Less than a week after five-star forward Stephen Zimmerman announced that he’ll attend UNLV, the Runnin’ Rebels lost its most productive front court option.
Christian Wood, a second team All-Mountain West selection, has decided to forego his final two seasons of eligibility and enter the 2015 NBA Draft. Wood announced it in a video sent out over social media Wednesday night. Wood averaged 15.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game last season, taking over as the Runnin’ Rebels’ primary interior option following the departures of Khem Birch and Roscoe Smith.
Draft Express projected Wood to be a first round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and amongst college sophomores the site ranks him ahead of both Bobby Portis and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Without Wood UNLV will be young in the front court, but they’ll have more experience than they did a season ago. Goodluck Okonoboh and Dwayne Morgan will both be sophomores, and Oregon transfer Ben Carter is eligible after sitting out last season per NCAA transfer rules. Add in freshmen Zimmerman and Derrick Jones, and UNLV won’t lack for depth in the front court.
But even with that being the case, this is a group that had the potential to comprise one of the best front court units in the country had Wood decided to return for his junior season.