RENO, Nev. (AP) AJ West, who led Nevada in scoring and rebounding a year ago, has left the Wolf Pack for personal reasons.
West, a 6-foot-9 senior, was one of only 11 players in the nation to average a double-double last season with 12.2 points and 10.8 rebounds. His 5.9 offensive rebounds per game led the country and were the most in the NCAA in 20 years.
The Brooklyn, New York, native was averaging 9.6 points and 7.7 rebounds this season but he recently fell out of the starting lineup and his playing minutes were declining under first-year coach Eric Musselman.
West said in a statement provided to the Reno Gazette-Journal on Tuesday that he’s leaving for undisclosed personal reasons and doesn’t “want to be a distraction to the team.”
Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com
Since taking over as the head coach at Nevada this summer, Eric Musselman’s enjoyed a great deal of success on the recruiting front. Two talented transfers in guard Marcus Marshall and forward Leland King will take the floor in 2016-17, as will a freshman class that now has three commits.
Thursday afternoon four-star shooting guard Josh Hall verbally committed to the Mountain West program. The 6-foot-7 Hall, who attends Genesis Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia, announced the news via his Twitter account.
Hall, who last October committed to Rice, joins point guard Devearl Ramsey and power forward Kenneth Wooten in Nevada’s 2016 recruiting class. And in Hall and Ramsey, the Wolf Pack have their backcourt of the future with veterans such as Marshall (one season of eligibility remaining) and junior D.J. Fenner among those who can serve as a buffer of sorts as the freshmen get acclimated to Division I college basketball.
Hall’s a Los Angeles native who this summer played for the California Supreme grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit. Hall averaged 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, shooting just under 51 percent from the field in those games.
Nevada added a local forward on Monday as junior college product Sam Williams pledged to the Wolf Pack, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.
The 6-foot-8, 208-pound Williams played at nearby Hug High School before going to Mt. San Jacinto College for two seasons. In his second season at Mt. San Jacinto, Williams was conference player of the year after averaging 25.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Williams shot 54.1 percent from the floor and 41.6 percent from 3-point range for the season.
Originally committed to Cal State Fullerton, things didn’t work out with that commitment, so Williams opened things up and searched for options. In a report from Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal, Williams will enroll in classes in December and spend this season redshirting.
After the redshirt year, Williams will have two years of eligibility remaining and essentially becomes a 2016 commitment for head coach Eric Musselman. During the redshirt year, Williams can acclimate to the Division I level and also add strength before he likely plays on the wing for the Wolf Pack.
One of the top junior college prospects in the Class of 2016 has narrowed down his list of colleges to five schools. Connors State College (Oklahoma) power forward Arlando Cook announced via Twitter that he’s now considering Nevada, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Missouri and Memphis.
As a freshman Cook averaged 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, shooting better than 57 percent from the field. Of the five schools remaining on Cook’s list four will lose at least one power forward from its roster at the end of the 2015-16 season. In theory that would open the door to quality minutes from the start for Cook.
Nevada will lose its best front court player in senior A.J. West, as well as reserve center Lucas Stirvins, but they did receive a verbal commitment from high school senior Kenneth Wooten earlier this summer. Oklahoma State will lose two seniors in Chris Olivier and Anthony Allen, and they didn’t bring in an interior player in their 2015 recruiting class either.
Missouri, which received a verbal commitment from high school power forward/center Mitchell Smith on Saturday, loses Ryan Rosburg at the end of the upcoming campaign. Memphis not only lost Austin Nichols (transferred to Virginia) this summer, but they also have to account for the eventual departure of senior Shaq Goodwin as well.
Arkansas is the lone exception to this, but their lack of depth due in part to 2015 commit Ted Kapita not qualifying academically means that the Razorbacks need to land some interior help in the 2016 class.
Nevada earned its first commitment under new head coach Eric Musselman as 6-foot-8 forward Kenneth Wooten pledged to the Wolf Pack early this week.
A native of California, Wooten ran with Dream Vision on the grassroots circuit and he’s a tremendous athlete who can cover multiple positions on the floor. Wooten has only been playing basketball for a few years, so he’s a bit raw as a prospect right now, but he has the athletic traits to be a difference maker if he continues to improve.
Wooten selected Nevada over offers from programs like Fresno State, George Washington, Georgia Tech and Kansas State. This is a nice start to Musselman’s first full class at Nevada and Wooten has the type of upside that makes him an intriguing long-term prospect.
One day after deciding that he would announce his college choice on Saturday, four-star shooting guard Eron Gordon has had a change of heart.
Wednesday afternoon the Indianapolis native announced via Twitter that he’s decided to postpone his announcement, stating a desire to take visits before doing so. The 6-foot-3 Gordon is the younger brother of Eric and Evan Gordon, with the former playing one season at Indiana and the latter spending time at Liberty, Arizona State and Indiana.
While Eron has taken a number of unofficial visits, he has yet to take an official visit. Arizona State, Auburn, Butler, Indiana, LSU, Nebraska, Nevada, Notre Dame, Purdue and Xavier are the schools in the running for Gordon’s commitment at this time.