UNLV quick hits:

Sophomore forward Karam Mashour leaving the Rebels program

Mashour will search for more playing time while the Rebels now have a second open scholarship to work with

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Steve Marcus

Karam Mashour and other members of the UNLV Rebels wait to find out their selection for the NCAA tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center Sunday, March 11, 2012. The Rebels will face Colorado at Albuquerque.

UNLV players ready for Virginia invitational

KSNV coverage of UNLV basketball players asked to play in a four-day Virginia invitational, April 10, 2012

Sophomore forward Karam Mashour has been granted his release from the basketball program, UNLV coach Dave Rice announced Tuesday.

Mashour played in 13 games last season, averaging 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 3.2 minutes per game.

“I enjoyed my time at UNLV,” Mashour said. “It was an honor to play for the Runnin’ Rebels and I will always appreciate the support of my teammates and coaches. I look forward to finding an opportunity where there is more playing time available.”

The move leaves UNLV with two scholarship openings just a day before Bishop Gorman’s Shabazz Muhammad, who only recently cut the Rebels from his list, is set to announce his decision.

UNLV is still going hard after Findlay Prep’s Anthony Bennett, but the second opening may be best used on a transfer. There’s an extensive pool of talent available right now, or Rice could hang on to it in case someone becomes available mid-season, a la Khem Birch.

The transfer route makes sense when you consider that there’s not much playing time available with the current roster. However, after next year UNLV loses Anthony Marshall, Justin Hawkins, Quintrell Thomas and likely Mike Moser, which creates a lot of opportunity for someone who would have to redshirt during the 2012-13 season.

Mashour’s highlight last season was an acrobatic dunk along the baseline in a December blowout at Cal-State Bakersfield. The low may have been Feb. 1 when he refused to enter the game in the final minutes of a home blowout against Colorado State.

Mashour, a native of Nazareth, Israel, who played in 12 games as a freshman, was clearly upset with his lack of a role on the team, but he never let that slow him down in practice.

“We appreciate Karam’s contributions to our team,” Rice said. “He is an extremely hard worker and was a big part of our success this year. He is a great person and we wish him the best.”

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or taylor.bern@lasvegassun.com. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. He wasted his time at UNLV. He would have done better at a Division 2 school.

  2. Unfortunately for the team, this young man should have been suspended following his temper tantrum in the.Colorado State game. Discipline suffered and the.coach.was embarassed by his public defiance of authoriry. UNLV is better off with his absence and the boy can become a man somewhere else.

  3. I saw him at UNLV today, and he didn't have any basketball gear on. Now I know why.

  4. Mashour could be a factor at a lower level D-I program.

    Try a Big West or Big Sky type program: Cal-Northridge, Northern Arizona, Idaho St., Cal-Poly, Cal-Fullerton, Eatern Washington. Those types of programs.

    Not like Mashour has no skills, the kid can play.

  5. Who cares. Karam who? I forgot this guy was even on the team. The only reason he was on the team is because Kruger had an extra scholarship that he had to give out and there was no good talent left to give it to. This frees up a slot to get a more talented player. Hopefully Rice and Co. can find someone to give it to

  6. I wish him well, but I am happy that the program now has 2 open spots. I hope we can get Anthony Bennett.

  7. I feel bad that Karam has decided to leave the program. Sure you can put the blame on perhaps lack of talent, but when a player is only allowed to play in 13 games the blame needs to be placed on Mr. Rice's lack of confidence in his bench players. Karam is a victim of an inexperienced "coach" who failed to give all players a chance. I wouldn't be surprised if other players decided to leave the program. If I was a top rated player I would not chose to attend UNLV and play for Mr. Rice. Yes, there are now two open scholarships, but don't count your recruits before they put on that uniform. Shame on you Mr. Rice, I believe this is what you wanted to happen. Good Luck to Karam, I hope he finds a school that will allow him to prove himself.

  8. @HoosierBoy did you actually watch him during any of his playtime? He was terrible. Keep in mind, he was Kruger's player, and even Kruger had no confidence in him. Mashour should be playing D2 in my opinion. Lon took a chance with him hoping he might develop into more, despite all the scouting reports telling him otherwise, but was wrong. End of story.

    By the way, ALL the players have plenty of chances to prove themselves during practice. His lack of play time has to do with his ability level, not "poor coaching". Calling out coach Rice for giving a lesser player less time on the court is idiotic.

  9. I think the kid wouldve benefited from red shirting either this year or last year while trying to learn to play basketball in the US. He has a lot of talent and good motor skills, just played a little to fast sometimes and a little to slow on defense. Lets not bash the kid and call him terrible. He's a hard worker and obviously became frustrated as the season went on. Good luck to him elsewhere, just as long as its not SDSU, UNM, or BYU.
    As for the 2nd Scholorship, I think its time to bring in a big time Jucco transfer that they were looking at. Yeah we'd like to use it on an incoming freshman and pick up a big name like pelle or January, but having an experience player added that doesnt have to sit out a year could be just what we need.

  10. Good call LV_24. We need to get back to recruiting some juco guys. All of Tarks great teams were largely built on juco players. These are the types of guys that are hungry and have a chip on their shoulder. Trying to get top 50 freshman is great but I would settle for a player like Gilliam, Paddio, Butler, Ackles, Scurry, Wade, Basnight(oh and Larry Johnson was not too bad either).

  11. Karam made a really tough and I'd say poor decision when he joined not to redshirt. Kruger told him he would have very limited play time, and Rice's roster was stacked as well when he came on board. I think he is a tremendous player, and very athletic, but needed to take the time and redshirt. I don't think he completely understood when he joined the team, and now is left with 2 years left.

    I wish him and his family the best, I hope he can transfer out and flourish at another school.

  12. Juco players of today aren't the same as they were in the glory days. Juco players often come with a long story and/or academic issues or even might have been ranked way too high and didn't develop at a top program. There are of course exceptions to this but the pool is very small to what it used to be like.

  13. Wade is correct. With the advent of the Prep schools, more and more guys who are top high school guys with crappy grades just go to a prep school where they "improve" their scholastics. These are the type of kids who used to go the JC route.

    Re: Mashour- the guy should have red shirted. If he wasn't willing to do that, he never should have come here in the first place.

  14. I agree with @HoosierBoy and @LV_24. Mashour looked like a good player with a nice outside shot and some hops, he just played a little too fast and out of control instead of with patience. With a little more coaching and some confidence, he could be a nice 2/3. If Coach Rice could figure out predictable minutes for his guys, they would play better as a team.

    Bill Simmons had a great article on the "Law of Too Many Guys" and how to blend the minutes for your starters and bench guys with the perfect rotation being about eight guys. Coach Rice can't figure out his rotation, overplays his starters, and buries his reserves in the second half. Hopefully he can bring it together next season so everyone knows when they will be playing and what their role will be. Coach Rice, please figure this out!

    Law of Too Many Guys
    You only need eight and a half guys to win in the NBA: five starters, three bench guys, then an 812th man who doesn't mind playing 0-10 minutes a night and being on call if a rotation guy gets into foul trouble, gets hurt or whatever. Of those eight and half guys, ideally, you need two scorers, one ball handler, one perimeter defender and one rebounder. You need to be able to play defense. You need everyone to know their roles. You need to know who's playing crunch time and who gets the ball in those last few minutes. And you need a coach competent enough not to screw things up. That's it.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sto...

  15. Would love to see him at UC Santa Barbara! Go Gauchos and Go Rebs!

  16. @ Rebel Mike, the NBA game and the college game are completely different monsters. Methodologies are completely different. Coach Kruger tried to give him "more coaching" by asking him to redshirt but Karam refused. That being said, I hope nothing but the best for Karam. By all accounts he was a very hard worker. I recall a home game where he stayed hours after working on his game. Good luck Karam.

  17. @RunThisTown. What's idiotic is the comment "He's a Kruger player", come on, does that really matter. So was Anthony Marshall, Chase Stanback, Oscar Bellfield, Brice Massamba and others. What did Brice Massamba do? He was given every opportunity to develop into a quality post player and never did. Practice is just that practice. Someone thought he was good enough to offer him a scholarship. Every player deserves a chance to prove themselves both at practice and at game time. He may not have had the best talent, but isn't that what true coaching is all about, bringing out the best of what you have to work with, rather than giving up on your players. I sincerely hope he finds a school where both his academic and athletic goals will be nurtured and met.

  18. I agree...all this nonsense about "He's a Kruger Player" or a "Rice Player" is just stupid....if that was the case, we wouldn't be able to field a team if Rice only played his "players". Oh wait, we had the same record as last year with "Kruger's players"....yeah, that must have been the coaching right?

    Typical homer move....when it's positive, it's Rice's credit, when it's negative, it's Kruger's fault...hysterical.