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Where Does UNLV Basketball Go From Here?

The Runnin' Rebels finished their season 18-15 overall. It was an unbelievable season, and not in a good way. So, what's next?

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

UNLV finished the 2015-2016 season 18-15.  They finished their conference season with a below .500 record.  They lost a coach, a player dismissed, a player to transfer, multiple players injured, and even recently had to take a jersey off a mannequin to give to a last minute walk on prior to the MWC tournament.

The Runnin' Rebels had the most tumultuous and dramatic story line in college basketball this year, but was anyone outside of UNLV paying attention?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.  The Rebels have barely garnished national attention this year, and this may portray their relevancy in college basketball in the last decade.

After successful years under Lon Kruger, the Rebels, under former coach Dave Rice, always found great talent but never could convert it to wins.  Just ask UNLV fans in Vegas.  The attendance at the Thomas and Mack Center was at some of its lowest marks in recent years.  At times, even the student section couldn't fill up.

And if fans could be proud that Rice recruited NBA level talent, the problem became that this fantastic skill never provided championship teams (either in regular season or in the conference tournament).  So, again, for the third straight year, UNLV misses the NCAA tournament.  In fact, they will not be a part of any post season tournament.

Instead, the UNLV basketball program is now not marked by scarlet and gray but by question marks.

Who will be the next head coach?  Will they lose players to transfer?  Who will test the NBA waters?  When will their formerly injured players return?  Can they create a championship level program within the next year?  Can they stay - or return to - national relevance?

It was a season marked by disappointment, heartache, and confusion.  Here's hoping after experiencing such lows that the next season has to be better than this one.