UNLV rebel guard Marvin Coleman (31) will be closed by defenders during the rebels’ season opener against Montana State at the Thomas & Mack center Wednesday, Nov.. . 25, 2020.
The clock has finally dropped to zero at the Thomas & Mack Center, and it couldn’t have come soon enough for UNLV as the scarlet and gray were dealt with at the Montana State season opener (91-78).
UNLV’s defensive performance was pathetic from start to finish, with Montana State shooting better than 56 percent for the game. Four bobcats ended in double digits, led by point guard Xavier Bishop’s 22 points.
Although UNLV tried to spread the ground with multiple four and five guard lineups, the production was inconsistent at best. Much of Bryce Hamilton’s 27 points came in garbage time, and David Jenkins was underexploited on his Vegas debut with seven points on the 2-of-9.
Freshman Nick Blake gave UNLV 16 points off the bench in his first college game, but that ray of hope was dashed by any defensive mistakes.
If UNLV wants to compete in the mountain west this year, gigs like this evening won’t make it. By far not. And with North Carolina up next (in the opening game of the Maui Invitational), things have to change quickly or this season could go off the rails.
UNLV tries to tear down the great leadership of the state of Montana, but defensive rounds continue to haunt T. J. . Otzelberger’s team. With 3:58 remaining, Montana State is still 86-65 ahead.
Nick Blake was a bright spot as the newcomer took four 3-point points in the night and now has 16 points off the bench in 18 minutes. Caleb Grill played well too, with three 3-pointers and 11 points in 30 minutes. Grill was also UNLV’s best full-back, which doesn’t say much given the fact that the team was set on fire by Montana state ball handlers.
The Bobcats continue to score a quick goal and score better than 52 percent in the second half. Guard Xavier Bishop has a game high of 20 points while three other Montana State players are double digits.
To be clear, UNLV is looking bad tonight. Bad shot selection, bad offensive execution, bad team defense. And the scoreboard reflects that.
UNLV has warmed up offensively, but the defense is still missing. Montana State shoots 58. 3 percent in the second half and the Bobcats still have a 66-51 lead with 10:15 to play.
Freshman Nick Blake and sophomore Caleb Grill each scored a few 3-point points to reinforce the goal attack. UNLV is now 7-of-19 from across the arch at night.
The state of Montana used the inside-out pass to crush the UNLV in the first half, but since the break the Bobcats have relied on dribbling intrusion to kill the UNLV defenses. Bryce Hamilton and Blake have just given up driving the last two possessions.
If UNLV has a big run in it it has to happen soon or a comeback is probably out of the question.
UNLV didn’t live up to its offseason hype in the first half as Montana State outperformed the home team in every way for 20 minutes. The Bobcats have taken a 49-31 lead into the locker room and T.. J. . Otzelberger is looking for answers.
Otzelberger tried to play small for most of the half, but the state of Montana was ready and tossed the ball into the post at every opportunity. UNLV was forced to dispatch additional defenders to help their smaller pivots, and that allowed the state of Montana to make easy kick-out passes for open 3s. for half, Montana State joined on 7-of-11 remotely. It was easy to pick. If Otzelberger wants to play small this year, his team has to defend at a much higher level, otherwise it is simply not possible to run four and five guards at the same time.
On the offensive, UNLV looked narrow and not very confident. They opened the game 0-of-7 from 3-point range and made seven turnovers in half. Junior Transfer David Jenkins has a cold start because he is 2: 7 off the field. Bryce Hamilton started out hot but cooled down by the halfway point; In 3-of-9 shooting, he has eight points at team level.
Simply put, UNLV has underperformed heavily on both ends of the court. Now they have to dig out a huge hole in the last 20 minutes or it will be a very bad start to a promising season.
UNLV tried hard to find a rhythm on the offensive, and with 7:39 in the first half, Montana State built a 24-14 lead.
The problem is obvious: UNLV does not record. You’re 0-of-7 from the 3-point range while Montana State has connected 4-of-6 from outside the arc. That’s the difference so far.
It’s a worrying start simply because shooting was UNLV’s biggest mistake last year as well. The team added snipers on transfers David Jenkins and Moses Wood, but so far they haven’t delivered a 3-point production.
Eight players have already seen the word for UNLV, but none have brought the hot hand. T. . J. . Otzelberger has to keep tinkering in the last 27 minutes to find the right combination, otherwise this could be an embarrassing start to the 2020-21 season.
T. . J. . Otzelberger wasted no time downing when he founded Caleb Grill to round out UNLV’s four-man roster.
Montana State leads 7-5 and 15:50. The Bobcats are a small bunch, but they were gritty in the first few minutes and forced two turnovers (including an indictment against Marvin Coleman). . The game had been choppy on both ends so far, which was appropriate for the unusual circumstances. Although the PA system in the area plays crowd noise during the live action, the players seemed a little incongruous on the first handful of possessions as both teams mishandled the passes.
Bryce Hamilton opened the scoring with a moving layup and then fouled the next possession over another hard drive. The junior made 1 of 2 free throws to give him three early points; it looks like he’s going to be a handful this season as expected.
Announced rookie Nick Blake was the first UNLV sub to check in after Coleman’s offensive foul.
UNLV basketball gives tips for the 2020-21 campaign at 6:30 p.m.. m. against Montana State, and it is certainly the most unusual season in the history of the program.
Both teams are on the ground right now warming up, but the rest of the building is completely empty (except for a section of the cardboard cutouts) due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Access to the ground is extremely restricted so Gucci Row and other sections of the courtyard have been removed and the band is not present.
It’s a strange way to start a promising season, but this should be a team to follow. A couple of keys to see tonight:
So far it looks good for T.. J. . Otzelberger’s team. All 15 players on the roster are currently on the pitch and doing warm-up exercises. So it appears the team has not been hit by any positive COVID-19 tests this week. UNLV will have their full number of players if they attempt to start the season with a win.
Four starters are banned from UNLV – point guard Marvin Coleman, shooting guard David Jenkins, wing Bryce Hamilton and center Mbacke Diong. The off-season question was which player deserved fifth place. We’ll find out if Otzelberger wants to open the season with a second big man on the floor (Edoardo Del Cadia), a defensive-thinking security guard (Caleb Grill), a stretch-4 (Moses Wood) or the most talented newcomer on the roster (Nick Blake).
While it will be interesting to see who gets their number for the start of the introduction, expect Otzelberger to tinker this spot extensively throughout the season.
Speaking of players who are locked up. The core of this team is the backcourt of Coleman, Hamilton and Jenkins. Now we can finally see how they fit together in a real game situation.
Hamilton and Jenkins are big scorers while Coleman is a distributor. While there may be some early bumps, you should be able to figure out a way for it to flow offensively. The defensive end is a different matter. Coleman is a high-effort player, but none of the three are known for their defensive skills. Otzelberger needs to find a way to make this group effective on both ends of the floor.
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University of Nevada, Las Vegas, UNLV Runnin ‘Rebels Men’s Basketball, Montana State Bobcats Men’s Basketball, T. . J. . Otzelberger, Thomas & Mack Center
World news – USA – Live blog: UNLV from the state of Montana blown out at the start
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