41°F
weather icon Clear
app-logo
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Rebels’ Cornish loses weight, wants to find shooting touch

Diet pills that work miracles are advertised on TV every day. Over the summer, Jordan Cornish formed a plan to lose weight the old-fashioned way.

He worked out. He ate right. A few weeks after his freshman season at UNLV, Cornish tipped the scales at 240 pounds. Now, he’s a trimmer 220.

“No fried food, no fast foods,” he said.

His favorites — fried chicken and fried pork chops — are off the menu, replaced by meals such as turkey sausage.

“I actually feel like myself now,” the 6-foot-6-inch sophomore guard said. “I’m a little quicker, lighter and can jump higher.”

His next goal is to shoot the ball better. Cornish will come off the bench when the Rebels (2-0) host Southern Utah (0-1) at 7:30 p.m. today at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Cornish has missed all six of his 3-point attempts in UNLV’s two games, after lighting it up from long range in his first season and earning a reputation as a pure shooter. But that also was the first time he had that reputation.

At Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, he was ranked the No. 1 player in Louisiana mostly because of his skills as a point guard, not a shooting guard.

“It’s funny. I didn’t really shoot the ball that well in high school,” said Cornish, a cousin of Louisiana State star running back Leonard Fournette. “I would get to the rim and facilitate for other people.”

As a college freshman, his 3-point percentage (48.7, 38 of 78) ranked No. 2 for a season in UNLV history. But he rarely drove to the rim. During the summer, he hit the gym and did not leave until he made at least 200 3-pointers and 100 free throws each day.

“Jordan is a very good shooter, and because of that and scouting reports, teams are not going to give him wide-open shots,” coach Dave Rice said. “Teams are going to run at him and make him put it on the floor. It’s always a pleasant development when a guy as a freshman shoots about 50 percent from 3. You never expect that.

“He learned what this level is about, and he worked extremely hard to become a leader for us. He’s a guy that the other guys respect. I thought he did a very good job in the offseason.”

A starter in the season opener because sophomore guard Patrick McCaw was late for a practice, Cornish totaled four points, four rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes in a 74-72 victory over Cal Poly. He returned to a reserve role Monday and scored eight points in the Rebels’ 107-45 rout of Division II New Mexico Highlands.

“I like the energy that he brings off the bench,” Rice said. “I have a lot of trust in what he does.”

Lighter and quicker, Cornish plans on showing off more aspects of his offensive arsenal this season, and he trusts his 3-point stroke will return.

“I’m confident in my ability and my jump shot,” he said. “This is a very good shooting team. We’ve got a long road ahead.”

* NOTES — UNLV defeated Southern Utah 79-45 last season in Las Vegas. Rashad Vaughn and Chris Wood, rookies in the NBA now, scored 22 points apiece for the Rebels … The Thunderbirds opened the season Friday with an 82-71 loss at Utah. Starting guards Travon Langston (Las Vegas High) and Trey Kennedy (Bishop Gorman) each scored 13 points.

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyoumans247

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST