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Morgan pulls out of U-18 team, but UNLV coach praises St. Frances grad's accomplishment

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UNLV men's basketball coach Dave Rice said he wasn't the least bit surprised when one of his future players made the final cut for the 2014 USA Basketball Under-18 National Team.

Former St. Frances standout and UNLV commit Dwayne Morgan was named to USA's final 12-man roster Sunday, but won't play with the team because of an illness in his family. USA Basketball on Wednesday announced that Chase Jeter from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas would replace Morgan.

Still, Rice praised his recruit's accomplishment.

"I think it sends a message about how good a player he is," Rice said.

Morgan committed to UNLV during the spring of his junior year at St. Frances. As a senior, he averaged 17 points and nine rebounds a game before being named an All-Metro first-team selection.

Rice said he expects Morgan to see significant minutes for the Runnin' Rebels as a true freshman.

"Dwayne is going to be a big part of our team this coming year," Rice said. "I think, with his work ethic, he will have a major impact on our program right away. He brings it every single day. He's a very skilled player and very determined on the defensive end. So, I think he'd be a guy that will be an impact player for us."

adodson@baltsun.com

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