UNLV coach expects his program to ‘grow up’ after no-show at Air Force

The Rebels fell back to three games out of first place with a 71-56 loss that was actually worse than it sounds

Image

Jerilee Bennett/Gazette/Associated Press

UNLV’s Anthony Bennett reacts in the first half against Air Force at Air Force, Colo., on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. UNLV lost to Air Force 71-56.

UNLV vs. Air Force

Air Force's Kamryn Williams greets fans Air Force defeated UNLV 71-56 during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Jerilee Bennett) Launch slideshow »

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Ask anyone around college basketball, including the Rebels, about the Air Force offense and one of the first things you will hear about are backdoor cuts. UNLV puts more time into defending that simple move — crashing to the basket with a defender on your back hip — leading into these games than anything else it works on.

How, then, do the Rebels (18-7, 5-5) explain giving up at least four easy, almost completely uncontested layups off that move Wednesday night at Clune Arena in the first half alone?

“There’s not really much to say,” UNLV’s Katin Reinhardt said.

Added senior Anthony Marshall, “I can’t even put it into words.”

Ask a UNLV fan right now and they’ll have plenty of words, though most of them are unprintable. Allowing those plays wasn’t the only thing that went wrong for the Rebels in a 71-56 dismantling by the Falcons (15-8, 6-4). No, that list stretches halfway back to Las Vegas. But it was the first thing, the first sign that this game wouldn’t go any better than the last three conference road games and that it may even be worse.

It was like removing the first Jenga piece and bringing the whole tower down with it.

Air Force deserves credit for how both teams played. While the Rebels looked lost from the beginning, the Falcons enforced their will with those cuts, knocking down open shots and a healthy dose of Michael Lyons.

The senior guard beat at least three different UNLV defenders for his first four made baskets and finished with a game-high 27 points. He also had four assists to one turnover while fellow seniors Mike Fitzgerald (18 points, eight rebounds) and Todd Fletcher (eight points, five assists, one turnover) also had stellar efforts.

It’s very possible that even if UNLV had played well it would have lost this game. But UNLV didn’t play well. Not even close.

“We knew they were going to play like they did and we did not match what they brought,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “That’s absolutely inexcusable.”

The final numbers are ugly — outscored 13-0 on fast breaks, outrebounded 35-24, 5-for-19 on 3-point attempts — yet they don’t even do the performance justice. On the way to the arena, Bryce Dejean-Jones and Savon Goodman were late for the bus, so Rice benched the former. Once the game started Reinhardt scored 13 of the team’s first 15 points, and just like they said they couldn’t do before the game, the Rebels appeared to let their offensive struggles impact their defense.

“We allowed that to affect our identity like we’ve done the last number of games on the road,” Rice said.

Reinhardt finished with 15 points, all of them in the first half, and took only one shot after going down with a left shoulder injury early in the second half. He had ice on the shoulder after the game and said, “It’s hurting really bad.”

You don’t have to be a body-language expert to tell which team was trailing by double digits without looking at the scoreboard. The frustration boiled over for freshman Anthony Bennett (eight points, eight rebounds) with less than 12 minutes to play.

After Dejean-Jones made a layup to cut the lead to 17, Bennett grabbed the ball and flung it into Lyons’ chest from a couple of feet away. It was an easy technical foul to call and Rice sat his freshman star for the remainder of the game.

“We can’t have those kind of plays,” Rice said. “The way I’m building this program is it’s all got to be about team, and that’s not a team play.”

A teaching moment? Maybe, but based on the way they played Bennett may not have wanted to be on the court any more than anyone else. About a minute after the technical Air Force pushed the lead to 24, the largest deficit of the season for a UNLV team that once more returns home hoping to pick up the pieces.

That went well the first time, resulting in a 64-55 victory against New Mexico. On Saturday the Rebels host San Diego State (18-6, 6-4), which is coming off a close loss at Colorado State. The league’s preseason co-favorites are both reeling right now.

The Aztecs’ main excuse is the lower back injury to point guard Xavier Thames, who has been in and out of the lineup. After this particular game, the Rebels don’t have one.

“The coaching staff did a great job with the scouting report; we knew everything they were going to do,” Marshall said. “But as you see they still got us with it.”

Added Rice, “That is not executing properly the game plan that is set forth. We knew, and you could talk to every single guy on our team, and they knew exactly what Air Force does in terms of back doors.”

UNLV is back to even in the league, falling back to three games behind New Mexico and wiping away the ground it made up Saturday. After last week’s Fresno State loss Rice seemed stunned. After the embarrassment at Air Force he was angry.

The Rebels already proved that in the Thomas & Mack Center they can bounce back from a game like this. But as the road woes continue — UNLV is 3-10 away from home in league play under Rice — the concerns branch out beyond one collection of missed assignments and reach the larger systemic issues leading to the Rebels once again fading down the stretch.

“It’s time for our program to grow up and accept the fact that we’re going to play Runnin’ Rebel basketball,” Rice said. “We’re going to build a program with those who choose to be part of it, and those who don’t, we’ll wish them well and we’ll move on.”

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

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 45 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy.

  1. "It's time for our program to grow up and accept the fact that we're going to play Runnin' Rebel basketball," <-- We'll see Saturday.

  2. Glad to see Rice mad but he needs more than words to save this team. He needs: Standards.

    A lack there of is THEE fatal flaw of this basketball team & this coaching staff. Everything is fluid, debatable, negotiable, & subject to interpretation. The bench is merely a place to rest & has no performance related punitive connotations attached to it whatsoever. The inmates run the asylum & do not fear repercussions.....hence the wild fluctuations in effort & execution and the same mistakes being made again & again.

    Rice has conceded/entrusted that power to the players & is getting burned by it again & again vs lesser opponents.

    We go into Viejas & punch SDSU in the mouth. UNM comes to the Mack and we dominate them. What does that tell us other than the fact that we have talent & potential? It tells us that the PLAYERS, not the Coaches, dictate & decide when & if they bring their best. As in they believe they have a choice!!! It also screams to a lack of leadership among the players themselves.

    In both cases, there is no "bottom line" or non negotiable standard of what is or isnt acceptable. Nothing we can hang our hat on every game. No baseline definition, written in stone, of what it means to be a Runnin Rebel.

    Its 25 games into the season and this team has no identity & no M.O. The only certainties we know is that they'll STILL take a couple of stupid shots & some will STILL take possessions off on D. Rice had better get into "bad cop" mode pretty quick & start sitting people or this season will be a bust.

  3. We had serious state budget issues a few years ago, so we went the cheap route and put all our money, $400,000 (Rice's Annual Salary) on a cheap long shot substitute for Lon. We began to believe we got lucky when we beat #1 UNC last year. I was excited, I'll admit it. But it wasn't meant to be.

    We have to decide as a community if we have the willingness to pay for elite coaching talent. There is a reason why the elites make elite amounts of money. I don't understand how we have the T&M which is larger than Madison Square Garden, and we can't afford to pay what other elite State Schools pay their coaches.

    What about JIm Larranaga from the University of Miami? I think he may be looking, and Miami should be a serious contender this year. But I am sure there are other good possibilities. Otherwise we can just keep living in the past.

  4. Rice is a joke! He will forever be remember for his one win over North Carolina last year and that's it. That being said the players aren't much better. They may all be highly ranked players coming out of high school but maybe Rivals, ESPN, and Scout should rethink their rankings. They may all be 4 or 5 star players but when it comes to heart they should all get 0s! Pretty sad to think that Colorado St is the team that is ranked this year and instead of us.

  5. Hang on folks. Wait till Tourney Time to draw your conclusions on this team and this season.

  6. Painful...

    At some point, someone ought to be man enough to stand up & take responsibility for this mess.

  7. Bottom line- rebels arent that good- yet. I know we all expected great things, media hyped them up but we just need to somehow relax and just take our lumps. Give Rice an opportunity to grow as a head coach, give him a chance to build this program. It may be next year or the year after but he'l do it. We can't keep kicking out coaches every time,we need stability because no top recruits will come here if we keep booting coaches every time they have a bad year. Remember Rome wasn't built in a year or even two ppl. Relax

  8. How about watching the amoeba defense? Defense leads to easy transitional offense. I would love to see a coach that actually has some passion. Teams often emulate their coach.

  9. gmag hit the nail on the head, somebody needs to accept responsibility for what's going on here.....and it should start with the Coach.

  10. Miami's coach will not leave the ACC to come to the Mountain West. Likely Rice will be given 2-3 more years to see how he grows/improves. We are not a "destination" job. So we will either get a has-been or an up and comer from a mid-major.

  11. The best advice I ever heard about evaluating your favorite teams is to "cover your ears and open your eyes." Don't waste time listening to what the players or coaches say, it's meaningless, what matters is what happens during those 40 minutes on the court.

  12. Maorduna - Relax and take our lumps? We have the most athletic, most talented and deepest team in the conference. Yes we are young but that is continually used as a cop out. If memory serves Kentucky won the National Championship with a starting lineup of three freshman and two sophomores and the first two guys off the bench were a freshman and one senior. We were picked by most publications and the Mountain West coaches in the top 3 in our league in the preseason. We spent most of the non-conference season ranked in the top 25 in the nation. It falls on both the coaches and the players to get this right. The players do need to grow up and mature. They need to play with energy, enthusiasm and execute a simple game plan. The coaches need to demand that everyone(stars included)play this way. If they do not as Coach Rice said have fun sitting and be on your way. This is not youth rec sports where everyone gets a trophy for participating. This program definitely needs to gut up, not take their lumps.

  13. I'll take a loss and enjoy the wins or should I go bandwagon another team that only wins. Wait there are none. Some of you got some problems sore losers.

  14. UNLV has more talent on its bench than the starting five for the opposition. If a starter just guns for his own stats (BDJ and Reinhardt), they should hit the pine. UNLV always plays the best when it plays side to side, but against AF, the team was just jacking up 3s from the parking lot. The media needs to be harder on Rice and hold him accountable for is 7 seconds or less offense. It is ridiculous that the Rebs don't know how to break a 2-3 zone. More embarrassing is that the tv announcers keep killing the team for it and show how UNLV fails to move the ball through the high post. That is on you coach! Maybe you should stop worrying about the transition offense and try coaching half court offense. The blueprint for beating UNLV has been clear since the start of the season, just clog the lane and let the team shoot themselves out of the game. Also, as much as I love J-Hawk, he needs to stop shooting. It is a wasted possession when he does.

    As for the problem with this team, the know there are NBA scouts at the game watching Bennett. They want to get theirs and show they can play at the next level. Want to start winning? Start recruiting college basketball players who know who to play as team. It is ridiculous that Reinhardt/BDJ/J-Hawk/Marshall don't pass the ball to Bennett/Birch when they establish position. I still laugh when I watched another player yell at Reinhardt to pass the ball. The team chemistry is bad because everyone is gunning for themselves. Once again, that is on you Coach.

  15. Efforts like this make it insulting to fans like us who continue to support this team. When your opponent tells it in an interview that they were shocked about the way you came out and played and not go as hard, that's the worst compliment you could hear from another team's player. Won't blame this solely on Rice but if your players are a bunch of athletic and talented yet lazy, and unmotivated like at least half of what UNLV have, you can not do anything about it. I think what they need is for Dr.Phil to coach this team.

  16. I'd love to see Coach Rice make a statement and take Anthony Bennett out of the starting lineup. He plays with no energy, and he gives up when the going gets tough. Lets start calling him "Jane." However, limiting Bennett's playing time puts Dave Rice in a dilemma because it decreases the team's chances of winning.

  17. D Days has it right. The time for listening to excuses is over. The MWC road record under Rice is an embarrassment. Blame can and should be directed at both the players and coaching staff. Too much talent (or is there?) to be a 500% club in conference.

    I will always support and cheer on the Rebs, but this has turned into a season of major disappointmnet. Good luck in the NIT! Maybe a trip to the NIT will provide some motivation for next year.

  18. This team is a joke. I will take a bunch of SMART 1 and 2 star players like Air Force and CSU have over these supposed 4 and 5 star playground ball hogs. Bennett a top 5 pick- LMFAO this is why I have not watched an NBA game in over 20 years. That prima donna will fit right in with the rest of the trash playing in that league.

  19. This was the first time I found myself watching a game like this and not getting upset. I just kept saying "Wow that is some really bad defense" and "another bad three point shot". I found myself saying it with no passion just as a matter of fact statement. Just like the Rebels. I guess I have just reached the point that I expect and accept what is going to happen. Apparently I have now been through the final stages of grief and am in the acceptance phase. Sad, it almost feels apathetic. By the way, quit saying the media hyped this team and created false hopes. That was done by the fans. The media kept trying to temper the enthusiasm while just speaking of their potential. The homer boobs in the fan base were the ones who were declaring this a Final Four team.

  20. If there is a trip to the NCAA Tournament in the Rebels' future - and at this point that is a big if - it will be one and done. This team has proven repeatedly that they are not even competitive without a home crowd behind them. You don't get that in the tournament unless you are a #1 or #2 seed.

  21. If we've got second tier guys, the complaint is we don't have elite talent. If we have elite talent, the complaint is we don't have a good coach.

    Tough losses sting. I knew we were going to lose this game going into it. Hopefully, the respond like men and learn from it.

    One of the commentors was correct regarding Bennett. Anytime he makes a bonehead play like that technical/slumps his shoulders/or stares at a ref after a no-call instead of getting back on defense he should be taken out of the game. Time to grow up kid.

    Also, Coach Rice should have sat BDJ the entire 1st half if he was going to play him at all.

  22. The situation at UNLV reminds me of how Dean Smith dealt with a undisciplined team of starters a number of years ago at UNC. The game started out as a train wreck and he sat the entire starting five and they did not get back in the game. Next game the subs started and the stars were put in as role players. It was so effective the Tarheels won both games and the stars lost their sense of entitlement. Rice has to demonstrate his control over the players and the game someway. Go back in history and he will find many examples of ways to overcome this "me, me" mentality. He better employ something new.

  23. Big time basketball for UNLV will never be again. Coach Rice is in way over his head and its time to step up and bow out why he still can, he has proven that he is not a head coach at this level and I beleive he knows it? Its time for the A.D. to step up and make achange before its to late. We need to step up and PAY a big time coach the money this program deserves. This is the worst coach we have ever had at UNLV for many years...

  24. "I don't understand how we have the T&M which is larger than Madison Square Garden, and we can't afford to pay what other elite State Schools pay their coaches"

    Coach Tarkanian built that house (along with the boosters), the NCAA dismantled it. Until this program rebuilds (and that is going to take some long-hauling; maybe another five-plus years), UNLV will not be in that position.

    Something to remember about those Coach Tarkanian years: college players stuck it out until they were at least juniors. Many teams had four, if not five, starting seniors. Back then, experts and commentators would look at a guy like Bennett and say, "Wow, he's really going to be a threat for UNLV in the coming years!" and evaluate him that way. The expectations on him would be less because there would be player leadership and experience guiding the team. But with the NBA poaching freshmen and creating this "one-and-done" mentality, instead the attitude is, "He's weak on defense and he has a soft attitude, but he'll grow in the NBA..." So, colleges are stuck with either dedicated student athletes, or guys not good enough to draft (yet).

    But, while college basketball, in that regard, has changed dramatically in the 23 years since UNLV won the championship, one things remains: One can choose to hold teammates accountable, or one can let them run rampant on their way to the NBA. After last night, I'd prefer an accountable team that loses as one over one that wins as five.

    When I heard that some UNLV players are repeatedly showing late to practice (sometimes missing practice), and showing late to the team bus, I decided then to shut off the TV and do something else with my night. The guys who show up every day, on time, pull their weight and give 100% effort to making UNLV a better team must be tired of losing the wrong games in such embarrassing fashion thanks to the "superstars" who often do none of the above, and frustrated with a system that permits them to get away with it.

  25. Dave's first year with Lon's kids makes the NCAA tourny.
    Dave's first recruiting class is best since the glory days.
    Dave's freshmen get one of the best road wins against SDSU proves something.
    Don't you think he deserves a chance to grow with this team. Some of you are nuts Missouri been ranked all year and finally got its first conferance road win against Miss St who has only 6 total wins.

  26. I've said that many times; Rice is one win away from Tark's school record for wins in his first two seasons. The troubling aspect after last night is not that Rice is early in his tenure and winning games on the road at the MWC is tough, it's that there seems to be no discipline or accountability geared toward fostering player respect for the team and each other.

  27. Strongly agree with djonian. The players are running the team. Bennett is a primadonna and it shows. He goes in to every game with an attitude that he doesn't have to work on defense. BDJ and Reinhardt and as of late Hawkins heave up ill-advised threes all the time. Last night particularly was bad with their shot selection. And yet no repercussions from the coach. IMHO this is ALL on the coaching staff. Sit them down. This may be the most selfish group of individual players I've seen. I can't even use the term "team" because they're not one. They're a group of individual players. Sad. They have so much talent. And they're mentality is, so what, next year (or soon after) I'll be a millionaire. Don't even care any more. Let's move on to football where the players at least try.

  28. @Festus - He deserves time to build the program. If it's true, however, that guys repeatedly show up late to practice and sometimes not at all, as well as being late for the team bus, then even I will turn on Dave Rice and say he needs to be fired.

  29. @Fetsus you have some points and while I think some comments are overboard, CDR needs to go. He's better than Kruger? Possibly, but Kruger needed to go as well.

    I still think wthi all this losing, people have been treating Kruger and Theus as coaches who save/could save UNLV hoops.

    Myth: UNLV overachieved under Kruger
    no, they underachieved after 2008. CDR took the 2011-12 group, and did better than any other coach under Kruger after 2007-08. UNLV got as high as #11 in the polls. On defense, his teams were great, but his offense was arguably worse under Kruger. Look how much better Brice Massamba got during his senior year. Same with Quntrell Thomas. Maybe Carlos Lopez-Sosa will do the same?

  30. When does football season start? At least they beat Air Force...

  31. Certainly in the minority, but nothing I've seen this season has surprised or really disappointed me. Obviously things could be better, but there are a few things to consider:

    The Rebels have only one loss at home, and that was to a very good Oregon team. That will help come MWC tourney time. And once they get in the tourney, and play on some neutral courts, who knows what might happen.

    Winning on the road is very difficult, especially in a conference like the MWC that's quite good. People tend to forget that these are young kids, and the road is just tough on them. The only 'bad' road loss came at the hands of Fresno, who played out of their minds that night. That happens. AFA loss was not good, but give the Falcons credit, they played very well.

    People need to temper expectations based upon recruiting rankings. Look at UCLA, Kentucky and Carolina. All of their rosters are chock full of McDonald's All Americans. Are any of the dominating and blowing teams out the way fans of UNLV expect the Rebels to do every night? No.

    This is a team in transition, with old system players still in the mix with Rice's system guys. He'll need another year to get his team the way he wants it. In the meantime, these struggles will help shape him into a far better coach than easy successes ever would. It's tough to watch that sometimes, but that's the process.

    A few things I would like to see or hear about:

    Bennett being sat down to watch a few hours of Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Kentucky highlights so he can see how stud freshman decide that rather than waiting to get to the NBA to develop their games, they put in work every minute of every night being great team players and relentless in their efforts no matter the circumstance. Those guys were rewarded by being the first and second players drafted in the last NBA draft.

    Fans canceling season tickets, so I can more easily upgrade mine with bandwagoners jumping off a year too soon.

  32. For those of you that are saying be patient and understand that Coach Rice needs time and the players need time to grow you need to think about this. For most of us, the anger is not just about the losing. It is the way they are losing. You are certainly not going to shoot the ball well every night. You are going to have games where you are out of sync. But effort should never take a night off. I can handle a game where the other team simply outplays us. They are better and that is the way it goes. But losing games the way the Rebs are losing, by not competing is ridiculous. Watching a team quit on each other and the University they represent is not acceptable. You cannot defend that or explain it away by saying give it time, we are young. At this point I am confused as to who deserves the most blame. I am not one that thinks Rice should be fired. But he certainly is the one out front and ultimately it is his responsibility to straighten this mess out. Once again everyone with the program is saying the right things. But once again when it comes to the effort needed to back it up, they are not even close.

  33. I'm tired of watching a group of big guys flail about like they've never seen a basketball before. It's become an embarrassing spectacle, not worth the price of admission.

    Rice needs to re-evaluate his entire coaching strategy, including benching those players who are insubordinate, late, lazy, etc.

    If he can't start to make some *major* mid-season adjustments, he doesn't deserve a head coaching position. Some coaches are simply better as assistants, and this very well might be the case with Rice.

    For a while I thought Anthony Bennett was experiencing a mid-season slump. Now it is clear he simply doesn't care. How can that attitude not affect an entire team? The NBA already has enough prima donnas. What makes Bennett think they want another?

  34. I'd like for some of the "fans" to forget the pre-season hype for a minute and take a look at the actual team out on the floor.

    The only guard who can play consistently well on the road is Marshall. Bryce and Katin are up and down all the time, Hawkins is a complete liability on offense, and Cook looks like a 19 year old freshman.

    The team doesn't have a true SF, as Moser might as well still be injured and for whatever reason the coaching staff has lost interest in Goodman.

    Bennett refuses to put forth any effort on defense other than occasionally blocking driving guards who are trying layups. Birch is the best shot blocker on the team (maybe in the conference) but is still raw offensively. Thomas either has a big impact or no impact at all, can't count on him to be consistent. I'm honestly surprised Lopez doesn't get more playing time, but the coaching staff is more knowledgeable then we are so maybe he doesn't match up well against other bigs.

    That brings me to the most glaring issue with the team. They want to run, they want to play fast, but they have NO ONE on the team who can consistently pass well. The outlet passes by bigs in the transition have been terrible, the spacing and passing on fast breaks has been atrocious, and they don't have a guard confident enough to run the break without taking a tough layup or getting an offensive foul. Hell, they even have trouble making passes in the half court; those ROUTINE backdoor passes by Air Force are "AMAZING" plays by the Rebels when they actually convert them. That should tell you something. From everything the "fans" and coaching staff are saying, we should be running up and down the court playing "Running Rebel Basketball" but this team is just not built for it. It's going to be another year or 2 before Rice has the back court to be able to execute the style he wants to run.

  35. Larry Shyatt probably available.
    Not many teams got more mileage with less talent & who knows what would have happened had Martinez not been in that bar. Imagine that cluster of missfit toys spanking the Rebels in the AA?

  36. Maybe they can offer Kruger 4 Million a year to come back?

  37. @Eastcoastrebelfan - He can't recruit.

  38. Rice = recruiting. Rice does not = game coaching.

    For him to make comments that there is no blame of the Coaching staff for this loss?? Really?? None?

    The NCAA Tourney is not played only at the Thomas & Mack. So get ready for self serving play, being out coached by the likes of Head Coaches from Belmont, Davidson and Wichita State.

    He puts out the starting line up, he controls playing time. Now is the time to show that Rice is in control of this program. The hole has been dug and for a team that should be a lock for the NCAA Tourney could now be sitting very well on the bubble.

    Once again - look at his other Coaches. Not one of them is known to be a great game strategy guy. Rice must hire one to keep this team going in the right direction. But, to not think that another poor effort on the road has nothing to do with him or his Staff? Sounds like a comment Mike Stanford would use for Rebel Football.

  39. I think Reza said it very well with the difference between 1990 and now. One and done kids are exciting to sign, but give me an Antony Marshall any day. Maturity, heart and accounability are critical. The team needs to grow up. I live in LA, was busy last night and was really bummed to read the score in the paper this AM.
    I am coming out this weekend and hope to see some maturity and poise from these guys.
    Stacy has been there as well as the others. Rice has a great staff and everyone needs to be heald accountable, and Rice needs to lead that evolution.

  40. MWC Home Records in 2013:
    UNM - 12-1
    CSU - 14-0
    Air Force - 11-1
    SDSU - 11-1
    UNLV - 14-1
    Boise - 10-1
    Wyoming - 11-3
    Reno - 10-4
    Fresno - 5-7

    Should UNLV have beaten Fresno? Absolutely. But you clowns bashing Dave Rice for losing on the road in the Mountain West need to get a reality check. You can't compare UNLV to your fantasy expectations, you need to compare them to other teams in their conference.

    I swear, it's like we get a new round of dumb fans every single year.

  41. ^ excuses, excuses...losses to Fresno St, Air Force, and Boise St will come back to haunt us. We need to win out and/or win the MWC tourney....any more losses and our only chance will be to win the MWC tourney.

  42. Hey UNLV-123 , I've been a rebel fan for 35 yrs and I haven't seen it this bad since Rollie Massive-ego. You seem to believe that it's ok to lose to teams at the bottom of the pile. UNLV is a joke now thanks to Rice, every team in the MWC knows how to beat them, just let them beat themselves. He is not a leader , mentor, or motivator, his hopes of recruiting top talent for next year is out the window, who wants to play for coach like that. Season ticket sales will fall next year bad, real bad, all because one man can't do his job.

  43. UNLV-123, you my friend are dead on! I read every single post on this comment board and you can always see the trolls coming out of the wood work. They are so well known on here they have taken to either high-fiving each other or eating each other alive. The thing they all have in common is the drivel they spew the same way trolls did when Tark was coaching. The guy would have 20-25+ win seasons and they would belly ache and ask for his head every year. So dumb. They all sound like wannabe athletes/coaches trying to inspire teams through shame and humiliation. None of you are going to be the Norman Dale catalyst this team needs with your old school down home pithy cliches and critiques.
    Dave Rice has his hands full, he has a big headed former phenom NBA bound failure in Mike Moser, now he has to contend with guiding another amazing talent through the minefield of expectations and humility in Anthony Bennett. All the while trying to ignore the smarter than the average UNLV fan... What a nightmare. Don't worry Dave they called for Tarks head when he was losing to the likes of Pacific, Long Beach State, New Mexico State, and UC Santa Barbara. The teams you are losing to are INFINITELY better than those teams. You're doing a bang up job of trying to get Lon's guys through their UNLV careers while they fight you all the way. You're a bigger man than I, if it were up to me I'd kick all their butts off the team, play the rest of the season with your 7 guys and lose every game if that's what it took to make my point.

  44. BLAH BLAH BLAH excuses excuses excuses. Only problem this team has is this: Ant cannot play PG and the whole team knows it!

  45. The "Lon's guys" comments are hilarious....I can't wait until they're gone so we can get THAT excuse out of the way. I wonder what they will come up with next...? The "young team" excuse will never get old, so I guess that one will be the default once "Lon's guys" are long gone. LMFAO