Cody Doolin (Getty Images)
At the WCC's tip-off luncheon a few weeks before the start of the college basketball season, I had a chance to ask San Francisco coach Rex Walters about the league's wealth of strong point guards.
Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos, BYU's Matt Carlino and LMU's Anthony Ireland have each gone on to average at least 13 points and four assists this season, but at the time Walters made a case for his own point guard Cody Doolin as the best of the group.
"He may not look like a player when he walks on the floor and he's not going to wow you with his size and his body, but the bottom line is he has led our team to so many victories," Walters said.
"He's as good as I've been around at getting guys shots. He's good enough that he can score it on his own, but he literally can tell you going full speed at any moment where the other nine guys are on the court and maybe even what some of the coaches are saying. He has great vision and great feel to really find people."
Comments like that show why UNLV should be elated to get Doolin as a transfer. Doolin, who started all 103 games he played at San Francisco, opted to leave the Dons four games into his senior season in November after reportedly getting into an altercation with a teammate in practice.
Doolin reportedly will apply for a waiver to be eligible to play for UNLV at the start of next season. Should that be granted, it would be a tremendous coup for a Rebels team loaded with talent on the wings and in the paint next season but lacking a proven point guard.
Either ex-Mississippi State transfer Deville Smith or DaQuan Cook would otherwise have been the most appealing options at point guard next season, but Smith is more of a scoring guard than a distributor and Cook has not been productive in limited minutes this season. Smith is averaging 8.4 points and 2.7 assists in 23.4 minutes per game this season, but he is shooting only 42 percent from the field and hitting just over 30 percent of his threes.
Doolin has been a far better pure point guard and a slightly more efficient shooter during his college career. The 6-foot-2 Texas native averaged 12.2 points and 5.6 assists as a junior and improved that to 13.0 points, 7.0 assists and only 1.5 turnovers in the first four games of his senior season.
One question facing Doolin will be whether he will have trouble against the superior athletes he'll see in the Mountain West compared to the WCC, but UNLV won't have to lean on him to score much.
With a top 10 recruiting class joining a roster that could also include seniors-to-be Khem Birch, Roscoe Smith and Bryce Dejean-Jones, the Rebels will have ample talent to pair with Doolin if he's able to get eligible. All they'll need him to do is organize the offense and get the ball to his teammates in spots where they like to score.
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