Published Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | 3:20 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | 3:45 p.m.
The changes this offseason on the UNLV men's basketball roster won't be limited to players coming into the program.
Forward Matt Shaw, who was set to enter his senior season and fifth year as a member of the UNLV program, will not be back after failing a drug test for marijuana at the NCAA tournament in March.
Shaw was the team's fourth-leading scorer last season, averaging 7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 Los Angeles native shot a team-best 45 percent (27-of-60) from 3-point range.
In 86 career games, Shaw has shot 41.2 percent from the floor and 41.3 percent from long distance, averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds a contest.
Shaw, who redshirted during the 2008-09 season while recovering from ACL surgery, will graduate after completing his undergraduate degree this summer at UNLV. The failed test carries with it a one-year suspension from the NCAA, and since his redshirt year was already used, Shaw's eligibility will have expired by this time next year.
“I tested positive for a NCAA banned substance and it will cost me my senior season,” Shaw said in a statement released by the UNLV athletic department. “I made a poor decision, but I take responsibility for it. I apologize to my teammates, my coaches and the fans. I am proud of the fact that I will earn my degree and am also proud of what we accomplished during my four seasons as part of the Runnin’ Rebel program. I hope the fans will remember me for what I tried to give to this program and accept my apology.”
Added coach Lon Kruger in said statement: "“We are really disappointed for Matt. He was going to be an integral part of our team next season. His teammates are disappointed as well, but they also understand that he has to take responsibility for his actions.”
Shaw missed the final four games of the regular season after suffering a sprained ankle during pregame warmups before a Feb. 26 loss at Utah, and concluded his UNLV career with a team-high 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go with four rebounds in a 69-66 loss to Northern Iowa in the first round of the NCAA tourney.
Shaw was the last remaining piece on the roster from UNLV's 2007 squad that made the program's first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1991.
With incoming freshman Henry Buckley tied to one of UNLV's two open scholarships heading into this week, pending his academic qualification, the coaching staff filled its other spot Monday by taking on 6-foot-8 UCLA transfer Mike Moser.
With Shaw gone, the Rebels have one more spot to fill, and their top target is presumably Bishop Gorman senior point guard Johnathan Loyd, who they offered the scholarship to Sunday night.
For more on this story as it develops, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.