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How UNLV is Getting Their Groove Back

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The Runnin' Rebels have played noticeably different and inspired over the last two games. Can they make the good times last, especially headed into a tough 4-game stretch?

Jerome Seagears handles the ball against Air Force
Jerome Seagears handles the ball against Air Force
Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

The UNLV Rebels have won two in a row. This might be unimpressive to most around the country. But, just one week ago, the Rebels were a team in disarray.

Last week was the final week with former coach Dave Rice.  They had lost three in a row and the team looked fragmented in games where they would often have a double digit lead, and then fail to come away with a victory.  What a difference a week makes.

The Rebels are 2-0 under interim head coach Todd Simon.  In these games, they've come away with double digit victories, one of which came last night where they dominated Air Force from start to finish.

In the post game press conference, Simon credits his staff for doing an "unbelievable job" of getting ready for the match up.  He also added that his team is playing "selfless basketball" and showing "consistent effort throughout the roster."

Each player seems to be living up to the potential and expectations that Rebel fans hoped for at the start of the season.  And players like Jerome Seagears and Jordan Cornish seem to be pulling out of shooting slumps that have hindered their offensive contributions all season.  Meanwhile, players like Derrick Jones, Jr. continue to diversify their game.

Call it growth. Call it responding to looking into the abyss of a potential losing record.  Call it simply a change of pace and focus, literally, after a head coaching change.  Call it what you like, but if you follow UNLV basketball, it's plain to see the Runnin' Rebels are truly out running and playing with an aggression not seen since the start of the season.

The next 4 game stretch will test their new found energy: at Utah State, at Reno, home vs. Boise State, and home vs. SDSU.  If the Rebels could win the first 3, the home game against SDSU will be must-watch television.

Until then, as guard Jerome Seagears stated post game, the team is "taking one game at a time."