After graduating in May, and then playing basketball professionally wherever he can find work, UNLV senior Oscar Bellfield is planning for a career in sports broadcasting.
Bellfield, who is majoring in journalism and media studies, has no aspirations to be in front of the TV cameras, however.
"I'm going to be behind the scenes, producing and directing," he said.
It sounds like the ideal job for a point guard, one who has four years' experience directing the Rebels' offense.
As for his entry-level position in TV, he said, "I'll start anywhere."
In February 2009, late in his freshman season, Bellfield became a full-time starter and never left the lineup. He will make his 120th start at 7 p.m. today, when No. 17 UNLV (24-7, 8-5) hosts Wyoming (20-9, 6-7) in the Mountain West Conference regular-season finale at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Rebels coach Dave Rice will start Bellfield with the team's other three seniors -- center Brice Massamba, forward Chace Stanback and guard Kendall Wallace -- and sophomore Mike Moser.
"I have always believed that Senior Night is one of the most important games of the season because it's an opportunity for fans and coaches and families to honor guys who have meant so much to a program," Rice said. "These four guys have won a lot of games and represented our program in a very positive manner on and off the court."
UNLV is 94-36 during Bellfield's career. He's the lone four-year starter among the seniors and has made his mark in the program's record book along the way.
Bellfield ranks 23rd on the all-time scoring list with 1,191 points, fifth in assists (554) and sixth in 3-pointers made (203). Stanback, a three-year starter after transferring from UCLA, ranks 22nd on the scoring list with 1,196 points.
A dark cloud followed Stanback into his senior year. He was arrested in May, pleaded guilty in Las Vegas Justice Court to driving under the influence of marijuana and was dealt legal penalties in addition to a one-game suspension.
"Chace certainly had the one tough night, which has been well chronicled, and yet he has become a better person for it," Rice said. "Chace has made a lot of big plays in a lot of big games."
Stanback and Bellfield, who were high school stars in Los Angeles, were leading players in UNLV's victory over then-No. 1 North Carolina in November. Stanback scored 28 points and had 10 rebounds, and Bellfield totaled 16 points and nine assists.
"The thing that stands out the most to me about Oscar is that he is a winner," Rice said. "He will be missed because of his leadership and his commitment to winning."
Like clockwork, after each practice Bellfield is one of the last players to stay on the court to put up extra shots. On Friday, he was in a shooting competition with Wallace.
A fifth-year senior from Mesa, Ariz., Wallace missed the 2010-11 season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
"I know this year has been a little frustrating for him because his knee has not responded the way he hoped," Rice said. "But he has been very positive, and he's been a leader."
Wallace's start today, in place of junior guard Anthony Marshall, will be his second of the season and 12th of his career.
"I talked to Anthony, and I just wanted to make sure he knew what I was planning to do," Rice said. "Anthony said, 'Coach, if you weren't going to do it, I was planning on asking you if we could start Kendall in my place.' It tells you how much Kendall means to our team."
Massamba, a native of Sweden who attended Findlay Prep, has started 30 games as a senior, seven more than his first three years combined.
"Brice is as improved a player as we have in our program," Rice said. "He has become a guy we can depend on, and he's got the respect of his teammates."
UNLV went to the National Invitation Tournament when Massamba and Bellfield were freshmen. The Rebels have made two NCAA Tournament appearances since without winning a game.
"I haven't the won the Mountain West tournament, so of course I want to win that, and of course I want to win at least one or two games in the NCAA Tournament and go out with a bang," Massamba said.
Wallace was a freshman in 2007-08, when UNLV last won the conference tournament and an NCAA Tournament game.
"We've had our ups and downs, and we've had downs lately the last couple weeks. We want to turn it around," Wallace said. "That's a special feeling when you win the championship, and I really would like to celebrate that with my teammates and make that kind of memory."
Bellfield recounted some of his most memorable games and acknowledged the way the seniors' careers are defined will have a lot to do with what happens in March.
"Now it's win or basically go home," Bellfield said. "I feel like a few weeks ago I was just a freshman. Time flies. But it has been great, and hopefully it keeps getting better."
Contact reporter Matt Youmans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2907.