Monday, January 9, 2012

Exciting time to be a Rebels fan – UNLV #12 in both polls and likely adding Khem Birch

Finally, UNLV is getting some of the recognition it deserves from people who vote in the polls. UNLV vaulted to # 12 in both the Associated Press top 25 as well as the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. In the top 25 (and one) poll, the two sportswriters-in-charge rank the Rebels as #9.
UNLV’s ascent has less to do with the two recent wins (CSU Bakersfield, and Hawaii), which are good, but more to do with the fact that many of the teams in the top 25 lost games, making the Rebels that much more attractive to the voters.
 Movement among key foes that UNLV has played works both for and against us. In the ‘for us’ category, UNC is listed as # 3 in all of the key polls, a team we beat when they were undefeated  and #1 at a neutral site. Also for us, since we bested UNR, they have come up in the polls and are now receiving a vote or two and sport a 13-2 record.
Counting against us, Illinois has fallen out of the rankings, as has Wisconsin. Wichita State is not garnering any votes at all in the polls.
Potentially helping us in the conference schedule, San Diego State was ranked #25 last week, and is now #22 in both polls. Also, New Mexico  is getting votes and if they continue to play strong and beat a team like San Diego State, they could easily vault  into the top 25 as well.
Being #12 is awesome and is a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1992/93. This ranking probably feels so much better than #17 because it more closely fits the Rebels accomplishments thus far and puts us close to top-10.

Khem Birch

While no major media outlet has announced Mr. Birch’s choice (was said to be between Florida and UNLV) multiple sources have said a combination of his ‘inner-circle’ saying he’s committing to UNLV, or that its ‘confirmed’ that he is transferring to UNLV. On the other hand, I’ve seen nothing about anyone speculating that he is in-fact going to Florida (but I haven’t looked that hard).  I think I’ve been looking too long at the Twitterverse, which frankly is quite annoying and I wish was never invented (because of re-tweets).  BTW, I've added a Twitter feed on the right side of your screen. Vote how you feel about it. (UPDATE: I killed the twitter feed on the sidebar, it slowed down the site something fierce. Look for a reincarnation of it in a tab if you're so inclined sometime soon). 
The same source that said he is ‘confirmed’ also said his commitment may sway Shabazz Muhammad, but didn’t indicate which way. The solid word is, Khem Birch’s destination has far more sway on Findlay Prep’s Anthony Bennett, who is likewise a Canadian native and is currently ranked as the #7th best prep.
Nonetheless, every change made outside ones sphere has an effect on their decision making going forward – I think they call that the butterfly effect. I wouldn’t put too much stock in it, Muhammad likely has already made up his mind or cut it down to two.
So, a likely welcome aboard to Khem Birch, if this team gets any better tickets are going to be scarce!

No comments:

Post a Comment