3 takeaways from UNLV’s loss to Boise State

Updated December 31, 2017 - 4:49 pm

Three takeaways from UNLV’s 83-74 loss to Boise State on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center:

1. UNLV has some work to do.

The Rebels went 11-2 in nonconference, but they didn’t inspire a lot of confidence over their final three games. Still, if UNLV had beaten Boise State, it would have sent a signal that the Rebels were ready to contend this season.

Well, they’re not. Not yet at least.

UNLV has the talent to make the loss to Boise State a distant memory, but it’s not going to be an easy process. Not with a remaining trip to Boise State and games left against the likes of UNR, San Diego State and Fresno State.

“It’s going to be a war every night, and I think our guys got a taste of what conference play is like,” UNLV coach Marvin Menzies said. “It’s different. A lot of guys have never played in a conference game, and I think they saw tonight that the concentration and the focus of everybody you go against is heightened.”

2. Rebounding was shockingly bad.

How does a team with a frontcourt of Shakur Juiston and Brandon McCoy get outrebounded 48-29? As Menzies said, it was a total team effort. Or, rather, a lack of effort.

“Guys wanting to get out and run instead of staying home and doing their job,” Menzies said. “We’ve got to get guards involved in rebounding. You can’t just rely on Brandon and Shakur for rebounding (17 combined against Boise State). We’re going to have to do some things in drill work and accountability in practice to make sure we get them to make it more of a habit.”

Juiston (11.0) and McCoy (10.9) entered Saturday leading the Mountain West in rebounds per game, and UNLV as a team was first with a 43.9 average, so there’s a good chance this was a one-off. It had better be for the Rebels’ sake.

“I love rebounds, so I know that all rebounds are not going to come to you,” Juiston said. “Certain rebounds bounce certain ways, and you can’t telegraph where a ball is going to bounce. A couple of it is me not boxing out, a couple of it all of us not boxing out. They pursued the ball very good, and that’s why they outrebounded us.”

3. Chandler Hutchison proved his point.

Boise State’s Hutchison is one of the top contenders for conference player of the year, and showed why with 32 points (on 13-of-18 shooting) and 12 rebounds.

“You had Chandler who was on a mission to come in and play at a high level again,” Menzies said.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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