Stephen R. Sylvanie / Special to the Sun
Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 | 2 a.m.
The UNLV coaching staff is casting a wide net on the recruiting trail, with top targets located on the West Coast, the East Coast, and seemingly everywhere in between. But Marvin Menzies also appears to be keeping tabs on his own backyard.
Clark High School junior guard Trey Woodbury took an unofficial visit to UNLV last week, and though the team hasn’t offered a scholarship yet, it looks as though there is at least some interest on the Rebels’ side.
Woodbury, a 6-foot-4 sharpshooter, is currently averaging 16 points per game, and he’s helped Clark to an impressive 18-3 record.
On Jan. 18, Woodbury was invited to tour the UNLV campus with his father and his AAU coach. They checked out the practice facility, met with players and coaches and stayed to watch the Rebels take on Mountain West rival San Diego State at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Woodbury came away impressed by what UNLV has to offer.
“It was really cool to get a chance to meet the team and be in the locker room with the players,” Woodbury said. “We got to listen to them get their pregame rundown [from the coaches]. I had never seen that before. It was a great experience.”
Woodbury has seen his stock rise over the past year, and his high school coach thinks a good showing on the summer circuit could bring even more recruiting attention. Woodbury is known for his outside shooting, but he’s improved his ball handling and playmaking skills to the point where he’s emerging as a solid Division I prospect.
Air Force has shown interest, and Woodbury has also heard from UNR, Santa Clara and UT San Antonio.
“He’s added so much to his game over the past year,” Clark coach Colin Darfour said. “His jump shot has gotten so much better. His ability to make plays off the bounce, going to the basket, finding open guys — all those things have improved. He’s still getting better. Next season I think he’ll be one of the best players in town, hands down. I think he’s at that level now, but people are going to start recognizing it.”
A lot more college coaches started recognizing Woodbury’s ability after his performance against Chino Hills (Calif.) on Dec. 16. In Clark’s most high-profile game of the season — Chino Hills is currently ranked No. 2 nationally by USA Today, and the team is led by top prospects LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball (younger brothers of UCLA phenom Lonzo Ball) and elite Class of 2019 big man Onyeka Okongwu (another UNLV target) — Woodbury posted a team-high 25 points as Clark came up just short of a monumental upset.
“That was my favorite game so far this season,” Woodbury said. “The atmosphere was crazy. There were a ton of people there, all kinds of media and college coaches. That was fun.”
An offer from UNLV, if it comes, would be a big deal to Woodbury. His father, Ben, is an alum, and the family has held Rebels season tickets since Trey was a boy.
Woodbury believes an offer could happen if he continues to expand his game.
“I just have to keep working and continue to stay in the gym,” Woodbury said. “For the rest of this season, and then AAU season, I’ve got to continue to improve for my senior year so we can try to win another state championship. I want to get quicker and become a better athlete, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Woodbury said most of his interaction with UNLV has been with assistant coach Rob Jeter. The Rebels are looking at a number of highly ranked guards in the Class of 2018, but few prospects already bleed scarlet and gray the way Woodbury does.
“He was extremely excited about the opportunity to visit UNLV,” Darfour said. “UNLV is a school that Trey Woodbury and his family hold dear to their hearts. They’ve been fans of the program since Trey was born. Trey’s dad is a huge Rebel supporter. If he ended up with an opportunity to play [college basketball] here in town, I think there’s a good chance — a really good chance — he would jump at it.”