The last of the UConn transfers has found a new home.
Roscoe Smith, who unexpectedly requested a release from scholarship on April 21, has committed to play at UNLV, according to CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman.
Unlike Alex Oriakhi, Smith will not be eligible to play immediately (barring some unforeseen waiver). The NCAA permits Oriakhi to play because his eligibility (one year remaining) is concurrent with the number of years in which UConn faces a postseason ban. Smith has two years left, so he’ll have to sit out for the 2012-13 season.
When he returns, he’ll join a suddenly-loaded Runnin’ Rebels squad that includes Pitt transfer Khem Birch and top 10 signee Anthony Bennett.
Sources indicate that Smith transferred because he wanted to play on the perimeter. Though he would have been guaranteed a starting spot and quality minutes at UConn, he would have primarily played power forward.
Smith, a starter in 33 of 41 games during UConn’s run to the 2011 national title, struggled to crack the rotation on a regular basis this past year. He averaged just 4.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game. He did, however, thrive in a critical five-game stretch that helped UConn clinch its NCAA berth.
Since Smith announced his intentions to transfer, UConn has received commitments from big men Phil Nolan and Leon Tolksdorf. Both figure to compete with Tyler Olander and Enosch Wolf for playing time in the frontcourt.