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April 17, 2013UNLV's biggest area of concern during the 2012 season was its play and depth at the point guard position.
Head coach Dave Rice hopes that the position got much more fortified on Wednesday when the Runnin' Rebels signed a pair of point men, one from junior college and one from high school. The pairing of Smith's (DeVille and Kendall) should help make the position a strength rather than a question mark.
Former Mississippi State Bulldog, DeVille Smith, comes to UNLV from Southwest Mississippi Community College, where he averaged 16 points, five assists and two steals a game. A former four-star recruit, Smith will likely compete for the starting spot whenever he arrives in Las Vegas.
"We are excited about DeVille Smith joining our program," Rice said. "He is a great competitor who makes the players around him better. He brings valuable experience and is a terrific teammate. He will be a tremendous pressure defender and very effective in our transition system."
After a freshman season where he played in 26 games, DeVille was supposed to become the Bulldogs' starter but left the program after Rick Stansbury stepped down as head coach.
DeVille's breakout game came on the road in SEC play. He scored 25 points in just 18 minutes at one of the league's tougher places to play, Arkansas.
At 5-foot-11, Smith's reputation is that he is explosive off the dribble and a defender that can create turnovers from on-ball pressure.
The younger Smith, Kendall, comes to UNLV from Deer Valley High School in California. Kendall is a dynamic playmaker that can create for both his teammates and himself. He scored more than 25 points on 12 occasions this past season, including a notching 52 in one contest.
"We are excited that Kendall Smith is a Runnin' Rebel," Rice said. "He is a winner and is extremely versatile. He is committed to team and capable of taking over a game making plays for others. He will be a lock down defender and explosive in our up-tempo system."
The two Smiths join Jelan Kendrick, Christian Wood and Dantley Walker to make up UNLV's 2013 recruiting class. Kendrick is a former McDonald's High School All-American, who is transferring from Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, and will enter UNLV as a junior, Wood is coming in as a freshman from Findlay College Prep in Henderson, Nev., and Walker will be a freshman this fall after finishing a two-year LDS mission.