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Rebels fail to execute game plan and drop another road game, 102-97 at TCU

UNLV blew an 18-point lead in the second half, thanks in large part to giving up 19 offensive rebounds and committing 15 turnovers



TCU ‘s Hank Thorns celebrates making a basket to tie the game against UNLV late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Feb. 14, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas. Thorns led scoring with 32-points in the 102-97 upset over UNLV.

Rebels defeated in overtime

KSNV coverage of UNLV basketball on the road in Fort Worth, Texas loose in overtime to TCU, Feb. 14, 2012.


UNLV 's Chace Stanback reacts in the final seconds of overtime in an NCAA college basketball game against TCU on Feb. 14, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas. Stanback had 17 points in the 102-97 loss to TCU. Launch slideshow »

FORT WORTH, Texas — One Vegas kid had the night of his life. Problem is, he’s on the other team.

No one had a chance to stop TCU’s Hank Thorns, a Valley graduate, down the stretch, not when he was hitting turn-around, fade-away 3-pointers over outstretched arms. But it was No. 11 UNLV’s defensive laziness early in the game that allowed him to get going and sewed the seeds for the Rebels’ collapse in a 102-97 overtime loss.

“It was the shots that he got to get him going that was the disappointing fact,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “He made some shots at the end of the game that nobody could guard, but the problem was giving him confidence to start the game.”

UNLV (22-5, 6-3) led by as many as 18 points in the second half and gave up 19 offensive rebounds, stats the Rebels will likely think about every night before they go to sleep.

On Monday, Rice talked about playing the game right away with a sense of urgency. But the message didn’t take. Less than three minutes into the game, he had already called a timeout and was watching possessions with his hands and his head and anger in his eyes.

The defensive effort didn’t get any better throughout the game, which is how TCU (15-10, 5-4) was able claw its way back and tie the game on one of Thorns’ eight 3-pointers with just less than three minutes remaining. Thorns finished with a career-high 32 points.

That turn-around 3 from well behind the line — “Not exactly how we drew it up,” TCU coach Jim Christian said of the shot — came with 1:21 left in overtime. It put TCU up by five, just after fellow Vegas native Anthony Marshall had hit a 3-pointer that pulled the Rebels within two.

In its two other overtime conference games on the road, UNLV was the aggressor in the extra period. But this time it was TCU as Thorns keyed the Horned Frogs to a 4-0 start. TCU never trailed in overtime.

When the buzzer sounded, Thorns jumped on top of the scorer’s table and let out a scream then shed a few tears as he shared a hug with his father on the court. During the summer, Thorns played with most of if not all the Rebels and he’s known Marshall since they were both in grade school.

This was his chance for a big moment. He seized it.

“If it was all over today, I’d be pleased,” Thorns said.

Conversely, this was the Rebels’ chance to answer questions and prove something about how they could play on the road. They let it slip away.

There were three plays that defined the Rebels’ game.

The first was senior center Brice Massamba fourth foul, which occurred with just less than 10 minutes left in the game. When he left the game UNLV led by 15. When he came back it was down to six.

“I thought that changed the whole game,” Rice said. “He was in a rhythm.”

Rice loves the flow that Massamba brings to the offense. More importantly to Tuesday’s game, during that stretch the already struggling defense gave up four offensive rebounds that TCU converted into five points.

The second play was the final possession of regulation. TCU tied the game at 85 with 2:10 remaining, and it remained tied as UNLV inbounded the ball with 7.7 seconds left.

Before he could even ignite the offense, senior guard Oscar Bellfield turned the ball over and UNLV was lucky that the clock ran out on TCU.

Maybe the most disconcerting thing for UNLV fans is that this loss was just a more extreme example of the same problems that have plagued the Rebels on the road. UNLV shot 58 percent in the second half — and more than midway through had a percentage north of 70 — but eight turnovers limited the number of possessions they had.

That was a problem in the first half against both Air Force and Wyoming, and at the end of regulation Tuesday it cost the Rebels even a shot at winning the game.

The final play that encapsulated UNLV’s rugged night came with about 40 seconds left in overtime.

With the Horned Frogs ahead by three, TCU’s Garlon Green took an open shot along the baseline. TCU had beat the defense, again, but the shot caromed off the rim, down toward a crowd of UNLV players. Only none of them came up with it.

TCU’s J.R. Cadot positioned himself in the middle of the crowd, grabbed the rebound and put back a layup for a five-point lead.

UNLV’s defense had been given a second chance on Green’s miss, but they didn’t work hard enough to take advantage.

“That just comes down to effort and commitment,” Rice said.

The Rebels found a few different ways to describe the loss.

Disappointing. Frustrating. Inexcusable.

All of them cut to the same nerve.

They failed, and it hurts.

“It’s a painful, painful loss,” Rice said.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. Team Stat Comparison
    Points 97 102
    FG Made-Attempted 32-60 (.533) 36-76 (.474)
    3P Made-Attempted 12-25 (.480) 14-32 (.438)
    FT Made-Attempted 21-29 (.724) 16-29 (.552)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 18 6

    UNLV stats are on the right side, tcu to the left. When you look at this, the math doesn't add up. that is what happens when you don't show rebounds and turnovers.

  2. First, blame the entire organization for the athletics association for having unlv fly in 12 hours before the game. Second, coach has zero depth but doesn't use it? What's up with that? Everyone on the bench could've played better defense than the starters. Our guard defense is absolutely ATROCIOUS! Bellfield is complete rubbish as I been saying for years, and Marshall can't guard on the perimeter. Why wasn't Reggie in? What's coach gonna do during tourney time? Play only five and a half? UNLV deserved this loss, and deserves another one come new Mexico when they get completely bashed.

    We lost not only future recruits with this loss, but could be a season changer too. This is in the GODAWFUL LOSS column and UNLV may night recover. Pencil in losses at the pit and CSU. Only thing that matters now is not embarrassing yourself on home floor against New Mexico in the semi finals of the MWC tourney. More importantly, not getting thrashed in the 1st round of the tourney. Forget about bazz, Bennett and co about coming. Not shot after tonight.

  3. Even a neophyte like me can see that there were too many 3 point attempts with no offensive rebounding. This has been the pattern for every road loss (or close game for that matter) so far.

    It seems very simple, don't make the 3p attempt if you can't get the rebound if it misses. Pile on the 2s to maintain a lead once you build it.

  4. The Rebels biggest problems last night, and what seems like on all road games, was their lack of rebounding, lack of making adjustments, lack of execution, lack of leadership. UNLV got pounded on the defensive rebounding side. Once again, outside of Mike Moser, the Rebels lack of rebounding came back to haunt them. The 3 headed monster of Masamba, Lopez, and Thomas is a joke. None of them average more than 3 rebounds/game. Massamba plays more like a small forward than he does a center. I don't know how you can be 6'10" and only average 3 rpg and 0.4 block/game. Lopez isn't much better. He tries to play like one of these European finese centers. And Thomas is just not that athletic and has hands of stone. I never see any of them get second chance put backs, defensive rebounds, or play in the lane like a true center to block or alter shots.

    The Rebels failed to make adjustments once again on the road last night. TCU took them out of their run and gun game by taking away the defensive rebounds. UNLV also failed to figure out the pick and rolls that TCU kept running on them in the second half.

    The Rebels also failed to execute in the clutch. UNLV had two opportunities to win that game in the last minute of regulation. And what did they do with those two possessions? Turned the ball over both times.

    The lack of leadership and killer instinct with this team is dissapointing. UNLV always jumps out to big leads at some point in the game against these teams on the road. And instead of putting the teams away they allow them to stick around, chip away at the lead and slowly get back into the games. When you are up 18 in the second half that should be the game. UNLV was up by about 9 points with 5 minutes to go last night and couldn't put TCU away. That's the time where someone on this team needs to step up and say lets finish this game. But they don't and they end up in OT or losing. Plus no one is stepping up once UNLV starts to lose their leads. No one gets the team together, calms them down, and runs/executes the offense. Bellfield is not a floor leader and neither is Marshall. Stanback seems to run dissapear when the game gets tense and doesn't show any senior leadership. The game starts getting away from UNLV and nobody can't stop the bleeding.

    Major problems for UNLV going into the home stretch. They probably still have 2-3 losses left on their regular season schedule. Rice never seemed to have that sense of urgency with the team during their struggles on the road earlier. He kept saying how those games at UCSB, BSU, and AF were good wins against good teams while failing to address the Rebels road problems and now it's starting to come back to bite them in the ass. Better figure it out quick coach Rice.

  5. after a few hours to reflect, i really just don't know what to make of this team. obviously at home they feed off the energy and show incredible heart and determination. the road has clearly been another story. but this road game is different from the others. just the lack of any kind of fire is what bothers me. we all know defense and rebounding are about effort and desire, and if we're aren't going to compete in both those elements then this season will end just like last year did. when that lead got whittled down to single digits, how come no one on the team was screaming at the others and themselves to cowboy the f*ck up and start kicking some ass? i suspect there might still be a little too much of the "kruger nice guys" mentality that, i'm sorry, needs to make way for the old school "take-no-sh*t rebels" mindset.

    i actually think that if this team takes last night like the bell-ringing that they should, then they'll play like demons for 40 min every game the rest of the way, and we'll be fine. if not, well then this year has been fun but i'll just start looking forward to next season already.

  6. Honeymoon is now officially over Coach Rice. Time to see what you and the Rebels are made of. To have a chance at a conference champ you have to win every game from here on in. Pretty sure thats not going to happen. Rebels are beginning to creep down the seeding towards the 6-9 region. Sound familiar? Now have given up double digit leads against Air Force, Boise St, SDSU, TCU, and CSU. This season is beginning to look alot like the last 2-3 under Kruger. Great non conference with some big wins, and taking a dump in the Mountain West. Disappointing.

  7. Like Larry Johnson said to Coach Richardson of Arkansas, You better go get some men! Coach Rice has to work on that killer instinct. When up by 18, push for 30. Boise, Air Force, Wyoming and now TCU all have the same feel.

  8. Gumby 2323, I agree with you about laying an egg once we get to the MWC schedule. I guess this really still is a Kruger team. Rice didn't recruit any of these kids so they still have the making of Kruger's teams. Adrock, I thought the Wyoming game was going to be a wake up call for the Rebels. A chance to crack the top 10 and they choke to a mediocre team on the road. I figured they wouldn't have that let down game again coming off a hard fought game with San Diego St. But they still just have not learned or made any adjustment even though they continue to play like crap on the road. I was just as frustrated as you looking at the lack of leadership and any fire from anyone on the court or Dave Rice on the bench. I was waiting for someone to just step up and say pull your heads out of your ass or we're going to lose this game. But nobody did. Niether Bellfield or Marshall took control at the point and tried to settle the team down and set up some type of offense. I expect Bellfield or Stanback to show some type of senior leadership but niether do. Stanback looks hell bent on being just a role player who stands in the corner and jacks up 3s all night while dissapearing in big games. Seems like he is more interested in his own game then the teams. Plus Rice just seemed too relaxed after the OT games against BSU and AF and the loss to San Diego St and Wyoming. Listening to his post game interviews from those games he just seemed to have an attitude of "we'll be fine" and "a wins a win". I thought after the BSU and AF games that he needed to get in the team's ass and tell them to wake up on the road but it's apparent that he didn't. Or even if he did, whatever he did obviously is not working.


    that was a bad loss, but news flash, this team was either going to lose yesterday or lose to New Mexico on Saturday. No rebounding and turnovers is the recipe for a loss. Let's get this one on Saturday!

  10. It simple. UNLVs defense has sucked. they cannot guard without fouling. they do not block shots without fouling. There is NOOOOOO shotblocking. Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to east to score with layups on UNLV. Brice playing well but we have no shotblocking.....Rebels extedn their defense. This gives speedy guards room to break them down....and no one behind them to block shots. If this keeps up may want to go to ZONE! especially if not getting turnovers....which they are not.

  11. This ranks right up there with Wyoming as another embarrassing loss for the Rebels. The law of averages does say that the more 3 points you guys shoot some will eventually go in, but maybe 30+ is a little to many to be shooting. Afraid to go inside to try the 2 point shots?

    As well Jedi, a zone defense? Didn't you rebel fans sometime ago say how easy the zone was to break down? Also you do not have the length or size to run a good zone defense. Please do not try the zone.

  12. Ok Rebs you've got the runnin' part and big leads part down.....now you have to learn how to close out!

    Still time to adjust

  13. In UNLV 5 losses there is a common theme. The opposing team has 1 guard who has a pretty good to great game. Plain and Simple: Our perimeter defense is laughable. Loss @ Wichita State: Joe Ragland, 31 pts, 8-9 from 3. Loss @ Wisconsin: Ben Brust, 25 pts, 7-7 from 3. Loss @ SDSU: James Rahon...WHO?, 22 points, 3-5 from 3. Loss @ WYO: Luke Martinez, 15 points, 5-13 from 3, which isn't good but a lot of those misses were open looks. 5 makes and 13 attempts are far too many regardless. And finally, Loss @ TCU: Hank Thorns, 32 pts, 8-12 from 3.
    Even in some wins this has occurred. @ Boise: Thomas Bropleh, 17 pts, 4-9 from 3. @ Air Force: Michael Lyons, 25 pts, 6-11 from 3. VS UNR: Deonte Burton, 28 pts, 3-6 from 3. VS SDSU: Chase Tapley, 22 pts, 4-7 from 3.
    I know that good players are going to play good, but is there not a pattern there?
    Bottom line is that UNLV is mentally weak. There is no senior leadership apparent on the floor. No one is stepping up and saying, "Guys we are not going to lose this game." At least there is no apparent sign of that on the floor.
    A lot of people complained about Kruger not being flashy enough but I sure wouldn't mind a 60-50 win over ANYONE in conference right now. Why is Rice ending the game(regulation) with timeouts left? When a team stalls offensively call a time out. Go to your bread and butter.
    Rebs have the talent to do it. It's going to take a win for UNM @ SDSU tonight, a win @ UNM Saturday, and a win @CSU in a couple weeks. That will give us a share of the league title. Could happen with some changes. Hopefully will.
    Go Rebs.

  14. Lack of an "on the court leader" to keep them focused and energized is killing this team. They have the offensive talent to get it done and usually defensively they get it done. But the rebounding (offensive and defensive) is another killer. Sadly, I agree with a lot of the comments already. This season has been fun to watch but the guys need to put a 40 minute (sometimes 40+) game together. I also agree this team needs to get the "killer instinct" and finish off teams. Listening and then watching the game last night you can definitely see we didn't have it... Huge props to Thorn putting on a show. Once he hit that turnaround 3-pointer, I knew this wasn't going to be our day. Still looking forward to seeing the adjustments on Saturday, otherwise, it might be a rough weekend for us Rebel fans. Go REBELS!!

  15. @blueandgold,

    Fantastic post. I agree with the bulk of what you said. In mentioning the one guard/player to dominate us in each of these losses/close games it reminded me of our common problem in such games... we have no go to guy offensively. No one to take over in crucial possessions or to make free throws. To look at this team you gotta wonder how in world they've won 22 games...but they've gotten a ton worse as the season has gone on, especially the last 2 to 3 weeks. Are they tired? Are they mentally weak? Do they not have leadership toughness? Are they capable of turning the corner and winning out? All questions that I think won't be asked next season. So....with this loss I am incredibly tempted to turn the page on this season and look forward to next year.

    Next season, enter 2 shot blockers and at least one (Bryce Jones), if not more, go to guys who can take over a game when necessary.

    Some can redicule and mock those who criticize the team by saying "The sky is falling" but the realists have seen the bad play long enough to know the season is coming to a disappointing close. Do I hope they pull their heads out of their keysters? Of course, it's just very very unlikely.

  16. I'm with Legolas James on this one. Our starters did build up an 18 point lead, it is important to remember that!

    But they got tired and where was our bench? I don't blame Karam for being frustrated about minutes, he always seems to play with such enthusiasm when he is put into the game and we really needed that. We really need a guy that is excited about coming on the floor to bring the energy level up for the entire team. Especially when we are up by a good lead and the mentality shifts and the kids think they can let up a little.

    If we are going to try to out run the competition we need to use our entire team. Check the stats, four of our starters played over 30 minutes. That's just too much.

  17. All theses excuse but you have to recognize the core problem, defense. Ours sucks. If its broken, which it is, then you have to do something different or you will get the same result. If that means try a zone then do it, if you have to hire someone then do it, if you need to try Ameba then do it. But we know how this works no change because it's to close to the end of the season. Same as Kruger and well get the same result.

    Jerry Wayne, when you drop 2-3 and they are to teams they should absolutely beat, And you nearly gave away the one win, and your next game is almost an assured loss (the way we are playing). Then yes, the sky is falling. Wake up

  18. I'm glad to see that fans are finally calling out Rice. I wanted so badly to give him the benefit of the doubt, but time and time again we let inferior opponents stay in the game....Wyoming, Boise, AFA, and now TCU. I've been telling long time fans, not to get too excited about this team. Rice's inexperience is showing badly. Like another person mentioned, Rice says things need to change, but it's the same crap every time. Large droughts without scoring, inability to shut down the "hot" scorer (usually a career day for the player), inability to score after a time out (no set play or poor execution). Man.....oh man....... I fear it might be another 7th or 8th seed and one and done in the NCAA's. Forget about the MWC championship. I just hope that Rice's excuse is that the players on the court today are NOT the ones he recruited, so they don't "fit" into his system. Somehow, I don't think it's the players.....but the Rookie coach that has many many lessons to learn. Frustrating!!!!!

  19. It's simple. Our guards have big heads and they want to be ball hogs. And they refuse to play defense. And what happened to MIA Stanback. He was outworked on many plays for rebounds. Sad display rebels.

  20. Gumby nailed it. Honeymoon is over. This team overachieved and suddenly with a ranking and beating a bunch of subpar teams the locals and media were like "OMG best team evar! Even The Tark likes us!!".


    Those local commentators on the radio last night sounded on the verge of suicide after the game, what a bunch of homers. This town simply doesn't know how to win.

  21. I just think its baffling how they blow large leads. Unlv should've win by 30, but completely gave up. You seriously have to blame the guards for not guarding hank. Rebels will surely lose at new Mexico and Colorado and a possibility of dropping one at home is possible, but like I said, making the tourney is their goal right now because this was a demoralizing loss for them. I'm guessing 7th seed with two more ugly losses approaching.

    This year was only to get us through to next year anyways. Over achieved but then back to earth by losing to trashy teams like Wyoming and tcu. I'm just glad Bellfield is gone after this year and Stanback too. Next year with Reinhardt, Morant, jones and birch...we will have rebounding, size and guys to go to in the clutch. This year we simply don't. And rotations are a bigger issue. Thomas will see only the bench next year and probably Lopez too.

  22. I disagree that we overachieved. If anything we are now underachieving, however, I like Dave rice. I'm glad he is here. With that said look at his eleven years here. Unlv was not a staple of defense. Look at byu, did they even play defense at all? Dave rice has never been or will be defensive minded. That will only bring us so far. Ask anybody about tarkSteams schemes and they will tell you it was the defense that was all offense. To get back we will have to learn it or just be a good team. Not great.

  23. At this point, Reggie should be seeing around 15-20 minutes of playing time right now. I don't care how Bellfield shoots behind the perimeter...guy is simply rubbish and torched on the defensive side of the perimeter. Come on coach. Simple...observations. Out in a defensive team for crying out loud. Hawkins and Smith are easily our best two defensive guards. Another reference to next year, we will be extremely solid in the defensive end but sad to say guys, after last nights loss, Bennett and bazz are out of the question.

  24. Some days we are relentless on defense. Last night, things to come? Seems like they're not even close to being focused on twitter. Hawk tweeting an hour before the game...says a lot. There's a bunch of factors that contributed to the loss but the boys are in adversity. Loss to new Mexico will bump them down to a 6th seed. A loss at home to an atrocity will be 7-8. Quarters of the MWCT, 9-10. Season can change just like that.

  25. When I said the honeymoon is over I certainly did not mean that Coach Rice is on or should be on the hot seat. Simply that when you are new you are given some latitude when mistakes are made. My problem is that we are once again playing our worst basketball when it matters most. The entire team and staff need to be accountable and fix the problem. Other teams and coaches are making adjustments to stay in the game or beat us. I would love to get back on here next week and applaud Coach Rice and the team for a huge win at New Mexico. Here is hoping that is exactly what I do.

  26. HEARTBREAKING! How can a game like this have any positive results. Anthony Marshall stated in a tweet this is a marathon not a sprint. Dude, we are closing in on the end of the race, it's time to go to the whip! I agree with many of the posts the killer instinct is just not there. It seems so effortless for the team to get out to an 18 point lead and then lose focus,the desire to move 18 pts to 25 pt doesn't seem there, silly turnovers, and the lack of a consitent strong inside presence all hurt the cause.And yet we see the same game plan without changes, on offense or defense. That's on the coaching staff.What happened to full court pressure?We are a deep team, why not, especailly on the road.

    This team better come out on Saturday with their hair on fire, I know New Mexico will.

  27. Its amazing how all of these hypothetical losses are building up. Looks like some of us have been just waiting for a chance to jump on the Dave Rice Sucks train.

    I mean, we've got guys on here talking about what's going to happen when we lose out? REALLY!?!?!? Give me a break! I'm as disappointed with the play yesterday as any of you. They had the game won, relaxed and let TCU back in and this time it bit them.

    Some of you guys touched on the toughness and killer instinct factor. That's not really something you can coach. Some guys have it, so guys don't. I think its clear that some of our guys have an issue with that. But, as was mentioned, these are Kruger's guys. Kruger passed on some guys with a bit more talent because they had a bit more attitude to go with them. If you look at the guys Rice has recruited, I'm confident that toughness will not be a huge problem in the future.

    I didn't check the paper this morning, but some of these posts lead me to believe that some of you may have planned on jumping off the dam or forming a mob to go after Rice & Co. All of the sudden we're going to fall out of the rankings, get a horrible NCAA seed and top recruits like Bazz and Bennett will never come here. Wow... just wow.

  28. You think bazz is going to want to come after losing to TCU? And UK just held a practice with 20k people there? Come on. Think about it. He, and Vegas was excited after the sdsu game...but I wasn't. UNLV shows critical flaws in letting up. Lead against SDSU was thrown away too. It's not the coaches fault, it's strictly the players who don't play with intensity for a full forty minutes...like Bellfield and Marshall. Same bs guards that cost us earlier games (sdsu and Wichita)....the coach can only do so much. Must point the. Fingers at whoever wants to fly the boys in12 HOURS before the game too! When that happened, I knew we were in trouble. If it happens against new Mexico, expect a blowout.

  29. We need guys that WANT to play and excel. It just looks to be that Thomas, Bellfield and Marshall sometimes DON'T want to be in the team. Senior seasons are always let downs (wink, darger, rougeau)....and now Bellfield. I'm guessing the players from the atrocious 08-09 campaign literally just give up their senior season. Although Bellfield has had spurts, he lacks perimeter defense. If I was a coach, and Marshall and Bellfield were getting plastered from the perimeter...PUT! Smith and Hawkins in. Both guys have much better defense then the starting two. Our bigs are trash and thankfully we won't be seeing Thomas or Lopez next year much with jones and birch handling that.

  30. In summary, the regular season frankly doesn't matter anymore to be honest. We have penciled in losses in our last two away games, and I have a bad feeling about our remaining homes games too, which we can CERTAINLY drop at least one. It comes down to not have a CREIGHTON TYPE debacle in the end. Make the tourney, regardless of the seed, and lose comfortably first round. (if we play a big ten team)...but if we have another outing like Illinois last year, that hurts our 2013 recruiting prospects.

    Starting five next year is katin, garbage Marshall, Moser, Birch and Jones. Morant a defensive menace off the bench and hopefully Hawkins and smith excel. 8 man rotation. Lopez and Thomas are 9 and 10 in garbage time. Cook might redshirt.

  31. The Rebels stink, pure and simple. Check next Monday's ratings to get a somewhat accurate idea of how good they really are (NOT). This will be after getting punked in New Mexico this weekend. Rice can't seem to figure out how to motivate this team to play CONSISTENTLY FOR AN ENTIRE GAME. Smoke and mirrors don't get it done. This team must scramble to even make the NCAA tournament, much less advance past the first round.

  32. The team lacks mental toughness. Rice has been ineffective in turning that around.

  33. Morant is a role player and sometimes doesn't even start in high school. There is no way he is getting meaningful minutes next year. I can guarantee that he will be redshirting. I havent seen Cook play, but with all the guards we have, he'll probably be redshirting too. Marshall, Hawkins, smith, jones, and katin r. as our guards with moser, birch, Lopez, and Thomas as the posts. If jones and birch are as good as everyone says they are then we should be pretty dang good.

    As far as the rest of this season goes, it looks like we peaked too early. There is still time to get hot again and make a run. Honestly, we were ranked higher then we probably should have been. I think we are the 15-25th best team in the nation, which translates to a 4-7 seed in the tourney. Our expectation should be to win our first rond ncaa game. Anything less, we should consider our season a disappointment. Anything more, we should be consider this season a success.

  34. Sad, but true...the winning shot was hit by a Valley High grad whom Kruger told wasn't good enough for a scholarship but could walk on if he wanted to. Funny how that works- Kruger recruits lost last night and someone Kruger didn't want beat us.

  35. @Legolas - I don't think Bazz or any other recruit is going to base his decision on one freaking game. That would just be ignorant and short-sighted and having followed his recruitment, I don't believe Bazz or his father are.

    Not sure what would make you nervous about our remaining home games. Other than the SDSU game (and UNR at the beginning of the season), we've absolutely killed every single team that has come into The Mack. While losing at both UNM and CSU would not shock me given the way we've played on the road, I'd be shocked if we don't handle each of our remaining home games with relative ease.

    And for those of you pointing at the team's flight, did you guys not get the memo that they found an oil leak on the team's original plane and that delayed the team's flight by 5 hours or so?

    @Gary - You're ridiculous! This team stinks? We have to scramble to make the tournament? Do you even follow basketball? Even if we get hammered in New Mexico, we'll still be ranked in the Top 20 come Monday. Yup... that really sucks.

  36. wow daniel, what a vulva you are. just a giant coward who can't wait to call attention to himself by being the sh*t in every punch bowl. no nuance, no balance, just flame everything because nothing is ever good enough. nothing is perfect, therefore everything sucks. oh poor child, won't you ever find your rainbow?

  37. All you sideline players fail to recognize one thing: our conference is strong and, when playing UNLV, always play over their heads.

    SDSU just lost big at home to UNM (the same team UNLV trounced by 17 at home), so the game Saturday is now for a tie for first in the MWC.


  38. PS "Daniel Jackson" is still mad that his candidate lost the mayoral race. Don't bother with that person.

  39. UNLV stopped playing defense and rebounding with about 10 minutes to go. Honestly, I don't think Dave Rice did enough rotating to keep the team fresh.

    You have to tip your hat to Thorns as he played the game of his life, and to the rest of TCU's team for not giving up.

    Hopefully, when the Rebels have a true alpha player next year (Bryce Jones) they will be able to pull out more of these types of games. The road play has been poor all year, as the only convincing true road win was at USB. Still, the Rebels are in good shape and hopefully they can pull out a win in New Mexico.

  40. Morant is a defensive presence. Something UNLV DESPERATELY NEEDS RIGHT NOW. He should, and will br getting 15 minutes a game. Well, should. Guards are junk outside of Reggie and katin but jones is a SF I think. Not a guard. But not worried about guards because katin will come in and destroy everything thankfully.

  41. Now that New Mexico beat SDSU, the Rebels control their own destiny. If they win out, beating the Lobos at the pit, they can tie New Mexico for a shared conference title, but would have the sweep, and take the first place seeding come the conference tourney, meaning they wouldn't have to play through NM or SDSU until the final round.

  42. Everyone cool your jets...We always drop a few games a year that we shouldn't. So does DUKE, UNC, OSU, etc. All these knee-jerk reactions are stupid. We all know this team is very good. And we should be happy that they have a great shot in March.

  43. This loss to TCU hurts, but it is a great teaching situation for Coach Rice. The Rebels played well statistically, but were out hustled and out desired by TCU who showed great determination in that victory. If the Rebels had displayed a small ounce of that determination they win easily, instead they rolled over, as they have done on the road to this point in the season. And that's the problem, every other team in the nation knows when UNLV travels to their home gym, they can be pushed around, intimidated, and discouraged quite easily. The question now is: what are the Rebels going to do about it? Like the Untouchables "what are you prepared to do?"
    Here is New Mexico. Road game, top of conference playing their best ball of the season. We can roll over again. Or, we can take it from them, like TCU took it from us.
    I'm hoping that Saturday's game has the Rebels down by double digits, crowd going nuts. Then we'll know what this year's UNLV team is really about. The win against UNC is a distant memory now. The losses @SDSU, @ WSU and @ TCU are much more glaring. Which team will show up Saturday? Which team will show up the rest of the year?

  44. I think we all saw this loss coming. I was hoping it wouldn't be against TCU, but it was coming. The bleeding needed to be stopped, but it wasn't. Our guys honestly looked tired at the end. Mixture of flight difficulties (their earlier flight was cancelled due to a fuel leak), red hot shooting from guards, and lack of heart lost the game. I will say a good portion of it has to be put on Rice for not at least saying to the team something along the lines of "Who feels like hustling, and banging right now?" or subbing in someone who is fresh. When turnovers happen, that's a lot of times tiredness, lack of focus. We have depth, use it.

  45. Maybe next game they will not shoot some 30 3 point shots. You can get closer & make a 2 point shot. Just sayin....

  46. Wow, now there's some valid criticism: Take shots that are closer to the basket. Yup, it's just that easy... Please.


  47. It's funny to read comments that "these are Kruger's recruits" when we lose, but then it's "Rice's team" when they win....pure comedy. I don't care who recruited them, it's the current coach who's responsible for the team and their performance, therefore this team's lack of focus and preparedness on the road lies on Rice's shoulders. Yes, the same Rice who has a brother at BG and who can't sign the biggest player in the country when he has an inside edge....what does that tell you? It tells me that even with his brother in the ear of a top recruit, he can't garner the respect for him to sign him....

    Rice will get us to the tourney, but we won't win any championships under his watch. We can't even land big name recruits from his own brother! LMAO

    Watching us lose on the road this year is a joke.....oh that's right, "the tourney is played on a neutral court"....so it doesn't matter, the plane had an oil leak so the boys were tired, we are tied for first in the MWC and are still ok, Kruger didn't recruit defensive players so we can't shut down opponents......homers make me laugh....ha ha!