Saturday night was extremely special for our program. I have always believed that one of the most important games of any season is the final home game, because that is a time to honor the seniors. Our group of four seniors has been so important to the program. Not only have they won a lot of games, but they have represented the university in such a positive manner, on and off the court.
I thought it was important to start all four of the seniors in Saturday's game against Wyoming. That is a tradition I believe in. It was great to see Brice Massamba get a career high in points (15) and minutes (31), and Kendall Wallace also played well. Oscar Bellfield had nine assists, and Chace Stanback has been terrific for us all year long.
It was so great to have a sellout for Senior Night. It was a fitting tribute to the four young men who have meant so much to the university. It is something that we will remember for a long time.
The Mountain West announced its all-conference awards Monday, and we are proud of all of our players who were recognized. I always have been concerned about individual awards being announced while games are still on the schedule. Basketball is the ultimate team game, yet individuals are often recognized. Mike Moser, Anthony Marshall, Oscar and Chace are so deserving of their honors, and they could not have achieved success without the help of their teammates. We always say that we win together and lose together, but we always have to stay together for us to reach our potential.
We are excited about the start of the conference tournament today. As we have talked about all year long, this is an extremely competitive conference, with as much parity as we have seen in the Mountain West. All four quarterfinal matchups will be exciting, and I wouldn't be surprised to see all of the games come down to the wire.
We face a challenge tonight with a Wyoming team that we just played. It is a quick turnaround for both teams, and it is a difficult matchup for us with the balance that they have, with the strength of Adam Waddell, Leonard Washington and Larry Nance Jr. on the inside, the experience of JayDee Luster at the point and the outside scoring of Francisco Cruz and Luke Martinez. They are a good defensive team, and it will be a huge challenge.
Again, we are so grateful to our outstanding fans and for the way they have supported us and filled the Thomas & Mack Center this season. We look forward to playing extremely hard this week and into next week, when the NCAA Tournament starts.
UNLV basketball coach Dave Rice writes a weekly column for Rebels Report.