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April 4, 2013

Wood looks to shine at NHSI

The month of April isn't necessarily must-see television for UNLV basketball fans. The Runnin' Rebels are typically long gone from the NCAA tournament.

That all has changed once Findlay Prep began dominating the high school basketball landscape. It doesn't hurt that the Pilots also usually sport a big time UNLV recruit on their roster which Rebel fans can evaluate.

Last year, it was Anthony Bennett, who had sat out for much of the season due to some nagging injuries, that got UNLV fans excited as he showcased his talents and ended up winning MVP in the National High School Invitational on ESPN. It was Findlay's third national title in the last four years.

One season later, Rebels fans are getting to watch Findlay spend the first week of April on ESPN with another high profile recruit getting in his last jumpers at the high school level before heading to the Thomas & Mack Center next year.

Christian Wood, the first high school player to commit to UNLV head coach Dave Rice back in July of 2011, is hitting his stride this year for the Pilots, and is currently ranked No. 36 in the nation.

Against Montrose Christian on Thursday, Wood didn't have huge numbers, scoring five points and grabbing a couple rebounds, but he did show off the versatility that should have Rebel fans excited to have him a part of the roster.

Blessed with a deft jumper despite his 6-foot-11 height, Wood hit one of three shots from beyond the arc. He also had a floater in the lane after an offensive board that he shot over Baylor recruit Ishmael Wainright.

The highlight of the day came from former UNLV commit, Nigel Goss-Williams, who showed off his will to win in the fourth quarter by rallying Findlay from a near 10-point deficit. It's that desire that Goss-Williams plays with that makes him one of the best point guards in the nation. He verbally committed to Lon Kruger as a sophomore but backed out after Kruger moved on to Oklahoma.

Findlay will be back on ESPNU tomorrow when it plays in a semifinal contest.



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