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Nevada: 25 Top Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16

While today’s Runnin’ Rebels of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas aren’t quite the hardwood powerhouse they were in the mid 1980s and early 1990s, it appears they can still recruit. They snagged one of the winningest preps players in Nevada history, who looks to lead UNLV  into a new era of success.

We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning athletes in Nevada and emailed sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 25 state players to watch on a list.

Five-star center Stephen Zimmerman, who led national hoops power Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV) to four straight state titles before choosing to sign with UNLV over the likes of Kentucky, tops our list. Zimmerman, a McDonald’s All-American who averaged 14.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game, will be called upon to replace former Rebel Christian Wood, who chose to forgo his remaining eligibility to enter the NBA Draft (unfortunately, he went undrafted). Along with sophomore Rebels guard Patrick McCaw, and Class of 2016 commit Justin Jackson of Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV) coming down the pipe, UNLV stands to be loaded for big-time success in the coming years.

There’s no need to worry about Bishop Gorman, though, as four-star big and Gonzaga commit Zach Collins now gets to show what he can do as the lead option for the defending state champion. Also keep an eye on Nevada forward AJ West. While UNLV may be grabbing headlines with star-studded recruiting, West may be the most proven commodity in the state after a 2014-15 season where he averaged 12.1 points, 11.0 boards, and 2.6 blocks per game on his way to a third-team All Mountain West selection.

  1. Stephen Zimmerman, UNLV, Basketball, C

  2. Patrick McCaw, UNLV, Basketball, SF

  3. Marcus Marshall, Nevada (transferred from Missouri St.; ineligible until 2016), Basketball, SF

  4. Don Jackson, Nevada, Football, RB

  5. AJ West, Nevada, Basketball, C

  6. Justin Jackson, Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV), Basketball, F

  7. Zach Collins, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV), Basketball, F

  8. Kylee Vandenberg, UNLV, Track/Field, Decathlon

  9. Goodluck Okonoboh, UNLV, Basketball, PF

  10. Alyssa Zunino, Nevada, Track/Field, Javelin

  11. Lenny Jones, Nevada, Football, DE

  12. Blake Decker, UNLV, Football, QB

  13. Dwayne Morgan, UNLV, Basketball, PF

  14. Tyler Stewart, Nevada, Football, QB

  15. Skylar Mays, Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV), Basketball, G

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