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Former BYU players recall Dave Rice’s impact, believe he’s earned shot at dream job

Recent Cougar standouts cite Rice’s offensive mind, work ethic and hands-on experience as top qualities


Sam Morris

BYU head coach Dave Rose (L) and assistant Dave Rice question a call during the first round NCAA Tournament game against Florida on Thursday, March 18, 2010, at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Behind Jimmer Fredette’s 37 points, BYU posted its first NCAA tournament win since 1993 by beating Florida, 99-92, in double overtime.

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BYU guard Lee Cummard grabs a loose ball in front of San Diego State forward Lorenzo Wade during a semifinal game of the Mountain West Conference tournament on Friday, March 13, 2009, at the Thomas & Mack Center.

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BYU guard Emery Jackson pulls down a defensive board against Florida during the Cougars' first round NCAA tournament game on Thursday, March 18, 2010, at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

BYU guard Jackson Emery can recall several flights home from wins on the road in recent years during which he and his teammates would sit back, relax and talk about their most recent triumph.

A few rows up, though, he said, there would always be at least one laptop screen glowing.

It belonged to associate head coach Dave Rice.

"He'd be watching the game again, making mental notes, rewinding, fast-forwarding, studying," Emery recalled. "You'd say, 'Hey, we won, take the night off, rest, get up early tomorrow and do it.' But he'd be right on it, right then. It's weird; it's unique, but that's what makes certain people good is when you're different from everyone else."

Rice's noted work ethic is just one of several qualities that Emery and other former BYU players believe make him an ideal candidate to take over the reins at UNLV, where he formally interviewed on Wednesday afternoon.

Rice is one of four finalists for the post, which opened when Lon Kruger unexpectedly took off for Oklahoma last Friday. A week later, UNLV is on the verge of deciding who his successor will be, as Athletic Director Jim Livengood will have all four interviews completed by Thursday night, with a decision coming not long after.

Several sources close to the search this week have indicated to the Sun that Rice is holding strong as the lead candidate. He was a reserve guard for Jerry Tarkanian on UNLV's back-to-back Final Four teams in 1990 and 1991, and since his coaching career began not long after his playing days, it's been no secret that becoming the Rebels' head coach is Rice's end game.

This was always sensed by the players he coached at BYU, who faced UNLV twice each regular season in Mountain West Conference play. He ended up in Provo in 2005 after spending 11 seasons as a UNLV assistant.

"You don't spend 10-plus years at a place if it doesn't hold a special place in your heart," former BYU swingman Lee Cummard said via e-mail from France, where he's playing pro ball. "We knew that as players, but we also knew that he wanted to win games against Vegas as much as any other, if not more. There is no question everybody sees the writing on the wall."

Added Emery: "I know he's always had an eye on that target, but realistically, he thought he wouldn't have that opportunity for a while. So I think he's really excited to have this chance."

Each of the other three finalists — Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Reggie Theus, St. John's assistant Mike Dunlap and former Oregon coach Ernie Kent — have head coaching experience in the collegiate ranks. Dunlap was in town for his interview on Wednesday night, while Theus and Kent both take a seat in front of Livengood on Thursday.

While Rice has never held the specific title, his former players think that detracting from his credentials because of it makes no sense, citing his expansive level of involvement in all facets under BYU head coach Dave Rose. He's also headed up the Cougars' recruiting efforts while in Provo.

Cummard and Emery both noted that Rice did just as much instructing and teaching as Rose did during timeouts and in the halftime locker room. Both also insisted that their individual games may have never hit the level they did without Rice's presence.

"Coach Rice had the biggest impact on my development as a player at BYU," Cummard said. "He would teach me on-the-court specifics, but what I liked about him was that he was always open to have a conversation about my development and be completely honest about my personal play. What I could do more of, do less of, what I needed to work on. He was always genuine."

By his senior season in 2008-09, Cummard developed into a first-team All-MWC performer. Emery, as a senior this spring, earned second team mention. Both turned into reliable, versatile offensive forces within the offense that Rice orchestrates.

As the two both explained, the offense is centered on keeping the game at a frenetic pace, though not necessarily jacking up a shot within the first five or 10 seconds of the shot clock. Instead, if nothing opens up immediately on the perimeter, the ball moves through the post, with everyone in constant motion. That not only makes for high-scoring, entertaining affairs, but it has a tendency to draw opponents out of their comfort zones, which can also lead to a bevy of easy transition buckets.

All along, Rice calls the shots.

"It just gets everyone sped up defensively and offensively and into a rhythm that we like to play in," Emery said.

Emery averaged 12.5 points per game as a combo guard during the Cougars' 32-5 campaign that ended in the Sweet Sixteen last month. He was freed up to score in a variety of ways, along with the nation's leading scorer and Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette, in a system that he believes would translate well given UNLV's returning personnel.

"The one thing that's always impressed me about UNLV is their ability to press, and the reason they can do that is they have athletic guys, from their point guard to their post guys, which allows them to rush guys on the defensive side. But if you apply that on the offensive side, where they're athletic and quick and have good full-court awareness, it opens up a lot of things," Emery explained. "At the same time, they've got a lot of good shooters, with (Oscar) Bellfield and (Chace) Stanback, then they have (Anthony) Marshall, who's just an athletic guy who can go coast-to-coast very easily.

"They have the makings of a good transition team, where they're capable of getting up and down the floor, running in transition and really controlling the tempo of the game."

Whether he gets that chance should be known soon.

Rice heads back to Provo from his interview on Thursday, having been given a fair shot to say his piece and present his plan for the program to Livengood and the school's administration.

When asked what he would say to the UNLV brass in support of Rice, Cummard said that he believes the track record itself says enough, even without the specific detail of a "head coach" label on the résumé. The year before Rose and Rice arrived in Provo, BYU went 9-21. In the six years since, they've gone 159-45, finishing no lower than second in the MWC and winning at least 20 games each season. The players believe that Rice is as responsible for that success as anyone.

"He wins and is successful wherever he goes," he said. "People love him. Players love him and his family and love to play for him. He is a winner and does it the right way.

"It's time for coach Rice to get his shot as a head coach. He's paid his dues, he is proven and is very qualified."

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  1. Sounds like you've been told to prepare the fans for Rice being the coach.

  2. Awesome article! Fantastic journalism!! This is why I like to read the Sun's coverage of the Rebels. Keep up the great work Mr. Greene

  3. Nice to see Rice is being crowned king before the interview process is even over. Here comes Kruger-light & BYU south, great can't wait... I'm not against Dave Rice as much as I'm against UNLV hiring the wrong candidate, & also doing it really before the interview process even began. Good job Jim & Neil you guys really have all of Las Vegas fooled.

  4. THEUS!!!!!!!!!!!
    Say no to Rice!

  5. And those former BYU players are in Europe or on their way. Its not a matter of if we think Rice is a good coach. Its a matter of bringing in 4 and 5 star athletes. Reggie has shown he can do that in more adverse circumstances then Vegas.

  6. I like Reggie too. But realistically rice will do fine. I'm not convinced that we will win 20 next year but in the long run (if he has good assistance) we can be even better than with Kruger. If it's rice then be happy for a heart and soul guy and just help him win here too. To be honest I'm not convinced that theus wouldn't land us on probation.

  7. Rice has had head coaching experience. Who do you thik ran BYU while Rose was out for so long last season with cancer?

  8. mr. greene,
    that was a very thorough and detailed article in support of your man. i wonder, will you be doing theus the courtesy of a similar article about him, with glowing quotes from his former players and coaching colleagues? you know, just to keep it fair. or at least, like the a.d. and president, to provide the illusion of fairness.....

  9. "To be honest I'm not convinced that theus wouldn't land us on probation".
    And what in the world gives you the idea that Theus would land us on probation??

  10. I believe that Rice or Theus would be great coaches for us going forward and I expect 1st or 2nd in the MWC with another NCAA bid no matter who we hire.

    In regard to this article, the last people I would trust or care to hear from are BYU people. If this was former Rebels he coached it would have actually meant something and we could take it seriously.

  11. adrock, I certainly will if those I reached out to to write a similar story get back with me the same way the BYU guys did. That's certainly the intention, though.

  12. You might want to read up on Reggie's recruitment of Herb Pope. Form your own opinion. Of all the former players why hasn't Reggie been back? I think there are some legitimate questions Reggie has to answer to Livengood. Another question is that most of the other player's have come back, why hasn't Reggie? I saw him at Gondo's funeral that was it. They interviewed him on ESPN today and he virtually said nothing. He said he would talk more about the job after his interview Friday. He'll land players Kruger never could.

    I like Reggie, but I also like Dave. I also sent an email to Livengood telling him I want Reggie, but you can't just dismiss legitimate concerns such as his recruitment of Herb Pope and his print at home diploma. At least Larry Johnson came back and got his degree. On the other hand many of you dismiss dave Rice as some lump canidate. Mark my words, he will get the top recruits, will run a clean program, will put the Runnin back in place of the Walkin.

    There are both Rebels. There should be no animosity towards either one, yet some of you act like Dave Rice left here by choice. No, Kruger in his infinite wisdom fired Dave. Theus or Rice will be great choices, but some of you need to get over your all knowing wisdom that Dave won't or can't get it done. He will and within a few weeks of his hiring you will see.

  13. Ryan Greene, there has been no mention of fact that in 2000 UNLV was put on probation for four years and banned from post-season play for one year, and head coach Bill Bayno was fired as a result. Dave Rice was a Bayno assistant coach and one of UNLV's admitted infractions involved Rice --
    Is the fact that Rice was involved in getting UNLV put on probation in 2000 not of concern to Neal Smatresk and Jim Livengood?

  14. This article is bias....Ryan, Why have you not mentioned that Dave Rice made car payments to Keon Clark when he was a coach under Bayny? Do we really want to bring this to Vegas?

  15. Folks: I live in New Mexico. I've seen Reggie Theus coach at the college level. Not good. Make the right hire, get David Rice.

  16. Both guys will be good head coaches, time will tell if they can and hopefully will surpass the success Kruger had here. I think Rice may be the better x's and o's coach, Reggie the better motivator and recruiter (and Celeb). Wish we could take both, but neither would take the assistant HC job here.

    I'm quite interested in the article ThomasBruny posted about Dave Rice's involvement with the Lamar Odom scandal - didn't remember that tidbit, thanks Thomas. Seems like a really important piece of due diligence if you'd ask anyone on the street, certainly a snag in the cloak of inevitability many including Livengood has placed on Rice. Not like this is the rumor or speculation of the same kind that's been levied at Theus. This is in the newspaper -- this newspaper in 2000.

    The bigger question is why hasn't anyone even implicitly mentioned his involvement in the scandal before? Where's that due diligence?

  17. Hey Greene....Can you please do an article on the NCAA violations when Rice made car payments on behalf of Keon Clark? I'm sure we would all appreciate to learn the facts of the story. Why would UNLV want to bring in someone who has prior violations when he was a coach here? Is this the standard we want to set? Please comment Mr. Greene I know your'e readers are interested in learning more. I'm really surpirsed you have not mentioned this at all.

  18. You don't get great recruits to new Mexico or unlv with out walking the grey line. I'm ok with that but I also relize that one step off (ever so slight) and back to probation unlv goes. For either canadate. I just think rice is less likely but that mean less major recruits. Pick your poison.

  19. As I previously said, I believe that the parade of candidates is just a show. I think Rose went back to Provo and is making moving arrangments right now to head down the 15. I have nothing against Rose and I think that he will do a good job here. I know that he loves UNLV, something that kruger did not, and that he has a loyalty to this community. He will do a good job. However, I love the prospect of being Reggie here. I just dont think that livengood has a true interest in him. Reggie will take his place in all those 'rebel shorts' that they are always playing. krugers korner will turn into Reggie's Rowdey's; excitement and Runnin' will return to the T&M. Well, we only have a few more days to wait before Dave is introduced as the new coach. I will continue to support Rebel basketball no matter what but I do agree that rice will be kruger-lite. And we shouldnt be satisfied with finishing 3rd in the MWC, going to the tournament, being one and done and hearing the coach make canned statements about being out-worked. I want a perennial second weekend team to be developed here and I hope rice can be that man because he is going to be our next coach. Please Livengood, surprise me and bring in Theus! UNLV GO FIGHT WIN!!

  20. @hedon58,
    yeah, sucky coaches usually turn a team around from 6-24 and last place to 25-9 and a tourney invite in two seasons. because they're bad coaches. happens all the time.

  21. Dave Rice is a UNLV alumni, and was an assistant at UNLV for 11 years, he is one of us, who happened to go to BYU for a while, and as much as I hate BYU and their fans, in his reign with Rose they have been very successful. And if he can turn little Utah farm boys into stars with a constricting honor code, imagine what he can do with UNLV and their athletic ability and recruiting, they did find a kid named Jimmer in upstate New York who wasn't recruited by anybody. His record at BYU 159-45 speaks for itself. I like Theus but the more I read about Dave Rice the more I like him, and think he is the man to lead us to the next step. RUN REBELS RUN!!!

  22. Wow, Dave Rice dropped off Keon Clark's car payment for him???? How did he ever manage to keep his job after such a huge infraction??

  23. I'm with you Vegan. Responses to Rice's 'involvement' in the scandal in 2000, that some of you have brought up, should be dripping with sarcasm. Dropping off a car payment that he didn't even draw? Wow, what a massive infraction he committed that should land him on everyone's blacklist indefinitely. Geez Dave, however did you manage to get an interview with USU, BYU or UNLV. Speaking of the previous two many violations was Dave Rice connected to? How many times were those institutions put on probation?

    Stop the presses!!!!!!!!!! Dave went to the bank!!!! Some of the comments on here are just flat out jokes.

  24. haha, yeah some of those "infractions" made me laugh. if that's the level of cheating that was going on (physically walking in an already-written check, giving kids rides to work on occasion, etc.) then unlv might as well have been a franciscan monastery. can't really give rice any grief over that, unless he gave keon the money for the payment, too.

  25. RR07 - Jimmer's recruitment would be impressive if he wasn't mormon.

  26. Nice article. Coach Dave Rice taking us to the next level. Theus isn't the man for this job at this time. Let him stay an assitant in the pros for Rambis. Hire LJ as an assitant and let's keep Nigel and Walker and go get some more studs and off we go....I'm excited about the future of the program. Glad Kruger left now with the way this is working out.

  27. JerryWayne. Get a clue. The only other school looking at Jimmer was Drake. In fact, he almost was stuck in Snow College to play JC ball to prove himself first. Sometimes you got to take chances on kids like this and sometimes they work out great. Jimmer-player of the year. That was a Rice recruit. Give credit where credit is due.

  28. hey slowcammaron...How many car payments do you drop off for your friends?...That's not a little odd?

  29. Neil18-I agree why is everyone hating on Dave Rice, he is a Runnin Rebel and has proven success 159-45, with a sweet 16 and Player of the Year. UNLV has talent already here, I think he can come in and do a great job. At BYU he had to bring out talent where there was none with these un-athletic Utah boys, at UNLV we have tons of talent we just need a few guys to hit threes, and harness and its game over next year with BYU gone and SDSU depleted, and we already own the Lobos. Like I said I hate BYU but Rice is a UNLV Rebel and has done very well at BYU. Give him a chance.

  30. Don't think most guys are hating on Rice- just that most of us think Theus would be the guy who could recruit better. If Rice is selected, I will still support them 100% and keep my fingers crossed that he does a great job. I just see him as more of Kruger (not a bad thing, but not great either).

  31. Nobdy is hating on Rice...I like Dave Rice, he reminds of Kruger..Dull, boring, mediocore. WE JUST LOVE REGGIE THEUS!

  32. Already have one. There is no argument, Jimmer turned out to be a great player. Getting him to go to BYU was NOT impressive.

  33. AND it sounded like Rice has pretty much ran the show as much as Rose has, at BYU the last 3 years. He wasn't an assistant he was the ASSOCIATE head coach. Everybody loved him at the Y and he's not even Mormon. He can't recruit? Pretty limited on what you can bring into BYU. Mormons, High GPAS and ACT scores, must agree to live a certain way, etc. Rice found them anyway and did fantastic the last 3 years. Theus has coached 2 years in college. Not too impressed by that. The rest of the time he's been in the pros and was canned as a head coach quickly. Left a lot of questions on how he did things at NM and has a fake degree hanging on his wall...Why do so many Vegas people love this guy? Because he played there. Even MJ hated playing with this guy in Chicago. Rice can get LJ to come help him on the bench with a few other dudes and we are looking great.

  34. Also read that Kay, Marshall, Shabazz, and Walker all played together on the Las Vegas Prospects at different times. These guys know and like each other. They all bring different things to the Rebs that are needed. Add Nigel-Goss in maybe and a few others-some Gorman kids- and we are really looking solid for the next 5 years+.

  35. David Rice is a Rebel thru and thru...He will restore the type of basketball that we want to see. Hire him now!!!

  36. Neil- Theus also coached under Pitino at Louisville as well as being the head coach at NMS. As for the fake degree- it is not like Theus is some dumbsh**- the guy is pretty smart. I'm just betting that he would recruit alot better than Rice. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

  37. Aj Foyt. Didn't realize that. I hope they hire Rice. I'm not buying into all the Vegas hype for Theus. If they make the mistake and don't hire Rice, then I hope Theus gets it. Also, I love your handle. Pete Rose is my boy!

  38. jesus, how do you give rice credit for the 159-45 record? he is the assistant head coach. hell, i bet dean smith has won 2000 games if you go back into every game a team on which he was a grad student asst. coach won. i will stipulate that he was a part of that record. but by that logic, you have to give theus credit for louisville's 53-13 record while he was an asst. there, which brings theus up to a grand total of 94-36. not too bad, especially when you consider that some of that was actually as a HEAD--not 17 year asst.--coach (41-23) of a team he took over that had gone 6-24 the year before he arrived. also, he was named by as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country in 2005. in fact, for those who might think he rode pitino's coattails, "theus was able to utilize a vast network of connections throughout the region to help louisville land national letters of intent from four highly recruited prep players on the west coast, an area in which pitino and louisville had never recruited before theus' arrival."

    if that isn't convincing enough for some, that's fine. but you see, neil18, that is how an argument is made. just saying, "i like so-and-so, he's better, he got jimmer" doesn't make your opinion valid. as much as i'd prefer theus, rice deserves a better case to made for him than the one you constantly fail to make. back it up, please.

  39. Nothing really new from the article. Rice is from the Grg school of coaching; strong work ethic/long hours, ability to connect with players primarily through honesty and putting in the time to help players get better.

    As adrock stated I do hope Reggie Theus is granted the same courtesy with a positive profile as well from The Sun.

    Have to admit to media's man crush on Rice is getting annoying and very Krugeresqe. Where are the hard hitting questions like why is it Rice has been an assistant for 17 consecutive years now and prior to this very successful BYU season to the best of my recollection has never been under consideration for any D-1 job much less one of this caliber? Also, hard for me to believe that if he has the recruiting contacts/ability some proclaim why has he been stuck in Logan and Provo for the past 7 seasons? Seems to me bigger programs at least on the west coast would be beating his door down to come have him work for them.

    And go-rebels, no offense but what bubble are you living in? Not that I condone the behavior but unfortunately college basketball and football players are constantly making the news for poor conduct. You imply Herb Pope is one of the few over the last decade to be involved in bad situations. Last time I checked "Mr. goody-two-shoes" Lon Kruger had his share of players players shining a poor light on the university as well (Petrimoulx flunking out, Adiefe going bonkers in the locker room, Lawrence and Shaw with substance abuse and of course Tre's issues). My point is these problems are not isolated to a Reggie Theus recruit.

  40. Nothing against Theus. Just think Rice is the right fit for this city, school, team, and conference. No other arguments are out there. They've all been made the past week for both. I like both candidates but after all the facts have been stated I'm leaning towards Rice. Again, fans don't come to see old Rebels sit on the bench and coach. I know Theus is a sexier name because he was a better player than Rice, but Rice will be the better head coach.

  41. If you missed this article in the RJ. Great facts and points why Rice would be best coach for our Rebs.

  42. The reason Rice has not gotten a job anywhere else is he has no Charisma. If you can't sell yourself to AD's at smaller scools, you probably won't be a great recruiter. Grg didn't have any charisma and he failed as a head coach at Pittsburgh, but he is a great assistant coach, which is what Dave Rice is.

  43. Ernie- Rice is the ASSOCIATE head coach at BYU. Not Assitant. And if Theus was such a GREAT coach in college then why isn't he running a D1 program somewhere in the country? There are 351 D1 basketball programs in our nation and currently Theus is an assistant coach for Kirt Rambis for the worst team in the NBA. Why the man crush for Theus? Not really seeing why he's the man for the job at all.

  44. Charisma? Wow, we're really reaching now. Uconns coach has got the charisma of a tree stump and he just won the championship Monday. Come on.

  45. @neil18,
    once again......."fans don't come to see old rebels sit on the bench and coach"? really? you have an internet connection in your cave? judging from the excitement everyone seems to have at the prospect of not only theus or rice, but also lj, augmon, or greg being on the bench, i think you might be a bit off in that assessment. i guess if you're right then rice wasted his time coming down to interview and mike dunlap's prospects just jumped up.

    and then there's this gem. "i know theus is a sexier name because he was a better player than rice, but rice will be the better head coach." sigh. aside from your condescending dismissal of theus fans' motives, WHAT ARE YOU BASING THIS ON? i mean besides that weak ed graney article? jeez, i see where you get your position from, he's just as prone to making assertions backed by gut instincts and fuzzy feelings as you are. however, just because he (and other local writers, ahem) seem to be getting in brownie points with the presumptive sure thing, that doesn't make them--or you--correct.

  46. You do realize that RJ article that was linked to above was written by Ed Graney. This is a guy who wants UNLV to fail. He is a SDSU grad and die-hard fan of that team. He is THE LAST person I would ever trust to give an honest opinion about the Rebels. I was 50-50 between Rice and Theus until I saw that Graney favored Rice and am now 100% in favor of Theus.

  47. I don't care how much you ladies cry and moan about Rice - he will be our next head coach. Please make your RAF donation and support the team instead of crying about a decision that none of you get to make. =)

  48. Girls girls girls, their both pretty. Just be happy.

  49. everyone keeps taking about Rice and his inability to recruit and only get mormons to BYU. He got Loyd to go there, even though he didnt end up staying, he stole Carlino from us and they have Harrison who is a 4 star player coming in for next year and im willing to bet hes not mormon

  50. @gats,

    we're ladies, but you put a smiley face on the end of your comment? okay, fair enough.

  51. Lloyd Jr. would have named a great non-Mormon player to go to BYU except for the FACT that HE DID NOT STAY!!

  52. Look, the vast majority of BYU recruits are LDS and there are obvious recruiting advantages when they are going head-to-head with other schools for LDS recruits. However, there are obvious recruiting advantages for other schools when going head-to-head with BYU for non-LDS kids (principally, no honor code -- or at least no code as stringent as BYU's). Nonetheless, BYU's roster is sprinkled here and there with non-LDS kids who are either projected to be, or have been, productive players. Some names that come to mind in the Dave Rice era: Keena Young, Matt Carlino (who UNLV wanted), and Mike Loyd (who was there for 3 years before transferring). There have been, or will be, other contributors. Names that come to mind are Lamont Morgan and Anson Winder (a Bishop Gorman product). Dave Rice deserves a lot of the credit for getting these kids.

    For me, the bottom line is Rice has done in recruiting at BYU what he should do. And that is, get the kids to come to BYU that fit with the program. But I don't think that has necessarily been easy. BYU has gone head-to-head with Pac-10 schools, ACC schools and others to get guys like Kyle Collinsworth, Tyler Haws, and DeMarcus Harrison to come to BYU (for yellowsub264, Harrison is LDS). BYU is currently going head-to-head with just about everyone for Jabari Parker. I personally believe it will be a miracle if BYU lands him -- even though he is LDS.

    In sum, Rice should be expected to do the same thing at UNLV that he has done at BYU. That is, exploit recruiting advantages. I think this translates primarily into getting local kids, or kids with local ties -- and there are plenty of good ones out there. His track record at BYU suggests to me that he is good at exploiting recruiting advantages.

    I, for one, hope UNLV hires Theus.


  54. I do think charisma is an extremely valuable asset when it comes to a head basketball coach. Especially with recruiting. That being said Theus may have a small advantage, just because he'll probably have an excellent interview.
    Another observation that I don't remember seeing. Rice would have a temporary advantage recruiting because he has been out there evaluating guys, going to tournaments, showing his face. Theus has been out of that game for quite some time now. worth noting.
    I'm still pretty neutral on the two candidates, just looking forward to the announcement so we can move on to the next chapter. What a long week!

  55. @htownreb,
    good points on rice having the head start because of his more recent immersion in the recruiting game. that is how to make a valid argument, and some other posters should take notes. theus would have to catch up in that respect, so that is something to think about.

    on an unrelated note, i just came accross something for those who question theus' coaching abilities:
    "francisco garcia played at louisville, and was a key player in their final four appearance in 2005. according to the theory going around (and we should add that it's just a rumor), while rick pitino was the head coach, it was assistant coach reggie theus whom the players were raving about. garcia supposedly let management know that it was reggie theus who was breaking down game tapes, and preparing the game notes for every match, and was basically the real coach of that louisville team."
    so while this was a rumor, it may have something to it. not gospel or anything, just word around the campfire.

  56. Really guys it doesn't matter what any of us think or write on here. UNLV AD ain't reading it. They'll have their minds made up tonight, approved tomorrow, and announced or leaked soonafter. Lets just wait and see and then some of us can get back on here and say I told ya so, and I'm not saying that will be me. Should be interesting.

  57. I think we all want the Rebels to go back to there roots and hire Theus or Rice, but I'm not so sure that UNLV wants to. Politics and sports don't go together along with the fact the town has changed so much in the last 20 years. With that said Livengood will hire his buddy from Arizona, or the guy that couldn't get the Wyoming job.

  58. Good recruits are nothing without good coaching. Just look a Texas ;)

  59. I just read it was this exact time last year that Theus interviewed for the Depaul job and he got shot down on that too. If Depaul doesn't want Theus why does UNLV??

  60. yeah, and rice has been as assistant for 17 years. if no other team has wanted him in all that time, why should UNLV? perhaps in both their cases, there are other factors to consider.

    seriously neil, give it a rest.

  61. adrock-back at ya. I'm just tweeking you Theus lovers. Be good.

  62. For those that are freaking out about Rice's lack of head coaching experience, consider this: Tony Bennett, John Calipari, Brad Stevens, Shaka Smart, Mark Few...all assistants before they got the gig, all of them brought favorable results. For those who say it'll be a travesty if Theus isn't hired, take a deep breath, and understand that there's a reason Livengood is AD, and we're not. The bottom line is, we all have opinions, and that's fine, but we don't have all the info Livengood does. I think the only poor decision would be hiring someone other than a UNLV man to lead the program at this time. I will be happy with either Rice or Theus, and would only be truly unhappy if someone other than those two got the job. For those touting Theus' "great" track record at New Mexico State...It's New Mexico State. Look at the league they play in. Look at his two seasons there. They played in an easy conference, and didn't have a single win against a great team. The only perennially good team they played that year was Arizona in the regular season, (Loss), and Texas in the NCAAs, a 79 to 67 loss. I don't see a single marquee win. Here's their results that year: I'm not knocking Theus, I would be excited about him as UNLV coach, but I'd be just as happy with Rice, and Rice might be the better tactician, better Xs and Os guy. As long as we get one of the two, the program will be fine, but I'd give the edge to Rice.

  63. For those of you asking if reggie's such a good coach why isn't he coaching at a D1. Well here's your answer, when ever he would interview for a job he would tell them that if the UNLV job ever bacame available he would want to interview for the position He said "When I got into coaching I had no plan B I want to coach at my alma mater and bring us back to the national stage where we belong and I would be there for the rest of my life."

  64. @peteO31,
    same old flawed reasoning. since this is almost over, i guess i'll let this go.....after i say this. i can't speak for all the other theus supporters, but for me, what started out as wanting to make a logical case for the candidate i prefer turned into headache-inducing frustration at so many commenters' (both pro-rice and pro-theus) lack of ability to debate. pete, you have decided that not only are we to basically disregard theus' quick turnaround of a bad team to a good one on the grounds that said team's conference isn't the big east, but also that we should parade rice into the t&m on our shoulders on the rock-solid rhetorical basis that a bunch of successful coaches used to be assistants too. okay, swiss cheese logic, here we go once more.
    on theus: getting top recruits to go to nmsu, which reggie did, has not been accomplished there by anyone before or after theus. he did this after being the top recruiter at louisville. speculate all you want on how he did it, but any supposition of recruiting violations will inevitably be based in rumor. aside from that, turning a D1 program around that fast, even in a lower-tier mid major conference just isn't easy, no matter how much you might like to think it is. had he not been offered the kings' job, it's not out of line to project continued growth for the aggies and with that, some wins against better national competition.
    on rice: yes, he's been A PART of a great deal of success at byu, and has certainly made significant contributions. he has however, been as assistant or associate head coach for 17 years. correct me if i'm wrong, but i don't think mark few, brad stevens, et al. were asst. coaches for almost two decades before they got their first shots to be head coaches. doesn't mean he can't be successful, but let's just temper the enthusiasm with a little context, shall we? and the reason some of us are putting such a premium on head coaching experience is that you can't minimize the importance of dealing with the pressures associated with that job. no one was screaming for rice's head if byu lost a few games in a row. no one was blaming him if byu ran a bad play at the end of a game, or if they lost out on a top recruit. the top job comes with infinitely more stress, and rice doesn't have a proven record in that respect. again, maybe he'll be great in that role. i hope so, since it seems like he's getting the job. but theus has done it, whether or not you respect where he did it.

    okay, with that i'm done. i can't make the case for theus any better, and it's futile anyway. sorry for these long-winded rants.

  65. @adrock, yeah I don't even know why you waste your time. You are killing these fools with logic. Those who are in love with Rice do not wish to debate on facts, because they know the facts do not support their position.

    The facts are that when it comes down to TANGIBLE evidence of what each coach has done, Theus wins every category when compared to Rice. Coaching experience? Theus. Proven ability to win at the D1 level? Theus. Recruiting? Theus. That is what the facts say, anyways.

    I have nothing against Dave Rice, I think he's a fine coach. However I hold UNLV in higher regard than to allow the reigns of the program to be turned over to a completely untested, unproven coach with zero HC experience. Rice needs to prove he can win at this level first. Reggie already has.

    But hey, it's pointless...they don't want to debate on facts.

  66. Its really simple--who is going to bring in the best players? Answer that and you have your new coach. Dont want to hear all the qualifications etc like we have the last 20 yrs, just who can get the job done? This isnt a good guy decision, but a realistic one. We have settled for good in the past, how about we settle for the BEST this time? For a business, its location, location, location. For college basketball, its recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. One has proved he can recruit top players and one hasnt. Bingo