Isaac Lindsey via Twitter @IsaacLindsey10
Thursday, June 27, 2019 | 10:09 a.m.
UNLV added to its 2020 recruiting class on Wednesday, as Wisconsin prospect Isaac Lindsey committed to the Rebels while on an official visit.
Lindsey, a 6-foot-4 guard, made the announcement via his Twitter account:
Lindsey averaged 20.5 points per game as a junior at Mineral Point last season, and he is considered a talented shooter/scorer. Though he was an unranked prospect according to 247Sports, Lindsey fielded offers from Wisconsin, DePaul and Milwaukee.
UNLV head coach T.J. Otzelberger began recruiting Lindsey to South Dakota State in the summer of 2017, and he was the first coach to offer him a scholarship. That relationship paid off for the Rebels on Wednesday, and now Lindsey could be part of UNLV’s backcourt of the future.
“He was the first coach to offer me after my freshman season,” Lindsey said. “We’ve been talking for a while. The trust he has in me, the confidence he’s put into me and my play, he believes that I can excel at this school. It’s great to have his support.”
What Lindsey’s commitment means for the program:
Otzelberger values outside shooting, and his recruiting reflects that. In his first offseason at the helm he has brought in players such as David Jenkins, Moses Wood, Jonah Antonio and Vitaliy Shibel, all of whom are known as premium shooters. And now Lindsey gives Otzelberger a potential ace shooter in the 2020 class.
“I feel like I can shoot the ball at a high level,” Lindsey said. “That’s what I’m known for. I play more of a combo guard on my high school team and I’ve been really working on my defense, but I can catch-and-shoot, I can shoot off the dribble, pull up. I really work on all types of shots when I’m in the gym; I want to be able hit ‘em all.”
UNLV made 33.7 percent of its 3-point attempts last year, which ranked 218th in the country. Under Otzelberger, South Dakota State shot 40.8 percent from deep, good for third in the country. Otzelberger is going to continue adding shooters like Lindsey until the Rebels are closer to 40 percent than 33 percent.
Lindsey is 6-foot-4 and 170 pounds now, and he knows he’ll have to get stronger in order to play in the Mountain West. He said he and Otzelberger have already worked out a nutrition plan that he’ll follow for the next year, with the goal of getting him close to 190 pounds before he enrolls at UNLV next summer.
“The biggest part is eating,” Lindsey said. “Making sure I eat consistently. We have a plan put in place and we’re going to be recording my weight so I can keep gaining every day and make sure I’m consistent with it.”
UNLV has four scholarship seniors on the 2019-20 roster: Elijah Mitrou-Long, Nick Blair, Jonah Antonio and Vitaliy Shibel. That number is fluid, as Antonio and Shibel could each gain an additional year of eligibility via NCAA waivers, but for now the Rebels are looking at four open spots for the 2020 recruiting class.
With Blake and Lindsey in the fold, that gives Otzelberger two more scholarships to build his first full recruiting class. Looking forward, it seems likely that at least one addition will have to be a big man. The frontrunner now is 3-star Las Vegas native Jhaylon Martinez, a 6-foot-11 stretch center who recently announced he is leaving Coronado to play his senior year at a prep school in Arizona. Despite the move, Martinez still appears to be locked in on the Rebels.
Blake and Martinez are 3-star prospects, while Lindsey is unranked. It wouldn’t be the most high-profile class UNLV has ever landed, but it does appear to fit the kind of basketball Otzelberger wants the Rebels to play.