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Wood makes 76ers roster, becomes fifth Rebel currently in NBA

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Mike Groll / AP

Philadelphia 76ers forward Christian Wood (35) grabs a rebound in front of Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during an NBA preseason game on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Albany, N.Y. Philadelphia won 97-95.

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Las Vegas Sports Editor Ray Brewer describes his trip down to Runnin' Rebel Madness and sports writers Case Keefer and Taylor Bern chime in with their thoughts on dunking phenom Derrick Jones Jr.'s role this season and how UNLV football will respond after the bye week at home for a Halloween date with Boise State.

Former Rebel Christian Wood left school early to play in the NBA, and despite going undrafted that’s exactly what he’ll do as the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday named him to their official opening-night roster.

Wood averaged 15.7 points and 10 rebounds per game in a sophomore season remembered as much for effort issues as the production. He left UNLV expecting to be a first-round draft pick and watched all 60 selections go without hearing his name.

Wood said he rededicated himself to working hard during an NBA Summer League session with the Houston Rockets and that helped Wood secure a partially guaranteed contract with Philadelphia. Reports out of training camp were generally positive, and Wood ended up beating out several players for the final spot, including Desert Pines High grad Pierre Jackson.

“Very happy for Chris,” said UNLV coach Dave Rice. “He had a terrific sophomore year for us and continued his progress with a great training camp for the Sixers.”

Wood is the fifth former Rebel to make a roster this season and the third to follow the Findlay Prep-UNLV-NBA path in the last three years. Former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett is on his third team (Toronto Raptors) in three years while reports out of Milwaukee indicate that No. 17 pick Rashad Vaughn, who led UNLV in scoring before a knee injury ended his freshman season, could have a big role for the Bucks this season.

Other Rebels on NBA rosters include the Detroit Pistons’ Joel Anthony and the New York Knicks’ Lou Amundson, who enter their ninth and 10th professional seasons, respectively.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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