UConn Transfer Roscoe Smith Has Signed with the UNLV Runnin' Rebels

Mick AkersAnalyst IMay 25, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Roscoe Smith #22 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts against the Kentucky Wildcats during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

UConn transfer Roscoe Smith will be transferring out west and joining the Runnin' Rebels of UNLV, according to Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports.

Goodman tweeted:



Landing the 6'8" Smith adds to the already strong front court for the Rebels, as they have returning forward Mike Moser, incoming freshman All-American Anthony Bennett and midseason-eligible Pitt transfer Khem Birch already in place.

Smith will be a key reserve for the Rebels, as they seemed to run out of gas towards the end of the season after playing heavy minutes throughout the year—specifically Moser—and will allow more rotation at the forward positions for UNLV, keeping players fresh for what is set up to be a great season.

The addition of Smith adds to the already impressive list of players UNLV coach Dave Rice has brought in for the 2012-13 season, as Smith will be joined by freshmen forward Bennett, the No. 7 Rivals-ranked recruit, guard Katin Reinhardt, the No. 38 Rivals-ranked recruit, forward Demetris Morant, the No. 144 Rivals-ranked recruit, three-star guard DaQuan Cook and forward transfer Birch.

Although class rankings do not include transfers, UNLV would have a top five rated class if transfers were included, but the Rebels still were ranked as the No. 13 class by ESPN overall without Smith and Birch included.

Add the Rebel big men to the solid backcourt of combo guard Anthony Marshall, consistent sixth man Justin Hawkins and newcomers Reinhardt and Cook, and the Rebels have all the makings, on paper, to be one of the early favorites to make a Final Four run.

The Rebels are set up to have their best season since 1990-91, when the Jerry Tarkanian-led UNLV team went undefeated before being upset by Duke in the 1991 Final Four.

Adding Smith, a member of UConn's 2011 national title team, will give the Rebels a post season presence no other player on the team can provide.

Note: UNLV has one more scholarship left this year, as guard Reggie Smith has left the Rebels to be closer to his family back in the Chicago area, which UNLV could hang onto to nab a midseason transfer in the upcoming season.