UNLV hoops notebook: ‘J-Mac’ hits Thomas & Mack


Justin M. Bowen

Jason ‘J-Mac’ McElwain plays in the timeout shoot off. Wednesday night was J-Mac night at the Thomas and Mack Center.

J Mac - A Hoop Dream

Sharing the Wealth

The UNLV men's basketball team saw four Rebels score in double-figures in its 87-71 win over Northern Arizona Thursday night. Wink Adams dropped in 18, while Kendall Wallace led the way for the reserves, scoring 14 of the bench's 33 points.

The Rebel Room

NAU POSTGAME: Not your average bench

Ryan Greene and Rob Miech talk about the bench's repeat performance of it's Tuesday magic in Thursday's 87-71 victory over Northern Arizona. Plus, Wink Adams and Joe Darger break out of their droughts, and a look ahead at what's on the horizon for the Rebels in this NBA-like stretch to start the season.

Next game

  • Opponent: North Carolina A&T
  • Where: Thomas & Mack Center
  • When: Saturday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.

While the Rebels found their stroke from 3-point range Thursday night, one of the more legendary long-range shooters to live on YouTube in recent years made his presence felt at the Thomas & Mack Center during halftime.

Jason 'J-Mac' McElwain, a 20-year-old autistic boy who two years ago gained national attention for hitting six late 3-pointers off the bench in his high school's home finale, was honored at halftime by the Rebels basketball program.

He was presented with a personalized UNLV jersey and a basketball autographed by the team before giving an emphatic 'Go Rebels!' into the microphone.

He took part in a shooting contest during a media timeout in the second half, squaring off against someone from the crowd.

J-Mac hit a layup, free throw and 3-pointer all on the first try. He nearly stirred the crowd to a frenzy as he attempted to drain a half-court shot. Two of his three attempts hit the rim.

The student section brought one last smile to his face late in the game. As J-Mac and his mother watched the game from their courtside seats, the Rebel students began a 'We want J-Mac' chant.


UNLV senior guard Wink Adams was impressed with the Lumberjacks.

“They did a good job getting to the basket,” he said. “You stop them one time and they’re still coming at you. They were constantly coming.

“Playing against a team like that, you have to be ready. They stood us up. We didn’t expect them to keep driving. Until the last couple minutes, it was a game.”

The duel

Chace Stanback and Steve “Chopper” Jones will spend the season on the sideline with the rest of the UNLV walk-ons, transfers or injured players who aren’t eligible to play.

Their own competition started in Saturday’s opener.

Of the Rebels who are relegated to the bench this season, who has the snazziest wardrobe?

Stanback made it 3-0 on Thursday when he wore dark slacks and a scarlet-and-gray, diamond-patterned sweater vest.

Jones, decked out in black slacks, a black dress shirt and a black tie, was bold.

It came down to the shoes. Stanback’s were neatly polished. Jones’s had rubber soles. Remember that salsa ad? New York City?

Rubber soles?

Senior forward Joe Darger laughed. Who sports the better wardrobe?

“Uh, I guess out of those two, probably Chace,” Darger said. “But neither of them can dress as well as me.”

Free throws

Rebels freshman point guard Oscar Bellfield had six assists and two turnovers in the opener, four assists and three turnovers Tuesday, and five assists and six turnovers Thursday … UNLV has won the battle of the boards (39-35, 43-38 and 34-32) in each of its first three games … after committing 15 turnovers in the opener against San Diego and only eight on Tuesday against Texas-Pan American, UNLV turned it over 18 times Thursday. Kruger’s squads have been top-10 in the nation over the past two seasons in low turnovers, with about 11 each campaign … with 1:37 left in the game, senior power forward Mo Rutledge was forced to leave the game with a bloody nose.

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  1. Wow that was one of the first things I noticed-- Stanback's sweater.... seriously. lol