Five players to watch in UNLV basketball games this week at the Thomas & Mack Center against Southern Illinois at 7 p.m. Monday and No. 3 Kansas at 6 p.m. Thursday:
1. Frank Mason III, senior guard, Kansas: The three-year starting point guard is one of the main reasons the Jayhawks can win the national title. He averages 20.3 points, 5.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Mason also delivered the game-winning shot against Duke on Nov. 15.
2. Josh Jackson, freshman guard, Kansas: At 6 feet 8 inches, is a matchup nightmare. One of the most decorated players in the 2016 recruiting class, Jackson was a McDonald’s All-American. He hasn’t disappointed, averaging 15.1 points and 6.3 rebounds.
3. Devonte’ Graham, junior guard, Kansas: He was the Big 12 Conference Championship Most Outstanding Player last season after averaging 17.3 points, 6.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds. This season, Graham averages 13.4 points, 4.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds.
4. Sean O’Brien, senior forward, Southern Illinois: He was named to the preseason All-Missouri Valley second team, and has three double-doubles this season. O’Brien averages 11.0 points and 8.5 rebounds.
5. Mike Rodriguez, senior guard, Southern Illinois: The point guard averages 13.9 points and 5.2 assists. Rodriguez has scored of had an assist on 34 percent of the Salukis’ field goals.
Contact Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.