UNLV turns in dreadful night on offense

One of the most hilarious quotes in sports history came from former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John McKay after a particularly poor performance from his historically bad team.

The quick-witted coach was asked what he thought of his team’s execution.

“I think it’s a good idea,” McKay said.

The quote has also been reported with slightly different wording such as, “I’m all for it,” but the idea is the same.

UNLV coach Dave Rice appeared to be thinking along the same lines after his team’s dreadful offensive performance on Saturday night in a 59-46 loss to No. 14 Utah at MGM Grand.

“Five assists and 15 turnovers is not going to get it done,” Rice said. “That’s for sure.”

The scary numbers didn’t end there for the Rebels, who fell to 7-3 with the loss.

UNLV shot 32.7 percent from the floor and hit just 2 of 11 from 3-point range. The Rebels also clanked their way to a 10-for-23 effort at the free-throw line.

The unsightly offensive display wasted what was a solid effort on the defensive end. UNLV held the Utes to 39.6 percent shooting and out-rebounded one of the best rebounding teams in the nation.

“We held one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country to four and limited what they were able to do,” Rice said. “We just weren’t near efficient enough on the offensive end to beat a good ranked team like Utah.”

The theme was evident throughout Rice’s session with the media.

“The number one key for us coming in was to do a great job on the defensive boards, which we did,” he said. “We didn’t do near enough in transition considering the amount of defensive rebounds we were able to get. We’ve got to get better moving forward in finishing tough shots around the rim and it’s obvious we’ve got to do better than 10 out of 23 from the free-throw line.”

Need more?

“We guarded a very good offensive team very well,” Rice said. “Free throws and offensive execution needs to get better.”

His thoughts even trickled down to point guard Cody Doolin, who echoed Rice’s sentiments after a subpar effort.

Doolin missed his only shot attempt and had two assists and two turnovers in the loss.

“We were just not able to convert on the offensive end,” the senior said.

The free throws are obvious. Rice also singled out UNLV’s inability to finish through contact in the paint as an area of concern.

The problem seems to be pinpointed. Whether or not there is any solution remains to be seen.

There’s not a whole lot of time to figure it out, though. UNLV has a date with No. 3 Arizona on Tuesday at Thomas & Mack Center.

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