Dave Rice already familiar with brother’s prep program at Gorman

Expect new UNLV coaching staff to actively recruit at perennial Nevada power Gorman

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Justin M. Bowen

Bishop Gorman head coach Grant Rice yells to his players during their game against Findlay Prep Saturday, January 22, 2011 at the Cox Pavilion. Findlay eked out an 89-86 double overtime win.

Dave Rice

UNLV assistant coach Dave Rice yells to Rebel players as they take on Georgetown at the Thomas & Mack Center Sunday, November 28, 1999. The Rebels defeated the Hoyas 85-69. Launch slideshow »

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KSNV coverage of the new men's basketball coach at UNLV.

Bishop Gorman High basketball coach Grant Rice welcomes literally hundreds of college coaches to the private school each year to recruit his roster of the Las Vegas Valley’s best players.

When the coaches — such as Roy Williams from North Carolina, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Bill Self of Kansas — step into his office, the first thing they see is Rice’s framed No. 30 UNLV basketball jersey hanging on the walls.

Now, when coaches arrive at his office, they will surely notice more of his decorations — especially the family photos. Rice’s older brother, Dave, was announced Sunday as UNLV’s new coach.

“I’m a proud Rebel just like Dave is a proud Rebel,” said Grant Rice, who was part of UNLV’s 1999 Mountain West Conference championship team.

Having a recruiting edge at Gorman, a perennial Nevada power that is respected nationally, will be huge advantage for Dave Rice. The Gaels have a group of the nation’s most sought-after prospects for the class of 2012 in swingman Shabazz Muhammad, and forwards Rosco Allen, Ben Carter and Demetris Morant.

Muhammad is a consensus top-five overall recruit, who attracts the likes of Williams and Self to league games in the middle of the season to watch Gorman win by 40 points.

When news spread this week that Dave Rice was a candidate to replace Lon Kruger, who left for a lucrative contract at Oklahoma, Grant Rice started fielding call after call from supporters trying to contact his brother. At school, the players were equally curious.

“A lot of the kids came up to me today and were really excited,” Rice said. “I was finally able to talk with them about it. This is Las Vegas and UNLV basketball, so everyone wanted to know what was going on.”

Rice has always told his Gorman players what UNLV had to offer. Now, his brother will be nearby to hammer home the message.

“We’ve always talked about UNLV,” Rice said. “All of (Gorman’s players) grew up in Las Vegas. Most of them just missed the heyday, but a lot of them watched the HBO documentary on the Rebels and know all about the history.”

But, by no means does that mean other schools won’t have access to Gorman’s athletes. Grant Rice knows that would be a disservice to his players.

“I will be honest with the kids and the families. That has always been our philosophy,” Grant Rice said. “We aren’t going to force them to go anywhere. If the family asks us for help, we will give them an honest opinion.

“Just because you are a Division I player doesn’t mean you will go to UNLV or fit in at UNLV.”

Dave Rice has more going for him with the Gorman players than the relationship with his brother.

While at BYU, Rice offered Allen his first scholarship — before his sophomore season, and long before Allen became the nation’s No. 23 overall prospect by Rivals.com

Rice also offered Carter his first scholarship, realizing the lanky 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward had talent last year during his sophomore year — when Carter often received little, or no, playing time.

“He had an interest in them before anyone else did,” Grant Rice said.

Carter, who has offers from the likes of UNR, New Mexico and BYU, will surely add others this spring and summer when the AAU season heats up. Saturday, for instance, Carter scored 28 points against Compton Magic — one of the most respected AAU teams.

Carter had visited with Kruger multiple times on campus and plans to do the same with Rice.

“I think (Dave Rice) will do a great job,” Carter said. “I already have a great relationship with him. I’m definitely looking forward to meeting with coach Rice and his staff.”

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  1. WHat about Findlay prep? We have two major recruits coming from there as well

  2. Might want to consider that all high school basketball doesn't start and end at Gorman. If they played the state champions in 49 other states, Gorman might win about 5 of those matchups.

    But this will only encourage Gorman to continue it's NIAA-violating ways of stealth recruitment.

    And in future news: UNLV still a joke. Gorman still breaks the rules but never gets punished. Next story please.

  3. ChFleming...I agree with your first comment about not wanting to focus on Gorman to the detriment of other schools but your second comment is asinine. How is UNLV a joke? A joke like Bruce Pearl at Tennessee? A joke like TCU winning one conference game? A joke like Northwestern never making the NCAA tournament despite being a charter member? What exactly is the joke?

  4. Well the joke could go anywhere from the academic budget cuts to the fact it's perceived by many as a mediocre institution. Their football and basketball program has been "rebuilding" for how long now? It's not a national powerhouse, unless you're still living pretty far in the past.

    UNLV is nothing much than a community college, I know the locals don't want to hear this but where I come from, standards were much higher.

    Vegas as a whole is a pretty dismal place to live. The school isn't any better.

  5. Who perceives UNLV as a mediocre institution? Its hospitality school consistently ranks in the top 3 nationwide. Boyd School of Law has been ranked as a top 75 law school in the country despite being only 13 years old. The creative writing graduate program is one of the best around. The dental school is considered one of the tops in the region. Were you expecting Harvard to emerge in the form of a school thats been around since the 1950's?

    As for funding, that is not a measure of the University but rather the State and the legislature. It by no means is a reflection of the faculty or curriculum or athletics.

    So if you think UNLV is a joke, you need to write some new material....

  6. ChFleming:

    I'm a UNLV grad and I know a lot who are the same and we are just fine, quit being bitter because UNLV is about to blow up on the basketball scene. And we are not a football school, hope we are someday but bball is our love, Take your bad attitude and bounce somewhere else if you don't like it PUNK! Dave Rice will be great, and UNLV is a great school-I went there and my brothers and friends went there...GET LOST! And Run Rebels Run!!!!

  7. ChFleming:

    Wow. Well if where you come from is so much better, why do you stay here? Trust me, you won't be missed. And I know that's the easy response to your diatribe but it sounds to me like you probably just sit on your couch and complain rather than actually contributing to this community. Which basically means that you really don't have much of a position to complain. No matter where you live, there are going to be problems. Just one question, where exactly is this utopia that you hail from?

  8. In regards to Dave Rice, while he may not have been my first choice, I do think he has the potential to do GREAT things in the long run for UNLV.

  9. The only thing "dismal" are your posts, CHFleming!!! You are pathetic!

  10. chflem - You're an internet tough guy. Where exactly did you come from?