We have a tough game Saturday at Wyoming. It always is difficult playing in the altitude in Laramie, and it's one of the most difficult places to get to in our conference in terms of travel. We fly to Denver on Friday and then bus more than two hours to Laramie. Wyoming is playing extremely well, so the game will be a great challenge.
Our many experiences all season, and in particular on the road last week, will help us as we prepare for the Wyoming game. We won two exciting overtime games at Boise State and Air Force last week. Much has been made about how big it is for the home team when a ranked team, as we are, goes on the road and what a great effort the home team gives. That is true, but the other aspect of those games is that Boise State and Air Force are extremely well-coached. They are good teams, as evidenced by the fact that both won 10 nonconference games before the beginning of conference play.
I am extremely pleased with the job that our inside players are doing. Certainly Mike Moser has had a breakout season as an outside/inside player and has played a huge part of our success. I also want to give special recognition to Brice Massamba, Carlos Lopez and Quintrell Thomas. All three have played the center position, while Carlos also has seen time at power forward.
All three have contributed, and their commitment to the team has been huge. On so many teams, guys worry about their roles and their minutes, but with Brice, Carlos and Quintrell, they come to practice every day, work hard and always are ready when the game starts. They have worked hard on their development with Coach (Heath) Schroyer and Coach (Stacey) Augmon, and all have improved greatly. I can't say enough about the impact they have had on our team's success.
One of the important aspects of playing well in conference is having a good scout team. Coach (Justin) Hutson, Coach Augmon and Coach Schroyer have done a great job scouting opponents, and our scout team has helped prepare us for upcoming opponents. Bryce Jones and Khem Birch will have terrific careers at UNLV and are on the scout team. We have been fortunate to have Barry Cheaney, Bryan Glenn and Wade Norman playing on our scout team as well. They have done a good job of simulating the sets that opponents will run, and that is always an important part of practice.
We are excited about continuing conference play, and we continue to appreciate the support of our great Runnin' Rebel fans. The crowds at the Thomas & Mack Center have been so energetic and our student section, the Rebellion, is tremendous!
UNLV men's basketball coach Dave Rice writes a weekly column for Rebels Report.