Kevin Olekaibe, Anthony Drm

Fresno State transfer Kevin Olekaibe to walk-on at UNLV, apply for hardship waiver

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One of the reasons that Katin Reinhardt made the decision to transfer out of UNLV last month was that head coach Dave Rice was going to be playing him primarily off the ball if he returned.

That’s what happens when the Rebels have four other options at the point guard spot.

They may have added another one, however, as Fresno State transfer Kevin Olekaibe has enrolled at the school and started taking classes, according to a report from the Las Vegas Sun. Olekaibe, a native of Las Vegas, made it quite obvious that was true when he tweeted that he’s “back in my city” last night.

Olekaibe struggled as a junior, seeing his production drop from 17.3 points as a sophomore to just 8.3 points as a junior, by far the lowest of his career, but he did average 17.0 points as the Bulldogs knocked off UNLV twice this past season, handing out eight assists in the win on March 9th.

Olekaibe joins a deep back court that includes JuCo transfers Jelan Kendrick (Memphis and Ole Miss), DeVille Smith (Mississippi State), sophomore DaQuan Cook and freshman Kendall Smith. But playing time isn’t as important to Olekaibe as being in Vegas; he’s even willing to walk-on next season. He wants to be closer to his father, who has been moved to hospice care and is paralyzed from the waist down. From the Las Vegas Sun:

Olekaibe left Fresno State after three seasons in April because his ailing father was transferred to a Las Vegas hospice. His father is paralyzed from the waist down and unable to speak — the result of two strokes.

“I don’t remember the last words he said to me,” Olekaibe said. “His left side in unresponsive. He doesn’t speak. He always told me family comes first, so coming home was an easy decision.”

The Mountain West has a rule that requires in-conference transfers to sit out two seasons, and since Fresno State is now a member of the MWC, if Olekaibe doesn’t get a waiver from the NCAA, his college career will be over.

If the NCAA was ever going to grant a hardship waiver, this would be the situation. Let’s hope they do the right thing.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.