Divvying up minutes at the forward positions this upcoming season suddenly became far easier for UNLV coach Dave Rice.
Too bad for the Rebels the reason for that isn't a good one.
Rice announced Saturday night that sophomore forward Savon Goodman will not play for UNLV after news surfaced earlier that day that he is facing charges stemming from an incident that took place May 18. Clark County court documents show that a warrant was issued August 15 for Goodman's arrest on felony charges of first-degree burglary and grand larceny and a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to commit burglary.
Whether Goodman has a future at UNLV or not could depend on the outcome of his case and whether he was honest about what happened back in May when he initially met with school officials about the incident. Rice told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday that he reserves the right to increase Goodman's punishment or dismiss the former top 100 recruit altogether as he continues to investigate the incident further.
"It would certainly concern me if he wasn’t (truthful) with us, but I can’t get in the mind of someone," Rice told the newspaper. "I just know that from Day One, we stress with our guys to always be honest, no matter what happens. It’s critically important the (coach-player) relationship is built first from trust.
"The only decision I have made as of right now is that Savon unequivocally will not play in games this season, but I certainly reserve the right to do more as we continue to gather information."
Goodman averaged a modest 3.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game last season, but he would have played a bigger role this season since Anthony Bennett left for the NBA and Mike Moser transferred to Oregon. He likely would have been part of the rotation at wing behind Jelan Kendrick and forward behind Roscoe Smith.
The absence of Goodman makes the late addition of undersized 6-foot-6 forward Jamal Aytes both more logical and more important. Aytes, who starred at J Serra High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., chose UNLV last week over Gonzaga and BYU among others.