Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009 | 4:04 p.m.
UNLV won a closed-door basketball scrimmage at Long Beach State late Saturday morning then jumped on a bus for a long ride back to Las Vegas.
According to Rebels coach Lon Kruger, UNLV won by five or six points, but he said there are many miles to go before his squad is where he wants it to be.
“We have a long ways to go in that area,” he said of how physical his guys played. “We’re certainly more physical than we were a year ago … but not as physical as we need to be going forward.”
Kruger did not have a final stat sheet, but he was disappointed about one aspect of the private scrimmage.
“Rebounding continues to be our biggest concern, like we anticipated going in,” he said. “That didn’t change. (The 49ers) rebounded aggressively in the first half, but we did better in the second half.”
College teams can either play two closed-door scrimmages, a private scrimmage and an exhibition, or two exhibition games before they start their seasons.
As it has done recently, UNLV plays one of each. The Rebels play host to Division-II Washburn in an exhibition Tuesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. Long Beach State defeated San Diego by a point in its other closed-door scrimmage.
After three weeks of practice, many Rebels were relieved to finally play someone else Saturday.
Tre'Von Willis, the junior guard who has been trying to get his teammates to play with a more physical edge, was the lone Rebel to score in double figures against Long Beach State, Kruger said.
He also said new point guard Derrick Jasper was aggressive and looked good pushing the ball.
“It was close all the way,” Kruger said. “Their team played hard. They were very aggressive. We got to play a lot of people and see a lot of combinations. We learned a lot of things that we have to do a lot better and keep working on.”
Twelve Rebels played at least 10 minutes apiece.
“It was a good experience for us,” Kruger said. “Long Beach State felt the same way. It was very competitive all the way and very good for our guys.”