Breaking down UNLV’s game against Cincinnati at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center:
Cincinnati’s Keith Williams and Jarron Cumberland are 6-foot 5-inch guards who present matchup problems, and they combine to average 26.4 points. UNLV will be pressured to make outside shots, but the Rebels are shooting only 27.4 percent from the 3-point arc.
Trevon Scott and Nysier Brooks are tough inside defenders for the Bearcats, having combined to block 15 shots. They also average 12.7 rebounds. UNLV has its own pair of tough inside players in Shakur Juiston and Mbacke Diong, who average 21.5 points and 16.4 rebounds. They also have combined for 20 blocked shots, with 16 coming from Diong.
Averaging 25.3 minutes and 11 points, Cincinnati’s Cane Broome is like having another starter. The Bearcats go 10 deep, and Rebels coach Marvin Menzies also isn’t afraid to go far into his bench. But Menzies struggled to find the right combinations in Wednesday’s 72-64 loss to Valparaiso and needs more consistent production from his reserves.
Seeing Mick Cronin, who turned down the chance in 2016 to coach the Rebels, will rile up UNLV’s fans, but shouldn’t be a factor for the players. They weren’t around the program at the time, so Cronin’s presence is barely on their radar. What’s at the front of their thoughts, however, is bouncing back after that terrible performance against Valpo.
Betting line: Cincinnati -6