2022 Record: 19-13 (7-11)
Head Coach: Kevin Kruger (Career Record 37-27)
PG: Dedan Thomas Jr
SG: Justin Webster (8.2 Pts, 2.2 Reb, 1.2 Ast)
SF: Jalen Hill (Oklahoma 9.7 Pts, 5.8 Reb, 1.3 Ast)
PF: Luis Rodriguez (10.7 Pts, 5.7 Reb, 1.1 Ast)
C: Kalib Boone (Oklahoma State 10.6 Pts, 4.9 Reb, 1.0 Ast)
6: PF Keylan Boone (Pacific 13.9 Pts, 4.2 Reb, 0.8 Ast)
7: PG Jackie Johnson (6.3 Pts, 1.2 Reb, 0.8 Ast)
8: PF Isaiah Cottrell (1 game 5.0 Pts, 2.0 Reb, 0.0 Ast)
9: SG Shane Nowell (4.8 Pts, 3.3 Reb, 0.9 Ast)
10: PF Robert Whaley (College of Southern Idaho 14.4 Pts, 5.9 Reb, 2.0 Ast)
11: SG Brooklyn Hicks
12: C Karl Jones (2.8 Pts, 1.9 Reb, 0.1 Ast)
13: PF Jacob Bannarbie
UNLV had a lot to replace this offseason after losing 7 players to both the transfer portal and eligibility. They did a great job replacing to lost pieces to field another competitive team this upcoming season. UNLV returns starters Justin Webster and Luis Rodriguez. Webster, a former Hawaii transfer, shot 46% from 3 with the Rebels this past season. Going into his 5th year, Webster will be a player that will be relied on more both offensively and defensively. Rodriguez adds to the experience of the team as he’s entering his 6th year of CBB. He has a ton of experience at the high major level as well where he spent 4 seasons at Ole Miss. Rodriguez is a player that plays bigger than he is and makes an impact on both sides of the ball. He could have the best season of his career this upcoming year.
Other returners for the Rebels include Shane Nowell, Isaiah Cottrell, and Jackie Johnson. Nowell is a player with a ton of potential. The former 4 star recruit and Arizona transfer averaged nearly 5PPG this past season with the Rebels. He is a very athletic win that could be a more viable part of the rotation this season. Nowell continues the trend of the Rebels signing transfers that were highly regarded out out high school and from high major schools. Isaiah Cottrell is another former high major transfer that came from West Virginia. Cottrell only appeared in 1 game last season with the Rebels due to a foot injury. He has the opportunity to make an immediate impact this season. Jackie Johnson appeared in 25 games last season with the Rebels as a reserve guard off the bench. He provided a spark with his speed and quickness. He averaged just over 6PPG in an average of 13MPG last season. Big man Karl Jones is the last returner for the Rebels next season. The former JUCO big man appeared in 9 games last season averaging 3PPG.
UNLV took to the portal where they signed the Boone twins. Kaylen Boone a forward from Pacific and Kalib Boone a forward from Oklahoma State. Kaylen played with Kaleb for 3 seasons at Oklahoma State before transferring to Pacific for 1 season. Kalib spent all 4 seasons at Oklahoma State. Both twins provide size and length on the interior for the Rebels next season in addition to a ton of experience. Kalib Boone is a career 59% shooter and finishes extremally well around the rim. He will also likely be the best defender on the team next season for the Rebels. Keylan can shoot from 3 really well with a career percentage of 35%, but he shot 41% from 3 this past season at Pacific. He also defends at a very high level like his brother. Keylan will likely be the 6th man for this Rebels team next year, but there are some scenarios where he could start.
UNLV also signed Oklahoma transfer Jalen Hill who is a Las Vegas native and is returning home for his final season of play. Hill started all 32 games for the Sooners last season and shot 50% from the field while averaging nearly 10PPG. Hill is another gifted defensive player who will be another piece to a great defensive team. Hill also rebounds really well and will also be a key contributor on both sides of the ball. He also has a chance to be the leading scorer for the Rebels next season. UNLV also signed JUCO forward Rob Whaley Jr. from the College of Southern Idaho. Whaley is a 6-7 260lb forward who averaged 14PPG and 6RPG this past season. He shot 52% from the floor and 34% from 3. He has a chance to be a consistent member of the rotation off the bench.
In addition to all the transfers, UNLV also signed a stacked 2023 recruited class. The class was headlined by Dedan Thomas Jr. He is a top 30 prospect who opted to stay home and play for UNLV over offers such as Houston, Florida, Arizona, UCLA, and Gonzaga. Thomas will start at PG for the Rebels this season and he will be an immediate contributor right away. UNLV also signed Brooklyn Hicks a 3 star SG out of Washington ranked #208 in the 247 sports rankings. The final addition to the class was Jacob Bannarbie a 3 star forward out of Arizona ranked #231.
Despite losing 7 players to both the portal and eligibility this offseason, UNLV added players that will fill the voids really well and be immediate contributors. The Rebels should be even better than they were last year and could even make a push for an NCAA Tournament bid. The Rebels project 4th in a very stacked Mountain West Conference behind the likes of San Diego State, New Mexico, and Boise State. UNLV could finish anywhere from 2nd to 6th in the conference standings depending how things shake out this season.