“It has a known tradition for winning and competing for championships. The amount of resources and connections I will have at my expense will not only allow me to be successful on the court but off the court after my year spent there,” Hardy told ESPN.
This season Hardy earned third-team All-Mountain West honors helping lead the Rebels to a 3-way tie for second place in conference play (12-6) with a 17-15 overall season record. For the year, Hardy averaged a career-high 14.5 points and 3.3 assists per game. He shot 33.3 percent from beyond the arc and scored 20-plus points in six games this season. Not bad, but very similar to his stat line from last year’s stats. How the ball bounced this season wasn’t exactly what Hardy had expected.
Hardy originally committed to Oklahoma State out of high school but joined the Rebels instead in 2017 under former UNLV head coach Marvin Menzies. Menzies’ offensive style was a two-man game between the guards and big men based on the pick and roll series. Hardy thrives in this element as a 6-foot-2 combo guard. We’ve seen minor snippets of this type of play between Hardy and Mbacke Diong the past 2 seasons.
Hardy entered the transfer portal following play last season in 2019 as well but withdrew his name, putting his faith in the newly named head coach TJ Otzelberger. He was coming off his sophomore season in which he averaged 13.1 points and shot 34.1 percent in 3-point attempts and had big plans for his Junior season. But this season Hardy found himself on the wing, contrary to his and his father’s expectations of being starting point guard for the Rebels. This took Hardy out of his element, mentally and physically and his ability to perform at a high level consistently throughout the season proves it.
“He was still able to deal with (shooting guard) this season, but it’s not his natural position,” Ramsey Hardy said regarding his son’s decision to transfer.
The decision to transfer seemed mutual as plans for next season did not seem to align between Hardy and the UNLV coaching staff. Hardy doesn’t wish to take a backseat offensively, but with Rising junior Bryce Hamilton and newly eligible junior David Jenkins set to dominate next season, that seemed unlikely.
With plans of eventually going pro, Hardy searched for a school that would allow him to showcase his talent as a point guard. Oregon may be the perfect stage. Hardy will be replacing, All-American point guard Payton Pritchard, who exemplifies the opportunity Hardy will have as a Duck. Hardy is the second transfer Oregon has picked up this off-season, including St. Peter’s guard Aaron Estrada. Former Runnin’ Rebel, Shakur Juiston also transferred to Oregon as a graduate transfer and played a key role in Oregon’s Pac-12 regular-season championship this year.
“I have a level of respect for the Oregon program,” Hardy said, ”Their style of play is exciting to watch and would be something I will have the opportunity to be very dynamic in.”
In an Instagram post announcing his commitment to Oregon, Hardy thanked UNLV and it’s fans for all of the support and many memories throughout his three years as a Rebel. Many Rebel fans are sad to see one of their favorites go but are wishing him the best of luck up in Eugene. Expect to see Hardy’s best Basketball as a Duck next season.
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