Saturday, February 18, 2012

Carnage at The Pit: UNLV blows first half lead, loses 65-45 to UNM

UNLV has become a version of last year’s Rebels, a team that fires at will from distance but makes far fewer than they take. Last year’s team was superior in one respect,  they played with tenacious defense no matter the opponent, except for the obvious disaster that occurred in the tournament. Clearly, we don’t deserve the #11 ranking, expect us to fall somewhere in the 18-25 range, SDSU as well.

Recaps of the game can be found in the following locations, LVRJ Las Vegas Sun and there is no need to relive the mess that occurred this morning. Looking forward, the Rebels have four very beatable opponents coming up prior to the MWC Tournament. Hopefully the Rebels can watch film of when they were playing great and figure out what the magic was, because everyone has figured out how to beat us right now.

The real disaster has been not having 1-2 key guys step up in the close ones. Throw the TCU loss out, the Rebels executed on offense, but couldn’t figure out how to contain the Horned Frogs.

Chase Stanback in this one was non-existent, 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 fouls isn’t getting it done. He only had 1 field goal – this from the hero of the North Carolina win. If all Chase Stanback can be is a guy who every 5th game (much more so in the non-conference schedule) can light it up from three, we are in trouble.

Mike Moser, who had 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists is still having shooting troubles. There was an interesting article done awhile back by Kenpom that showed the statistical anomaly that Moser is, a 6’8” guy who gets a ton of rebounds, but jacks up a lot of threes Link. The reason its an anomaly is because a guy of his rebounding prowess should be an inside presence, and have a good short to mid-range game. He certainly is athletic enough to have an inside game, so why not use it when the 3 isn’t falling?

Anthony Marshall, the player who during a two game stretch looked like superman, did have 18 points, but it was on 4-9 field goal shooting and 8-13 from the free throw line. He continues to have difficulty finishing layups that, all be they contested, could easily be dunked or further assured – we know he has the ability.

Justin Hawkins had as many points as Barry Cheaney, none. The only problem is Cheaney didn’t play, Hawkins did. As one of the four who can put up 20 points, his lack of potency against the Lobos sticks out because he’s normally the bench sparkplug who helps push UNLV over.

UNLV is still letting opposing players achieve career highs. Now, it wasn’t quite as bad when it was a seldom successful bench player who had the game of his life, but in the last two – Hank Thorns Jr. and Drew Gooden are known commodities. Clearly, Coach Rice’s plan to contain the most obvious threat isn’t working, and defensive theory needs to be revamped, because the offense is slumping. Did you know, prior to this last game UNLV’s defensive points allowed ranked  #173 in the NCAA (although #1 in the MWC) ?

Reign man – Anthony Marshall tried very hard in this one, and got a double double for his effort. 

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