The transfer portal will likely decide if UNLV is going to make a run at a Mountain West championship or the NCAA Tournament in 2023.
Kevin Kruger will need to find multiple quality players this offseason to help the Rebels improve on last season.
Here are the players in the transfer portal UNLV has reportedly shown interest in.
Colorado | G | 6-foot-3
2021-22 averages: 29.5 minutes, 6.9 points
Parquet will visit UNLV this weekend after playing four seasons at Colorado, where he played in 105 games (57 starts). Parquet was voted the best defender at Colorado last season. Offensively, he was not used often, as he never attempted more six shots per game.
UNLV may have an inside track, as Parquet is from the same city as assistant coach Brandon Chappell, Beaumont, Texas. If that hometown connection works well, the Rebels could have a new wing defender.
Texas | G | 6-foot-3
2021-22 averages: 30.1 minutes, 9.4 points
Could Kevin Kruger find another transfer from the Big 12? Last offseason UNLV landed two Longhorn transfers in Donovan Williams and Royce Hamm.
Ramey has four years of experience and is a proven shooter (36.5% from three on over 500 career attempts). But UNLV will have to beat out some high level schools to land Ramey.
Wichita State | C | 6-foot-8
2021-22 averages: 24.7 minutes, 10.2 points
Udeze looks like he be a Royce Hamm replacement. He averaged 10.2 points and ranked top 10 in both offensive and defensive rebounding rate in the AAC. (Hamm provided a three point threat last year, while Udeze is 1 of 7 from deep in 4 years.) A good rebounder and reliable secondary option has plenty of value.
Plenty of power conference teams have reached out, but not the blue bloods, as UNLV is competing with teams like LSU, Iowa State, Northwestern, Arizona State and Pitt.
South Carolina | G | 6-foot-2
2021-22 averages: 18.7 minutes, 9.0 points
Carter was a four star recruit in the 2021 class. His 19.3 points per 40 minutes would have ranked third on the Rebels behind Bryce Hamilton and Donovan Williams. He may be the perfect candidate to breakout with more playing time.
But the list of schools interested in Carter is long, including LSU, Providence, Memphis and Oklahoma.
Ole Miss | G | 6-foot-6
2021-22 averages: 26.9 minutes, 6.6 points
Rodriguez played three seasons at Ole Miss (with a medical redshirt mixed in), making him one of the more experienced players on this list with 51 starts over the last two seasons. He has struggled to shoot (29.9% from three in his career), but would improve UNLV’s size on the perimeter.
The Rebels are competing with schools like Georgia, Oregon, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisville and Nevada for Rodriguez. He is reportedly taking a visit to NC State this week as well.
USC | G | 6-foot-1
2021-22 averages: 21.1 minutes, 4.4 points
Anderson was originally committed to UNLV, but when Marvin Menzies was fired, he left for USC. Anderson has posted similar numbers in all three of his collegiate seasons, for a career per game average of 5.2 points in 22.3 minutes. He has shot 35.8 percent from three in his career, but he has taken a lot of mid range jumpers and has not shown the ability to finish at the rim at a high rate.
UNLV is competing with a list of schools, according to Jon Rothstein. Nevada, TCU, Wyoming, Boise State, Temple, BYU, UCSB, Cal, Washington State, Oregon State.
Princeton | G | 6-foot-2
2021-22 averages: 32.5 minutes, 15.7 points
Lewellyn would certainly help fill the void left by Bryce Hamilton. He took 13.4 shots per game last year, including 5.9 threes per game at 38.6 percent. The problem is Lewellyn appears to have already moved onto schools better than UNLV, as Alabama, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Villanova and Florida have all reached out him, according to Jake Weingarten.
Indiana | G | 6-foot-1
2021-22 averages: 18.3 minutes, 4.5 points
Phinisee actually started 69 games in his first three seasons at Indiana, but he came off the bench in all 25 of his appearances last season. His best season came in 2019-20 when he averaged 7.3 points and had a PORPAGATU! of 1.3.
UNLV is interested, along with Cincinnati, Purdue, Ohio State, Iowa, Bradley and Cal.
Drexel | G | 6-foot-2
2021-22 averages: 34.8 minutes, 15.8 points
Wynter is another proven scorer in the portal that has big time offers. UNLV has been joined by schools such as Ohio State, Michigan, Arkansas, Missouri, Clemson, West Virginia.
Wynter struggled from three last year, hitting 27.8 percent. But in 2020-21 he drilled 41.5 percent from deep. He was a mid-range specialist last season, hitting 45.1 percent of his long twos.
Vanderbilt | G | 6-foot-5
2021-22 averages: 11.1 minutes, 2.4 points
UNLV tried to land Dezonie last year when he decommitted from Arizona. Now they have another shot. Dezonie would likely be looking for playing time after being a little used rotational piece for Vanderbilt. Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Clemson and Georgia Tech are among the schools UNLV is battling.
West Virginia | F | 6-foot-10
2021-22 averages: 16.1 minutes, 4.2 points
There are two main links to Vegas for Cottrell. He went to Bishop Gorman prior to heading out to West Virginia. Plus, he spent one season as a teammate with Jordan McCabe.
If Kevin Kruger can use those two ties to his advantage, UNLV could have a new forward on the roster.
Mike Saunders (NEW SCHOOL: Utah)
Cincinnati | G | 6-foot-0
2021-22 averages: 20.2 minutes, 7.3 points
Saunders entered the portal last season and met with Kevin Kruger virtually. He ultimately returned to Cincinnati, but now appears to be on his way out. UNLV (and Nevada) had an in-home visit with Saunders in March. But Saunders ended up picking Utah, so he is off the board for the Rebels
What the hell is PORPAGATU!?
It is from Bart Torvik and stands for Points Over Replacement Per Adjusted Game At That Usage. You can read all about it right here.
Simply speaking it is a points above replacement number that each player is worth on a per game basis. It adjusts for quality of opponent and usage rate (since players that take a lot of shots tend to shoot lower percentages than players that shoot just a few times per game.)
For reference, here is the 2021-22 UNLV roster’s PORPAGATU!
Bryce Hamilton was tied with Armando Bacot and Scottie Pippen Jr. for the 23rd highest PORPAGATU! in the country. All three were 5 points per game better than the average college basketball player.
This points above replacement stat is included here as a good way to identify which players were difference makers at their last school and which guys were role players. UNLV has plenty of role players, but not enough (or any?) difference makers.