Nevada lands Rice transfer Marquez Letcher-Ellis


Transfers have become a trend for Nevada during the Eric Musselman era. Seven players on the 2017-18 roster began their collegiate career elsewhere. On Tuesday, that number increased to eight.

Marquez Letcher-Ellis, who played his first two years at Rice, joined the Wolf Pack, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN. He will sit out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations but will have two years of eligibility remaining.

He averaged 7.7 points per game this past season, which was down from average double figures as a freshman. Letcher-Ellis left the program after Mike Rhoades accepted the head coaching job at VCU. Rice assistant Scott Pera was elevated to head coach.

Letcher-Ellis finds his new school days after Marcus Evans, one of the more sought after transfers, followed Rhoades to VCU. Egor Koulechov and Marcus Jackson, the other two leading scorers for the Owls, graduated and are eligible immediately. Jackson has since committed to UC Santa Barbara.

While Letcher-Ellis will be restricted to practice, he could play an integral role. The Wolf Pack could be ranked in the preseason, even if Cameron Oliver does not return. Jordan Caroline and Lindsey Drew both return while Caleb and Cody Martin (N.C. State) and Kendall Stephens (Purdue) join the program after sitting out last season. Letcher-Ellis, a versatile defender given his size and length, will be a valuable addition to the scout team.

NBC Sports ranks Nevada No. 25 in the 2017-18 preseason poll.