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UNLV lands transfer point guard

Former West Virginia point guard Jordan McCabe fielded phone calls from college basketball coaches across the country when he entered the NCAA’s transfer portal last week.

One of the first was from UNLV coach Kevin Kruger.

“He said that there’s probably going to be thousands of players in the transfer portal … and that I was the first one he called,” McCabe said. “Coach Kruger put all his faith in me. When he did that for me, in return, I’m going to give him everything I have. Mentally, physically. All the way up and down the board.”

McCabe on Thursday became the first player to commit to Kruger since he took over as the Rebels’ head coach, announcing via Twitter that he’s coming to Las Vegas to play for UNLV. He spent the last three seasons at West Virginia and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

He said he also considered Wisconsin, Grand Canyon and Northeastern.

McCabe, a native of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, was once a four-star recruit and started 49 games for the Mountaineers during his three years with the program. But his minutes were reduced in each of the last two years, culminating in a career-low 11 minutes per game in 2020-21.

Based on his trajectory, he said he knew it was time to find a better fit.

McCabe made his decision Wednesday and indicated that he’s expecting to play meaningful minutes immediately. He said he’s at his best playing uptempo and utilizing ball screens in a spread offense — thereby aligning philosophically with Kruger.

At 6 feet, McCabe has a tight, polished handle and refined playmaking instincts and vision. He’s steeled by his experiences in the Big 12 and was lauded for his leadership during his time with the Mountaineers. He played in two NCAA Tournament games this season and said he plans on moving to Las Vegas in May.

“I’m excited to be part of the time when UNLV gets to get back to where they belong at the top of the basketball world,” McCabe said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for (Kruger). I told him when I committed that there won’t be anybody that works harder than me in the country. That’s on and off the court.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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