Breaking down the UNLV-Loyola Marymount game

Breaking down UNLV’s game against Loyola Marymount at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center:

BACKCOURT

Noah Robotham has great court sense, and his experience at this level should benefit UNLV in his first official start for the Rebels. Kris Clyburn is athletic and could be much improved. Loyola Marymount’s James Batemon led West Coast Conference newcomers with 17.8 points per game last season.

Edge: UNLV

FRONTCOURT

The Rebels could have trouble defending Loyola Marymount 7-foot 3-inch center Mattias Markusson, who shot a school record 62.1 percent last season. Shakur Juiston returns for the Rebels after averaging 14.6 points and 10 rebounds, and Mbacke Diong is showing signs of having a quality offensive game to go with his strong defense.

Edge: UNLV

BENCH

Forward Tervell Beck became a starter for the Rebels last season, and could see plenty of time in the opening lineup this season. He likely will come off the bench in this game. UNLV is a little bit of a mystery, though, when it comes to how deep it can go. Ten Lions played double-digit minutes in their 75-43 opening victory over Westcliff.

Edge: Loyola Marymount

INTANGIBLES

There is no pressure on the Lions, who figure to come in loose and know a victory over UNLV would be a major step for that program. The Rebels are still trying to figure things out, and another mostly empty Thomas & Mack won’t be much of an atmosphere for the home team.

Edge: Loyola Marymount

BOTTOM LINE

Betting line: UNLV -5½

More Rebels: Follow online at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJ_Sportson Twitter.

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

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