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NCAA rules that UNLV forward Roscoe Smith has to sit out 2012-13 season

NCAA Basketball Tournament -  UCONN v Iowa St

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 15: Roscoe Smith #22 of the Connecticut Huskies looks to pass in the seocnd half against Melvin Ejim #3 of the Iowa State Cyclones during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center on March 15, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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After spending two seasons at Connecticut forward Roscoe Smith decided to transfer in light of the school being banned from postseason play in 2013 due to their low APR score.

Smith ended up at UNLV, and both parties were hopeful that the NCAA would grant him immediate eligibility due to the reason for his decision to leave Storrs.

The NCAA rendered its verdict on Friday, informing Smith that he would have to sit out the 2012-13 campaign per NCAA transfer rules.

The Baltimore native will have two years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2013-14 season.

“We are disappointed for Roscoe and our team, but we understand and accept the decision,” said head coach Dave Rice in a statement released by UNLV.

“Roscoe brings tremendous experience from being a big part of a national championship team at UConn and he is now a highly valued member of our program. He will have a great career here at UNLV and has already become a terrific leader for us.”

In two seasons at Connecticut the 6-8 forward averaged 5.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, and his versatility allowed the Huskies to use him at both the three and the four.

While having a player with Smith’s experience eligible immediately would have helped UNLV, the fact is they’re very deep in the front court.

Veterans Carlos Lopez, Mike Moser and Quintrell Thomas are back and they’ve got four newcomers to account for as well.

Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch (eligible in December) and three freshmen in McDonald’s All-American Anthony Bennett, Savon Goodman and Demetris Morant will look to earn minutes this season.

But Smith can help this UNLV team that many expect big things from on the practice floor as well as in the locker room, as the Runnin’ Rebels have lost three straight NCAA tournament games since beating Kent State in 2008.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.