Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 | 6:01 p.m.
It’s hard to be a running basketball team unless that style of play is ingrained in the players.
If the UNLV basketball team wants to establish itself as a running team, the Rebels will have to run in every situation, not just in certain spots. Last year, they ran in certain spots.
You can’t be a good running team if you aren’t completely dedicated to that style, and after watching some of UNLV’s workouts, I know coach Dave Rice is dedicated to that style.
They have the players to make it work. Anthony Marshall is a good runner at the guard and so is Oscar Bellfield. And I really like the Mike Moser kid from UCLA. I didn’t realize how good of a player he is.
He is 6-foot-8 and he can shoot it from anywhere on the court. He is going to go inside and grab you some rebounds, too. I’m telling you, this kid is a special player.
I’m just very impressed with the ball club. I told Dave how surprised I was with how many players he has. His roster is deeper than any of mine were.
There is a lot of excitement right now in the community for what he is doing and that running style of play. I can’t wait to see it on the court, too.
But they can’t live off that excitement. They have to go out and prove themselves — they have to get out there and run.
When we played Loyola Marymount in the 1990 NCAA Tournament, several people thought they were going to outrun us because they had scored 149 points on Michigan earlier in the tournament.
But I knew we were the better running team. I told my wife, Lois, before we played them that we were going to kill them.
She said, "Don’t talk like that. Never talk like that, because you are going to jinx us." But I knew I would be right. I knew they were going to press us and that we would outrun them.
Larry Johnson would in-bound to the ball to David Butler, who would pass to Greg Anthony. Anthony would dribble down the middle of the defense and have Anderson Hunt and Stacey Augmon on the wings. We won, 131-101, to reach the Final Four. Anderson and Stacey each had 30 points.
We always had a policy of no talking on the team bus. But when we drove by the hotel Loyola Marymount was staying at, and saw them boarding their bus. Greg told the guys how we were going to wake (Loyola Marymount) up tonight and how they are living a dream season.
I’m glad he said that, because we were really ready that night. We couldn’t be stopped.
Loyola Marymount beat Alabama in the Sweet 16 to advance to play us. Watching that game, I knew our team would have no problems. Alabama should have beat them, but they refused to run. Still, they lost by one point.
Alabama would get past the Loyola Marymount press, then hold it up. I kept thinking, we won’t hold the ball against them. We didn’t hold the ball against anybody.
It was great seeing all of the fans last week on Fremont Street for the team’s welcome party. There must have been 2,000 people there. I love seeing the excitement for the program.