Gonzaga owned the lion’s share when it came to this whole leaving the West Coast Conference for the Mountain West scenario, but that doesn’t mean the league in which UNLV exists shouldn’t have made the effort.
A sixth year of eligibility means Michigan State fans will finally get to experience the former Bishop Gorman standout as a player and, more important, a man.
The opening chapter of how the Rebels went from a team under Lon Kruger that made four NCAA fields his last five years to one that just concluded the worst season in program history begins in 2011, when Nigel Williams-Goss was a sophomore at Findlay Prep.
In a town where there is no patience for its basketball program struggling in the least, a large dose is needed now as Chris Beard is set to officially assume control of UNLV on Friday.
It appears UNLV is in the process of offering Lon Kruger-type money to its leading candidate, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin. Problem: It’s not Lon Kruger.
It all made sense before Wednesday, how this week might play out for UNLV’s basketball team, how important it could prove in regards to the postseason, how a winnable game against Arizona State would be followed by an extremely difficult one at Arizona.
Three years ago, Connecticut won the national championship. Shabazz Napier was a freshman on that team. So too was Roscoe Smith.
When he reached the stage, supported along the ballroom path to such an exclusive group by a walker, Jerry Tarkanian was helped up a few stairs to basketball immortality.
It is March 24, and from mid-November until now, Mountain West basketball teams have played nearly 300 games. They have been ranked, defeated quality opponents, earned good enough results to have entered the NCAA Tournament with the nation’s No. 1 Ratings Percentage Index of all conferences.
I suppose there is a silver lining for UNLV basketball today, hidden somewhere in the mess of yet another opening-game loss in the NCAA Tournament.