Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
- Gorman’s Demetris Morant becomes first 2012 local to commit to UNLV (8-29-2011)
- Katin Reinhardt commits to UNLV, making major statement for Dave Rice and staff (8-11-2011)
- A Day in the Life: On the recruiting trail with UNLV coach Dave Rice (7-26-2011)
- Baltimore PG Daquan Cook becomes UNLV’s first 2012 hoops commit (7-21-2011)
- All UNLV Men's Basketball Coverage
This much right now is known about the impending college decision that 6-foot-9 Bishop Gorman junior forward Rosco Allen will make: Whatever it is, it will be the right one.
Allen's über-thorough research of his potential suitors appears to be just about complete, as he wrapped up a two-day official visit to the UNLV campus by enjoying dinner with the coaching staff late Thursday evening.
He's taken that visit, he took his official trip to Stanford last weekend, and likely last on the agenda will be a slew of in-home visits — Friday night with UNLV, Saturday with Stanford and Sept. 21 with North Carolina.
All that is certain about Allen's timetable at the moment is that a choice will be made in time for him to sign a National Letter of Intent in November.
"I feel I have gained all the necessary information and now I just have to evaluate and compare different aspects of each university," he told the Sun via text late Thursday night. "(Friday) I'll just be talking about what my thoughts were and I'll ask any questions about the things I wasn't clear about."
First-year Rebels coach Dave Rice and members of his staff will also likely be on hand at Gorman on Saturday afternoon, when the talent-rich Gaels will hold their first open gym of the fall. Coaches from several of the nation's top programs are expected to be in town to both watch and be seen.
For Allen, the official visit was his third trip to meet with the coaching staff on the UNLV campus in the past five weeks. He took two unofficial visits in early August, where he not only got to know the staff better but did some investigation into the school's academic offerings.
This week's visit involved a little more of both.
"In general, the visit was great," he said. "I got to sit down and spend a lot of time on the campus and with the coaching staff, the players. I did a full campus tour, met the president of the school (Neal Smatresk) along with the athletic director (Jim Livengood), the deans and professors from the school of business, the athletic counselor. This visit was different in that everything was able to be done much more in-depth, since I had much more time.
"As far as basketball goes, coach Rice's passion for the game has truly impressed me, and on the other side, the opportunity for me to graduate in three years is great."
Allen's visit to Palo Alto, Calif., last weekend was equally fulfilling. While on the trip with his father, Daniel, Allen had a chance to meet Stanford's Heisman candidate quarterback Andrew Luck and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice while studying up.
He said the biggest differences between Stanford and UNLV was the campus and the overall environment. On paper, the differences are a bit more defined.
Academically, Stanford is as good as it gets on the West Coast.
On the floor, though, UNLV and Stanford have headed in opposite directions in recent seasons.
The Rebels appeared in the NCAA tournament four of the last five years, with the table set for the program to take major strides moving forward under the new regime. Meanwhile, it's been a struggle for the Cardinal since Trent Johnson left to take over at LSU following the 2007-08 season. In 2009-10, the program posted its first losing records both overall and in Pac-10 play since the 1992-93 season. They did the same last season, but now, fourth-year coach Johnny Dawkins has a good deal of young talent to work with and an opportunity to lead the program back to relevancy.
Allen is strong in both realms. The versatile swingman who can score in a variety of ways is currently ranked by ESPN.com as the No. 55 overall prospect in the 2012 senior class. Meanwhile, with much less fanfare, Allen has been a standout in the classroom, too.
"It would be pretty hard (to say no to a Stanford education), but basketball has always been my first love," Allen said. "The education part just came due to my mother pushing me, so basketball is still a big part of my decision."
Allen said he's also taken notice to the already stellar 2012 recruiting class pieced together by Rice & Co. He's long known two of the three commits already in place — California combo guard Katin Reinhardt and 6-foot-8 Gorman teammate Demetris Morant. The third commit in place is Baltimore point guard Daquan Cook. Allen is one of several high-profile targets on UNLV's radar for its final two spots in a class that Rivals.com already ranks 20th in the nation and ESPN.com has at 23rd.
"I feel that I would have a good relationship with all of these commits, which is important to me," Allen added. "Winning is something I want, so of course the teammates I have matters."
For more on Allen and further UNLV recruiting updates, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.
GREENE'S TAKE: "If you want to read between the lines with Allen's comments, it sounds like, of his multiple suitors, UNLV has left the best impression on him. Yes, for the common man, it sounds like it would be impossible to pass up a free Stanford education, but Allen points out that basketball comes first in this decision, and I think it should. If that's really the case, UNLV is the safest choice, in my opinion. North Carolina appears to be trailing big-time, and playing time right away might not be as much of a sure thing there as it is at UNLV or Stanford. And with Stanford, they haven't won much in the last couple of years. Even though there's tons of young talent in place, winning right away appears important, too. With that said, UNLV appears to have the best of both worlds, and that's why I'm sticking with my prediction from a few weeks back that, in the end, Allen will end up a Rebel. Landing Allen would be huge for Rice & Co. for multiple reasons. On top of the obvious infusion of rare talent, it would take off the pressure of rounding out the 2012 recruiting class with a bang. If Allen is in place, they've already exceeded outside expectations. They're still after some top targets, and the most notable of them is obviously Gorman's Shabazz Muhammad — the unanimous top overall prospect in the 2012 senior crop. If Allen commits and Muhammad decides to go elsewhere, then so be it, because UNLV will have made out just fine."