Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 | 2 a.m.
- Vegas sports books on board with UNLV’s high expectations
- Rebels sneak out with overtime victory despite ‘embarrassing’ performance
- Countdown to tip-off: Goodman tries to rebound and bully his way onto the court
- Countdown to tip-off: Birch doesn’t need to do it all to impact the Rebels this year
- Countdown to tip-off: Reinhardt brings swagger and skill to the guard spots
- All UNLV men's basketball coverage
Bryce Dejean-Jones may have been the UNLV basketball team's missing piece last season. An aggressive, athletic wing player who can go off the dribble toward the rim or pull up behind the arc, he had to sit out after transferring from USC.
While the Rebels’ legs got tired and their toughness seemed to be lacking, the common refrain was to look at the end of the bench and imagine how different things would be with Dejean-Jones eligible. That no longer matters, and Dejean-Jones could be just as instrumental this season if he plays in games like he has in practice the past year.
With enough playing time, he could be the team’s leading scorer and perhaps its emotional linchpin. He looks physically pained when something goes wrong on the court, a characteristic that suggests it will be hard to keep him on the bench in a close game.
Not even a broken hand just more than a month before the season will keep him from playing. Dejean-Jones is confident that when he finally steps on the court, the wait will have been worth it, and no longer will people have to wonder what he brings to UNLV’s lineup. Everyone will find out together.
Ht Wt Yr Pos Major
6-5 200 RS So Wing Sociology
How he got to UNLV
MaxPreps had Dejean-Jones as a top-50 player coming out of high school, and he stayed close to home at USC. He flashed potential as a freshman with the Trojans, but an altercation with a teammate soured things and coach Kevin O’Neill didn’t exactly have his back. The Rebels offered a second chance, and Dejean-Jones found a familiar face in former high school teammate Justin Hawkins.
Box score stats (at USC)
Yr GP-GS Min FG% 3FG% FT% Rbs Ast TO Stl Pts
10-11 18-10 20.6 37.9 34.5 63.9 2.6 28 30 20 7.6
Advanced stats (via kenpom.com)
Yr %Min ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% TS% OR% DR% ARate TORate
10-11 27.1 91.8 24.5 25 46 48.5 3.8 11.6 16.2 20.4
What they’re saying
"There's nothing mid-major about that front line, and if guards Anthony Marshall, Justin Hawkins and Bryce Dejean-Jones can do their bit, UNLV is the favorite in this league, period."
"Jones is an important addition for the Runnin’ Rebels because of his ability on the wing. UNLV doesn’t have an overload of talent on the wing."
“Bryce is extremely versatile. He scores the ball in a variety of ways and I think will be one of our better defenders. He’ll be key to our attack at both ends of the floor from the wing spot.”
In his own words
“From here everybody’s looking to play team basketball and play hard. That’s basically just what we have to focus on, play hard and play smart. … I can’t wait to get out there. It’s been too long.”