Monday, December 19, 2011

Ridiculous Runnin’ – UNLV beats ULM 81-63


Nobody expected a lot from the 1-10 (now 1-11) University of Louisana Monroe Warhawks. Like many of the bad teams the Rebels have played, the Rebels allowed them to start off ok until putting their foot on their necks mid first-half and never looking back. Take a look at the gameflow chart below:

Without having played a minute of this game, the immediately obvious theme would be the introduction of the athletic 5’11” Marquette transfer Reggie Smith. Because he excited the crowd so much at the Rebel weekend event, his first real minutes of the season have been highly anticipated. The theme that was perhaps missed because of the introduction of Reggie Smith, UNLV’s return to the rankings , and the really nice win against Illinois was can Chace Stanback regain form from the abysmal performance in the win. He did big time.

Stanback was extremely impressive from long range, having shot three pointers nearly unconscious. He built his way to a new career high of 29 points tonight having made 8-9 from three point range, and 10-13 overall. Its almost too bad his ‘hot hand’ came alive against this bottom feeder opponent. In addition to the big point production, Stanback had 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and only 1 foul.

Reggie Smith had to break some of the rust and contain the adrenaline of not having played for about a year. He got some opportunities to get in the game, both in the first and second half, totaling 9 minutes of play. His numbers weren’t stellar, probably due to the time off as was to be expected, 3 points (1-4 shooting), 2 rebounds, 1 assists, and 3 turnovers.

This game really wasn’t in jeopardy, and was closed out when the Rebels started the second half on a 11-0 run. The lead was as many as 27, but ended in front by 18 points.

The beauty of having someone like Reggie Smith available off the bench (when he’s up to full speed), is that the Rebels have Anthony Marshall, Oscar Bellfield, Justin Hawkins, and Reggie Smith to pressure opposing teams point and shooting guards. In a two guard lineup, that’s 80 minutes of playing time that needs to be filled up, and at Coach Rice’s preferred defensive intensity and offensive potency – four super athletic guards are magic.

Defensively, the Rebels tonight were very active and busy, with only turnovers (12) and the occasional blown defensive assignment allowing the Warhawks to post 63 points.

Carlos Lopez had some wonderful stats tonight, 12 points, 9 rebounds on 4-4 shooting. Quintrell Thomas sat this one out due to a toe injury, smart move seeing how his special set of skills weren’t needed against this opponent. Kendall Wallace also had a nice outing, shooting 3-4 from three point range (trying to keep up with Stanback). Oscar Bellfield shook off his shooting woes, scoring 10 points on 4-5 shooting.

While Justin Hawkins, Anthony Marshall, Mike Moser and Brice Massamba didn’t post a ton of points, collectively they did their jobs defensively and Marshall and Moser combined for 11 assists. Mike Moser had some very exciting back-to-back reverse slam dunks.

Speaking of assists, this was a bright spot for the Rebels. One of the things I’ve been harping on has been the serious lack of assists over the past 4-5 games, even in the wins. This game, the Rebels finished with a very healthy 20 assists. Shooting was also fantastic, finishing from 58% from the field and nearly 61% from three.

All in all, it was a good outing for the Rebels who still should be a little tired from the impressive amount of effort they put forth in Chicago just two days ago. With the entire week off to practice and get ready for the Cal Bears on Friday (2pm start), the Runnin’ Rebels should be ready to dominate once again.

Rebel Reign MVP - Chace Stanback


No comments:

Post a Comment