California v UNLV

Report: UNLV transfer Katin Reinhardt is headed to USC

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In a move that surprised exactly no one, former UNLV guard Katin Reinhardt has decided to transfer to USC. Reinhardt originally committed to the Trojans when he was in high school. The news was first reported by Hoopsworld earlier this week.

Reinhardt is a talented player, ranking among the top 50 recruits coming out of high school. He left UNLV last week in large part because he wanted to play the point, and UNLV wouldn’t guarantee him ball-handling responsibilities.

“Katin would have had an opportunity to compete for minutes at the point, but I’ve never guaranteed anyone that they will start or play a certain number of minutes,” UNLV head coach Dave Rice told the Las Vegas Review-Journal when Reinhardt’s transfer was announced.

The people in Reinhardt’s camp believe that his best chance to make it to the NBA is at the point guard spot, and that could very well be true. He’s 6-foot-5, but he’s not the kind of overwhelming athlete that you typically find at off-guard in the NBA. He can handle the ball and he has playmaking ability, the question is whether or not he is willing to be a point guard or simply a shoot-first scorer that has the ball in his hands.

If Reinhardt, who will become eligible in 2014-2015, is going to find success in Andy Enfield’s system as a point guard, he better be willing to pass the ball. As everyone saw with Florida-Gulf Coast’s run to the Sweet 16 last season, the engine that made Dunk City run was point guard Brett Comer and his ability to find his teammates in transition.

If Reinhardt accepts that role — if he models his game after someone like Jason Kidd — than he could end up being a great weapon for Enfield. But if he wants to be the next Jimmer, this may not end up being a match made in heaven.

Regardless, it appears that Reinhardt will be getting the opportunity that he wants — to be the point guard of a high-major program.

Good for him.

Now let’s see if he can prove that he deserves.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.