There isn’t a better teammate on UNLV than Khem Birch. He is as thoughtful and sincere a kid as the Rebels have had in years. His heart is as big as his wingspan, a young man who at times can be as naive as he is compassionate. There is no phony to him.
For some reason, the first thing that popped into mind upon reading former Brigham Young gunner Jimmer Fredette was on his way out with the NBA’s Kings was a “Seinfeld” episode called “The Jimmy.”
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.
Instant replay gets it right, but wrecks spontaneous thrill of sinking a buzzer-beating basket.
It’s not a conspiracy that Oliver Stone would be inclined to turn into a documentary. It was two days too late, but some evidence surfaced to suggest that Deville Smith’s last shot against Boise State should have beat the clock.
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.
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.
It was March 2011, and the Lady Rebels had just beaten Utah in their regular-season finale. Three days later, they would play Utah again, in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament.
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.