Tuesday, April 10, 2012 | 6:15 p.m.
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Sophomore forward Karam Mashour has been granted his release from the basketball program, UNLV coach Dave Rice announced Tuesday.
Mashour played in 13 games last season, averaging 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 3.2 minutes per game.
“I enjoyed my time at UNLV,” Mashour said. “It was an honor to play for the Runnin’ Rebels and I will always appreciate the support of my teammates and coaches. I look forward to finding an opportunity where there is more playing time available.”
The move leaves UNLV with two scholarship openings just a day before Bishop Gorman’s Shabazz Muhammad, who only recently cut the Rebels from his list, is set to announce his decision.
UNLV is still going hard after Findlay Prep’s Anthony Bennett, but the second opening may be best used on a transfer. There’s an extensive pool of talent available right now, or Rice could hang on to it in case someone becomes available mid-season, a la Khem Birch.
The transfer route makes sense when you consider that there’s not much playing time available with the current roster. However, after next year UNLV loses Anthony Marshall, Justin Hawkins, Quintrell Thomas and likely Mike Moser, which creates a lot of opportunity for someone who would have to redshirt during the 2012-13 season.
Mashour’s highlight last season was an acrobatic dunk along the baseline in a December blowout at Cal-State Bakersfield. The low may have been Feb. 1 when he refused to enter the game in the final minutes of a home blowout against Colorado State.
Mashour, a native of Nazareth, Israel, who played in 12 games as a freshman, was clearly upset with his lack of a role on the team, but he never let that slow him down in practice.
“We appreciate Karam’s contributions to our team,” Rice said. “He is an extremely hard worker and was a big part of our success this year. He is a great person and we wish him the best.”