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California native, 2013 guard Kendall Smith commits to UNLV

Jan 5, 2013, 9:32 AM EDT

Mountain West Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Wyoming v UNLV Getty Images

UNLV coach Dave Rice secured his third commitment from the Class of 2013 Friday, as California combo guard Kendall Smith pledged his name to the UNLV program. The announcement came in a message posted on Smith’s Twitter page.

Smith, a 6-2 guard, chose UNLV over UCLA and Connecticut. His recruitment had picked up in recent months, getting more looks from high-major schools when he had previously been the focus of a number of mid-majors. For a time he was also considering San Jose State, Long Beach State, and Pacific.

Over the summer, Smith played for the powerhouse Oakland Soldiers AAU program, which won the Nike EYBL championship by beating CIA Bounce, the team that features the nation’s top prospect, Andrew Wiggins.

As with other guards that Rice has recently featured at UNLV, including Anthony Marshall and Katin Reinhardt, Smith is not a true point guard, but could see time handling the ball. His ability to attack off the dribble and control himself around the rim will likely help to find him minutes in the rotation.

“All players will say they can be a player right away,” Smith told the Las Vegas Sun, “but I do feel like I have the skill set, the determination and all the skills to work hard and I can say yes, I feel like I can play coming in as a freshman.”

To see some of Smith’s video highlights, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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