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Report: UNLV's Rice offered Bulls job

28

March

UNLV coach Dave Rice, a backup guard on the Runnin' Rebels' 1990 national title team who has led his alma mater to three consecutive 20-win seasons, reportedly has been offered the USF job.

The Las-Vegas Review Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that Rice interviewed in Tampa and was offered the job within the last 24 hours. The offer includes a five-year contract at $1.2 million per year.

Rice, 45, has three years remaining on a deal that pays him $700,000 annually. Despite a 70-31 record and two NCAA Tournament berths, he has taken local heat for under-achieving despite stellar recruiting classes, and is believed to be open to a fresh opportunity.

This past season's Rebels team finished 20-13. His first two squads fell in their NCAA tourney openers.

Nationally, Rice is highly respected in coaching circles and considered an exceptional recruiter. If there's a tangible concern for Bulls fans, it's the fact he never has played for nor coached a team headquartered east of the Mountain Time Zone.

A proponent of an up-tempo style of play, Davis' first Rebels team led the Mountain West Conference in scoring (76.3 ppg), assists and steals (8.5 spg). This past season's club averaged 71.4, leading the MWC in rebounding offense (39.8) and blocks (6.5).

Recruiting-wise, his 2012 class was ranked seventh nationally by ESPN. Its cornerstone was Cleveland Cavaliers 6-foot-8 rookie Anthony Bennett, first overall pick of last year's NBA Draft. His 2014 class, though currently featuring only two players, is ranked 14th nationally by Rivals.com.

A 1991 UNLV graduate, Rice, a married father of two boys, was a two-time recipient of the school's scholar-athlete of the year award.

[Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2014 5:39pm]

    

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