Rebels basketball:

LDS missionary eager to begin UNLV basketball career

2011 signee Dantley Walker is nearing the end of his two years in the Washington area and the start of a different type of work

Image

Courtesy of Dantley Walker

UNLV signee Dantley Walker, left, poses with one of the companions he’s worked with on his LDS mission in the Washington area. Nevada’s all-time leading high school scorer, Walker will join the Rebels this summer after finishing his two-year mission.

Two years removed from his commitment to UNLV, Dantley Walker today seems almost as much a rumor as a member of the Rebels’ incoming recruiting class.

The others in that five-player haul are more tangible. Chris Wood is just down the road at Findlay Prep. Kendall Smith, DeVille Smith and Jelan Kendrick all came to campus in the past year, the former two attending games a day before their commitments.

Meanwhile, Walker is much farther away, in Washington, nearing the end of his two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While the Rebels have played on, Walker is out of sight, mostly out of mind. There are few updates and no new highlight videos on which to dwell, making his games at Lincoln County High in Panaca even more the stuff of legend, albeit against significantly less than legendary competition.

Walker, the state’s all-time leader in points (3,304) and assists (887) while playing in Class 2A, scored 73 points on a February night in 2011. That was one of three times he scored at least 62 in a game that season. And despite the records only showing two seasons of his steals totals, Walker still ranks in the career top 10 in that mark, and his career made 3-pointers (475) trounce second place (287).

Prodigious production, to be sure, but how will it relate to the court at the Division I level? No one can say for certain, though Walker is eager to find out.

“It’s been in the back of my mind for my whole mission, and as I get closer to coming home, it gets brought up more, so it’s been on my mind a little more,” Walker said via email. “I look forward to it and am really excited to get back and play for UNLV and be a part of the program.”

First, though, he’s looking forward to finishing his mission. Walker has traveled a lot in two years, starting first in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, then going to Spokane Valley, Wash. From there he went to Libby, Mont.; Deer Park, Wash.; and now he’s in downtown Spokane.

Click to enlarge photo

UNLV men's basketball signee Dantley Walker, center, poses with several of the companions he's worked with during his two-year LDS mission. Walker has been able to run or lift weights for an hour every day and play basketball once a week while working in the Washington area.

He’s worked and lived with about 10 different companions and talked with countless members of those communities through his missionary work. The frustrating part, he said, is offering help to someone who clearly needs it but won’t accept it and then watching them continue to struggle on their own. Secondary to that is how much he misses the game.

“Not being able to play ball every day like I used to has been a little bit tougher than I thought it would be,” Walker said.

There are uplifting moments, too, though, both in his work and on the court. The joy he gets from helping others is reflected in the gratitude of one person on Walker’s Facebook page:

“(Walker) showed up on my door step in October and has been studying with us ever since. Elder Walker has definitely been a gift from God.”

His studies and outreach Tuesday through Sunday have been their own reward, Walker said, making the time for the most part vanish before his eyes. But to UNLV fans, the work he does on Mondays is just as important.

Walker works out every day from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m., sometimes weights and often running, but he can only play basketball on Mondays, his de facto day off. For three or four hours, he’s out on the court, surely the best shooting guard of the bunch with the records to prove it. The 20-year-old hasn’t hit a growth spurt, coming in at a self-described 5-foot-10, “pushing 5-11,” and 165 pounds. He’s not short on confidence, though.

Walker said he usually ends his workouts with 100 made 3-pointers, first attempting 10 from five spots around the perimeter and then doing the same on the way back. It’s a popular drill, one that UNLV freshman Katin Reinhardt performs at least a version of after almost every practice.

Asked how many of those he could hit right now, Walker guessed 80-90, saying his best on the first time through is 93. Undersized or not, those numbers are worth a roll of the dice.

“One of the first things I did when I got the job,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said, “was call Dantley and let him know that I had watched him play in AAU basketball, I had watched him in high school and if he still wanted to come to UNLV that we wanted to recommit him and make sure he still wanted to be a Runnin’ Rebel after he completed his mission.”

Walker originally committed to Lon Kruger shortly before Kruger left for Oklahoma. Any questions about whether Walker would still want to come were answered when Rice, who as an assistant at BYU worked with several student-athletes who had served LDS missions, got the job.

“It wasn’t like a new coach coming in with no reference point,” Rice said. “I knew the potential of Dantley and what a high-character young man he is. It was a no-brainer for us and a no-brainer for him, too, I think.”

Just how long it will take Walker to get used to playing every day again and how he’ll be able to contribute are the questions he’ll start to answer this summer when he steps on campus in time for the third summer school session that starts July 15. With a crowded backcourt, his official debut could be another season away, something Walker said is OK with him.

“I just want to go in and help win games, but whatever they need me to do is what I'll do,” he said. “If a redshirt is what I need, then that'll be what I'll do.”

That’s a very real possibility but something Rice won’t decide until the fall. In the meantime, Walker has a mission to finish. Whatever Walker does on the court this season, he’s already living up to his reputation.

“My experience has been an amazing one that has been more than I expected, being able to help others and kind of forget about myself for the past two years and really focus on the needs of others,” Walker said.

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

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  1. I don't know why people are excited about Dantley Walker. By his own admission, he's only 5'10" and 165 lbs. That isn't necessarily a bad thing in college basketball if you have the athleticism to overcome it. However, he's a limited athlete who dominated lousy competition. I don't ever see him getting rotation minutes at UNLV. He's already been recruited over time and time again since he left for his mission. He's a fringe D1 player.

  2. I think his max potential is a Kendall Wallace type of player. But more then likely, he'll be one of the last guys on the bench who will get playing time during blowouts kinda like Barry Cheaney. I think its a given that he will redshirt this season. I mean no disrespect to Dantley, I hope he proves me wrong and he's the next Steph Curry, but I don't think Rebel fans should put their hope in Dantley becoming more then a 9th or 10th guy in the rotation.

  3. If I were in his shoes, it's tough to redshirt being 20 years old, but he doesn't seem like he's selfish and it may be the best thing for him. He's not very big, true, but he did make an epic amount of outside shots that don't just go in by themselves without a lot of work. The other stats can be questioned, but the kid can put the ball in the hoop if he's open. He'll probably get a little bigger, but for the most part, he'll probably be a real good spark off the bench and pull defenders out to the perimeter.

  4. @Sofakingbored (Wade Fasano) - The only reason I think he's still coming here is because Dave Rice didn't want to burn any bridges and tell him he's not welcome. Ben Howland did that to Kendall Williams, and that was the start of his inevitable downfall at UCLA. In other words, I don't think Dave Rice would have recruited him if he were already the coach at UNLV at the time. I do agree with you about his shooting ability. That's probably the only thing that will translate.

  5. Ohhhh Myyyyy Godddd, did Philllips just tell it like it is? Way to go Phiilips, theres hope for you after all. This kid has only played div 2 ? yeah so he's played a bunch of small town boys who really don't care about basketball.

  6. You guys are idiots. This kid isn't just a great shooter, but a pure PG. He scored so many points everybody glanced over that he's just as good at passing as he is at scoring. I've seen him play numerous times. I don't care that he played 2A ball, because he played, started, and did great for both the Las Vegas Prospects and Utah Select AAU teams. He played with Anthony Marshall. Ask Marshall or Wink Adams-who played in local tournys with him and saw many of Dantley's games- how good Dantley really is. He's 5'11 and has better court sense than any of the guys they got now or signed. What, a white guy can't be athletic? Come on! He's a Mark Price, Stephen Curry, Bobby Hurley type player. He'll make every one around him better. He'll shoot better than Reinhardt and pass better than anybody they got. He's got gifts that most players just don't have. You'll see real soon what he can do. He's a diamond in the ruff for sure. Oh, and don't forget he could have went to Utah State, BYU, Montana State, Weber State,etc. but chose the Rebs because he's a Nevada kid. He'll help the program-trust me.

  7. I think this kid is going to be a fan favorite.

  8. People have forgotten or never seen the skills of Dantley Walker. It's ok to throw out opinions but they are just uneducated. Today, he would be the best passer, ball-handler and shooter on the Rebels- period. The shooting is a plus for any Rebel at this point in time and he does bring a Jimmer Fredette range to the table, but he creates like no other. He's a true point guard, that handles the ball like Maravich. He played with Anthony Marshall on the Las Vegas Prospects and was recruited from that. So all the "small school" hate lines have no credibility. He did it against the best in the country. Did you know he was a Parade All-American First Team with Austin Rivers? So excited to see Boy-wonder come back and show his skills the Rebels so badly need.

  9. I don't know what really to expect out of Dantley at this point. I do know he is a fantastic outside shooter and there is always room for someone who can drill it from outside.

    Let's say he only becomes a Kendall Wallace-type. What's wrong with that? Being able to bring that kind of shooter off the bench in certain spots can be incredibly valuable (see Wallace's 7 3-pt shots in 2010 @ UNM). Not every player on a roster needs to be a stud who plays 25+ minutes. A good team has to have role-players too.

    Just given his shooting ability, I believe that he will at worst be a similar player to Kendall Wallace. His ability to defend at the D-1 level will be what determines how much court time he will see throughout his career at UNLV. I'm cautiously optimistic that he can have an impact here. It wouldn't shock me if he can't hang and transfers, but it wouldn't shock me if he is playing a good amount of minutes by his junior/senior year.

  10. Dantley is a significantly better shooter and passer than Kendall Wallace.

  11. Ask the entire Rebels roster this question: can you shoot from outside at a high percentage with consistency? No one on the team can say yes. Reinhard and BDJ might get there, but good for Rice to keep looking for someone who can say an unqualified yes to that question.

    People want to project kids to the NBA, when only a fraction of even the best players in college ever sniff that rarefied air. With that, who cares if Walker's measurables don't project. College ball is filled with small dudes that light it up.

    Would be nice if the Rebs caught some lightening in a bottle here. Given the fact Walker would feel a huge need, looking forward to finding out what he can do.

  12. Of course he'll have to prove himself, like everybody else, but you guys that dismiss him because he's 5'11, white, and from a smaller school, are in for a nice surprise when he gets off the mission and gets his college basketball legs under him. Many small town players have done great in college and many so called big time ranked city kids never live up to the hype. Just wait and see. I know the critics are all "Very intelligent" people but I think both Kruger and Rice know a lot more about Dantley than you all do.

  13. he had consistent NBA range from behind the arc in high school. some of y'all got hater in your blood.

  14. so many prognosticators...and those with the negative stance on Walker because his height and level of competition, just really don't understand basketball. How could you honestly predict he's going to fail because he played against weaker competition? That makes NO sense....in fact...there are so many kids, EVERY YEAR, that play against the same competition, and guess what? None of them hold the records that Dantley has....if an elite talent played 2A in Nevada, I'd expect him to break records....it remains to be seen what Walker will be, but given the level of competition, he did what you would expect of a player worthy to sign at a D1 school....besides, I believe that one of his games that he scored more than 60 points in was against a Vegas 4A school....it's not like he refused to play against better competition, and when he did play them, he put up huge numbers.

    It's just stupid to judge him negatively based on him being white, being 5'10" tall, and being from a small town....IMO, the comparison's to Kendall Wallace are ridiculous and racist...no offense to Wallace who was a great shooter....but Walker, CLEARLY is a better ball handler and play maker...it's a huge part of his game....Wallace was simply a shooter with limited ability to put the ball on the floor.

  15. @Phillips. Way off on the recruiting comment. Rice had been recruiting Dantley for 3 years @BYU and knew Dantley could choose BYU, Utah State, UC Santa Barbara as just his early offers. He wanted Dantley @ BYU and wanted him @ UNLV. Easily could have asked him to take another offer ad not offended anyone, he wasn't Anthony Bennett coming in or anything. We're all experts, but the Lon Kruger's, Dave Rice's and Dave Rose's get paid the millions for recruiting a Jimmer Fredette or Dantley Walker. Kid will help Rebs a lot.

  16. @phillips1990702 ....when Rice got to UNLV, he called Grandy Glaze, a kid that verbaled to UNLV already, and told him that his services weren't wanted. Glaze was a higher ranked recruit than Walker, and a kid that started the last half of the season at Saint Louis Univ. last year (as a sophomore). Rice traveled a few times to see Walker play while Rice was at BYU...in fact, Rice was the one pushing his recruitment to BYU...he liked his game. Sure, UNLV is not BYU, but if Rice saw no hope or value in sticking with Walker, he wouldn't have kept him. He wouldn't put a kid through that....I believe he kept him because he knew a kid like Walker could be, at worst, a mature presence off the bench as an upper classmen...and at best, a diamond in the rough that will be a key to UNLV getting to the promised land.

    To consistently knock him because he's white and played a bad level of competition is ignorant....I've read stuff from people saying that Shabazz Muhammad would've broke those records too against that competition...Yeah? Do tell.....and where is Shabazz going to be playing next year? Oh, that's right....the NBA....if that's what you haters are going to come up with, then please, stop posting, and go get shock therapy....try to kick start that thing, see if you can get it started again...because it must not be working.

  17. There's nothing wrong with being a role player (9th-10th guy off the bench or even one of the first guys off the bench) or there's nothing wrong with being a Kendall Wallace type sharpshooter. I was actually excited that UNLV offered a small-town Nevada kid a scholarship. The kid can shoot there's no doubt about it. His size and lack of athletic ability are his biggest weaknesses, but his age and basketball IQ will help him. If he redshirts next season, then he will be a 22 yr old freshman which means he will be a 25 yr old senior! Thats crazy!

  18. @fedup2here (Kenny Rogers) - I just call it like I see it. Walker will be able to make open shots, but that's about it. That's about all he can do that will translate. The thing that's most concerning is him playing defense. He's small and slow, and can be easily exposed. What's laughable is that somebody on Rebel Net thought that Walker actually stands a good chance of being the starting point guard next year.

    Katin Reinhardt did what Walker did AND MORE and actually played good competition at Mater Dei. Yet, he was mainly used as a jump shooter as a freshman.

  19. Slow? Not athletic? That shows right there you don't know a thing. The kid is quick -nobody could stay with him, and I'm talking on the aau level. Yea, he probably can't dunk but who cares, he can do all the other things that most the rebels could not do the last couple seasons. Reinhardt is NOT a pg. All he can do is shoot spot up 3s-and pretty inconsistently at that. Can't create his own shot, either. Walker can pass like Maravich and drive and create his own shot and run a team and never miss a free throw. On defense, they'll use him right with match ups and zones and he'll be just fine-just like all programs do. He's a point guard. He'll run the team-not just shoot open 3's like Reinhardt. Phillips we'll show ya your posts here in the near future so we can laugh at ya! It won't be the first time. I'll stick with the D1 coaches that know a player when they see one. Slow? idiot.

  20. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - Don't forget about fedup2here as well. Me and him will be doing the same when Walker doesn't work out. There's a reason why he has zero stars next to his name. Also, you've even admitted that he won't work out of defense by saying that the Rebels will have to play a matchup zone. The Rebels want to play fullcourt, man-to-man defense. Finally, AAU is a step up from Panaca, but it's still not Division I.

  21. "AAU is a step up from Panaca, but it's still not Division I."

    Based on this statement, we can assume that all high school players who play well in AAU will not succeed at a D1 College?

    Obviously, playing in Panaca did not offer the best competition, but he was dominant there. That's all he could do. He played AAU on some good teams and performed very well.

    Based on where he lived/played and the opportunities he had, he did all he could do. I don't know how good he will be, but I'm not going to predict he has no shot at all just because he lived in a small town.

  22. @MikeLange (Mike Lange) - Kurt Thomas lead the NCAA in scoring and rebounding his senior year at TCU, and how did that work out in the NBA? Anybody can look good when they play inferior competition. I don't get how you can translate those skills to Division I basketball when he lacks even average physical tools. Obviously, he's a better player than the kids he played against. However, he has yet to play against the quality of athletes UNLV has.

  23. Ok you got 2 haters. I can live with that. Are you a computer nerd? Did you ever play the game at all? I said match ups. That means you match him up with somebody he can handle. Jimmer was no great defender, but he got the job done. Dantley is a good defender, gets a ton of steals, but they'll give him a matchup that will benefit him and the team. It's not rocket science. I believe the Smith kid is 5 11 too, so it's not just Walker. Also, stars by his name? Idiot. Did Jimmer have stars by his name? He was player of the year by his senior season. Walker was a 1st team Parade all american his senior year. How many of those do we got on our squad? I'll take an all american over what some guy guesses how some player will do by putting stars by his name. None of these guessers even knew that Walker existed I'm sure. AAU is a lot different from D1? Really? He played with Shabazz and Anthony Marshall and J Loyd with the Prospects and did as well any of them, and played against all the other D1 propects and always did just fine. You don't make sense. I'm sure the D1 coaches saw all this and that's why they wanted him. You stick to playing computer games and surfing the net.

  24. He played with and against D1 players for 4 years in AAU ball. That's what everybody is telling you. Those ARE the same guys he'll be playing with and against in D1. Figure it out. It is the same. College recruiters recruit from AAU tournys more than anything else. That's where they saw Dantley. Hardly any of them went to Panaca to see him play 2A ball. They had to see him against the real competition in AAU ball. You don't make sense. He's got plenty of tools for a PG. That's why the D1 coaches wanted him. Don't talk about things you don't understand.

  25. Sammy Sosa Lopez had 5 stars by his name coming out of Findlay. How has that worked out for the Rebs??

  26. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - Jimmer Fredette was a 3 star recruit by Rivals and a 2 star recruit by Scout. He has better size than Walker, as he's 6'2" and 195 lbs. Walker said he's shorter than 5'11". DeVille Smith measured in at 6'0" in shoes two years ago at a basketball camp. I could care less if DeVille Smith was only 5'11" because he's got explosive athleticism and quickness, and he's already proven himself against Division I competition. Big whoop if he was a Parade All-American. Most of the McDonald's All-Americans aren't on their list. If Walker played well on a team with Anthony Marshall, Shabazz Muhammad, and so forth and still didn't get looked at, then that tells you all you need to know.

  27. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - Carlos Lopez-Sosa was rated as a 3 star recruit by both Rivals and Scout. You are factually wrong on that one.

  28. Nobody knows that crap but you, but ok, that's about what the Rebs get, right? MY point is, is that it means nothing how many stars somebody guesses about and gives you. The college coaches watch all their recruits in person and make their choices. They don't go by what Joe Blow attaches stars to. It's pretty simple: They watch film of the kids and live games and tournys and then they offer or don't offer. I'd go by what the D1 coaches say and do rather than what some website or magazine is guessing about a player. That's all I'm saying.

  29. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - I trust Rivals and Scout because they're pretty accurate. Not only that, they have to be accurate or else they'll go out of business.

  30. Wow look at all the LDS supporters in here, whew , don't dare talk about thier lil mormon hero. If this kid had a chance to play for BYU and didn't he's must be a rebel in more ways than the obvious.I do have one question, will he be able to play on Sundays?.

  31. I agree that they probably are. But they are still guessing and they don't know every player out there. Walker had that monster senior season, all of sudden, and those guys knew nothing about what was going on. Whether they did or not, it doesn't matter at all. The big D1 schools are not making offers based on stars. They came and saw Walker and liked what they saw. Not just Kruger, Rice, and Rose either. Weber State and Utah State and a lot of other mid majors were after him. Like many others that actually know his game and have seen him play, I think he'll definately help the program the next 4 or 5 years. We're not saying he'll average 40 points and 10 assists per game, but that he can contribute consistently to the program in more ways than one- which is more than a lot of the present Rebels are doing. Instead of pre judging the kid just watch and see the next few years. He'll win ya over.

  32. Why do you think all of his support is from Mormons? Not accurate. What would be cool, is if he really is legit, and we have the best Mormon kid and not BYU. We can give them hell about that for 4 years! I'll enjoy that.

  33. phillips - "Kurt Thomas lead the NCAA in scoring and rebounding his senior year at TCU, and how did that work out in the NBA?"

    Umm... Kurt Thomas was in the freaking NBA... that's how it worked out. He played for 19 years, averaging 8 points! Guy had a 19 year career and you're talking about him like he's some scrub that couldn't hack it. Try again.

  34. Phillips knows it all. He should be coaching the Rebs. Don't bother trying to talk common sense to him. Ha.

  35. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - i know talent when I see it. Dantley Walker gets a big, fat F in the eye test.

  36. Ha. Ok. Go see the eye doctor then my man.

  37. JahReb: "Yeah the LDS posters are hilarious when it comes to this kid. They are so hyper-defensive it's pathetic."

    Exactly. As usual.

    Hey, I hope the kid is good--the Rebs need PG and a shooter--but it sure seems like a bit more press than is warranted.

  38. I don't know who is Mormon and who isn't Mormon. But he's a Nevada kid and he's got a lot of fans in Nevada and in Las Vegas. Don't chalk all the love up to just his relgiion. I don't think Nevadans count the Findlay Prep kids as Nevadans. UNLV doesn't get too many local kids. We just lost Anthony Marshall so we got Walker to replace him. I think he's the only one now?

  39. Who cares how good he is. Every one can't be a starter or a super star. I think we have room for quality people to become Rebels don't we? Was Dave Rice a great athlete? No but he was a great Rebel and still is. Some people really make some stupid comments.

  40. Rock on Dantley Walker. Looking forward to seeing you play for the Rebels, and be a compliment to UNLV.

  41. Cookie34: "I don't know who is Mormon and who isn't Mormon."

    Cookie, you know Dantley is LDS becaue the headline reads "LDS missionary eager to begin basketball career" Why did you say you don't know that he is LDS?

    There are many students ready to begin their careers as basketball players, so why is it so newsworthy for an LDS student to begin his career? Is an LDS ball player rare, or is it because Dantley is a gift from God that the article is written?

    How does one recognize a gift from God vs. an extra-ordinary talented athlete who came from the slums of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Mumbai, Calcutta, Shanghai or Rio but had no religious affiliation? Is Jessie Owens as a track star a Gift from God, or do they only occur in basketball or come from the LDS sect?

    Is it necessary to have an affiliation with an American religion to be a Gift of God or can a poor mans son, born in a desert stable on the other side of the world, without a penny to his name also be a Gift from God, even if he doesn't play basketball? If so, is the Gift to one equal to the Gift of the other?

    Give me some insight or knowledge on this subject. This will help in placing informed bets on College sports.

  42. Cookie: I think you are way off about KR, he is way more than a spot-up shooter. Most of you guys underestimate what its like to play big time college ball. There is a lot of pressure (whether real or perceived) and it will effect your game. KR was a freshman, and had a very good FRESHMAN year. Was he NBA ready, of course not, he has always been projected as a 4 year player. KR will be very good when he catches up to the speed of the game and UNDERSTANDS how to play the game at a college level. Thats why he is in college. We all agree even Anthony Bennett should have stayed in school a couple more years to get the game down.
    As for Walker, I understand coming from a smaller guy (i'm 5'6"), its hard to get those shots off, no matter how good you can shoot, against the likes of the D1 competition he'll meet, but at the same time, I still think we will have a better chance with him shooting, then what we had to endure with Hawkins. But I also think he has in his favor style of play going for him. We will be running more consistently, and therefore easier to find open spots on the floor in the running game. I doubt with the talent UNLV is bringing in, that Walker will be a high minutes player, but I think he will have spot minutes, and if he is able to hit some shots, his minutes will increase slightly, but if not, he may go games without playing. Maybe by his senior year, with the experience and maybe the way the ball will bounce, he will be the starting PG, who knows.

  43. @Kenny Rogers and JahReb - It's amusing that you're both sensitive about Dantley's LDS faith and Mormons in general. Obviously because he's a Mormon that now "only Mormons" are supporting him, right? Ha ha that's a real dagger there. :) So I guess the fact that he's maybe the best long-range shooter in Nevada high school basketball history has nothing to do with why people are supporting him. I mean let's face it, Mormons love them some Dantley Walker.

    Well sad to break it to you but Mormons did not offer Dantley a UNLV scholarship.

    Lon Kruger recruited and offered it and also Dave Rice recruited and re-offered it.

    So I guess we should now say that "only the Mormons", plus two D-1 non-Mormon UNLV head coaches support Danltey, but nobody else. And it's not because of Dantley's performance and absolute obliteration of Nevada's high school basketball records and his potential as a D-1 player, but rather because Dantley has a whole army "hyper-defensive" supportive Mormons on his side. Thanks for the good laugh.

    Go Mormons... er I mean Rebels! :)

  44. watched this kid play for lincoln county, as well as in aau against much better competition...the kid can play, (and not just shoot). it will just be interesting to see how long it takes to get the rust off, looking forward to seeing him as a runnin rebel...he will definitely be able to contribute, as well as being fun to watch, even if he doesn't end up going to the nba (sarcasm). good luck, dantley! oh and by the way, rumor has it that, on his days off, he has been playing with some of gonzaga's players...a little competition with pangos would not be a bad thing...

  45. @Run-nRebels (Toby Conley) - If Dantley Walker is the starter at point guard as a senior, then somebody please help us. He'll get exposed having to guard guys like Kendall Williams and Deonte Burton (two future NBA players).

  46. Kinda sad & pathetic that the kid's race & religion gets dragged into this discussion when it is TOTALLY irrelevant. Grow up, morons.

    Meanwhile, I've seen the kid play too and I dont doubt his skill level & intangibles. The kid has great vision & is the best pure shooter on the roster. Period. However, the lack of size & athleticism is an issue & an obstacle that will have to be overcome.....especially on the defensive end. Even his "supporters" will have to admit as much.

    The kid wants to be a Rebel. He is willing to redshirt even after a 2yr mission...sounds like a team & character guy to me. We cant have enough of those guys in today's "one & done/get me mine" college basketball culture. I think having done his mission will help with his maturity & development too. I am happy he will be a Rebel!

    Finally, it wasnt but 2 mos ago that a 5'11, 170pd, slow, "white" freshman guard for Michigan, Spike Albrect, LIT UP Louisville (Siva & Smith) for 17pts in the NCAA championship game.... with Trey Burke on the bench. If you dont think Walker is as good as that kid...you're clueless.

  47. @djonian81 - You conveniently forgot to mention that Spike Albrecht averaged less than 2 points per game before the national championship game against Louisville. Louisville (obviously) didn't gameplan Spike Albrecht because he hardly even played over the course of the season. Anybody can go off for one game. Trey Burke was the national player of the year. That's who Louisville gameplanned for. Michigan already has Burke's replacement in Derrick Walton. So, there's a seat on the bench with Spike Albrecht's name on it for next season.

  48. @phillips - You said alot but said nothing that wasnt already known and/or obvious. PPG? Gameplan? How are those even remotely applicable in terms of ability? They arent. All that matters is that Walker's skill set is superior to or even to that of Albrect's. His range & vision are ions better alone. I am not claiming Walker is taking us to the Final Four...just that he has the offensive ability to impact a game and help us. And if Albrect can help his team in the national championship game....Walker can help us too. Its not that complicated.

  49. What the doubters and haters completely miss is that Dantley's game is complete; he is the total package as a point guard. First, aside from his incredible shooting, is the fact that he is an incredible passer and ball handler, with court vision and presence that are rare at the college level, let alone high school.

    UNLV lacked BOTH a true point guard that could set-up others, create movement and get his teammates open AND an outside shooter last season. That was the reason they exited the Tournament in the first round and why they lost more games than they should have last year. Dantley will provide those skills at top level.

    The scoring, not just shooting, ability is beyond argument. He nailed threes, including NBA distance threes, with such confidence, ease and record breaking volume that one can just put that skill in the bank.

    Dantley's character, confidence, leadership and killer instinct are overlooked, as well. Dantley leads. Dantley gets everyone involved. His teammates love him and the Bigs at UNLV new best friend will set them up for more dunks and open, easy shots than they dreamed of last season. The other shooters (if there are any, now) will love him, too, as Walker penetrates and collapses defenses every time down the court, except when he decides to spot-up and drop bombs that crush an opponent's will. You can try to play Dant tight and he'll kill you with an assist; play off him and you give up the three. You can't guard him, which is why he has the Nevada State Scoring Record.

    Dantley's a winner, a champion on a level that your typical, quibbling fan out there cannot comprehend. People who play they game get it. People who love the game see it in seconds.

    Doubt Dant. Do it. Be our guest. Focus on size, or religion, or race, or geography, or whatever nonsense you wish and he will stick it in your face, just like he did to every opponent he faced since he was 10 years-old.

    Those of us who know, and I mean KNOW without doubt, how incredible Dantley will be for UNLV cannot wait for how many wins he will bring to our School. He won't sit that bench for long, if ever. He brings too much to the Team. Whether it is 2013, or 2014, it will happen and you suckers who doubt will be screaming his name.

    OUTY!!!!!!

  50. Well put, Darren. I've watched Dantley play in person and was genuinely amazed. I've told everyone in my UNLV circle that he's the real deal. The kid will immediately be the most skilled and fundamentally sound of anyone on UNLV's roster. And that includes our two McDondald's AA players.

    The problem is most of these guys hating on Dantley have never seen him play. They only know he's short and white. They're in for a surprise, and I mean a big one.

    Dantley will be a crowd favorite, guaranteed.

  51. Anybody who blames the lack of stars next to Dantley Walkers' name on where he played high school basketball need to look no further than Hunter Myers. He is a 3 star recruit on Rivals, Scout, and ESPN, and he's from Minden, Nevada. He played high school basketball at Douglas High School, AAU basketball for the Nevada Wolverines, and he's going to be playing at Harvard next season. The moral of the story is that no matter where you play, scouts will find you and know who you are if you're good. So, the excuse that the scouts don't know who Dantley Walker is and that he slipped through the cracks is bogus.

    P.S. - I hope that what I'm predicting is wrong, but I highly doubt it.

  52. Beas Hamga was a 5-star recruit, per the "scouts". The day I watched Hamga in person I told everyone he was our 4th string center. He lasted for about three games.

    You rely on scouts pinning stars. Others will rely on their own two eyes who have seen him play.

    In any event, Dantley was selected as a 1st Team Parade All-American according to USA Today. Explain that one.

  53. Walker, your over the top description of Dantley's game diminishes your argument. Nobody believes for a moment Walker will come in and dominate as a freshman. You have unrealistic expectations that rival the likes of fans who follow the Y. They win the national championship on paper every year.
    Realisticly, he will work hard, make his improvements and by his junior and senior years, he can become a contributor to the successes of the team. To what extent remains to be seen.

  54. phillips, i'm just curious, have you actually seen him play? as for the kid from minden, douglas is a 4A school (or it used to be) and those kids get FAR more attention than those from small schools, especially those several hours away from vegas or reno. but walker is the one that holds the all time scoring record, sofakingbored was right in his comment above, those shots don't go in by themselves. and in the end, kruger, rice, rose, stu, and a couple of others all recruited him, they must have seen something, probably during his aau games where he wasn't only playing kids from other small towns. he will eventually end up being a fan favorite, he plays hard, and can also create for others, as well as shoot lights out...and you don't have to be 6'7 to do that.

  55. Walker has the state record in both assists and points. That's amazing. The he says he's willing to red shirt and do whatever is asked of him to help the team. Last time I checked, those are pretty good attributes to have in a freshman recruit.

  56. @4UNLV - I've seen the tapes of Dantley Walker. They're all over YouTube. The kids he played against are tiny. Anthony Bennett could have gotten 100 points every game against those guys without even trying that hard. Everyone who guards Walker will be taller. He may, at time, be guarded by more athletic players who outweigh him by 30 lbs. and have 5-6" inches on him. All of a sudden those shots won't be there.

    @toonkee - You can talk about intangibles all you want. That can only take you so far.

  57. You're right, assuming Anthony Bennett had enough energy to run back and forth a whole game in triple coverage before time ran out, he too could have amassed 40, 50, 60 or 70 points, just like Dantley. No doubt Bennett would score at will. And guess what. Anthony Bennett is an NBA lottery pick.

    Dantley brings more than his scoring. He passes, dribbles and creates plays for others. His historical statistics didn't happen by fluke.

    The same converse argument applies. Had Dantley played for a big Las Vegas 4A school he would have easily scored 20, 30, 40 or 50 every game too.

    When Dantley's HS competed against big Vegas school Chaparral he dropped 47 points on them. Would Anthony Bennett finish that game with 47 points? I doubt it.

    What do you consider to be real competition? Dantley kills every team he plays.

    Dantely drained 10 three-pointers in one of his AAU games. He had 17 assists and 17 points in another AAU game, loaded with D-1 recruits. He fed the ball to his teammates all game long over and over for 17 assists and HE STILL added 17 points to the scoreboard himself. So are the AAU players all tiny too, just because Dantley torched them?

    It's obvious you've never seen Dantley play live in person. He may just be the best short white kid you've ever seen before, if the Nevada record books are any indication.

  58. Glad to see the majority of guys on here can see what Dantley can do for the Rebels. He'll definately be a good fit. As for the Phillips1990 poster, he can't/won't answer why Kruger, Rice, Rose, Utah State, Montana State, etc. still wanted him, even after seeing him play for his AAU teams, even though he is 5 11, white, and from a small school? All he says is "I saw video and he doesn't have stars by his name". Weak stuff. Obviously, if Dantley was was only what this guy was saying about him, none of these D1 schools would have wanted him. Why did Kruger? Why did Rice? When Rice took over, it would have been simple to just pull the offer like he did with Grandy Glaze. Sorry dude, but you lost this debate bad. Not every good college player is 6'5, black, and can dunk. What the Rebs have been missing the last few years, is what this kid can bring to the court. He's a good fit.

  59. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - Getting offers from Utah State and Montana State isn't something to be bragging about. It proves that he's good for a small level DI program. Spike Albrecht looks every bit as good as Dantley Walker does in his mixtapes, and the stats tell you all you need to know. Two points per game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9ItkSNu...

  60. Mix tapes. You tube. Whatever. Are you saying Byu, Unlv, and Utah State aren't legit progams? Hmmm. You keep watching videos and we'll go by what Rice, Rose, Kruger and the others saw in him. Also, word is he's about 15 to 20 pounds heavier than his senior year in high school, which they didn't mention in article. He's only going to be bigger faster and stronger by the time he's here. Join us here in the present, my man. Nuff said.

  61. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - When did I say that BYU and UNLV weren't legit programs? UNLV has won a national championship, and I happen to be an alumnus. BYU has been to the Elite Eight, and has had notable players in Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery. Utah State gets into the tournament only because they win their (weak) conference. As for Dantley Walker, he could weigh whatever he wants. He's not finishing in the lane against athletes like Khem Birch. He's not shooting over defenders like Roscoe Smith. He's not going to be able to create space like he did in high school.

  62. They said the same thing about mark price, john stockton, steve nash and a 1000 other small white guards coming out of high school. Where did you coach and play, since you're such an expert on these matters? We need some good credentials because you must be smarter than Dave Rice, Dave Rose, Coach Kruger, and all the others, since they all loved Walker, and you don't. Let us know. Oh, and Don't forget Mark Wade. A great passer who was 5'10 and couldn't shoot a lick or score. It's not all about size and creating your own shot. I can bust your chops all day!

  63. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - If there's 1,000 guards they said that about, then how come you can only name three? That's only 0.3%. Coach Kruger was a joke by the way. He had no idea what good offense looked like, and he couldn't recruit. If Dantley Walker was wanted by any noteworthy school besides UNLV, he would have gone there instead. Also, are you talking about the same Lon Kruger who decided not to go after Pierre Jackson?

  64. Answer the question. What's your credentials as an evaluator of Prep talent?

  65. I read through every comment on here and all I have to say is that, how freakin childish do we have to be to argue over a kid who wants to play and loves UNLV? Its funny because we both want the same thing! We want him to be a great player at UNLV and be a success. Yet we disagree that he will or will not be that. I for one will support him because thats what fans should do. And how can you make such bold predictions about a kid when he hasnt even played a second yet of D1 basketball? Let us see what he can do out on the floor before we talk about what he cant or can do, and see if he deserves playing time or not. Until then, everyone arguing on here sounds like they are 5 years old. its lame! Couldnt imagine being Dantley's parents and reading some of the things people say about their kid when they have never seen the kid play or even know him as a person. Just sad man......Carry on!

  66. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - What are your credentials as an evaluator of prep talent? You're the one who is saying that ALL if the major recruiting services are rated him wrong. I'm the one who is listening to what the recruiting experts are saying. What credentials do YOU have to say that what the recruiting experts think is wrong? I don't need credentials when I agree with the experts.

  67. @phillips - It's ironic you speak of intagibiles when your argument is nothing but intangible ( i know talent when I see it. Dantley Walker gets a big, fat F in the eye test, etc, etc.). His number of points scored and assists made are quite tangible. Anyhoo...I do not know if Walker will make significant contributions to the team and neither do you. You may or may not be right in the end but the proof will be in the pudding. We all will just have to wait and see.

  68. @Jeff Bowler - Welcome to the argument. :)

    This isn't the first time I've predicted on an incoming player after watching them.

    I saw Demetrius Morant at Gorman and predicted he would mostly be a role player, despite people disagreeing at the time who thought more of him.

    I saw Beas Hamga play over the summer and said he would be the worst center on UNLV's team, despite people calling me a lunatic since he was a 5-star recruit.

    "Bold predictions" aren't nearly as bold when you've witnessed a player live beforehand.

    I saw Anthony Bennett at Findlay and predicted one and done, which was obvious and acceptable to everyone else too.

    I've seen 4-star Chris Wood and predict he will have a slow start to his career before ultimately becoming a good player at UNLV, because I've watched him play in person. I'm comfortable making that prediction.

    YouTube videos and counting stars, though entertaining, are not ground enough to form an educated prediction on any player.

    Dantley will not score 60 points in a game at UNLV like he did in HS. That's not my prediction at all.

    But amidst the complaints that Dantley will be shutdown and can't play at this level, to that end I am responding and predict he is more than worthy of his UNLV scholarship and will arrive at UNLV with the potential of making as big (or quite possibly bigger) splash on the team than some of the other players.

    I've seen what Dantley does on the court firsthand and I like it, as did Kruger, as did Dave Rice.

    Dantley was not heavily recruited by D-1 schools because they wouldn't spend energy watching a small-town short white kid in person even though he was rewriting the record books for high school basketball in Nevada. But for the few D-1 schools who actually took the time to watch him live in person they did recruit him.

    Kruger actually took the time. Coach Rice was another and was eager to keep Dantley at UNLV when he took the job.

    People forget that Lon Kruger secured two verbal commitments from guards that year. Dantley Walker and Nigel Williams-Goss (a later McDonald's AA). So Kruger was evaluating Dantley at the same time he was evaluating Nigel.

    Jaycee Carroll was another small-town short white kid from Wyoming that put up huge numbers against weak competition. No D-1 school would give him the time of day. Utah State found out about him and offered and never regretted it. Jaycee Carroll might be the most beloved and dominant player to ever pass through Utah State.

    The fans on here writing off Dantley before even seeing him are similar to the D-1 schools who were unwilling to come see first before passing on the kid. For the rest of us, like Kruger and like Dave Rice, who have actually seen him, we're stoked about Dantley being a rebel.

    The only argument anyone is making is that there is tangible reason to be excited about this kid. Beyond that I agree, let's see what he can do.

  69. As a huge UNLV fan and having watched Dantley thoughout his highschool career, I'm very exited to see what he can do next year. He may be the best shooter I have ever seen at any level. Beyond that he is very instinctual and will be a trememdous ball handler and distributer.

  70. Phillips-I've coached high school basketball for 20 years and saw Dantley's whole career. I go by what the experts say-which are coaches, including the D1 coaches. You still haven't answered the question, which means you have ZERO credentials. You got shallacked on this post by every one on here, including me. Better find another blog you can share your great WISDOM with, because you got wasted on this one. Later!

  71. From what I've read about Walker he is a prodigy, a bball version of Johnny Manziel. Should he pan out as good as advertised in much of these comments we Rebel fans will have a very interesting season. A pinpoint passer who is a scoring machine? Can't wait!

  72. @cookie34 (Cookie Gilchrist) - Anybody can say they've been coaching high school basketball for 20 years. For all I know, you're just making it up. Even if it's true, so what? Anybody can coach high school basketball. That means little if anything.

  73. He's a combination of Johnny Manziel and Rudy Ruettiger rolled into one.

  74. Phillips I didn't say I was an expert, but I coached a long time. I saw Dantley's whole career, unlike you, and I'm just going by the D1 coaches that really liked his game. You, on the other hand, have no credentials. Zilch. You got crushed!

  75. Cookie, you can always tell when someone is losing an argument. They bring up factors that don't matter, try to convince their opponent they have superior knowledge or bully their opponent with false claims that they won the argument when in fact they haven't. In my opinion, Phillips has clearly won this argument. Cookie, in the future, you need to do your homework before you take on a facts and figures guy like Phillips. If anyone got crushed or owned, it was you.

  76. Not to stoke the fire any, but what Phillips has said can be seen in the Jimmer and Tre'von Willis matchup. Jimmer resembles exactly what you say Dantley can do, a long distance scorer, pinpoint passer etc. But a taller, stronger, quicker athletic Willis shut Jimmer down when he was healthy. It wasn't until Jimmer's senior year when Willis was with bad knees that jimmer finally got the best of him.
    Maybe Dantley can go to USU, or BYU etc and be the focal point of the offense and get 30+ shots a game to put up the points, but he's not going to get that at UNLV with the type of talent they have. Hopefully he is successful here at UNLV, but to make the assumption he will come in and be out of this world, unbelievable is a little far fetched, and thats where Cookies argument goes overboard, IMO.

  77. @Run-nRebels (Toby Conley) - He'd have trouble getting a lot of shots even at BYU. Tyler Haws averaged over 20 points per game last season. Kyle Collinsworth is returning from his mission. They signed two 2013 four star recruits in Eric Mika and Nick Emery. Haw's younger brother T.J. is also a four star recruit, and he's part of the 2014 recruiting class. They also stand a good chance with 2014 four star Payton Dastrup. I think Utah State would be Walker's best chance, but he's not going to be allowed to transfer within the conference if he requests a transfer. Finally, you're right about Tre'Von Willis guarding Jimmer Fredette. In three games against UNLV in 2009-10, Fredette was 13-45 from the field and 7-20 from three. He also shot 25-27 from the free throw line. He was built pretty well. Combine that with his ballhandling ability, he was great at getting to the free throw line.

  78. @Toby Conley - There's a tiny problem with your viewpoint.

    Jimmer won 3 or 4 MWC Championships at BYU and Tre'von won nothing at UNLV.

    Everyone probably had bad needs against Jimmer because he finished as a National MVP and Tre'von finished as a 5th place nothing who fought with girlfriends.

    So if you're comparing Dantley to Jimmer versus someone like Tre'von, then excellent.

    Dantley is a highly-talented baller and he's coming to UNLV.

  79. Sorry Doc, nobody was comparing teams. Just like you said, Tre'von was a nobody, but still able to keep Jimmer at bay. The point Phillips was making and others, is playing 2A ball and being the center focus of your team is way different then playing D1 BB with multiple star players on your team and other teams, players that are bigger, stronger and faster then Nevada 2A players. Will he adapt, probably, but it will certainly be a whole new ball game than what he is used to, luckily he is probably more aware then some of you on this blog.

  80. Even if Tre'von minimized Jimmer's scoring it apparently was a rare exception because Jimmer was the leader of his team that produced multiple MWC titles.

    Jimmer was not done improving and faced "superior athletes" head on all year but still produced enough to be National MVP. Not team mvp, NATIONAL MVP.

    The stupidity of this argument is that you've never seen Dantley play and rain 3's from DEEP like I have. He hit more 3's than any person in the country. He's quick and smart and crosses over players, he fakes out players, he finds and feeds open teammates, he dissects teams apart, small teams, big teams and AAU teams.

    Me, Kruger and Dave Rice have all watched Dantley. He is too good not to offer a scholarship.

  81. DocRebel. You said it well. Not only did he hit more 3's than any player in the NATION his senior season, he also was top 10 in the NATION in free Throw pct at 91%, and his 73 points vs Agassi Prep, a solid team that won the state championship that season and beat numerous 4a Vegas teams as well, was the highest scoring game in the NATION that year, and the highest in Nevada state history. He didn't just torch 2a schools, he torched the 3a and 4a schools as well. I remember he scored 47 points vs El Dorado and they beat beat them too. Somebody else brought up his big assist and scoring games in his AAU tournys too. What else do you want the boy to do? Nuff said about all this. Everybody will see in the seasons to come. See ya in the fall.

  82. not sure i understand the hate in regard to one of our rebels...i hope he does well, but whether he plays 2 minutes, or 38, he WILL contribute to the success of our team. but he IS a rebel, and whether he played in 2A or 4A, he is the state record holder in a couple of categories, and he deserves a little respect, that didn't just happen...whether his success in high school transcends into the college game remains to be seen, but i'm willing to give him and the other new rebels the benefit of the doubt...

  83. It is pretty obvious where the hate is coming from: read up at the top all the garbage about race and religion; the assumption is that Dantley is overrated because of that, rather than what he does on the court. It is all couched in a few facts, stretched to the point of snapping when they hit reality, but the stink of that prejudice is at its core.

    I am sure it will be denied, but do not buy it. Mormons are one of the last People on Earth who must endure naked, public hatred, while the PC Hall Monitors of our culture turn their heads. Make a dirty Mormon joke on TV, in mixed company in public, or in a classroom at UNLV (where a good percentage of students are LDS) and the room explodes. Christians hate Mormons, atheists hate Mormons, black people hate Mormons, Las Vegans hate Mormons and Running Rebels do not have much love for Mormons, either, especially given their bitter rivalry with BYU. Thus, read closely and bet the odds that there is an ugly agenda lurking beneath all of the allegedly objective opinion.

    Looking at Dantley from a traditional, unbiased perspective, you would think that, even setting aside all of the incredible records, accomplishments and professional opinions, everyone in Southern Nevada would be rooting for this Kid as a Hometown Favorite. Dantley was born and raised in Las Vegas, before his Family moved a short distance away and the vast majority of the schools he played against were from Southern Nevada. Inner city kids used to ask Dantley for his autograph when he played in Vegas. He is one of our own. We should have the same hope for him as Greg Anthony, or any other local kid with a shot at the big-time. How many years (decades?) did we go with no local kids playing at UNLV?

    There is a big pile of nasty underneath the anti-Walker arguments. I think I smell a whiff of racism, too, but I will let that go without a rant.

    Regardless, opinions are like armpits, everyone's got one and they usually stink. Walker will do his talking on the court. He always has and he speaks LOUDLY when he's there.

    OUTY!!!

  84. This kid is going to face a lot of scrutiny; he's going to have a lot to prove. Dominating on an NJB level, which is what the competition was like playing in Pananca isn't going to be enough. Trust that his teammates are going to go at him very hard. I just don't think he's going to have an impact on Rebel basketball outside of hitting wide-open spot-up shots. Time will tell.

  85. Don't worry about Dantley. Worry about some of his teammates. Dantley will do just fine.