Thanks to class of 2012 power forward Demetris Morant (UNLV) for doing the interview with us. Morant is a 6’8, 195-pound big man who talked to us about how he ended up at UNLV, his thoughts on the incoming recruiting class and much more. Also, if you’re interested in this, you’ll probably be interested in our interview with another UNLV commit, class of 2012 point guard Katin Reinhardt, which we completed in November.
Why did you commit to UNLV?
I committed there because I like [head] coach Dave Rice, [associate head] coach [Justin] Hutson and all the transfers coming in. I know that coach Dave Rice has a great style of play because his offense likes to run up and down the court and not just play in the half-court offense. That’s the type of player I am. I get more baskets from running up and down the court than just posting up in the paint.
Why did you commit at the time that you did?
I already knew that they would become a better program with the coaches they have and they were already in my top three. I think I should have taken more visits to other schools but I’m happy with my choice and I don’t regret it at all.
What are your thoughts on the incoming recruiting class?
I think we’ll make the program better because we have a lot of talent coming in, like [transfer] Khem Birch. I’ve heard he’s just like me but better on offense because he’s a great defensive player and he can block shots and he’s athletic and gets up and down the court. Then you have [transfer] Bryce Jones coming in who’s good on offense, he can create his own basket anyway he wants – I’ve played with him before and he just couldn’t be stopped at all.
Then you have [class of 2012 point guard] Katin Reinhardt who is really good and who can facilitate the ball really well. [Class of 2012 point guard] DaQuan Cook is going to be good for us too. I’m also a good defensive player and I think that will get me some minutes too by playing great defense. As a team, all around, we’ll be a talented team.
What was playing in the Ballislife All-American game like?
It was a great experience getting to know Katin and seeing what he was like on the court while I got to play with him. He’s a great teammate; he got me a couple of lobs from half court [laughing]. He really sees the floor and I’m really looking forward to playing with him next year.
What was your favorite part of the recruiting process?
Taking the visits, seeing all the schools, seeing how they work and hanging out with all of the coaches and seeing what they’re really like. It was really cool seeing the coaches in person.
What was your least favorite part of the recruiting process?
The decision, choosing what school you really want to go to and thinking about everything all the schools have to offer you. Letting them down was tough too since they may have thought you were going to go to their school but you went somewhere else.
What do you like about UNLV that isn’t basketball related?
I like how the campus is close together and not spread out. It’s in Las Vegas – I recently moved out here – which I love. I think it’s a great city and I think there are a lot of great people to meet at UNLV and I wasn’t going to give that opportunity up.
Why did you move?
My eighth grade year – I wasn’t playing basketball yet, I just played football – my brother-in-law wanted me to move with him because he thought he could teach me to play basketball since he saw I didn’t really like football and he thought I could play basketball at a high level and he wanted to work with me. He lived in Tallahassee, Florida and I thought a lot about it and ended up deciding to move in with him. He really helped me out a lot and helped me get into college but then he moved to Tuscon, Arizona and I wasn’t ready to move in the middle of the school year so I stayed until the end of the school year and then joined him in the summer. He had me go to Mountain View High School and got a lot of people to help me out and then that’s when he met the coach of Dream Vision in the summer of my tenth grade year.
The coach wanted to see me and wanted me to come to a practice to see if I was good enough to play with them and I ended up being good enough. That’s when I met [class of 2012 small forward] Shabazz [Muhammad] (UCLA) and when my brother-in-law and Shabazz’s dad got to talking and talked about moving to Vegas and going to [Bishop] Gorman [High School] (Nevada) so he could work with me everyday and get me better because he saw a lot in me and thought I could become a great player. My brother-in-law listened to him but at first I didn’t want to move again because I already moved twice but my coach wasn’t really getting me any looks from colleges and when I moved out here [to Vegas] that’s when everything started happening for me, that’s when I got my first offer.
When I think about it, I don’t think if I moved out here with him that I’d be going to college on a scholarship. I’m very blessed to have him help me out all through high school with basketball and helping me get into a division one basketball school.
So are you trying to recruit anyone to join you?
No, if we get more players, that’s great for us but I’m not trying to convince anyone to go to UNLV because I want people to make their own decisions.
What are some of your goals for your time at UNLV?
Gaining more weight, like 25-30 pounds, working out in the gym everyday to improve my offensive game and doing well in school because if basketball doesn’t work out I can always fall back on my education.
Are you looking forward to playing with anyone at UNLV?
Not really, I’m just looking forward to playing with all of the guys. I’m happy that [sophomore power forward] Mike Moser is staying another year because he’s a great player and he’s a great guy off the court. I’m looking forward to learning from him. I guess if I had to pick someone I look forward to playing with, it’s him.
Why do you play the game of basketball?
I love the game and my ultimate goal is to make it to the NBA. I think I can make it and I just want to work everyday to work towards my dream.
What’s your favorite basketball memory?
Winning states this year since it’s the only time I’ve won it. I was happy that I was able to contribute to the team and it’s success this year.
What’s one thing people probably don’t know about you?
A lot of people don’t know that I’m really good at math. I think I want to study it in college. I just know I want to do something with math if basketball doesn’t work out.