Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
“My teammates have all got confidence in me, and that gives me confidence,” he said after Wednesday night’s session inside the Cox Pavilion practice gym.
“When I have an open look, I just shoot it. I have been able to knock them down and my confidence is sky high right now.”
The 6-foot-4 shooter started producing last season, when he connected on 41 percent of his 3-point attempts. He scored 15 points twice, and he tallied 14 and 12 in other games.
With two years in UNLV coach Lon Kruger’s system, Wallace is finding his groove.
“It has something to do with that,” Wallace said. “But it’s more that I feel like I have my shot down, my form is down … I feel like I’m just going to knock it down every time I go out there and not even think about it.
“If you think you’ll make it every time, usually you do.”
Actually, though, he admitted that his scruffy mug has nothing to do with being superstitious about his touch from 20 feet.
“I just haven’t gone to the store to get some razors,” Wallace said with a slight smile.
Ringin’ the Bell
Wallace hasn’t been the only Rebel who has been on target from long distance lately.
Bellfield, a sophomore guard, has been all over the court. He’s an octopus on defense. He’s driving to the hoop like a fullback. His passes are crisp.
And his jumpers, and 3-pointers, are snapping the net.
He drained one on Wallace and then sank one against Matt Shaw, and when Anthony Marshall gave him the slightest window Bellfield connected from the left corner.
“Yeah, I feel real good,” said Bellfield, who nearly switches from the point to shooting guard, and back to the point, on consecutive possessions.
“I’m getting loose. I’m getting to the basket. Coach says, 'Be aggressive with your offense. Take advantage of it.' That’s what I’ve been doing.”
A year in Division-I basketball has been invaluable to Bellfield.
“Yeah, a lot has to do with last season,” he said. “I was playing a role, getting to know the flow of everything. Now, I’m more advanced. I really have more confidence.”
“It’s going to be tough for our opponents to stop our guards from driving,” Wallace said. “That will open things on the outside for me to catch and shoot. It’s pretty exciting to think about that.
“Hopefully, we’re able to establish that this season. We’ll see what happens.”
Bellfield was blunt.
“Make them all bothered,” he said of what he and his teammates hope to do to foes when UNLV has the ball. “It’s what we can take advantage of the whole game. We have a lot of people who can create shots for other players. It’ll open opportunities to knock down ‘threes.’
“And, for me, to get good looks.”
For the first time since practice started, Kruger had 15 of his 16 players to work with as walk-on forward Mychal Martinez participated Wednesday night. He recently had laser surgery on both eyes to correct a retina issue. The Meadows School graduate had hoped to return to practice Monday, but paperwork delayed his clearance. Stanback (left ankle) started practicing last Saturday. The lone Rebel sidelined Wednesday night was Kansas transfer Quintrell Thomas, who might return from shoulder surgery in late December … Iowa transfer and Faith Lutheran grad Tyler Norman was the star of Wednesday’s run to a host of visitors – Faith Lutheran coach Bret Walter brought his squad by to watch the first half of the practice … as soon as the session ended, Rebels assistant coach Lew Hill zipped to a seat left of Andy Grossman, UNLV’s assistant athletic director in charge of media relations. Grossman had his computer on and wireless up. Hill, a native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., and a lifelong Yankees fan, liked what he saw; the Bronx Bombers held a 7-3 lead in the sixth inning of Game 6 of the World Series. A little while later, at 8:50 p.m., the Yankees clinched their 27th championship by that score.