We would have beat Duke with Matt Othick

Matt Othick would have played much better for us at UNLV than he did for Arizona.

We had Matt committed to us and he would have been a great Rebel. But when we got Greg Anthony to transfer in that pretty much sealed that Matt wouldn’t sign.

Still, I had Matt convinced we could play three guards — Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt and him.

But one day the newspaper called me and I blew it with Othick by opening my mouth. They were doing a story about Greg and I told them how he was going to be one of the best point guards to ever play at UNLV. That scared Matt off.

I love Matt Othick to this day. He was a great player at Bishop Gorman and I blew it recruiting him.

We would have won a second national title if he was on the 1991 team. When Greg fouled out in the Final Four loss against Duke, I could have slid Matt over to the point guard spot and we wouldn’t have missed a beat.

Instead we had to play our freshman guard, H Waldman. H wound up being a tremendous point guard, but he just wasn’t ready.

I watched on television all three of UNLV’s games in Hawaii last week. I thought they looked really good in those first few games.

Their defense was tremendous and they took SMU and Hawaii out of their offense. They just didn’t have any answers for USC and that point guard Mike Gerrity.

Gerrity is as good of a point guard as I have seen in some time. He negated UNLV’s pressure and dictated the pace of the game. He’s a heck of a player and will help USC challenge Washington and Cal for the Pac-10 title.

USC was very physical up front and they dominated on both ends of the court. The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

UNLV will be fine, though. They just need to get over that game. They won’t see a point guard like SC had the rest of the season.

Their next game is against BYU. BYU has tremendous players and shooters at every position.

But UNLV’s pressure defense always bothers BYU. That’s why they beat BYU at its place last year.

One of my former players, Dave Rice from the Final Four teams, is an assistant for BYU. He was a real intelligent player and a great shooter for me.

As a coach, he’s put in the time to get the experience. I’m hoping that he gets his own program one day. He just needs someone to give him a chance because he has proven himself as an assistant.

I like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Year. I generally don’t go out anymore on New Year’s Eve.

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