Published Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 | 11:22 a.m.
Updated Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 | 11:54 a.m.
The UNLV basketball team moved up two spots Monday in the Associated Press rankings to the No. 19 team in the country. In the coaches’ poll, the Rebels vaulted up three spots to No. 20.
The Rebels (13-2) posted a pair of double-digit victories last week, including an impressive 85-68 win against Cal of the Pac-12 Conference. They also topped Louisiana-Monroe, 81-63.
San Diego State, which will battle UNLV for supremacy in the Mountain West Conference, joined the rankings for the first time this season at No. 25 in the Associated Press poll. It’s likely that both UNLV and San Diego State will be ranked when they play each other Jan. 14 to open league play.
Syracuse is the nation’s consensus No. 1 team.
Also Monday, UNLV senior forward Chace Stanback was named the Mountain West Conference’s Player of the Week.
After scoring two points (on just four field goal attempts) and being a nonfactor Dec. 17 in a win against Illinois, Stanback was unstoppable last week. He averaged 22 points in two games and made 16 of 25 shots, including going 11-of-16 on 3-pointers.
Against ULM, the 6-foot-8 Stanback made 8 of 9 of his 3-pointers for a career-high 29 points. Against Cal, he had 15 points and three rebounds.
Stanback, who averages 14.5 points per game, is the second Rebel this season to be honored by the league. Sophomore forward Mike Moser has twice been named Player of the Week.
The Rebels return to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday when they host Central Arkansas at the Thomas & Mack Center. The final game of 2011 is at 5 p.m. Saturday on New Year’s Eve at Hawaii.