Reeling UNLV stomped on its home floor by surging Colorado State, 78-63

Rebels out-hustled, out-muscled and out-played; drop to 2-3 in MWC with New Mexico up next


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV’s Quintrell Thomas and Carlos Lopez bury their heads as Colorado State pulls away from them during the second half of Wednesday’s game at the Thomas & Mack Center. CSU won the game 78-63.

UNLV vs. Colorado State

UNLV guard Anthony Marshall heads off the court with his head down after fouling out against Colorado State during a game on Jan. 19, 2011, at the Thomas & Mack Center. Colorado State won, 78-63. Launch slideshow »
The Rebel Room

CSU POSTGAME: Wheels falling off?

Las Vegas Sun reporters Ryan Greene and Ray Brewer discuss the UNLV basketball team's upset loss Wednesday to Colorado State, 78-63. The Rebels are 3-5 overall since winning their initial 11 games to open the season. Can things get turned back around?

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UNLV is a disappointing 2-3 in league play with 11 conference games to go. At this point, how many MWC wins do you think UNLV finishes with?

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UNLV losing to Colorado State at the Thomas & Mack Center was shocking enough, but how it lost was what many who watched will remember most.

The Rebels were out-hustled, out-muscled and simply out-played in a 78-63 defeat at the hands of the upstart Rams. What was most disturbing, though, was that CSU did so right from the opening tip and continued to for almost a full 40 minutes.

The result propelled the Rams to sole possession of third place in the Mountain West Conference standings at 3-1, while the Rebels are now an unexpected 2-3.

"We've done a pretty good job on the year of disrupting and just didn't do anything tonight to disrupt them," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said "I thought they won all the battles and deserved to win the ballgame."

The Rams rode the back of senior forward Andy Ogide early in building a quick 8-2 lead out of the gates and held a 30-25 edge at halftime.

The story of the second half, though, was that UNLV was only allowed to get so close before CSU slapped the Rebels away.

UNLV tied it at 31-31 just over two minutes into the second half only to watch the Rams rip off an 11-2 run. Then, after pulling almost even a few minutes later at 53-50, CSU unleashed a 13-2 spurt.

The Rams' growing confidence as the game wore on was visible.

It's a team that a year ago went 0-8 against the Mountain West's "Big Four" — UNLV, New Mexico, San Diego Stateand BYU — by an average margin of more than 18 points. To prove that they truly belonged in the league's top tier, the Rams knew they had to win one of those games rather than just be scrappy.

It was clear early on that they felt they were on the cusp, and by early in the second half, they had the look of a team that knew it was going to get a signature league win under fourth-year coach Tim Miles.

They scored 11 second-chance points after halftime, as Ogide and fellow senior Travis Franklin displayed nonstop motors in attacking the offensive glass.

On the final stat sheet, Colorado State collected 11 offensive boards compared to only 15 defensive caroms for UNLV.

No one blossomed as much as Franklin, who a year ago was spotted crying on the Rams' bench after fouling out of an 80-72 loss to the Rebels in Fort Collins. In that game, which was close from wire to wire, his 3-of-14 showing at the free throw line crippled his team in crunch time.

On Wednesday, Franklin scored 18 of his game-high 24 points after the half, including a few strong and-one finishes that visibly deflated UNLV.

"We belong," Franklin said. "We've just got to keep winning and showing the conference that we belong."

Added Miles: "After last year, it was 'OK, we need to be in the top four (in the MWC.) Let's just set a bottom line of we're not going to settle for less.' Well, you can talk yourself blue in the face, and there's just a time where you have to put up or shut up. Tonight, I was really impressed with their poise."

While things are looking up all around for the surging CSU program, which has improved steadily during Miles' tenure, many of the UNLV faithful right now have a hand hovering over the panic button.

The crowd of 11,266 at the Mack showed its displeasure by filing out early, with many departing when there were still five minutes left in the game.

"It's just the little things that have been hurting us all season," sophomore guard Anthony Marshall said. "Loose balls, rebounding, free throw shooting here and there, hitting shots … Just the little things."

What's most alarming has been the inability for UNLV to consistently correct those little things. From the onset, the Rebels had the look of a group that lacked urgency, almost as if they expected the Rams to leave the door open for a comeback at some point rather than forcing their way through.

UNLV was out-rebounded 34-29 and shot just 2-of-15 from beyond the arc.

There were a couple of decent performances sprinkled into the mess.

Marshall scored 14 points and again was the center of UNLV's offense, while Chace Stanback shot well for the second straight game, scoring a team-high 16 points to go with seven rebounds.

Quintrell Thomas was let loose a bit off of the bench for the first time in a while and responded with seven points and six rebounds in 16 minutes, and even freshman Karam Mashour looked aggressive while playing his first meaningful minutes as a Rebel.

But, again, UNLV's trio of big men couldn't all produce on the same night. With Thomas playing well, Carlos Lopez and Brice Massamba combined for five points and no rebounds in 20 minutes. Point guard Oscar Bellfield, who again had his right wrist wrapped after playing without the tape for two games, continued to struggle offensively, going 3-of-11 from the floor and 0-for-6 from deep in 36 minutes.

Defensively, UNLV let Colorado State get whatever it wanted, as the Rams were an efficient 28-of-50 from the floor and 24-of-38 inside of 3-point territory.

UNLV was again without Tre'Von Willis, as the senior guard missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. He suited up, but the fact that he was wearing two large studded earrings made it clear early that he wasn't going to play.

Willis hasn't played like his old self this season, but the toughness he regularly brings to the floor was sorely needed on Wednesday and will be needed even more on Saturday.

Colorado State's postseason profile is looking better and better by the day, but those of both UNLV and New Mexico — two NCAA tournament teams from a year ago — are beginning to look below average.

The Lobos suffered an 82-72 loss at Utah earlier in the night, and are now 1-3 in the league.

When UNLV and UNM met last year at the Mack, it was one of the biggest games of the MWC season between a pair of nationally ranked teams.

Now, they'll come into the first of two meetings this season on Saturday at 1 p.m. both desperate.

It may be a bit early to start mentioning the dreaded NCAA tournament bubble, but the Rebels will be even more firmly on the outside of it with another loss this week. The Lobos' might burst if they drop to 1-4.

"Every game is a big game for us," Stanback said. "But this one in particular will be a big game because we've dug ourselves a hole that we have to get out of."

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  1. NIT here we come. UNLV is basically going to have to win out now to make ther tournament. Most likely the Rebels will have to beat both SDS and BYU or win the MWC tournament to get in. I'm kind of doubting they will do either. The Rebels will probably get spanked when they go to Provo and most likely will lose to SDS at home the way they are playing now. Plus I don't see them winning the MWC tournament because they are playing like crap at home. The Yahoo sports team page said the it's probably likely that the MWC will only take three teams to the tournament this year. I think last nights loss probably means that team will be CSU. The fact that they got blown out at home to CSU will account for another bad loss for them come selection time.

    This team is getting worse as the year goes on. They are really showing their true colors now. They are horrible offensively and their defense is now starting to join their offense. They can't stop anyone from scoring and they can't score to save their lives. UNLV doesn't have one true offensive threat. We don't have one player averaging more than 12 ppg this year, and our leading rebounder is a 6'6" guy who is averaging 5.7 rpg. Same problems are hurthing this team, no true scorer, lousy big men, no outside shooting, and nobody that can get to the basket.

  2. Its amazing isn't it? Remember how great of a shooting team we were at the 76 classic? Illinois state? The UNR game changed the complexion of this team for the rest of the season. Its officially safe to say the rebels of old are back. UNLV is going to get a VERY LOW SEED in the NIT if that. CSU definitely deserves a tourney bid. Coach is going to be on the hot seat for, because we started off 9-0 with wins over V-Tech and Wisconsin....sure we lost to UNLV but made up for it against K-State, then UCSB came. Season is over....MWC will get three births to the tourney including CSU and UNLV is nose diving miserably. At least we had a good run the past four years right?! Sweet 16, 2nd round, terrible NIT, 1st round. This years team looks worst than Winks senior season's team.

  3. Another bad showing again last night on our home court. We were out coached, out hustled, and out classed last night by a good but still average csu team. If not for the last five minute outburst in colorado springs, we could be staring at 1-4 in conference play. This is a team for some reason who can't get over the hump. For the last three years it's been the same problems killing this team but nothing is done about it. It seems to me that if this season continues the way it is that changes need to be made whether it's assistant coaches or something. I love rebel basketball and always will, but it's getting tough to watch a product put out on the floor like that every night.

  4. It has been pretty obvious over the last couple years that Kruger has hit the ceiling. Lazy recruiting and just waiting on some transfer is not what he is getting paid for. Its time for our AD to make a change. Our AD didn't hire him so he has no affiliation with Kruger. Kruger is getting paid a lot of money and has yet to win a mountain west regular season title. Its time everybody to wake up and smell the roses.

  5. Kruger can't recruit!Kruger can't recruit! Now you see the results 'AGAIN'
    Have no fear 'wait till next year' right? Last years wait till next year in NOW Rebel fans! How much longer is it gonna take?

  6. It's very obvious to me, but Massamba and Jasper had there usual crappy game. Massamba tore it up, 15 minutes and 0 rebounds. From day 1, I don't what the coaching staff has scene in him. Green, I remember when he was a Freshman you and many other fans told us to give him a chance. Sophmore year you came out with an article on what great shape he's in, and his game is about to turn the corner. Losing a few pounds doesn't get you toughness and heart. Now it's his Junior year and he still looks like the slow, can't jump, non productive stiff. Do you still want to give him a chance? No more Massamaba, more Lopez and Thomas. Jasper had his usual way to many minutes, and his usual lack of toughness and production. He needs to see a shrink. These two guys are awful and it's time move to the future with Moushar, Thomas, Lopez, and Hawkins. No more Massamba and Jasper.

  7. Yes thats the truth. Kruger has never been able to recruit. Lets bring in theus who brought in a top recruiting class to New Mexico State.

  8. Absolutely embarrassing. Hard to believe that the team we saw early in the year in Anaheim has turned into this bunch of no heart, brick laying, turnover prone stiffs. 49, 64, 63??? Nice offense Walking Rebels.

  9. Lone Kruger is a nice guy. He is a good basketball coach as well. However he is not what this program requires. He will always be in the middle somewhere. Sometimes he will even have a champion. He is great at creating a politically correct environment. He recruits nice kids. Good students. His kids are nice suburban types. This is great if you want a nice mediocre program. Mediocrity will not be consistent at winning conference titles and or fill the seats at the T & M. We need, desire and require SWAGER, ATTITUDE, SKILLS. I long for a team that will strike fear in other clubs. You can see some of it in teams like San Diego State, Louisville and Pittsburgh just to name a few. You can even see a little of it in New Mexico. They are young but you can see the "attitude". The toughness. The swagger or confidence if you will. You just don't see that on Kruger's teams consistently enough. Remember a couple years ago, the team we had with Curtis Terry, Gaston Essengue, Joel Anthony and Wendell White, they had a little of it. If we had the academic stature of universities like Duke, North Carolina and Kansas, then Kruger would be able to recruit all americans like those schools. Certainly that is not where UNLV ranks. So we require a different approach to our program. Kruger's style and approach works in those kinds of places. But out here in the wild wild west, frankly we need THUGS, We need street ballers that can act like students for a year or two. You need some sketchy kids sometimes. It appears the Kruger has no desire to deal at this level at all. Yet Steve Fisher at SDSU and Steve Alford at New Mexico appear to. They know what it takes to win at a national level. BYU is good but you see how far they go in the NCAA tourney. Kruger has done a great job of returning UNLV to a respectable nice program. However his teams do not accurately reflect who we are as a community. All you got a do is drive down the strip. We are nowhere near mediocre. We need and require a team that reflects the essence of who we are. We are Las Vegas. We are WINNERS. We need a UNLV basketball program that represents that!

  10. Did Hauck take over as the basketball coach?

  11. Kruger baffles me with his substitutions. Last year it was his stubborness of playing Chop Jones in every game. This year its splitting the minutes of his big guys 3 ways. Jerking them out of the line-up every 3 to 4 minutes not letting them get a feel for the game. One little mistake and to the bench you go. On the other hand he plays Jasper a major amount of minutes no matter how many turnovers he commits or airballs he shoots. Maybe Jasper is a nicer kid than Q.

    He's also stubborn about his small ball line-up. We got killed on the defensive boards again last night. We made Franklin look like an all-american. What's it going to take to play Q and Lopez at the same time. Q gets 7 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes playing against the other teams center. What would happen if Franklin would have to guard Q? With the brick layers we have on this team, it would be smart to have some extra offensive rebounding in the game. But no, we will keep running an offense designed for good 3 point shooters we don't have.

    By the way, I would give Jaspers minutes to Mashour. He had more production in 2 minutes than Jasper the whole game.

  12. Oh so close: Another valiant effort to put an end to the 3-pointer streak. Keep trying guys, I'm sure you will break through and end the streak before the season is over. Let's go brick-layers!

  13. This team will be lucky to win 3 more games all year. They won't even make the NIT. I do think it is time for Kruger to go.

  14. Step number one in getting our state budget in order: Get rid of all college sports.

  15. Yeah, get rid of all college sports. And why not get rid of music and arts, too? And why stop at the college level? Let's eliminate them from all public institutions!


  16. "We are WINNERS. We need a UNLV basketball program that represents that!"

    Yeah, we had that. And, per usual, the rest of the nation didn't like it. So the NCAA came to town and dismantled the program.

  17. Willis's knee is is all messed up, Jaspers knees are messed up, Bellfield's wrist is messed up, Wallace can't play at all because his knee is so messed up, Shaw failed a drug test during the NCAA tournament but "gosh darnit, if these guys still don't win the National Championship, its time for Kruger to go." We used to have lots of thugs in the program, and sometimes they were very successful, until the program got annihilated with sanctions. Kruger is doing what he's been paid to do, which is restore a program to national relevance the right way. The fact is that UNLV has been the most successful of any MWC school in the NCAA tournament over the last 4 years. Kruger has done very well with the hand he has been dealt.

  18. I agree that Coach Kruger has done a nice job building the program back to being respectable. Alot of positives have happened on his watch. I do not expect Final Four runs every year. However, you cannot defend Coach after this. He is responsible in one way or another. He either is a poor judge of talent or he does not coach his players well enough and adjust during the course of the season. You cannot keep talking about what a great man of character he is, that only gets you so far. I think Charlie Spoonhour was a class guy but no one talks about what a great job he did here. The last 2 1/2 years the program has supposedly upgraded the talent level and what do we have to show for it? No regular season conference championships, no tourney championships and no post season wins. We are a sinking ship this year and he gets no blame? Why don't you ask him if he is satisfied? Bet he isn't. Walking Rebels!

  19. Mr. Reza: "Yeah, get rid of all college sports. And why not get rid of music and arts, too? And why stop at the college level? Let's eliminate them from all public institutions!"

    EXCELLENT IDEAS! I'm with you all the way!

  20. The hilarity of these comments. I'll agree we played terrible, but it seems people just starting to open an account to bash now.

    I would officially hit the panic button now. I never in 1000 years would believe THIS team would lose the games that we have. It has to come down to shooting. We NEED shooters and have few right now. Stanback really played hard last night towards the end, but overall as a team it was too little too late, once again. Thank goodness NM lost to Utah though. I'm extremely disappointed in the lack of urgency and MOVEMENT of the team. I think they all need to go run and get their endurance up because they got worked last night in every single aspect of the game.

    Very tough loss, and if there are many losses from here on, especially to the bottom dwellers, we are going to find ourselves in VT's position.

  21. We have the biggest bunch of babys for fans. Just stop watching your twits. The players are good and so are the coaches. They are suffering bad chemistry right now with problems in the off court and we are seeing the same thing we saw two years ago when it was wink and Willis that were fighting and destroying team chemistry. So hold on to your hat cause the crappy ride is still not over because nobody knows how to stop it now.

    Anybody who wants to fire a coach for losing to 2 top ten teams, 1 top 15 team, and one top 50 team is a retard. You can argue the only game that was dropped was to ucsb and they beat our sweet sixteen team and our national championship team and they were just as crappy then. I guess you can count last nights game as a bad lose too. They are a good team though and you really look dumb when you want to fire a guy for losing two games that he shouldn't have and maybe at this point winning two that he shouldnt have too.

  22. Oh yeah by the way don't be stupid and start calling for krugers head now. When they were 8-0 nobody wanted his head but by the way yiu guys are talking you knew this was coming and should of said something then. Oh wait your just a complainer and you just know nothing. Stay off the discussion board and leave it to people who at least have constructive criticism.

  23. Agreed toonkee.
    Last night's loss was pretty embarrassing, but these things happen. Who knows what is going on. First part of the season, we looked like a top 10 team. Now we look like we don't deserve to make it to the dance. Peaks and valleys fellas, peaks and valleys. You can't win them all. And you can't always have championship seasons. The MWC is strong this year and truth be told, it is going to come down to the conference tourney. All you Kruger haters KNOW that this team can play at the level of BYU and SDSU. Right now, they are not. But that's why they play all the games. It's all about who does what on game day and the match ups. Right now we're at a low point in our execution, but we'll get better as the season progresses and we ALWAYS put up a good fight in the conference tourney. Everyone cool your jets. There's a reason that Lon is a successful coach and you are not. He knows what he's doing.

  24. Best line on here:

    "There's a reason that Lon is a successful coach and you are not. He knows what he's doing."

  25. I am not calling for anyone's head... I am just perplexed by the schemes we are throwing out on the floor... They can't seem to get a consistent push to the basket... Instead they just settle for jacking 3's that are not there... and then cannot get back in transition to stop the other team...

    With the exception of a few guys (AM, Lopez, J-Hawk)... There does not really seem to be any heart on this team right now... At this point that is really troublesome... I like that Chace's shot has come back and I am starting to see some fire there as well, but 4 guys can't carry a team that just seems lost... Especially when a guy like Lopez is playing 7 minutes...

  26. For starters the team desperately needs a 100% Willis back ASAP. Hopefully this ends any discussion about him being such a problem. Even slightly injured, he is the team's number one scoring option. Stanback has improved from a year ago and become more of a consistent option in support of Willis who had very little help in that area a year ago. After those two...Marshall is improving in that area but still has a ways to go, Bellfield has been typically spotty (I am sure the injury hasn't helped any). We just do not have many consistent scoring options we can count on beyond Tre and maybe Stanback.

    As for Kruger, yes he has elevated the program from where he found it. At the same time it appears more and more with each passing season the program has hit a plateau under his watch. Same odd substitute patterns, predictable half-court offense, shaky play at the point, poor team rebounding, virtually no interior game offensively, etc. Adding to some fans anger is his stubbornness when it comes to addressing/improving these deficient areas.

    At this point after almost seven collective seasons one has to ask his or her self if they are willing to live with these results. I know I cannot. If this were to conclude with another NIT appearance there should be a mandate privately given to him regarding next season.

  27. I'm happy that we have a clean program, good personnel, and the recruits will come once they see a continued winning program (transfers or otherwise).

    Put Q in place of Jasper. Q played PF and Kruger has moved him around to a big, but maybe giving him some minutes in Jasper's spot can change some things while keeping a couple bigs on the floor at the same time.

    Who can shoot a 3? What's Mashour's 3p% look like? If it's above 30%, put him on the court.

  28. Wow a guy makes a lucky sweet 16 run in 2006 and he can retire at a school. He made it because of the role that allowed his son to play. Kruger is getting paid a lot of money. I see no progression with the program. Are you guys happy with the NIT one year and a one in out in the NCAA the next. Thats what is going to keep repeating. There were a lot of embarrassed boosters at the game that left early last night. That does not look good for Kruger and his contract is up next year. You guys really need to want better.

  29. Lon needs to recruit a couple of guys that just run the arc and are great 3 point shooters. I think we have enough players that are very athletic that can slash, but we need someone consistent to kick out to. That will open up defenses and make us very hard to defend. Besides wallace, we have no one

  30. Simple solution is to be aggressive of offense and defense. Anthony Marshall is the only player giving his all. Don't be afraid to speed the game up, the half court style doesn't fit us.

  31. Speaking of Kendall Wallace. He's a slow streaky shooter who can't play defense. The fact that he's a good kid and Riley Wallace's nephew ensures him 20 minutes a game next year.

  32. I guess what I do not understand is all the people giving Kruger a free pass. I do not think he should be axed by any means but he does need to held accountable. This is the third season in a row where the Rebs hit conference play and actually get worse. They play their best ball in Nov-Dec, by March they are extremely average. Yes the players have to play but it is Kruger's program and I can not believe that fans are satisfied with how the Rebs are playing. If Coach pulls us out of this and we somehow get to the NCAA's I will be the first one to commend him. But there is a big problem and it will take an incredible coaching effort to dig us out of this hole.

  33. What happened during halftime at Louisville is what I want to know. Our team hasn't been the same since.

  34. Kruger is a good coach and we all know that. He's done a good job restoring and cleaning up the program from where it was before he got here. But for a coach of his stature, how does he not see the things we see. Is he watching a different game then us. Is it arrogance. Wouldn't you think as a coach it would make you sick to see the same things over and over again. The sad thing is in most instances he even addresses the flaws after the game but yet the very next game the same mistakes occur. That's why I think fans and some boosters are probably fed up with it. If things continue to crumble the rest of this season and next season we enter the season again with high hopes but get underachieving results, changes will have to be made.

  35. It took over ten years for Tark to be a constant threat and it will take Kruger that too. And to say that Kruger had a lucky sweet16 run is stupid. I guess he had multiple lucky runs then at multiple lucky schools. Thats why only three coaches have done it throughout history.

  36. Lon Kruger should be held accountable for last night...but in my opinion, we REALLY need to hold Lew Hill accountable for his actions. He works with our big men...and the one that shows the most fire had a full year under DANNY MANNING (Quintrell). Carlos has potential...but potential doesn't mean squat if we don't have a Big Man specialist to bring out the potential. Darris Santee had potential...but he failed. Brice Massamba has/had potential, but he's probably gonna graduate only a little bit better than when he came in. Even Joel Anthony didn't reach his full potential here and he is now an NBA player! We don't need a new head coach, we need a new Frontcourt coach. Maybe Armon "The Hammer" Gilliam is interested...

  37. Actually, Djkgroup, Tark made it to the final four in just his fourth year as the rebs coach.

  38. Ask just about any sports analyst in college basketball and they will tell you that UNLV is very lucky to have Kruger.

    Remember Sanford, and how Hauck was supposed to turn the corner and now has all kinds of people bashing him? I can see it now, we hire some guy, and the program goes 3-26 the first year and everyone will be up in arms all over again crying for a new coach. You people are impossible to please. 68 out of 347 div. I teams make the NCAA tournament.

    He also did mix it up last night by putting Mashour in the game. Seems like some of you naysayers are blind in that the coaching staff isn't trying new things. QT was never a center, he was a forward and is learning the post game. Stop looking at the glass as half empty. /rant

  39. Yeah, "8-0".....nobody wanted his head. We're 14-5 now. 6-5 past 11 games. That's what makes it a ton worse. UNLV were playing like stars in the beginning of the season, than the UNR game came and UNLV hit rock bottom like it was endless and they're still falling. You gota point at the coach for this...UNLV is staring at another terrible program is this ensues. Just imagine who's going to go to the UNM game? Seriously? Fans are dropping like flies, Kruger keeps pointing out prbs in interviews but is still failing to fix them and the majority of our players suck. We're losing recruits, fan base and respect. UNLV will lose about 11 games this year. BYU, SDSU, CSU, UNM AND UTAH and the very minimal. Air Force can very well beat us at home next month also. I feel sorry for the fact they were just so MUST point at the coach for this. No, UNLV will never can him because it took the administration 5 years to get rid of that garbage football seriously think they're going to tank kruger after what he's done the past 4-5 years? His grace period doesn't start for another two years, he will be canned in four at the very minimal.

  40. I think we all wanna know what happened during the "timeout" when we were up by 9 at Louisville. That's when it all started. ALL OF IT!

  41. Sofaking - Mixing it up on occasion by putting in Mashour is not a meaningful change. We have never been a consistent offensive team. Since his arrival the team has scored 60 or fewer points 34 times. That is not a good offensive team. Either you are not getting enough skilled offensive players, or your system is not good enough to allow them to score points. He is usually a very good defensive coach, although last night was awful, but you cannot become a consistent top 25 team unless you can score the ball consistently. Just subbing somebody in every now and then is not enough. Coach needs to adapt and so far his offensive system has not changed. It is broke and it does need to be fixed.

  42. Everyone on here should go back and look at our results from last season. The same exact thing happened where we had a 3 game losing streak in the middle of conference play, figured it out, and came back to win 7 games in a row to make the finals of the conference tournament before losing to team we that ALWAYS beats us (SDSU) and then losing to No. Iowa in the NCAAs, who oh by the way also beat the No. 1 seed Kansas.

    I agree that the substitution patterns with the bigs is mind-boggling and that playing two of the 3 at a time would be a welcome change (by taking minutes from Jasper). The fact of the matter is that all of the guys shooting 3s right now have no business shooting 3s. The 3 players that should be taking the 3s are a healthy Willis, a healthy Wallace, and Matt Shaw. There is nothing that Krueger could do to replace any of those 3 players considering when he lost them and why he lost them. The question is, why do they keep shooting 3s and not attacking the basket. Oscar should not be shooting 3s. Maybe the worst thing that happened was that he hit a few early in the season. Our key players are injured and we need someone to step up and show some heart. That is the only way we can win and we used to have that in spades.

  43. Actually rebel32 I didn't say he didn't have Sucess in ten years I said he wasn't a consistent threat for ten years. It took him ten more years to get back to the final four. Read better. Thanks.

  44. @ gumby, I never said we were a good offensive team. Last night was an exceptionally bad defensive night for us, with Colorado St shooting nearly 60% FG. We are a defensive team, scoring much of our points quickly off turnovers. Our defense right now is rated top 10 in the nation. It's all about the baskets you don't let the other team make. I will agree that we need to score more than 60 points in games though, that has to improve some.

  45. Silver Lake, Kansas, is one mighty fine place to learn how the ball bounces. Lon Kruger knows the game, and the Rams are a better team for having studied Kruger's skill and expertise in bringing out the best in his players.

    I don't cotton to complaints about this strategy or that technique. I just like watching 'em hustle. The Rams out-hustled, out-shot and out-played the Rebels. Too bad.

  46. @Dj, your point would be valid IF the NCAA had not come in and levied sanctiions on the program just a few months after making the Final Four in 77. Any sanctions handed out back then was virtually a program death sentence. The program lost out on a lot of very good/high end recruits at the time. If you don't want to believe me, if you have the opportunity to ask Tark he will tell you.

    The NCAA sanctions in 77 were a huge setback/momentum killer at the time, and obviously something Kruger hasn't had to deal with so I am afraid your point doesn't hold water on this. Even with the sanctions, Tark had the Rebels ranked number one in the country again by 1983. If it was not for El Hud's knee injury that team would have had a deep run in the tourny IMO.

  47. For the love of the Rebls, it's heartbreaking to watch them lose to a team we expect them to beat. As a season ticket holder, I hate watching Kruger refuse to play his bigs, although I appreciate his loyalty to his seniors and trying to give them an opportunity to play.

    Our past success really relied on having stronger play from our point guards. Both Kevin Kruger and Curtis Terry made good decisions, and those teams that passion. I don't know what happened during half time of the Louieville game, but it's like the team bought the hype that they were as good as Duke, and decided they could coast on reputation alone.

    It is interest to see that Chace shot has come back during the games when Willis hasn't been playing. He is deferring to him like LeBron does to Wade, which affects 'Bron's game.

    I like Kruger, and I like that he puts out a competitive team every year. I agree we need to recruit better 3 Point Shooters for his offensive scheme, and we also need one or two thugs to bolster our interior game. But we have what we have right now, and I believe that the team will pull through and get us into the NCAA tournament (maybe as a 12 seed).

  48. Spin it however you want, but without Wallace and Shaw all year and missing Willis for 1/3 of our games through mid-January (and he's not exactly been 100% when he has played), we should probably be pretty happy with 14-5 at this point. Fact is that's a lot of shooting and scoring ability to make up for. You take away a senior who was last year's leading scorer and two other seniors who were your best 3-PT shooters and ANY team would struggle to score points.

    I'm not saying that's an excuse for getting stomped by CSU on your home court, but looking at the big picture it's not hard to see why we can't score.

  49. Anybody advocating replacing Kruger is beyond stupid & probably a Reno fan. Its not even worthy of discussion.

    Having said that, however, he does need to be a bit more creative with the hand he's been dealt. Our two best shooters are gone and Tre isnt half what he used to we need to have another alternative when our pressure doesnt work. Catch 22 though. We're pretty weak in the 1/2 court offensively so we need to generate easy looks thru our D ( but when that doesnt work we give up easy shots and try to counter it with our anemic offense....hence our blowouts at home. When we are sluggish like last night....we need to recognize it & change it up. We need to go Big and pound the ball Wisconsin style if you Q & Massamba/Lopez together, Chase at the 3, Willis/AMarshall at the 2, Oscar/AM at the 1...and dig in and turn the game into a brawl. I'm not saying thats what we should be from here on out...but it should be an option we can go to. If we can go small at will...we have the bodies to go Big now too. We have to do SOMETHING because the status quo aint working & the teams confidence is waning. We better figure it out & quick.

  50. It goes without saying that everyone posting on here wants to see Kruger go big and play Lopez and Q/Massamba at the same time. How about this for a starting five: Oscar, Chace, Marshall/Tre, Lopez (center), Q (power forward).

    Also, how disappointing has Jasper been? With his length and athletic ability, he should be a match up nightmare. I'm hoping he flips the switch soon, because time is running out.

  51. Rebel32 that's kinda goes to me cause sure we can say that Tark lost momentum by sanctions. However, then it took him ten years to get back to the final four from no momentum. Just like Kruger when he got here and had no momentum. Also you can add a couple years to krugers plan cause he doesn't cut corners. Like Tark.

  52. Here's what needs to happen.

    Put in Thomas with Lopez. Bench Jasper. And let them play. The other thing is we are way too nice. There's zero attitude. Even BYU's Jimmer plays with attitude. We have none. We're the nicest boys playing college basketball. Kruger has been incredibly inconsistent with his substitutions. I can't blame Thomas for being frustrated but really Kruger, pulling a guy 52 seconds into a game? That's crazy. Let them play.