Here’s some good news for Rebel fans upset about Wednesday’s loss to UC Santa Barbara: They also beat us the year we won the national championship.
The Maui tournament has been around for years and is always one of the best preseason tournaments. We played here in 1988 and opened with DePaul. They had a banquet before the tournament started, and the DePaul coach came up to me and said they should rename the tournament to the Las Vegas Invitational because we had so many fans there.
San Diego is so perfect in the summer. I spent the last few months living at my condo in Pacific Beach and staying away from the brutal Las Vegas heat.
Justine King, my oldest granddaughter, will be graduating this weekend from Penn State University with a double major in international relations and marketing, and a minor in Spanish. We are flying into Baltimore and making the beautiful two-hour drive to watch her graduate.
Everyone thinks UNLV has a heated rivalry with Duke and that I have hard feelings toward their program because of the Final Four loss in 1991. But I have a great respect for the Duke program and coach Mike Krzyzewski. We have a great relationship.
I haven’t had a chance to see Northern Iowa play, but I have a good report on them from other coaches. They are a solid team that will give UNLV a test in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They are a veteran team with all five starters back, and they are disciplined on offense.
I never got caught up in the seeding part of the NCAA Tournament. No matter where the committee placed you, it was always going to be a tough game and you were always going to have to play your best.
I received a technical foul on the first play of a game one year while I was coaching at UNLV, but it was the right thing to do.
I thought Saturday’s win against BYU was one of the better games I have seen a UNLV team play. It compared to some of the quality games my teams had over the years at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Everyone knows how much I love the San Diego Chargers. I was just sick when they lost that playoff game to New York because I really thought they could go all the way and win a championship. So, I’m rooting for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday to win the Super Bowl.
The one thing that makes the Mountain West Conference such a tough league is playing road games against high-altitude schools such as Air Force, Colorado State and Wyoming. Even if those teams are having a down year, it’s a challenge going into their building and coming out with a win. That’s what makes UNLV’s victory against Colorado State on Wednesday so impressive.
We had some great games with New Mexico over the years at The Pit. That’s one of the toughest places to play in college basketball and I just loved the atmosphere in that arena. The gym is built under ground and you feel like their fans are looking down on you the entire the game.
Matt Othick would have played much better for us at UNLV than he did for Arizona. We had Matt committed to us and he would have been a great Rebel. But when we got Greg Anthony to transfer in that pretty much sealed that Matt wouldn’t sign.
I don’t miss coaching. I loved it during my career, but at some point it just became a hassle. Don’t get me wrong, though. I was very fortunate to make a living doing something I loved. I wouldn’t have traded it, especially my years at UNLV, for anything in the world. I just loved coaching at UNLV and the players we had.
Mark Wade was a great point guard for our 1987 Final Four team. But he couldn’t shoot the ball, and we didn’t want him to shoot it.