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UNLV Practice Notes - Shot Selection and Small Ball

Dave Rice, Jordan Cornish and Dwayne Morgan met with the media prior to the Runnin’ Rebels practice on Tuesday to talk shot selection, rebounding and small ball.

Ethan Miller

Dave Rice’s biggest concern following the Scarlet and Gray Showcase was his team’s shot selection.

"I’ve got to make sure we manage shot selection. We’ve got too many guys on the court that have the ability to be scorers; we just have to make sure – and we will make sure – we take good shots," Rice said.

Specifically freshman Dwayne Morgan got up a lot of shots in the showcase.

"I think I played well. I took a couple good shots, a couple contested shots," Morgan said.

Morgan took 12 shots in the 20-minute intra-squad scrimmage last week that he turned into 14 points. A decent first showing, but one that could have been more efficient with better shot selection. But Rice doesn’t want Morgan to lose sight of his role for this team.

"He’s still learning about shot selection. He’s guy who has the ability to make shots from mid range," Rice said. "(He) can attack the basket. He does so many things well that I don’t want him to get to the point where he just focuses on whether his shots going in or not."

With Morgan being one of three forwards on the roster, Rice will be looking for some of the wing players to give UNLV a small ball look.

"We’re going to play a lot of four perimeter (players) around one (big man)," Rice said. "So we’re going to have to use Jordan Cornish, Patrick McCaw and Jelan Kendrick at times as stretch fours."

This approach will make UNLV tough to defend, if one of those wings proves to be an effective stretch four.

"We want to play fast," Cornish said. "We want to get up and down. We all can stretch the floor and make open shots. We just want to have mismatches on the floor. Play four guards, maybe five sometimes. It’s hard for other teams to defend us."

But it may also be difficult for UNLV to defend bigger teams  if a 6-foot-6 guard has to defend a bruising power forward. Not only is UNLV replacing two of the top rebounders in the Mountain West from last season, but with a small lineup the Rebels could face rebounding deficiencies all season.

Kendrick posted a decent defensive rebounding percentage last season at 10.6 percent, but his offensive rebounding was extremely low at 1.9 percent.

Dave Rice

Jordan Cornish

Dwayne Morgan