Friday, April 16, 2021 | 1:02 p.m.
UNLV’s recruiting efforts under new coach Kevin Kruger have taken on a decidedly defensive-minded slant, but the program added some offensive firepower on Friday when former Hawaii guard Justin Webster committed to the scarlet and gray.
Webster, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, led Hawaii in scoring last year at 12.3 points per game.
The Dallas native announced his commitment via Twitter:
Webster profiles as an all-around scorer. He knocked down 37.8% of his 3-point attempts in 2020-21 and made 58.3% from inside the arc. Webster drives to the basket readily; close-range shots accounted for 29.9% of his attempts, which is a higher rate than departed UNLV guards Bryce Hamilton (24.1%), Caleb Grill (12.4 %) and David Jenkins (7.3%), and Webster converted those shots at an efficient, 67.3% clip.
Hamilton, Jenkins and Grill were, coincidentally, UNLV’s top three scorers last year, so adding a player like Webster should help Kruger’s squad put the ball in the basket.
Before landing Webster, the five transfers who have committed to UNLV since Kruger took over had combined to average just 15.7 points per game last year.
Webster has played two years at Hawaii, which means he has three years of eligibility remaining due to the NCAA’s COVID-19 rules.
Ten of UNLV’s 13 scholarship players have entered the transfer portal, leaving just three returners for 2021-22. Incoming high-school recruit Keshon Gilbert has said he is planning to attend UNLV, while fellow recruit Arthur Kaluma has remained silent about his intentions.
With six transfers coming in, that leaves two or possibly three open scholarships for next year, depending on Kaluma’s situation.
Kruger and his staff were busy on Friday, as they landed a commitment from Lamar transfer David Muoka just hours before Webster made his announcement.