Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Monday, April 29, 2013 | 1:35 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports editor Ray Brewer and UNLV beat writer Taylor Bern discuss the recent news about UNLV's plans for a statue of the legendary coach outside of the Thomas & Mack Center.
D. Smith. K. Smith. R. Smith.
That’s what the back of the UNLV jerseys will look like for Rebels DeVille Smith, Kendall Smith and Roscoe Smith this season, coach Dave Rice said. The three players, all unrelated, share the most common surname in the United States, making that first initial an important way to differentiate between them.
Of course, there’s also their numbers — Roscoe Smith No. 1, Kendall Smith No. 15, DeVille Smith No. 33 — plus the way they look and play. And all three took different paths to Las Vegas.
Roscoe Smith, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, has been on campus for a year after transferring last year from UConn, where he helped win a national championship in 2011 as a freshman. He’s expected to move into the starting lineup with the ability to play both the small and power forward positions.
DeVille Smith is also a junior transfer but he won’t have to sit out because he’s coming from a junior college. The 5-foot-11 point guard started his career at Mississippi State before playing his sophomore year at Southwest Mississippi Community College, where he averaged 16.7 points and 5.5 assists per game.
DeVille Smith will be competing for the starting point guard spot with a few players, including freshman Kendall Smith, who averaged 27.5 points and 6.5 assists for Deer Valley High in Antioch, Calif., last year. Kendall Smith also could play minutes at shooting guard.
Last year the Rebels’ two leading scorers both shared the same first name, making the surnames for Anthony Bennett and Anthony Marshall more important for directing cheers or questions to each individual player. Now the Smiths are here to put the value back on the first name, because “Let’s go Smith!” just isn’t going to cut it.