Thanks to class of 2012 point guard Katin Reinhardt (UNLV) for doing the interview with us. The 6’5, 200 pound floor general hails from San Juan Capistrano, California and attends Mater Dei High School (California). Reinhardt joins class of 2012 point guard DaQuan Cook and class of 2012 power forward Demetris Morant as the senior commits for Rebel head coach Dave Rice.
Why did you commit to UNLV?
The style of play was a major part of it, they run a fast pace offense and the coach gives the players a lot of freedom in terms of making decisions and they aren’t held down and made to do certain things.
What was your favorite part of the recruiting process?
Just having the big time schools recruiting me and putting in effort recruiting me. I thought that was the best part, just seeing all these schools that had interest in me.
It seems like you really valued the interest that bigger and more prestigious schools showed you, so why did you decide to go to a less-accomplished UNLV program in recent times?
Well, I’ve always wanted to be contacted by those types of schools and it’s a dream come true. You want to be recruited by big time schools and that’s your main goal and when Syracuse and Texas and St. John’s started calling me, that’s something I’ve always wanted. Basically it’s just like I said, just UNLV’s style of play. My goal is to play professional basketball so going in and playing right away as a freshman, competing for major minutes and hopefully win a starting spot is something I really wanted to do in trying to get to the next level. It’s all about playing time and getting on the floor and getting better. At a school like Syracuse or Texas, I felt I wouldn’t play major minutes until my junior year. Some of the coaches told me I would come in and play and as a sophomore I would play major minutes but for me personally, seeing and experiencing other players who have gone off to college from Mater Dei (Reinhardt’s high school), they haven’t really played right away at a big time program.
What was your least favorite part of the recruiting process?
I didn’t really have a least favorite besides picking, because that’s the hardest part is picking that one school. I was close with all the coaches who kept in touch with me and who were recruiting me so the hardest part was just telling other schools no.
Why did you choose to commit at the time that you did?
I felt like it was the right decision, I didn’t feel like waiting any longer to commit. That was my goal in the first place, I felt like it was the right place so if I committed I could bring other players to that school too. I kind of just wanted to make a statement so hopefully other players would commit like [class of 2012 power forward] Ben Carter, who is another player I would like to go to school with. It wasn’t just that though, I just thought it was the right decision for me personally.
You talked about Ben Carter but who else are you recruiting to join you?
[Class of 2012 small forward] Shabazz [Muhammad], me and Shabazz are really cool. His decision for schools is up in the air, you know he can go to any school that he wants to. I like to play with him and he likes to play with me but he may also want to play with 15 other players who are at different schools. It’s just hard for him but I just told him that if we play on the wings together it would be great. I just tell him we could bring that program back to where it used to be.
Did you have a favorite basketball school growing up? Did that effect anything?
Syracuse was my favorite school, I just liked [head coach] Jim Boeheim and [NBA All-Star] Carmelo Anthony and I just liked their whole style of play and the atmosphere. They were just always exciting to watch. It did make things a little tough because as a kid growing up I watched them play but if I made that decision then it would be tough because I want to play right away but as a freshman and sophomore I may not. I could have played, but the minutes wouldn’t have been the same. If there were guaranteed minutes I would have considered it a lot differently.
What do you like about UNLV that isn’t basketball related?
The campus is really cool, I got to see the campus a lot. That would be the coolest part, also my grandma lives in Vegas too so that’s cool she can see me play and my parents can stay with her and save a lot of money.
Was there a moment in your recruitment where you were like, ‘wow, I have to come here?’
When I found out that [head] coach [Dave] Rice coached [former BYU star] Jimmer Fredette. Towards the end of the summer he was telling me stuff and comparing me and Jimmer. He was saying how I could make an impact like Jimmer and come in with a mind-set like he did. He wants me to come in and be a major contributor.
What are you looking forward to at UNLV?
Just going as far into the tournament as we can. All the players are really cool on the team too and next year [sophomore guard] Bryce Jones will be on the team who transferred from USC, and I was cool with him so we’re looking forward to playing with each other.
You mention Bryce but who else are you looking forward to playing with at UNLV?
Everyone really, [sophomore forward] Mike Moser, [junior guard] Anthony Marshall, [junior guard] Justin Hawkins, just to name a few guys already at UNLV. Also guys like [class of 2012 point guard] DaQuan Cook and [class of 2012 power forward Demetris Morant, really everyone. Just in particular Bryce, Anthony and Mike.
Are there any particular games you look forward to playing in?
I don’t know the schedule yet but I’m excited to play New Mexico, that’s a great game and San Diego State, I hear it packs out in the thousands. I think we play Louisville my freshman year, so that should be a good game and then I think we go to the Maui tournament my sophomore year.
Are there any particular players you look forward to playing against?
Guys like [Duke freshman guard] Austin Rivers, one of the best if he doesn’t go to the draft after one year, I mean to be honest, I don’t watch too much college basketball so I don’t know too many players. I just look forward to playing against guys who are supposed to be one and done because they’re supposed to be good enough to play in the NBA.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve gotten to do since you’re a highly rated prospect?
Playing against a lot of NBA players in the summer, getting that opportunity to play with them and work out with them. I work out a lot with [former Arizona star] Derrick Williams, [former Washington standout] Klay Thompson is another guy.
Why do you play the game of basketball?
I just love it. When I was three years old the first thing I was playing with was a basketball, football or baseball and my dad said, ‘my son is going to be good at one of those’ (laughing). Since fifth grade, my AAU coach said I can be something special at basketball so that’s what I did from fifth grade on. I’ve just kept getting better and better and I want to play at the highest level. I just love playing basketball.
What’s one thing people probably don’t know about you?
I play the guitar and I sing and I love music, my whole family plays instruments and messes around and makes music.
What kind of music do you enjoy playing?
A lot of R&B stuff is what I like singing to, I just like to play a lot of stuff on guitar and I really like singing. I like to do some R&B and Jazz.
Have you heard about the new recruiting rules the NCAA voted on at the end of last weekend?
Yeah, I heard about that. That’s something me and my dad were talking about happening two or three years ago. Personally I think it’s great because all the spring tournaments are just as good as the summer tournaments. There’s some really good competition and I think there’s some bigger events like the EYBL and some of the tournaments in Vegas are big as well.
What do you think of the de-regulation of communication?
I think it can be good, it will be cool just to talk to them more, but it could get overwhelming. It just gets overwhelming with one call a month sometimes but I think since a lot of kids text more than they call, that will be a big thing, they won’t mind texting coaches that much.