While at UCLA during his freshman season, top-100 recruit Mike Moser wore No. 1 but didn't particularly get his number called much. With the Bruins finishing that year 14-18, Moser only contributed 0.6 points and 0.5 rebounds before deciding to transfer.
He's changed his jersey number to 43 now after resurfacing at UNLV to become one of the potential impact transfers in the Mountain West, and according to the Las Vegas Sun, the new number represents the chip on his shoulder from not playing much at UCLA.
Not long after UCLA transfer Mike Moser arrived in Las Vegas last summer, he went to play ball in an open gym session. Over his shoulder, he heard some people talking about him.
"I remember I walked in and some guys were like, 'That's the kid from UCLA, but he only averaged like 4.3 minutes a game,'" he recalled.
And that's how he settled on No. 43 for the UNLV jersey that he's patiently waited a year to don.
The funny thing is that in his lone year playing for the Bruins, the once highly touted recruit actually played 4.7 minutes per game, but it's not the exact number that matters. For Moser, it's about proving his doubters wrong.
The 6-foot-8 Moser should be motivated this season after missing so much time since becoming Oregon's Mr. Basketball in high school, and for him, there is a model to follow. Rebels teammate Chace Stanback also transferred from off of Ben Howland's bench and became the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Another former Bruin, Drew Gordon, is the Mountain West preseason player of the year at New Mexico.
UNLV fans should hope to hear Moser's name a lot given that he should fit in well with Dave Rice's up-tempo offense, which will need athletic big men to get up and down the court. Chances are, he'll be playing more than what the jersey number called for in the past.