Friday, July 22, 2011 | 7:45 p.m.
More UNLV Recruiting News
- Former UNLV commit Nigel Williams-Goss not in a rush to decide again (7-23-2011)
- Emerging Canadian big man Matt Willms likes what he sees in Las Vegas and UNLV (7-23-2011)
- Rebel basketball fans mark their territory, cheer for recruit Shabazz Muhammad (7-22-2011)
- As his star grows, Gorman’s Shabazz Muhammad focuses on avoiding hype (7-22-2011)
- Older brother gets the buzz, but Rashad Muhammad’s profile is rising (7-22-2011)
- Baltimore PG Daquan Cook becomes UNLV’s first 2012 hoops commit (7-21-2011)
- Father helps Gorman’s Ben Carter stay focused as a player rather than a recruit (7-20-2011)
- When and where to see UNLV’s top 2012 recruiting targets this weekend in Las Vegas (7-19-2011)
- As July AAU season kicks off, a closer look at UNLV’s top 2012 recruiting targets (7-5-2011)
- UNLV receives first commitment for class of 2013 from 6-foot-8 Christian Wood (7-1-2011)
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This week on LasVegasSun.com Sports Talk - doubling as The Rebel Room podcast - Ray Brewer and Ryan Greene break down a busy recruiting month for Dave Rice and his UNLV men's basketball staff. The crazy weekend in Las Vegas included three big tournaments, and the the guys will fill you in on who the staff made sure to go watch, who has emerged as the primary recruiting targets and who could likely be the next commit - or two - in the class of 2012.
UNLV coach Dave Rice caught Katin Reinhardt's attention by being one of the first coaches to contact him after the 6-foot-4 shooting guard de-committed from USC in May.
But two words really helped Rice grab his attention: Jimmer Fredette.
"He compared me to Jimmer Fredette a lot," Reinhardt said, referring to Rice's former star pupil at BYU. "How he let him play is how he'll let me play. That freedom, being able to do that stuff, that's what I look at. Look where Jimmer got. He went to the NBA as a lottery pick. So if you could get that kind of coach to be behind you 100 percent, that's everything you could ask for."
In his debut game at the Fab 48 at Bishop Gorman on Friday afternoon, Reinhardt didn't score in bulk like Fredette, but he sure didn't have to. In a blowout victory over the New York-based Juice All-Stars, Reinhardt only played about half of the game for his Belmont Shore club.
But in that relatively brief stretch, he showed just why Rice and his staff are pushing so hard for him.
Reinhardt, who plays his high school ball for powerhouse Mater Dei in Santa Ana, Calif., has long been known as a deadly outside shooter. That's a role UNLV still has to fill with one of its four vacant scholarships remaining for the 2012 class. But Reinhardt is now turning heads by showing that he's much more than just a perimeter threat.
He hit his only two 3-point attempts Friday morning, stepping into each shot and executing with smooth form. But he also served as Belmont Shore's primary ball-handler.
Reinhardt showed off quick crossover moves and a knack for finding open teammates with a series of nifty dishes.
"I look at myself as just a guard," he said. "If I need to score the ball — there's going to be a game in this tournament when they need me to score the ball — then I'll score the ball. If I'm passing and facilitating, that's awesome.
"Pushing the ball, finding open people, that's what I like doing the most. People know I can score the ball. I love passing the ball as much as I like scoring."
Reinhardt had two nice finishes near the rim in the game and had a two-handed slam in transition waived off due to a traveling violation.
Unofficially, he finished the game with 10 points and five assists.
Overall, he flashed a serious amount of all-around athleticism that clearly caught his opponents off-guard.
Rice sat on the baseline from start to finish, and it appears clearer than ever that Reinhardt is the program's top target in its search for a sharpshooter in the 2012 senior crop.
The seriousness of UNLV's recruitment hasn't gone unnoticed by Reinhardt, nor has the attention he's receiving from the Rebels' fans. About 20 of them, decked out in scarlet, sat on the opposite baseline, cheering on Reinhardt the whole time. He even acknowledged them during a couple of breaks in the game.
"It's great. As you can see, they have a great fan base," he said. "I was on Twitter saying I was coming out here, everybody was tweeting me back. It's great that they'll support you at an AAU basketball tournament. It's great."
But as flattered as he was, even thanking those fans on his Twitter feed after the game, Reinhardt said he plans on not making a decision on where he'll play at next until either October or November.
Reinhardt, who Rivals.com ranks as the No. 43 overall prospect in the 2012 class, said the schools recruiting him the hardest right now are UNLV, Texas, Baylor, Syracuse and North Carolina State. It's also been known for a while that Gonzaga is pushing hard, too.
He cited the possibility of early playing time and UNLV's new uptempo style as what's really grabbed him so far, along with his overall comfort with Rice.
"He's an awesome guy, and he really knows how to talk to the kids," he said. "The style of play is definitely what a lot of kids want to do — get up and down the floor. It's a good, fast-paced offense, and it's fun."