UNLV basketball’s nonleague schedule will be a challenge

School announces 13-game nonconference slate today, including contests vs. Arizona and at Kansas

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV forward Chris Wood and guard Kendall Smith defend Arizona guard T.J. McConnell during their game at the McKale Center in Tucson Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Arizona won the game 63-58.

The UNLV basketball program’s top recruiting class will face a top schedule during the 2014-15 season.

How will UNLV basketball do in 2014-15?

What will be the UNLV basketball team's record in the 2014-15 non-conference:
10-3 — 27.1%
9-4 — 26.2%
More than 5 defeats — 15.1%
8-5 — 12.6%
11-2 — 11.0%
13-0 — 6.2%
12-1 — 1.9%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

UNLV vs. Arizona

UNLV guard Bryce Dejan Jones steals the ball from Arizona guard Gabe York during the first half of their game at the McKale Center in Tucson Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Launch slideshow »

The university released details of the Rebels’ nonconference games today, including a pair of contests against teams expected to be ranked in the top 10 — Dec. 23 at the Thomas & Mack Center against Arizona and Jan. 4 at Kansas.

The Rebels will play 13 nonleague games, facing at least five teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season. They’ll play four teams from the Pac-12 Conference: Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford and Utah.

“We have put together an extremely challenging schedule for our young team this year,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said in a statement. “It should assist us as we prepare for another grueling Mountain West slate.”

Rice overhauled the UNLV roster in the offseason with eight newcomers, hitting the reset button after the Rebels struggled to a 20-13 record and missed the NCAA Tournament. The recruiting class, which includes McDonald’s All-American Rashad Vaughn, and top-40 recruits Goodluck Okonoboh and Dwayne Morgan, is ranked No. 4 nationally by Rivals.com.

UNLV will play Stanford, a Sweet-16 participant last season, Nov. 21 at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

It could face Duke the following day at the event in a game that would draw much national attention because it would be the first meeting since the schools played against each other in consecutive Final Fours in the early 1990s. Duke, of course, beat UNLV in the 1991 Final Four to end the Rebels’ undefeated season. Opponents for the home stage of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, Nov. 14 and Nov. 16 at the Mack, will be announced later.

UNLV has just one exhibition game, taking on Florida National on Nov. 5 at the Mack. Last year, UNLV lost an exhibition to Dixie State.

A look at UNLV basketball's nonconference schedule

Nov. 5 : vs. Florida National (exhibition)

Nov. 14 : TBA in Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Thomas & Mack Center

Nov. 16 : TBA in Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Thomas & Mack Center

Nov. 21 : vs Stanford in Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Nov. 22 : vs. Duke or Temple in Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Nov. 29 : vs. Albany

Dec. 3 : at Arizona State

Dec. 5: vs. St. Katherine at Orleans Arena

Dec. 13 : at South Dakota at Pentagon Arena, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Dec. 17 : vs. Portland

Dec. 20 : vs. Utah at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Dec. 23 : vs. Arizona

Dec. 27 : vs. Southern Utah at Thomas & Mack Center

Jan 4 : at Kansas

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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