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Rebels land commitment from 2018 guard Bryce Hamilton

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L.E. Baskow

Belmont Shore’s Bryce Hamilton (4) drives the lane past the Colorado Chaos’ Tylor Trinh (24) during their AAU tournament game at Bishop Gorman High School on Wednesday, July 26 2017. Hamilton is the UNLV basketball program’s most prized recruiting prospect for the class of 2018.

UNLV landed its second commitment from the Class of 2018 when high-scoring guard Bryce Hamilton pledged to the Rebels on Monday.

The 6-foot-4 California native made the announcement via his Twitter account:

Hamilton has been UNLV’s top target in the Class of 2018 since last year. He averaged 24.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game as a junior at Pasadena High School (California), and UNLV was among the first schools to offer him a scholarship.

He impressed on the summer circuit, including a 25-point performance in front of Rebels coaches at the Las Vegas Fab 48, and he is currently rated as the No. 74 recruit in the nation, according to Rivals.com.

Hamilton joins Clark guard Trey Woodbury as members of UNLV’s 2018 class. Like Hamilton, Woodbury projects as a scoring guard.

A few thoughts on what Hamilton’s commitment means for the program:

Recruiting momentum

When UNLV coach Marvin Menzies landed Brandon McCoy, Amauri Hardy and Shakur Juiston in April, it certainly seemed as though the Rebels had turned the corner in terms of recruiting, and the commitments of Woodbury and now Hamilton only prove it.

Hamilton was a coveted prospect, with offers from schools such as UNR and Arizona State, so Menzies and his staff have to be feeling pretty good about the state of the program. An early commitment from a top-100 player shows that UNLV is once again capable of recruiting at a high level, which is ideally the program’s greatest advantage over the rest of the Mountain West.

Future backcourt

Hamilton and Woodbury are similar in a lot of ways — they’re both around 6-foot-4, and both are versatile scorers — and together they should form a good foundation for the program. Both project as four-year players, and although they play similar positions, they possess enough varied skills to share the court and complement each other.

The Rebels could still use a long-term solution at point guard, but the most precious asset in basketball is still scoring. With Hamilton and Woodbury in the fold, UNLV is in good shape for the future.

California pipeline

Hamilton is Menzies’ first big recruit to come out of Southern California, and that’s important. Menzies has a ton of connections in the talent-rich region, and pulling prospects from that area is one of the program’s long-term priorities.

Hamilton’s commitment is confirmation that top recruits are once again considering UNLV as a viable option. Given Menzies’ track record as a top recruiter and his influence in SoCal, this should be the beginning of a fertile pipeline from the state.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.

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