Breaking down UNLV’s basketball game against Oral Roberts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena:
Jordan Johnson and Jovan Mooring haven’t played up to their standards the past two games, but this is a great chance for them to get back to their prior form. R.J. Fuqua and Sam Kearns are promising young players for Oral Roberts, but Austin Ruder (11.5 points) is out with a dislocated shoulder.
Thanks mostly to Brandon McCoy and Shakur Juiston, the Rebels lead the nation with 46.4 rebounds per game. Juiston (12.5) ranks third nationally and McCoy (11.9) is seventh. They also combine to average 34.5 points. Center Albert Owens (15.3 points, 5.4 rebounds) is the Golden Eagles’ best player.
The Eagles drop off considerably after their top six players, but UNLV coach Marvin Menzies can get quality play from players such as Amauri Hardy and Anthony Smith.
The Rebels at least get to stay in town with the National Finals Rodeo kicking them out of their building, but it’s not quite the same as playing at the Thomas & Mack Center. They also will have to guard against the letdown of overtime losses to Northern Iowa and Arizona, games that could have held great sway with the NCAA Tournament selection committee. Oral Roberts, meanwhile, has nothing to lose.
Edge: Oral Roberts
UNLV -20½; total 150½