Monday, May 21, 2012 | 3:41 p.m.
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Reggie Smith is leaving the UNLV basketball team.
The junior-to-be point guard, who averaged 2.5 points per game in 20 games last year, on Monday was granted a release from the Rebel program. Smith’s desire to be closer to his hometown of Chicago is the reason for his transferring, according to a statement from the university.
“I enjoyed my time at UNLV,” Smith said in the statement. “However, my grandmother is really sick and I have decided to find a school closer to home so I can be near her and my family.”
Smith transferred to UNLV after the fall 2010 semester from Marquette and sat out two semesters per transfer rules before being eligible last December. He only averaged 6.1 minutes per game and often times was reckless offensively. He had 18 assists and 12 turnovers, and made 15-of-37 field goals.
“I appreciate the time Reggie spent in our program,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “I understand him wanting to be closer to home and wish him and his family the best.”
Smith’s departure leaves UNLV with two open scholarships — only one of which will likely be filled before the season. Roscoe Smith, a 6-foot-8 forward who is transferring from the University of Connecticut and was a starter on the Huskies’ 2011 national title team, visited UNLV last week and is still in the recruiting process.
Also, losing Reggie Smith means incoming freshman point guard Daquan Cook of Baltimore, a possible candidate to red-shirt, will be needed for depth in the backcourt.