Mbacke Diong staying at UNLV

When Marvin Menzies was fired, UNLV was in danger of suffering from another mass exodus of players. But T.J. Otzelberger has managed to keep the roster intact by re-recruiting last season’s Runnin’ Rebels.

The latest victory: Mbacke Diong.

Diong joins Amauri Hardy, Nick Blair, Bryce Hamilton and Cheickna Dembele as players to enter the transfer portal and remain with UNLV.

While Otzelberger’s scheme is not an ideal fit for Diong, the 6-foot-11 big man will likely be the starting center for the Rebels in 2019-20.

As a sophomore last season, Diong started 21 of the 26 games he appeared in and averaged 6.9 points and 6.9 rebounds. His biggest contributions will likely come on the defensive end, where his 1.5 blocks per game ranked third best in the Mountain West.

Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Amauri Hardy

SG: Jonah Antonio

SF: Bryce Hamilton

PF: Nick Blair

C: Mbacke Diong

The Rebels have two scholarships left with Diong’s return. Two transfer targets that could eat up those two spots are visiting this weekend in David Jenkins and Elijah Mitrou-Long.

UNLV also has Shakur Juiston, Joel Ntambwe and Tervell Beck in the transfer portal.

Author: Tyler Bischoff