BYU's Jimmer Fredette twice torched UNLV last season, going off for 39 and 29 points in two wins against the Rebels. But now, it's tales of Fredette's success that will undoubtedly be used to UNLV's advantage when it comes to recruiting.
That much became obvious when Dave Rice, the former BYU associate head coach and offensive mastermind, took the job at his alma matter. And according to the Las Vegas Sun, Rice smartly hasn't been shy about linking himself to Fredette's legend.
And once he identifies the players he believes fit it best, Jimmer Fredette's success story is one that he can pitch that will grab the attention of the high school players he's currently recruiting. It's a relevant trick he'll likely be able to pull out of his bag for many years to come.
"Jimmer deserves the bulk of the credit for what he became, but the reality is he had a lot of help from our staff," he said. "And so I think the thing that really speaks volumes is that he came to us as a good player, but did not come to us as a finished product. So, I think the fact that I can actually speak with credibility in terms of our role in helping him develop and the freedom we gave him and what that did for him."
Already, Fredette's national player of the year status playing under Rice has paid dividends at UNLV.
When 2013 recruit Christian Wood committed to UNLV, he noted to the Las Vegas Sun that Rice had coached Fredette and that associate head coach Justin Hutson had coached Kawhi Leonard at San Diego State.
When Baltimore point guard Daquan Cook decided to commit to the Rebels, his AAU coach told the Baltimore Sun, "Coach Rice, we researched him, and he did really well with Jimmer Fredette."
And then there's Katin Reinhardt, the former USC commit who UNLV is after and is already getting headlines as the "Next Jimmer." It might not be out of the question because Reinhardt has already heard that kind of talk from Rice, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
"He compared me to Jimmer Fredette a lot," Reinhardt said, referring to Rice's former star pupil at BYU. "How he let him play is how he'll let me play. That freedom, being able to do that stuff, that's what I look at. Look where Jimmer got. He went to the NBA as a lottery pick. So if you could get that kind of coach to be behind you 100 percent, that's everything you could ask for."
Who would have thought that UNLV's nemesis that is The Jimmer would ever help the Rebels in some way? It was already a little awkward when the Maloofs declared Fredette a Sacramento King with signage at the Palms.
But now thanks to Rice's presence, Fredette is helping out UNLV. He even released a statement that the Rebels put out on the day Rice was hired.
"Coach Rice has such a great feel on the offensive end," Fredette said. "Working with him these past four seasons has given me great confidence as a player. I'm glad to see him get a chance to be a head coach. He deserves it."