Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 | 4:30 p.m.
With a surprise addition during the first week of classes, Marvin Menzies’ first recruiting class at UNLV is complete. Four-star power forward Troy Baxter Jr., who last week was released from his letter of intent at South Florida, committed to the Rebels this afternoon while on a visit and is immediately eligible as a freshman.
“It’s the perfect fit,” said Baxter’s father, Troy Sr. “Everybody here is genuine; everybody greeted us with open arms. When it’s right, it’s right.”
Baxter, who’s listed at 6-foot-8 and 195 pounds, could have an immediate impact on UNLV’s frontcourt. He had planned visits to UCLA and Arizona State, but Menzies and his staff convinced the family it didn’t need to look any further.
“It was a no-brainer once we got on tour and got on this beautiful campus,” Troy Baxter Sr. said. “It was great.”
Because the school year already has started, it’s too late for Baxter to sign a national letter of intent, but once he has signed scholarship papers, the Gainesville, Fla., native can officially join the program. Troy Baxter Sr. said they looked elsewhere largely because of the issues facing the South Florida program.
Since at least July, the NCAA reportedly has been investigating the Bulls program for possible academic fraud. Assistant coach Oliver Antigua, who’s the brother of head coach Orlando Antigua, resigned after he wasn’t allowed to go on the road to recruit during live periods.
“They had some issues there that we didn’t want to get involved in,” Troy Baxter Sr. said.
After a delayed start to the recruiting process, Menzies now has a full roster of 13 scholarship players, including five true freshmen.