It’s the end of the 2010’s, so let’s look back at some of the top players from UNLV during the decade. The Runnin’ Rebels made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2010-2013), but have not been back since. The program has certainly fallen on hard times in recent years. UNLV is not on its fifth coach (Lon Kruger, Dave Rice, Chris Beard for two weeks, and Marvin Menzies), of the decade, T.J Otzelberger.
There are still a lot of passionate fans in the Las Vegas Valley that have high hopes the program can get back to where it was at the beginning of the decade. Since we are in the 2010’s, I decided to only include a first and second team (totaling 10 players). Take a look at the players and what they accomplished while donning the scarlet and gray.
G-Anthony Marshall (2009-2013)
Running the point for this all-decade team is Anthony Marshall. Marshall played his high school basketball in Las Vegas at Mojave High School, which made him an obvious favorite amongst the Las Vegas locals. He played in 136 games and started 104 at his time at UNLV. He was consistent and solid through his first two seasons and took a leap in his junior year. Marshall averaged 12.2 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. Marshall helped UNLV reach four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He was named second-team All-MWC in his junior and senior years, and a two-time member of the All-Defensive team.
G- Patrick McCaw (2014-2016)
Along side Marshall in the back-court is Patrick McCaw. In his two seasons at UNLV, McCaw averaged 12.2 points per game. He played a critical role in his freshman year when he made 16 starts for a UNLV team that lacked depth. His sophomore season was his breakout season. He averaged 14.7 points, five rebounds, and four assists and earned second-team all-conference honors. McCaw also made his mark on the defensive side, he was named to the MWC all-defensive team in 2016 as well. McCaw was drafted in the second round of the NBA draft in 2016. He currently plays for the Toronto Raptors, and he has been apart of three NBA championship teams (Golden State twice and Toronto)
F- Chase Stanback (2009-2012)
On the wing is Chase Stanback. The Los Angeles, California native transferred to UNLV after playing his freshman season at UCLA. He was an essential piece to UNLV’s success in the early 2010’s. Stanback started 98 of his 101 games at UNLV. He averaged 12.1 points per game and 5.4 rebounds while at UNLV. His best year was his junior year. He averaged 13 points per game, had 5.9 rebounds, and had his highest field goal percentage at 48%. He helped lead the Runnin’ Rebels to three NCAA tournament appearances. In his sophomore year, he was named to the All-MWC Tournament team and the MWC’s All-defensive team. He was named Third-team All-MWC three times.
F- Mike Moser (2011-2013)
Joining Stanback in the front-court is Mike Moser. Moser transferred to UNLV after a season at UCLA, and he made an instant impact. He averaged 14 points per game and 10.5 rebounds and helped lead UNLV to an NCAA Tournament appearance and a Top-25 ranking. Moser racked up the awards after his sophomore year, earning MWC newcomer of the year, MWC All-Defensive Team honors, First-team All-MWC, and AP honorable mention All-American all in 2012. Unfortunately, injuries plagued Moser in his junior season, he suffered a dislocated elbow early in the year and was not the same player. He averaged 7.1 points per game in 28 games played. Moser transferred to Oregon prior to his senior season. He went undrafted in the NBA draft, and he currently plays in the top tier of professional basketball in France.
C- Christian Wood (2013-2015)
Round out the starters and playing in the post is Christian Wood. He came to UNLV as the 36th ranked player out of his high school class by Rivals, he helped Findlay Prep (in Henderson, Nevada) win a championship in 2013. His played a contributing role in his freshman year, he played 30 games and only averaged 4.5 points per game. In his sophomore year, Wood earned second-team all-conference honors with 15.7 points per game and 10 rebounds. After his sophomore season, Wood declared for the NBA draft, but went undrafted. He currently plays for the Detroit Pistons.
G- Bryce Dejean-Jones (2012-2014)
Dejean Jones transferred from USC to UNLV after the 2010-2011 season. He played two years at UNLV and averaged 11.8 points per game while wearing the Runnin’ Rebel jersey. He was named MWC Preseason Co-Newcomer of the Year prior to the beginning of his first season at UNLV. He was third on the team in scoring with 10.3 points per game. He improved on his stats the next season when he averaged 13.6 points per game and three assists. Dejean-Jones was named Third-team All-MWC in 2014. He transferred to Iowa State for his senior year. He played in the NBA G-League and NBA from 2015-2016.
G- Oscar Bellfield (2008-2012)
Four-year player Oscar Bellfield is another key piece to UNLV’s success during the decade. While his stats were not through the roof, he filled his role and did what was needed from him. Bellfield started in every game for UNLV from 2009-2012 and averaged over 30 minutes per game during his career. His best season was his junior year, where he averaged 11.2 points per game. In that season he was named Third-team All-MWC, as well as in his senior year. He also had tremendous respect from his teammates, who named hin co-MVP of the team in 2011.
G- Justin Hawkins (2009-2013)
Hawkins is another Rebel who stayed for his whole four years and was an important contributor for UNLV. He only had six starts in 137 total games and averaged under 20 minutes per game in his UNLV career, but he was an essential role player for the Runnin’ Rebels who made the NCAA Tournament all four years he was there. His best season wash his junior year, he averaged 25 minutes per game, He averaged 7.9 points per game, three rebounds and shot at 54% from the field. Hawkins is currently an assistant coach for Pacific University.
F- Anthony Bennett (2012-2013)
Anthony Bennett might not have had the NBA career he wanted, but he was dominant in his only season in Las Vegas. The Toronto, Ontario native played his senior year of high school in Southern Nevada at Findlay Prep. He averaged 16.1 points per game and 8.1 rebounds in 35 games at UNLV. He did have a shoulder injury that limited his minutes mid-way through the season, as he only played 27 minutes per game. Bennett was the MWC Freshman of the year in 2013 and was First-team All-MWC. He was also an AP honourable mention All-American. Bennett is currently a free agent after spending a few years in the NBA G-League.
F- Khem Birch (2012-2014)
Birch made the move to UNLV after a year at Pitt. His junior year was much more productive. In a bigger role, starting in 32 of 33 games played, Birch averaged 11.5 points and 10.2 rebounds. He made his presence felt on the defensive end with 3.8 blocks per game, his effort on defense made him the two-time MWC defensive player of the year. He was also named to the MWC All-Defensive Team twice, and Second-team All-MWC in 2014. Birch decided to forego his senior year and enter the NBA draft. He went undrafted, but now currently plays for the Orlando Magic.
What are your thoughts? Did I snub anyone? Making any switches between the first and second team? Let me know in the comments. On Monday, I will be posting a Top-5 moments of the decade for UNLV Football.