Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 | 11:46 p.m.
- BOX SCORE: UNLV 64, New Mexico 55
- Motivated Rebels snap skid by controlling New Mexico in the Mack
- Instant Analysis: Rebels begin fixing what was broken in 9-point win against New Mexico
- Take 5: Resetting the storylines halfway through Mountain West play
- UNLV Extras: Assessing the damage after the Rebels drop to 4-4 in league play
- Rebels have only simple explanations for complex loss at Fresno State
- All UNLV men's basketball coverage
Las Vegas is a main attraction on the AAU basketball circuit, so it’s rare for a UNLV basketball recruit to have never stepped foot in the city before. That was the case for 2014 target Dwayne Morgan, a four-star forward for Baltimore’s Finest and St. Frances High who attended Saturday’s 64-55 victory against New Mexico. And what was his first impression?
“Wow,” Morgan said after the game.
Morgan came to Las Vegas early Saturday with his mother, Tabitha Chambers, a 6-foot-6 former forward for the Clemson Tigers. So you know he’s got the genes. And with suitors stretching coast to coast, Morgan, who measures about 6-foot-7 and 190 pounds, will have his choice of destination.
Morgan said he’s also looking at Arizona, Missouri, Indiana, Georgetown and UConn, among others. Those schools will have something to live up to after this weekend, though.
“There’s nothing like this,” Morgan said. “I knew I was going to get some love, but not as much as I got.”
Morgan watched about the last 10 minutes of the game from the student section. UNLV couldn’t have picked a better game to sell Morgan on the program, both because 17,738 packed the Thomas & Mack Center and the Rebels played more closely to the style they’ve been able to sell to recruits than in recent games.
Morgan said he wants to play in a run and gun offense that puts versatile players at each spot. Against New Mexico, the Rebels pushed the ball in transition far more than in recent games, and the crowd was amped from early on after an opening 9-2 run.
“They like to get it down the floor and everybody on the team can pretty much shoot, and I can shoot for my size,” Morgan said. “That would be a perfect fit.”
Morgan has taken other visits and surely he’ll go on more between now and making a decision anytime from this summer to the early signing period in November. If his first reactions hold, though, those schools will have a challenge matching this experience.
“This one was one of the best I ever had,” Morgan said.
While style of play may be the deciding factor for Morgan, playing right away also matters. He said that’s an opportunity the UNLV coaching staff told him he would have with the Rebels.
“They said nothing would be given to me, I’d have to prove it,” Morgan said.
If the Rebels’ impressions are nearly as positive as Morgan’s, the high school junior may be spending a lot more time in Las Vegas in the near future.