Highly touted 5-star shooting guard recruit Rashad Vaughn, who plays for Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, announced his commitment to UNLV on Tuesday during CBS Sports Network's Inside College Basketball telecast.
Their Twitter feed provides the news:
5-Star prospect Rashad Vaughn will remain at his home away from home, selects #UNLV.— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 11, 2014
Vaughn is rated as the No. 3 player at his position and the 12th-ranked recruit overall in the class of 2014, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. The 6'5", 203-pounder already has excellent size for a 2-guard and should be able to fill in as a starter right away for the Rebels.
Vaughn talked about his decision via Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune:
Vaughn: "I just felt most comfable in that style of play and I feel I can show the world my talents in that offense."— Travis Hines (@TravisHines21) February 11, 2014
Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports applauds UNLV's incredible incoming class:
UNLV's class likely moves into the top-five nationally with the addition of Rashad Vaughn: http://t.co/OrCNWm3OB9— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) February 11, 2014
Presuming both junior forwards Roscoe Smith and Khem Birch return next year for their senior seasons, UNLV should have a strong squad on both the inside and on the perimeter with Vaughn entering the fold.
Did Vaughn make the right college choice?
Outside shooting is not a strength for the Rebels at the moment, as they hit three-pointers at just a 32 percent clip as a team and don't have any prominent guards with a consistent, reliable jumper.
While he'll help UNLV in that regard, what makes Vaughn special is his ability to finish at the rim and to flat-out score the basketball. He's able to do so with superior size and strength compared to many of his opponents. Vaughn's frame helps him absorb contact and also finish through it as well as shield off defenders in his pursuit to the rim.
ESPN.com's scouting report (subscription required) gives more insight into Vaughn and his game:
Vaughn has a terrific frame with broad shoulders and very long arms. Vaughn appears to have grown and added strength. He is clearly handling the ball better especially in the open court and when he attacks his defender from the wing when he makes a move to score off the dribble. In addition, he can stick the 3-point shot, especially off the catch.
That type of game translates well to the collegiate level, and Vaughn's ability to shine as a true freshman will be bolstered by the competition he faces in the Mountain West Conference.
Although the MWC isn't a slouch and boasts several formidable mid-major programs, Vaughn is a rare 5-star gem to choose such a school.
With many of the biggest high school stars choosing the big-name programs and struggling to play together, Vaughn's choice is refreshing, as he sets out to make his own impression on a UNLV program. The Rebels have some traditional greatness, but not of the powerhouse variety as a Kansas or Kentucky.
Expectations will still be high for a prospect of Vaughn's caliber and upside still to be explored. Since he's chosen to play in Las Vegas over some of the other basketball-crazy college towns, it will certainly be fascinating to see how Vaughn deals with the circumstances.