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Is the criticism for Katin Reinhardt’s decision to transfer fair?

May 27, 2013, 1:36 PM EDT

UNLV's Katin Reinhardt (L) shoots against California's Richard Solomon during their NCAA basketball tournament second round game in San Jose

Much has been made of Katin Reinhardt’s decision to transfer out of UNLV this weekend, and not all of it has been good.

Doug Gottlieb tweeted “Katin Reinhardt was 2nd on UNLV in minutes/shots as a true frosh,so of course he leaves.” The Las Vegas Review-Journal didn’t hold back, either, criticizing Reinhardt for leaving after he publicly denied a report from late March that he was thinking about transferring.

“There have been rumors about this all year,” UNLV head coach Dave Rice said. “Katin and I talked about it a number of times during the season, and he always told me he planned to stay at UNLV.”

Jeff Eisenberg of The Dagger wrote: “That Reinhardt is leaving UNLV is remarkable considering the freedom he received as a freshman. On a deep Rebels team loaded with talented upperclassmen, Reinhardt logged 29.1 minutes per game and attempted the most threes and the second-most shots of any player on the roster, all despite making only 35.8 percent of his field goal attempts.”

Part of me gets it. Reinhardt was more-or-less allowed to shoot whenever he wanted to as a freshman despite the fact that he was playing on a team where he was often to fourth or fifth-best option offensively. There are few players in the country granted that kind of a green light, let alone when you take into account the fact that he was a freshman.

Some of the pushback also likely has to do with the fact that Reinhardt attended Mater Dei, and, as Eisenberg noted, eight of the nine Mater Dei players to be ranked in the Rivals top 150 since 2007 have transferred. The only one that hasn’t, Colorado’s Xavier Johnson, just finished his freshman season, so there is still plenty of time for him to join that list.

So, yeah, I get it. Reinhardt’s lack of shot selection hurt the Rebels from time to time last season. He comes from a program known for having their products transfer. His decision to transfer makes UNLV look bad.

But this wasn’t a playing time issue. This choice wasn’t sparked because Reinhardt was mad that Anthony Bennett got all the attention last year, or that he thought he should have gotten more shots.

Reinhardt wants to be a point guard. He wants to have the ball in his hands. He wants to be a decision-maker, largely because he thinks that’s his ticket to the league.

“[Katin] said that he feels his best opportunity to play in the NBA is to play more minutes at the point guard position,” Rice said. “Katin would have had an opportunity to compete for minutes at the point, but I’ve never guaranteed anyone that they will start or play a certain number of minutes.”

UNLV already has four point guards on their roster next season — JuCo transfers DeVille Smith and Jelan Kendrick (a former McDonald’s all-american), sophomore DaQuan Cook and freshman Kendall Smith. Reinhardt was likely going to be pigeon-holed into a catch-and-shoot role on the wing again this season.

He doesn’t want to be a wing.

He wants to be a point guard.

And frankly, that’s about as good of a reason as there is to transfer.

Reinhardt may not be perfect, and based on the video-denial he sent out regarding the report in March it doesn’t seem that difficult to dislike him, but I have a tough time getting up in arms because a kid is transferring so he can have a chance to play the position he wants to play.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. vegasreb - May 27, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I don’t usually root for a player to have a career ending injury, but in this guy’s case I will gladly make an exception!

  2. Tarkus - May 27, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    I don’t have a problem with him transferring to better his career opportunities. I do have a problem with his staunch denials when these rumors first started, and proclaiming himself a Rebel for life. Just own up to it, or at least don’t comment at all.

  3. nickpetroni - May 27, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    If Katin wants to play the point, all he needs to do is be the best pg on the team. If he can’t even be the best pg on his college team, how does he expect to play the same position in the NBA. I’m sure Coach Rice would have no problem starting him at point if he were the best option. If Katin wants to be closer to his family, I can respect that, but any other reason is a cop out. Best of luck whenever he lands, but him leaving UNLV is super lame.

    • Tarkus - May 27, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      It would be hard to be the best PG on the team, when you don’t have much of an opportunity to develop your PG skills either in practice or in games.

      • nickpetroni - May 27, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        As Coach Rice said, he would be given the same opportunity as Smith, Cook or anyone else, and as much as I love the Rebels, we’re far from having 3 NBA caliber pg’s on our team. All I’m saying is if he has NBA aspirations, he should at the very least be the best at that position at UNLV. If he was concerned about winning the job over the aforementioned players, then he should not even be talking about the NBA. Gotta crawl before you can walk.

  4. tomtravis76 - May 27, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    And coaches can leave at anytime during their contract and nobody gets upset because that coach is always taking a better opportunity.

    • nickpetroni - May 28, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      So simply because coaches do it, we as fans shouldn’t be upset when players we take a vested interest in, and show the utmost support for leave at the drop of a dime. Most coaches and players have little loyalty, it’s the fans that lose out.

      • tomtravis76 - May 28, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        No, you shouldn’t get upset at a college kid for choosing to leave a school for any reason.

  5. fbender7 - May 29, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Bahooba, bahooba, maaaaaaaaaa

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