"The NBA is a player's league. The NCAAs, a coach's league." These are two common phrases agreed upon in most basketball circles across the country.
So, what happens when in one season a team loses their original head coach, ends up with an inexperienced new one, and has a current assistant coach come out publicly and proclaim he wants to snag the future head coaching vacancy? Disorder.
Over the last 24 hours, two interesting observations were made by journalists about UNLV basketball. One came from Britt Anderson in this tweet:
It's actually quite sad to see the damage that egos have caused for this UNLV basketball team. So much great talent stuck in a bad situation— britt anderson (@imbrittanderson) February 17, 2016
Another came from Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review Journal who reported seeing some UNLV players act a bit disrespectful during a ceremony at Clune Arena before their match-up against Air Force.
The UNLV Basketball program should tread lightly right now before more occurrences of disorder come about. These UNLV players are all heart, but without a tried and true coach at the helm, this UNLV team can also play at their own disposal (and, at times, demise).
For instance, when Ike Nwamu earned a technical foul in last night's match-up and walked right by interim head coach Todd Simon, or when instances such as Graney pointed to in his article take place. It illustrates some disorder in the ranks.
UNLV is short handed right now; everyone knows that. But, the school should be mindful of the kind of potential recruiting damage as well as the opportunities to "maintain" players this kind of disorderly situation could spawn.
In the off season, the Rebels will lose seniors Nwamu and Jerome Seagears. But, they also could possibly lose Stephen Zimmerman to the NBA draft. More concerning, without the certainty of filling a coaching vacancy immediately - and with the "right" kind of personality - the program could lose players to transfer.
Many of these scenarios are "what-ifs", but they are possibilities worth of mention because of the general cloud of uncertainty over the program. Once a proud basketball school with an imprint in collegiate athletics, UNLV is approaching its most troubling era.
Critics and fans of UNLV are quick to assign blame on online message boards. But, the fault is not the players. It may not even be the coaches. But, UNLV has just a handful of games left to right the ship, take advantage of each game, and prove to doubters that the future may be uncertain but the present is still valuable.