The Rebels were good enough on Wednesday night, beating a Colorado State team that couldn’t match up in talent but was again coached well enough to make things interesting.
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Spring drills are just around the corner for many programs (UNLV begins Monday), about the time an NCAA playing rules oversight panel will vote on a proposal that states a defense can substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock, excluding the final two minutes of each half.
It was as difficult and emotional a loss as you can imagine for UNLV’s basketball team. The Rebels played their hearts out for 45 minutes Saturday night and deserved a better fate.
I can finally cross the Blue Turf of Bronco Stadium off my bucket list of sports facilities to see, making a quick stop before UNLV met Boise State in basketball across the parking lot at Taco Bell Arena on Saturday night.
When it comes to the NCAA Tournament this college basketball season, most everyone views the Mountain West in a similar manner: a conference worthy of two berths. Maybe.
Up. Down. Right. Left. Fast. Slow. Twist. Turn. So goes the roller-coaster of a basketball team UNLV has proven itself to be time and again this season.
Randall Cunningham is humbled. When he thinks back, he sees only a big deficit on the scoreboard, 80,000 lunatics screaming at him and Bruce Smith on a mission to rip his head off.
The conversation between the head coach (Tim Chambers) and a Sacramento (Calif.) City College transfer (Pat Armstrong) went something like this:
The talent keeps coming for UNLV basketball, keeps believing in the vision Dave Rice has created, keeps talking about a style of play that if the Rebels ever get around to implementing, just might produce the sort of success a third-year coaching staff insists is attainable.
If you snapped a picture outside, it would have been one of ice. Of snow. Of slush. Of the sort of air that burns your lungs with each inhale. Of the biting cold Robert Frost wrote about so brilliantly.
UNLV football coach Bobby Hauck used to sell a dream, now he’s got a bowl appearance to sell recruits. On Wednesday, he announces his first recruiting class at UNLV that follows a winning season and a bowl appearance.
The obvious question: Was the basketball game lost by Boise State or won by UNLV?
An accepted premise: The toughest thing about competing in the Mountain West for basketball is the travel. The second toughest thing: Preparing for such a variety of offenses.
The checkmarks never end. He must be in control, play with a purpose, be clever, lead by example, attack the key and create plays that can be made within it, have as good a ball fake as vision, calm others in the face of chaos.
I always felt the best comedians were ones who didn’t need to use profanity to make a point. The ones who relied more on imagination than indecency.
Like the lunatic fan everyone despises but tolerates because the home team wins when he attends the party or the nutcase who retires to his basement to create more good luck for his favorite side, UNLV should immediately enroll in a local hotel’s rewards program.
Stew Morrill is a coach known by few outside his profession’s fraternity and yet respected as much as anyone within it.
The trip from hell — at least by Mountain West basketball standards this season — taught UNLV some valuable lessons this past week. Most of them good.
The saying goes that there is always a well-known solution to every problem — neat, plausible and wrong. UNLV’s basketball team needs to discover a fourth today: discipline.
Deville Smith took full advantage of just his fourth start on Wednesday. He will get a fifth at first-place San Diego State on Saturday. He is sure to remain in the lineup for the foreseeable future.
How teams react on the road each season often differs more than a teenager’s mood. It’s easier to win away from home in the NHL, NFL, Major League Baseball and even some sketchy Argentine soccer leagues than it is college basketball.
I always thought of Keith Kizer as John Wayne playing Genghis Khan or George Clooney as Batman.
When at a crossroads of uncertainty, a commanding figure can help point others in the best direction to discover success. Roscoe Smith can play that sort of role for UNLV’s basketball team.
The Rebels today are a team stranded at sea with a giant hole in the raft, not enough life jackets and a radio transmitter engulfed in water. They are as disjointed off the court as they are on it, helplessly searching for reasons why they can’t beat average teams at home.
The BCS saved its best for last in Florida State needing all sorts of dramatics to overcome Auburn 34-31. It was a marvelous ending to a blemished way of determining who really is best at season’s end. New will be improved. Or so we hope.