July 17, 2019 Currently: 92° | Complete forecast

Rebels are runnin’, politics & Ole Miss

I recently stopped by a UNLV hoops practice with Charlie Spoonhour, and I really liked what I saw.

They’ve been doing a lot of conditioning drills, but I did get to see them scrimmage for a little bit.

I like their running offense. They get the ball up quick. They attack very quickly. They’re always looking to drive the ball. People are sliding and finding open spots.

I like the fact that, although it’s very early, they’re not running a lot of set plays. I don’t like a lot of set plays. Anyways, I like what they’re doing. They’re attacking and they’re deep.

I think the big thing last year was Wink Adams. He had a bad year. I think what happened to Wink was, he tried to get ready for the NBA. He must have lifted weights so much.

He bulked up and got stronger than heck. I don’t think he played as well, or was as quick, as in the past.

A lot of kids do that. They think they’ll go to the NBA and try to get so strong. They bulk up and lose quickness.

Armon Gilliam did that his first year in the NBA. I told him that offseason that I don’t think he played well, and he got his weight back down. And he was normal.

I think Patrick Ewing did that, too.

The Rebels would have had a better year if Wink had stayed like he was when he was a junior.

They lost some real close games. They were a good ball club last year, they just weren’t as good as they were a year earlier – yet, they had better players.

That can drive a coach, and fans, nuts.

But Charlie and I loved that they ran hard and played hard the entire hour and 10 minutes we were there. They were in attack mode the whole time.

I know many people have expectations for this squad, but we never talked about expectations when I was coaching UNLV. We just tried to practice hard, every day, and play harder than anybody.

That was our goal.

Someone wrote about having a 1-year-old who is 32 inches tall and weighs 30 pounds, wanting to get him into basketball and wondering what that first step should be.

I have no advice at all. It’s way too early. You have to expose him to the basketball and hope he enjoys it. Don’t try to shove it down his throat. He has to enjoy it.

Someone else wondered about politics and basketball, two very public arenas. My wife, Lois, and my son, Danny, are into politics, and I do not like the fundraising side of politics.

I didn’t do much of that when I coached.

I just don’t like the fact that it’s probably the most important aspect to politics. That shouldn’t be the case. The best person should get elected. Now, it’s basically one big thing – who can raise the most money.

You’re out in the open more in politics. But if you’re winning, you’re OK in coaching.

Getting along with people and speaking in public, those parts of politics are OK. I just don’t like the fundraising.

I talk with Danny a lot. He loves politics. He’s been a strong Republican. His mother is a Democrat. I was a Democrat until Danny became a Republican. Now I’m a Republican.

I was trying to get Danny to switch to Democrat. I thought he could have owned his last two elections, but Danny is so loyal. He stayed Republican because he’s so loyal.

I said, God, you’re mother is a Democrat! But that’s his belief. He’s strong.

I am very excited about going to the Arkansas football game at Ole Miss in three weeks. I am told Mississippi is a fantastic place to watch a game, so that will be special.

Only 11 more days until the official start of practice! I am also very excited about that and I hope a lot of UNLV fans are, too. See you at some of those practices.

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