Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Monday, May 27, 2013 | 9:20 a.m.
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Maybe it’s just something in the blood.
After vehemently denying transfer rumors at the end of the regular season, UNLV freshman Katin Reinhardt is looking for a new home, Rebels coach Dave Rice confirmed. Rice spoke with Reinhardt and his father, Ernie, late Sunday night.
“It’s impossible in 2013 to keep everyone on your team happy,” Rice said. There have been nearly 900 Division I transfers over the past two seasons.
While multiple sources pin the difference in opinion of how Reinhardt should be used on his father, Ernie, it’s also sort of a tradition at his high school to transfer. According to Yahoo! Sports, of the nine Mater Dei High players ranked in the Rivals top 150 since 2007, Reinhardt is the eighth to transfer at least once.
And overall this will be Reinhardt’s third commitment, though it could be the second time he pledges his services to Southern Cal. That’s where Reinhardt originally committed before reopening his recruitment, a decision that didn’t sit well with then-USC coach Kevin O’Neill.
Now the coach is Andy Enfield with former San Diego State assistant Tony Bland on the staff. That’s where most expect Reinhardt to land, though it certainly could end up being a different Pac-12 school.
Reinhardt did not return any messages for comment, but in 2011 the Los Angeles Times wrote a story about the Mater Dei trend and used Reinhardt as the lead.
“Everybody jokes around that it's a Mater Dei tradition,” Reinhardt told the paper.
Ernie was also quoted in the story.
"We wanted to make sure USC was the right fit," he said.
That’s what they thought they found in UNLV and few could argue considering how much Reinhardt played as a true freshman despite obvious room to grow both in shot selection and ball handling. Starting all but one game, Reinhardt played the second-most minutes, attempted the second-most shots and averaged the fourth-most points per game on the team. Still, that wasn’t enough.
Reinhardt asked for more time at point guard, Rice said. And while Rice would allow Reinhardt to compete in the mix with the other four point guard options — sophomore Daquan Cook, junior college transfers DeVille Smith and Jelan Kendrick and freshman Kendall Smith — he wouldn’t guarantee him any time there.
“Katin and Ernie feel like Katin’s best opportunity to play in the NBA is to play more minutes at the point guard position,” Rice said. “And they are concerned about his opportunity to do that here.”
Rice was criticized for giving Reinhardt too much freedom not for reining him in, which makes the demands for an even larger role very strange to people outside the program. It’s unlikely Reinhardt would have played as much (29.2 minutes per game) nearly anywhere else in the country, yet Reinhardt is willing to sit out a year in a search for something better.
He’s the third Rebel to leave the program early from last year’s team. Fellow freshman Anthony Bennett declared for the NBA Draft, where he’s expected to be a top five pick, and Mike Moser can play immediately for one final season at Oregon.
UNLV currently has one open scholarship. Rice said he plans to keep that open to accommodate a possible midyear transfer. That’s how the Rebels got Pitt transfer Khem Birch in Rice’s first season.