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UNLV Rebel Basketball Preview 09-10

UNLV has had some very good success the past few years in hoops with a sweet sixteen appearance in 2006-07, second round appearance in 2007-08, and last year was a step back with only an NIT bid but still had 20 wins.  Last year the Mountain West was one of the best leagues last year, but due to teams losing early in the conference tournament --like UNLV-- coupled with some other upsets limited to the league two to spots in the Big Dance.

This year the Rebels are hoping for a bounce back year especially since this is the 20th anniversary of the 1990 National Championship team.  This team does have a chance to be good with three transfers and four incoming freshman:

Pos Stars Ht Wt RR Video Hometown
Oscar Bellfield PG 6-2 175 5.7   Los Angeles, CA
Brice Massamba C 6-9 255 -   Henderson, NV
Deshawn Mitchell SF   6-5 205 -   Howell, NJ
Darris Santee PF 6-8 198 -
Houston, TX

Derrick Jasper from Kentucky (via Rivals)

Steve Jones from Arizona State

Chance Stanback from UCLA  (via Rivals)

UNLV did lose three starters from last year most notably Wink Adams who was their best player.  The two returning starters are guard Oscar Bellfield and Tre'Von Willis.  Willis averaged 11 points, 4 boards, and just over 3 assists a game.   Plus they return four other letterman to round out the returning squad. The team has talent with the recruits and specifically the transfers and if the team can be cohesive then this team --as usual-- will contend for the conference title.  One thing is to practice during their transfer year, but actually playing games against non-Rebels will be the key for UNLV.

The early season games will be tough for the Rebels just in Novemver they take on Nevada, Southern Illinois, Louisville, and at Arizona; plus include a game against Kansas State the first week of December.  The schedule will be there for a good RPI, but those games will be a test of how quickly the team will get together.  The main concern is getting the transfers to be able to play together as a team, and if that can happen then this team is a real threat for the Mountain West crown.