UNLV Basketball: Runnin' Rebels Continue to Load Up on Talent for Huge NCAA Run

Kaleb SmithCorrespondent IMay 28, 2012

Marshall (3) and Hawkins (31) will lead the way for UNLV alongside Moser and the rest of  the crew.
Marshall (3) and Hawkins (31) will lead the way for UNLV alongside Moser and the rest of the crew.Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Runnin’ Rebels of Las Vegas continue to impress many around the college basketball world.  The team, led by head coach Dave Rice, strives to be more than a first-round team in the NCAA tournament.  UNLV hopes to dance a bit further this upcoming season, and fortunately, the team has added much-needed backup.  Whether the additions are out of high school or are transfers, the punch that the Rebels pack stirs with deadly force.

Recent news that Anthony Bennett, top-10 in the class of 2012 from Findley Prep, chose UNLV has given the Rebels much-needed punch in the frontcourt.  Bennett chose between Oregon and Las Vegas as his college destination, but the Findley Prep star stuck to his Vegas roots.  The McDonald’s All-American will add to the punch alongside Moser and spread the offense to stretch the opposing defense.

Anthony Bennett will not be the only addition for the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV in the frontcourt.  Poewr forward Khem Birch transferred from Pittsburgh after difficulties with coach Jamie Dixon’s slow-paced system.  He will not be eligible until December of the upcoming season, but the McDonald’s All-American has Rebel fans grinning. 

Birch is not the only transfer addition to the team. USC Trojan transfer Bryce Jones, who red-shirted this past season, is ready to rock and roll for the backcourt.

Another guard who'll provide UNLV with depth is incoming freshman Katin Reinhardt from Mater Dei High School in California.  The talented 6'5" combo guard brings a talented shooting threat, along with an ability to slash to the basket.  The point guard situation will be an interesting, as Reinhardt, Anthony Marshall and several other guards are vying the spot.

With the many additions already entering UNLV’s basketball program, another player has transferred. this time from UConn.  Roscoe Smith is the latest to become a Running Rebel, though he will not be eligible this upcoming season. Fortunately for Smith and the Runnin’ Rebels, though, next season will continue the strength that the team currently has and will only suffer a few losses, including a possible Moser exodus after this year.

With Mike Moser, Anthony Marshall and Justin Hawkins leading the way, the new Rebels will help this team step up from last year. 

March Madness ended rather quickly this year, as they lost to Colorado and exited the NCAA tournament quietly.  A deep run is in the foreseeable future for UNLV, so long as the stars come to play and the bench plays deep as expected.  The Mountain West Conference will be as tough as always, but it should be theirs for the taking thanks to the talent pool running and gunning for Coach Rice.