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Rebels receive just one vote in preseason poll


Steve Marcus

A view of the first UNLV basketball practice of the season at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center Monday, Oct. 7, 2013.

UNLV Rebels First Basketball Practice of the Season

Bryce Dejean-Jones drives by Kevin Olekaibe during the first UNLV basketball practice of the season at UNLV's Mendenhall Center Monday, Oct. 7, 2013. Launch slideshow »

The UNLV basketball team won’t be ranked when it opens the season next month.

The Rebels received just one vote in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll, which was released today. New Mexico at No. 20 with 153 points was the lone Mountain West team ranked; Boise State was ahead of the Rebels in the others receiving votes category with 11 points.

Last year, UNLV checked in at No. 19 in the preseason — the first time it was ranked in the preseason since the 1992-93 season — in creating much hype and lofty expectations.

The Rebels went on to qualify for their fourth straight NCAA Tournament but were eliminated from the event in their first game.

They lost three starters from last year’s team — Anthony Bennett to the NBA, Anthony Marshall to graduation and Katin Reinhardt, who transferred to USC — and don’t have the same expectations from last year’s preseason.

Kentucky, which missed the NCAA Tournament last year, is ranked No. 1 with 16 first-place votes. Michigan State is No. 2, defending national champion Louisville is No. 3 and Duke received three first-place votes to be ranked No. 4. Arizona is No. 5. Here are the rest of the rankings.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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