Rebels miss out on top recruit Isaac Hamilton
Isaac Hamilton sat on the set of ESPN’s “Recruiting Nation” on November 16th with the entire country watching with anticipation.
The studio lights blared down on the nervous high school senior, and the months of recruiting would come down to one moment.
In the weeks prior to the commitment day, Hamilton narrowed his list of schools to four: the University of Nevada Las Vegas, San Diego State University, the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of Texas El Paso.
Isaac Hamilton came to Las Vegas for his official visit with UNLV on Nov. 12th and watched the Runnin’ Rebels open the season against Northern Arizona University. The Rebels were impressive in a 92-54 win over NAU, but even more impressive was the atmosphere inside the Thomas & Mack Center.
The Rebellion was in full force, as the student section led a deafening roar and waved an assortment of signs throughout the game. If any crowd could sell a recruit on a school, it was the T&M that night.
So when Hamilton made his announcement on live TV it was a shock to everyone.
“Next year I will be attending the University of Texas El Paso, Coach Tim Floyd,” Hamilton said to ESPN’s Matt Schick.
The commitment came out of left field, but it made perfect sense to Hamilton. He told Schick, “Tim Floyd has been a close friend to the family; he coached my uncle at UTEP.”
Floyd also recruited Isaac’s older brother Jordan Hamilton, who is now in his second season with the Denver Nuggets in the NBA.
Hamilton chose the familiarity of UTEP over the more successful basketball programs of UNLV and UCLA.
“I just felt that I should go with somebody that I trust,” Hamilton said.
The surprising commitment is a blow to the UNLV recruiting class, as the 6’5” shooting guard is the No. 25 ranked prospect according to ESPN’s class of 2013 rankings.
Despite this setback the Rebels are still putting together a solid recruiting class. They have already signed four-star power forward Christian Wood from Findlay Prep High School, and are in the final five schools for top 20 prospect Jermaine Lawrence.