unlv basketball:

Mike Moser will return to UNLV for his junior season

After weighing his options about the NBA draft, Moser decided to bring his double-double average back to Las Vegas

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Sam Morris

UNLV forward Mike Moser is mobbed by fans after the Rebels beat North Carolina in the Las Vegas Invitational championship game, Nov. 26, 2011, at the Orleans Arena. The Rebels upset the top-ranked Tar Heels 90-80.

UNLV just picked up its biggest recruit of the offseason.

Sophomore forward Mike Moser announced Sunday that he’s coming back for his junior season. Moser had spent the past few weeks gathering information about the NBA draft.

“I went through the process, talked with my mom, my AAU coach and coach Rice and the staff at UNLV,” Moser said. “We looked at all of my options, and in the end I decided it would be best for me to stay in school. We have a great team coming back and a great fan base. I believe in our program and I love playing in Las Vegas and for UNLV.”

Moser was a second-round pick in several mock drafts and in the last week ESPN’s Chad Ford moved him up to No. 47 in his top 100 rankings after not including Moser on the list at all. An honorable mention Associated Press All-American, Moser led the Rebels (26-9) with 14 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

With Moser in the lineup, UNLV should start next season ranked in the top 25 and have a chance to do well in the NCAA Tournament. And since he’s going to be a redshirt junior, Moser is on pace to graduate next year.

“Two big factors were also for my mom to see me graduate and to have a chance to win a national championship,” Moser said. “I know I can improve and am looking forward to putting in the necessary hard work.”

Talks about Moser to the NBA sprouted up after his stellar start to the season, especially in the victory against then-No. 1 North Carolina. But that idea cooled in down the stretch as Moser seemed to hit a wall and stopped posting ridiculous rebounding numbers every game.

Still, the talent is clearly there, and with another year Moser has a chance to improve his draft stock while leading the Rebels to another level.

“We are excited that Mike will be returning to UNLV for the coming season,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “His success put him in position to have to make a difficult decision. Like Mike, we are all committed to working extremely hard in the offseason to build upon a very good year.”

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. REBELS! Glad to see that Moser is coming back for another season. With Jones, Reinhardt, Birch (Spring Semester), Cook, and Mo coming in too, the team should be loaded for a great run. Let's hope that Rice doesn't run the team into the ground mid-season by failing to utilize his bench so we can make a deep run in March 2013. Will Moser play more at the 3 or the 4? As Birch didn't want to play at the 5, the team would be super long and atheletic if Jones was at the 2, Moser was at the 3, Birch was at the 4, and Lopez/Q (Mo - redshirt?) at the 5.

  2. Love the idea of that line-up Rebel Mike, and I also completely agree with using a lot more of the bench! It will be interesting to see how Birch plays out and how he'll fit into the line-up. He won't be eligible until mid-December, so we'll likely see Moser mostly at the "4" for the first half of the season. I don't know who'll be giving him rest unless Morant and Lopez fill in for him early season.

    Birch, as I remember, wasn't necessarily opposed to playing the "5", he just wanted an opportunity to go outside. I believe Rice will be recruiting 5's that are more mobile, and can hit outside shots. I think this year, Rice compromised style a bit due to the players he had. I could be wrong, but I think he'd love to see Noah Hartsock style players in the middle that can pop out, clearing the middle, and add an outside threat as well. Birch, it seems, would fit perfectly in this school of thought.

    This could all get very interesting if Bennet comes on board! He adds an additional "finisher" in the front court for Rice's Runnin Style. We'll keep our fingers crossed, but I'll take Moser's commitment any day of the week! We could even forego the 5h scholarship at this point if we wanted to, and still have potential for a great team!

  3. I'm glad Mike Moser decided to stay at UNLV. I hope he doesn't fade away as he did towards the end of this past season. Mr. Dave Rice clearly showed no confidence in his bench. Hopefully Mr. Rice learned something from the disastrous end of season play. There are good recruits coming in, but a quality big man is in need. If there are any quality big men out there who can jump, hold on to the ball, block more than 14 shots, grab more than 2.4 rebounds a game and score more than 6.4 pts/game please, please, please contact UNLV. No Swedish big men need apply LOL.

  4. @Hoosier boy: LMAO. That would have been more hilarious if it wasn't true......

    Re: Moser- good to see the guy use his head and come back- no way he is ready for the NBA-at best a late 2nd rounder. If he keeps improving he could end up a top first rounder. Hopefully he follow the lead of a guy like Brandon Roy- similiar games and Roy stayed 4 years and got better every year and became a standout.

  5. Great news for UNLV. This team looks very dangerous for next season indeed. 1 scholarship remains, and I really hope they can recruit one of the top picks. Mozilla will reign again!!

  6. I hope he follows through on his statement that he'll put in the necessary hard work to improve during the offseason. We need solid, consistent play for the entire season, not just the 1st 2/3.

    I don't understand how college players can run out of gas...they only play 1/2 the games of a NBA schedule. If they really want to be ready for the NBA, they need to put in the time working out and practicing to ensure they remained conditioned for the entire season.