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UNLV adds Arizona State transfer, games with Kansas State, SMU

Updated May 16, 2019 - 7:38 pm

UNLV added much-needed size to a guard-heavy lineup by signing 6-foot-9-inch graduate transfer Vitaliy Shibel from Arizona State on Thursday.

Shibel has two seasons of eligibility remaining and can immediately join the Rebels’ frontcourt because he’s a graduate transfer.

Shibel didn’t play in 2016-17 because of a torn ACL, but started 20 of 32 games the following season. He averaged about two points and two rebounds in 10.4 minutes.

Last season, his playing time decreased to three minutes over 17 games after the Sun Devils added San Diego State transfer Zylan Cheatham and freshman Taeshon Cherry.

“We are looking forward to having Vitaliy in our program,” UNLV coach T.J. Otzelberger said in a statement. “He has valuable experience as a starter in a winning, successful program and has the ability to shoot from the outside as well as play inside because of his unique combination of size and skill. He is a great person and a tireless worker. We expect him to make an immediate contribution.”

With junior-to-be Ben Coupet Jr. entering the NCAA transfer portal, UNLV has two available scholarships to offer.

South Dakota State transfer David Jenkins will decide among the Rebels, Gonzaga and Oregon. He visited UNLV last weekend.

Rebels to face Kansas State, SMU

UNLV continued to strengthen its schedule, adding home games next season against Big 12 Conference regular-season champion Kansas State and American Athletic Conference member Southern Methodist.

Kansas State will visit the Thomas & Mack Center as part of a home-and-home series during the next two seasons. The dates have not been announced.

UNLV will host SMU on Nov. 23 and visit the Mustangs on Dec. 22, 2020.

The Rebels are playing a much more difficult schedule under Otzelberger than in recent seasons and will be especially challenged on the road.

They play at California, Cincinnati and UCLA and face Brigham Young in Salt Lake City.

Ex-Rebel granted sixth year

Former UNLV forward Dwayne Morgan, now at Southern Utah, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. He made the announcement on his Twitter account.

He plays for former Rebels interim coach Todd Simon.

Morgan was at UNLV from 2014 to 2017, averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in 2016-17 before hip and shoulder injuries ended his season after eight games.

He left for Southern Utah after being suspended at UNLV in May 2017 for a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

Joining the Thunderbirds midway through the 2017-18 season, Morgan averaged 12.2 points. He played in four games last season before undergoing shoulder surgery.

More Rebels: Follow at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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