Instead, though, he committed to Howland on the trip and Lon Kruger & Co. were left hanging.

Carlino was once committed to Indiana mid-way through his prep career, and then made the move to Bloomington following his sophomore season. In his one season at Bloomington South, Carlino, who combines excellent athleticism with a soft, sharp shooting touch, averaged 13.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. He led the team to a 25-1 record and a 4A state regional finals appearance.

He did not get on the floor for the Bruins, and wherever he enrolls in school this spring, Carlino would be able to suit up at the end of the fall semester in 2011 as a redshirt freshman, having 3.5 years of eligibility left..

UNLV coach Lon Kruger and his staff has a nice situation to present, too.

After missing out on a handful of targeted prep point guards in the class of 2011, Carlino could fill that void. Current starter Oscar Bellfield will graduate following the 2011-12 season, and the staff has long been on the hunt for his eventual successor.

To boot, UNLV has been a landing spot for two other recent UCLA defectors — junior forward Chace Stanback and redshirting sophomore forward Mike Moser. The 6-foot-8 Stanback is the Rebels' leading scorer (13.9 ppg), while Moser, who is a mirror image of Stanback in both terms of both stature and skills, will have three years of eligibility remaining starting next season. Both spent one year at UCLA under Howland.

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

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  1. Watched some highlights on youtube and the kid looks like a left handed Fredette clone. Could not really tell much about his athleticism but the kid can stroke it. He could work nicely. Better than him going to BYU that is for sure.

  2. Leftovers like Stanback and Moser who couldn't make an inferior UCLA team, right SylReb? C'mon kid.

    Hope this pans out....looks like he has some skills.

  3. SylvesterReb aka Sufferin Succotash aka Rebel Robert....same old sorry story.

  4. Is he the one!

  5. @native, he takes up probably half of all users on here. Don't forget 'thisispathetic" is a clone.

    Sincerely hope we get this guy. He will play almost immediately. I'm not a huge fan of having an inexperienced PG unless they are very good and I haven't seen this kid play yet, so I won't judge.

    There seems to be something intrinsically wrong with the UCLA/Howland program with all the transfers out of there. Ryan, do you know how many have transferred out of UCLA in Howland's tenure?

  6. Wade, don't have a total number, but outside of Moser there were at least two last year - J'Mison Morgan and Drew Gordon. Honestly, don't want to group them all together and say it's something wrong with the program, as situations and circumstances vary, but he's still getting players to come, so he's doing something right.

    As far as what kind of player he is, I've honestly only seen him play about half of an AAU game, which was two years ago at the adidas Super 64 at Rancho High. I've been calling around and asking people what kind of player he is, and two different people compared him to Kevin Kruger, so that gives you some kind of idea.

  7. Also, an update: UNLV has officially received Carlino's scholarship release form from UCLA. Was sent late Friday, when the team/staff was already out of town en route to Louisville and compliance was closed for the weekend. This means that Kruger & Co. are now free to contact him and finalize a visit.

  8. The list of his suitors is impressive. He must be pretty good. We don't much about his basketball talent, but he definitely has committment issues.

  9. 6 Transfers from UCLA since 2007: Wright, Stanback, Gordon, Morgan, Moser, and now Carlino.

    However, it's not necessarily a bad thing as it seems. I hate mentioning anything Duke, but they have also had their share of 5 transfers since 2006.

    Almost every transfer story I can find is 90% because of playing time, and I can completely understand that. In many cases, perhaps the players were told they would be able to play immediately or soon, and end up not playing much at all.

  10. i am an indiana university alum, this kid is a mess..he didn't lead Bloomington south to the state title, jordan hulls and 3 other division one starters did..this kid moved because he wasn't getting playing time because the talent was too good for him..unlv might need an athletic pg, but do you really want a kid who can't make up his mind, transfers from two top tier programs because he's not good enough? coach kruger is better than this

  11. I suppose this trip will focus on UNLV's academics and how they will meet his requirements for a future undergraduate degree. Or maybe hookers and blow.

  12. Hey Ryan! What's the latest and greatest on the Shabazz Muhammed front?

  13. Nothing really new. Went on a visit to North Carolina two weeks ago, that's about it.

  14. Kid looks good but couldn't cut it for U. C. L. A

  15. That's right william... because Stanback has been awful and Moser hasn't looked like he'll be a good addition next season. The whole "couldn't cut it at (insert prior university here)" is a joke. Many things go into a player's decision to transfer. While playing time is usually a big factor, you also have to consider the style of the coach, the player's relationship with the coach and countless other things. Willis left Memphis and he's a star here. Jasper left Kentucky and he's a huge part of our success. Stanback left UCLA and he's been arguably our best player so far this year. Sometimes a player and a school just don't fit or a player doesn't get an opportunity.

    The bottom line is why would anybody question Kruger's judgement when it comes to transfer players? They all seem to be working out very well now and Moser may be the best of the bunch when he suits up next year. And just to clarify the point made by vegasnewbie, Carlino has not transferred from TWO D-1 schools. He originally committed to Indiana, but never went there, eventually choosing to go to UCLA instead. I guess the fact that he went back on a decision he made when he was only a sophomore in high school could be a red flag, because we all know 15 year olds make the best decisions. I'd also look at the continued exodus from UCLA more of an indictment of Ben Howland than having much to do with the players who left.

  16. @ Mike, Couldn't have said it better myself. Transfers offer a better idea of what you are going to get at the college level anyway. "Test drive before you buy" mentality.

  17. From all the videos I have seen on this kid, he looks like he can shoot well. I'm not sold on point as he dribbles too high and no defense on videos isnt a good sign. He reminds me of H Waldman more the Kevin Kruger. The next Kendall Wallace?

    He isn't just upset about playing time but also wants to play point not shooting guard (where i think he belongs). Kruger is known for converting the point to the shooting guard spot. Rebel ex point gaurds include Tre, Jasper, Wallace, Marshall,and Hawkins.

  18. Interesting note on ESPN. My guess is UNLV would be high on the list. Marshall, EJ, Rosco and Shabazz all Vegas boys playing for UNLV.

    Yes, we all have heard the news: Josh Selby is finally eligible and soon, the electrifying offensive guard will come off the bench, enter the starting lineup and quickly boost what is already an efficient Kansas offense (per Ken Pomeroy, 1.19 PPP). Again, we wonder what this news means for sophomore Elijah Johnson, a former ESPNU top 100 guard. Recently, Johnson reaffirmed he was not contemplating a move from Lawrence. However, it is only sane to think Johnson will most definitely pass Johnson on the KU depth chart, eating the guard's minutes (though Johnson has one of the best A/TO ratios on the squad -- 3.17).

    And it's not like Johnson will emerge as the number one PG option in 2012, should Selby depart after half of a season. Naadir Tharpe figures to be the next great Kansas guard and though just a freshman, there have been murmurs that Tharpe is the best ball-screen guard in the 2011 class. Fastforward to the 2012 class, and it gets worse as the Jayhawks' coaches are in hot pursuit of guard Marcus Paige. As Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress recently put it, "They are recruiting over him like all hell though."

    Perhaps Johnson will see more minutes as conference play begins as Bill Self could play both Selby and Tyshawn Taylor off the ball. However, if he continues to languish on the bench, what are the odds Johnson doesn't decide to take his game to a school where he can start?