Katin Reinhardt (Getty Images)
When a report surfaced in late March suggesting he may transfer because he was unhappy at UNLV, guard Katin Reinhardt adamantly refuted the story by sending out a quick video on social media.
"So there's an article out that I'm going to be transferring to a different school," a shirtless Reinhardt says in a helium voice. "I don't know why somebody would say that, but I'm just letting you know it's not true."
Two months later, Reinhardt has reversed course. The rising sophomore is leaving UNLV and intends to transfer to either USC or another Pac-12 school, Rebels coach Dave Rice told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday evening.
That Reinhardt is leaving UNLV is remarkable considering the freedom he received as a freshman. On a deep Rebels team loaded with talented upperclassmen, Reinhardt logged 29.1 minutes per game and attempted the most threes and the second-most shots of any player on the roster, all despite making only 35.8 percent of his field goal attempts.
If there was anything for Reinhardt to be unhappy about, perhaps it was the position he was asked to play.
The former top 50 recruit primarily played off ball as a catch-and-shoot wing, a role that prevented him from trying to prove he has the ball handling and passing skills needed to play point guard. Anthony Marshall's graduation would have given Reinhardt the chance to play more point guard next season, but it's unclear if he'd have won the starting job with reserve Daquan Cook returning and several newcomers with experience at the position.
The departure of Reinhardt shouldn't come as a total shock to UNLV if only because of the high school he attended. Perennial California state title contender Mater Dei has produced nine Rivals 150 prospects since 2007 and all but Colorado rising sophomore Xavier Johnson have already changed colleges, some more than once.
Taylor King transferred from Duke to Villanova to NAIA Concordia University. Kamyron Brown spent two years at Oregon before going to Nebraska. David and Travis Wear left North Carolina in favor of UCLA. Gary Franklin didn't even last a year at Cal before leaving for Baylor. Tyler Lamb transferred from UCLA to Long Beach State. Keala King left Arizona State and was not invited back at Long Beach State. And now Reinhardt joins that ever-growing list.
For UNLV, Reinhardt's departure means only two of last year's eight leading scorers will be back next season, volume-shooting Bryce Dejean-Jones and interior standout Khem Birch. The Rebels had two other early departures, with Anthony Bennett leaving for the NBA draft and Mike Moser transferring to Oregon.
Without Reinhardt, UNLV should be better defensively on the perimeter but the team will miss his outside shooting. Rising sophomore Savon Goodman and UConn transfer Roscoe Smith will provide length and athleticism on the wings and Ole Miss transfer Jelan Kendrick will have an opportunity to make an impact in the backcourt.
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