MENZIES ADDS THREE MORE TO RUNNIN’ REBEL PROGRAM
Uche Ofoegbu, Jordan Johnson and Djordjije Slijivancanin all committed to UNLV men’s basketball on Wednesday
The UNLV men’s basketball program has received three more commitments, head coach Marvin Menzies announced Wednesday. Uche Ofoegbu (pronounced: OO-chay oh-FAY-boo) and Jordan Johnson, both transfers, have signed financial aid agreements, while Djordjije Slijivancanin (pronounced: GEORGE-ee slee-VAUNCH-en-in) has signed a national letter of intent.
Ofoegbu, a 6-foot-4-inch guard from San Antonio, Texas, is a graduate transfer from the University of San Francisco who will be eligible to play right away as a senior in 2016-17 for the Runnin’ Rebels. He has spent the last three seasons in the USF program after playing at SMU as a freshman.
Ofoegbu appeared in all 30 games for the Dons last season, making 21 starts. He was his team’s fourth-leading scorer at 9.2 points per game, while also shooting 50.8 percent from the field (eighth in the West Coast Conference) and 43.5 percent from 3-point range (30 for 69, sixth in the WCC). He scored in double figures in 14 games in 2015-16, including a career-high 21 points in a game at Santa Clara.
“We are excited that Uche chose to be a Runnin’ Rebel,” Menzies said. “He is a very efficient offensive player that shot the ball extremely well last year at USF. His experience and senior leadership will obviously fill a need on our roster and should enable us to be competitive early in the season. He is a great addition to the UNLV family.”
Ofoegbu chose the Runnin’ Rebel program over Georgia Tech, Miami, Boise State, Texas Tech and Washington State.
Johnson, a 5-foot-9-inch guard from Waukegan, Ill., is a transfer from Milwaukee where he played under new Runnin’ Rebel assistant coach Rob Jeter. He will have to sit out the 2016-17 season at UNLV and will be eligible to play for UNLV as a senior in 2017-18.
“In balancing our roster, Jordan is another great addition to the Runnin’ Rebel family and fits perfectly into our plans,” Menzies said. “He is a very crafty, pass-first point guard who has some of the best court vision I have seen in quite some time. That is evident by his extremely high assist numbers from last season. Having Jordan in practice this season every day will be a huge plus for us and will give him an advantage to be able to contribute when he can play in games the following season.”
Johnson started all 33 of Milwaukee’s games in his only season for the Panthers. He was third on the team in scoring with 12.5 points per game, while leading the team in assists with 8.1 per contest (second in the nation). He shot 78.8 percent from the free-throw line (156 of 198), averaged 3.6 rebounds per game and recorded a triple-double in points, rebounds and assists vs. Youngstown State. He scored 25 points in a game vs. Detroit, while his career-high in assists is 15, set vs. UIC.
Johnson played two seasons at John Wood Community College in Quincy, Ill., where he was a NJCAA First Team All-America in 2014-15. After leading the team to the NJCAA Division II national championship game, he went to Milwaukee.
Slijivancanin is a 6-foot-10-inch forward from Belgrade, Serbia. He will come to UNLV after spending part of the last year at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Slijivancanin has a wealth of international experience as he has represented the Serbian and Ukrainian Junior National Teams. In the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim, Germany, which is the Unofficial World Championships for U18, he scored 12 points for Ukraine against the U.S.
“We are really happy to announce the addition of Djordjije to the Runnin’ Rebel family,” Menzies said. “We are looking forward to getting him here this summer and getting him involved with the rest of the team as soon as possible. Djordjije and his family were able to visit us this past weekend and there was immediate chemistry between their family and ours. He went through a long process to come to this decision and we are extremely happy that we were able to make the connection.
“Djordjije is another high-character addition to our team. He is a long, athletic big man who will fit well into our style of play. He is a very capable passer and shooter from the perimeter as well.”
Slijivancanin chose UNLV over Missouri, East Carolina and many other schools. Djordjije’s father, Slobodan, was an accomplished international star who played for numerous professional teams throughout Europe during his professional career.
Ofoegbu, Johnson and Slijivancanin join Kris Clyburn, a 6-foot-6-inch guard from Ranger (Texas) College, Ben Coupet, a 6-foot-7-inch forward from Chicago (Simeon Career Academy), Cheikna Dembele, a 6-foot-11-inch center from Mali Africa (Scotland Performance Institute in Pa.), and Zion Morgan, a 6-foot-4-inch guard from Chicago (Kenwood Academy), as incoming Runnin’ Rebels that have signed with UNLV. Clyburn will be a sophomore in 2016-17, while Coupet, Dembele and Morgan will all be freshmen.