Photo coutesy of UNLV Men’s Basketball
UNLV kicks off their season tomorrow against Montana State at their home arena, the illustrious Thomas & Mack Center.
Capping off last season at an impressive 12-6, the Runnin’ Rebels finished one game better than the previous year, and shared a three-way tie for second best record in the Mountain West Conference.
This year’s squad will certainly have their work cut out for them, and all eyes are on the Maui Invitational next week wherein UNLV will face off againt some of the best teams in the nation including Texas, North Carolina and Alabama who all currently hold AP top 25 rankings in the Coaches Poll.
While there’s certainly local excitement surrounding Vegas’ hometown true freshmen Donovan Yap and Nicquel “Nic” Blake along with a slew of explosive, newly acquired young talent; 2nd year coach T.J. Otzelberger is well aware that the Rebels’ true offensive threats are to be found in veteran forward Cheikh Mbacke Diong (Sr.) and guard Bryce Hamilton (Jr.)
UNLV is an overwhelming favorite with a win probability of almost 86%, and while that number may comfort some, its important that the Runnin Rebs take full advantage and ride that momentum through the invitational and into the regular season where Mountain West wins can be, and generally speaking are tough to come by.