The UNLV Runnin' Rebels may have one of their biggest tests of the season thus far Wednesday night at the Thomas and Mack Center. UNLV faces the Arizona State Sun Devils whose record of 6-3 may be deceiving. The PAC-12 is going to have another competitive year, and even though the Devils might be toward the bottom now, they have the kind of weapons to keep their race close as the conference season begins soon.
One of those weapons is Savon Goodman. Goodman is one of the Sun Devils' best players and the UNLV basketball program knows him well. Why? More than two years ago Goodman was, himself, a Runnin' Rebel.
This adds a layer of intrigue to this match-up. Goodman is a powerful defensive threat and rebounder. It will be fascinating to see him run up against the Rebels' powerful group of forwards and centers led by players like Stephen Zimmerman and Ben Carter.
Therefore, the difference will likely come in the back court. This is where the Rebs have the advantage between Ike Nwamu, Jerome Seagears, and of course the rising national star, Patrick McCaw.
And my bold prediction, Jordan Cornish will come out of, finally, his shooting drought. He was a valuable 3-point threat last season (hitting nearly 50% of his shots), but lately, his shot has gone amiss. But, at home, against a formidable opponent, I say Cornish breaks out to be a difference maker.
It will be close, but the Rebels come out on top 70-65.