Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 | 2:31 p.m.
That win over BYU was great, a must win. The Rebels had to have that. They played a good team and it was a fantastic win for them.
I don’t think they’re out of the regular-season league race yet. Utah still has a tough way to go. I think UNLV could still wind up in a tie.
But it doesn’t make that much of a difference. I don’t think anyone can beat UNLV in the Mountain West tournament in Las Vegas.
I’m so happy that Mo Rutledge is playing well. I said all along, before they went to Australia on that trip last summer, that this kid will be a helluva player for them.
I like the way he plays. He rebounds against big guys, shoots the ball, he’s a tough guy and a totally a team player.
I thought they played very well in the second half. That first half, I didn’t think either team played well. But the Rebels took control in the second half.
I tell you what, you’ve got to take your hat off to Wink Adams and Kendall Wallace. Lon Kruger is handling them just perfectly.
Those guys can miss shots, but they just keep putting them up because they know they’ll hit them. Lon’s really giving them a lot of confidence, and I think it shows in the way they’re playing.
Everybody got shook up when they lost at Wyoming. But that’s a tough place to play, particularly if your strength is playing hard and running. And that’s UNLV’s strength.
They play hard and aggressively. But you’re a half-step slow in Laramie. It was always difficult for us to press in Laramie. Our guys always seemed like they were half a step slow.
The Rebels are playing with such confidence, particularly Wink. He can miss every shot he takes in the first half. Then he comes out in the second half and when he starts hitting you’re in trouble.
He can reel off four or five in a row on you. The thing that’s really good, regardless of how he’s shooting, he’s still playing defense. I really admire Wink.
Lon is doing a great job. He’s a tremendous coach and a tremendous person. I don’t think they could have gotten anyone better.
They’ve gone to that full-court, trapping defense that had been so much a part of their system over the past two seasons. I think it’s a good move on Lon’s part.
They’ve been playing a lot of players anyway. If he’s pressing and trapping, he can switch them out and they can’t be mad. They’ll be so winded.
When we recruited Reggie Theus, the season before he came in we had a great team. We had almost everyone back. I think I did have everyone back.
But we had a chance to get Reggie. We’d wanted to bring him in, but we couldn’t start him. Still, we had to play him enough so he didn’t get upset and leave.
We were half-court pressing all the time. But that was the first year we went full court. We wanted them tired, so he’d get playing time, and not lose the morale of the other guys.
I like what Lon’s doing. That’s a good move.
I watched their game against New Mexico and I thought both teams played harder than hell. Neither shot well, but both played hard. It wasn’t like one team laid down to the other one. They competed hard for 45 minutes.
I think the Rebels will win the league tournament. They’re a little tougher, mentally, than most of the teams in the league. They got a couple guys who just don’t like to lose.
That’s René Rougeau and Adams. Two great competitors. I like Tre’Von Willis, too. He plays harder than hell. He makes some errors, too, but he does a good job. I like him a lot.
I like their team.
Finally, I saw that special on me last night on The Mtn. It was fabulous. I was shocked. It was absolutely great, all those great comments from former players.
I thought it was very good. Usually, when someone does something like that on me, they’ve always got to put negative stuff in. But they didn’t, so that was refreshing.
See you at the court soon.