Donovan Williams is not coming back to UNLV

Donovan Williams tested the NBA draft and took his decision up to the last moment. Ultimately, he chose to stay in the NBA Draft.

This is a major loss for the Runnin’ Rebels.

This offseason Kevin Kruger compiled a roster full of defensive minded players. Keshon Gilbert, Victor Iwuakor and David Muoka all return from last year’s roster as defense first options. Plus the additions of Elijah Harkless, Elijah Parquet, Luis Rodriguez and Isaiah Cottrell out of the transfer portal give the Rebels a plethora of good defensive players. 

If the season breaks right, UNLV could be a top 20 defensive team in the country. But we don’t know who is going to score. 

Harkless averaged 10 points per game at Oklahoma last season, but he ranked 52nd out of 60 eligible Big 12 players in offensive rating. Harkless’ lack of efficiency makes him a questionable number one option on offense. 

Jackie Johnson is the only incoming transfer known more his offensive skillset than his defense. As a freshman at Duquesne, Johnson averaged 9.5 points in just 19.4 minutes. Johnson has offensive potential, but it would be a surprise to see him make the leap from bench scorer to number one option. 

This is where Donovan Williams would have fit in. In his first season at UNLV, Williams averaged 12.7 points on 9.2 shots per game.

UNLV will have to find a way to replace Bryce Hamilton’s 21.8 points per game from last season.

As of now, an NCAA Tournament appearance is unlikely without a breakout star on the offensive end.

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