Kendall Smith may not have seen the best that the UNLV Runnin' Rebels have to offer during his official trip on Thursday but that didn't seem to hamper his enthusiasm any.
That may be because the fast rising senior point guard saw some areas that he may be able to help one of the more talented programs in the nation.
It didn't hurt any that the Rebels homecourt offers a little pizzazz that isn't seen anywhere else, either.
"It's going incredible. The atmosphere is great (at the Thomas & Mack Center). I don't see how anybody can't like this," Smith said of his trip to UNLV. "They told me it was going to be like this and that's why I kept them on the list.
"Right now, I just love this atmosphere. I've never been to a school where they came out and did fireworks. That's incredible."
However, the atmosphere wasn't the only thing that caught Smith's attention. With UNLV turning the ball over 13 times in the first half against Chicago State and 21 times for the game, Smith could see his value and the possibility of minutes coming to a point guard.
With senior Anthony Marshall graduating after this season, the Rebels are going to be without a seasoned player at that position. DaQuan Cook is getting limited time as a freshman through this point. Katin Reinhardt is the epitome of a combo guard. And Jelan Kendrick is injured at Indian Hills Junior College and not getting any work.
All of that information would seem to benefit Smith. At the very least, he would get a fair shot at earning time at the point. That's something that sells pretty well on the recruiting trail.
"(Head coach Dave Rice) said that there are a lot of minutes for me here. I can tell they need a point guard," Smith stated. "I love the tempo. They push the ball every play. Coach Rice gives the point guard a lot of freedom out here, so I like that."
Smith, who is out of Antioch, California, and plays at Deer Valley High School, has caught fire since the end of his junior year. He helped his Oakland Soldier AAU club to an impressive summer and has continued that with stellar play throughout his high school campaign thus far.
During his junior year, Smith averaged 16 points and nine assists while helping Deer Valley to a 22-9 record.
Smith said he has a final list of UNLV, UConn and UCLA, but that a decision may be close at hand, and the Rebels may have the upper hand.
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