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Breaking down UNLV’s basketball game at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Breaking down UNLV’s game against Illinois at 11 a.m. Saturday at State Farm Center:


Trent Frazier, Ayo Dosunmu and Aaron Jordan combine to average 37.9 points for Illinois. The Illini also have made 88 3-pointers through nine games, converting 39.6 percent, which is 30th-best nationally. UNLV simply doesn’t have the shooters to keep up, having made 27.7 percent of 3-pointers.

Edge: Illinois


The Rebels’ best path to victory is inside, where they hold a substantial edge. Led by Shakur Juiston and Mbacke Diong, UNLV is among the national leaders in offensive rebounding (14.7 average), rebound margin (plus-11), rebounds per game (41.0) and blocked shots per game (5.0). The Illini have been outrebounded by an average of 3.4.

Edge: UNLV


There is quite a drop-off from Illinois’ starters to its bench, with the top reserve (guard Andres Feliz) averaging 6.4 points. Amauri Hardy averages 10.3 points for the Rebels and is treated like a co-starter at point guard. Bryce Hamilton (6.7 points) and Tervell Beck (6.0 points, 3.4 rebounds) also have had their moments.

Edge: UNLV


UNLV is on the road for the first time, and the Rebels should find themselves in a hostile environment. The Illini have played the nation’s fifth-toughest schedule, according to Kenpom, which makes their 2-7 record deceiving.

Edge: Illinois

Betting line

Illinois -7; total 151

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

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