Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009 | 2:29 a.m.
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Ryan Greene and Christine Killimayer delve into what was No. 18 UNLV's 95-80 loss to Kansas State on Saturday at the Orleans Arena. The Wildcats shot the lights out, while the Rebels had a hard time doing much of anything in their first loss of the 2009-10 season. Plus, a look ahead at a week which favors a UNLV team with wounds to lick.
Rivals.com's No. 7 prospect in the 2010 senior class took his fifth and final official visit this weekend, making the long journey from the Henderson foothills to the UNLV campus. Part of that 48-hour visit included taking in the No. 18 Rebels' 95-80 loss to the Wildcats, which went down as the team's first setback of the 2009-10 campaign.
"It was a tough loss," he said. "Kansas State was on and hitting shots and, you know, the ball rolls that way sometimes.
"It won't (sour) me. I know what type of players they are and what type of guys they are, and I look at the style of play more than if they're winning this game or that game. That's their first loss. You can't really judge them because of that."
He wasn't just observant of the exact ins and outs of UNLV's game against K-State, but also took the same approach all weekend, taking advantage of the opportunity to get to know the members of Lon Kruger's program as thoroughly as possible.
He's already taken in quite a bit this season as an observer, watching the Rebels land back on the national radar.
The weekend included the standard tours of UNLV's hoops facilities, plus a hotel stay and dinners with potential teammates and coaches.
"It's been great," he said. "It gave me more of a taste of the college atmosphere."
Joseph, who already visited Texas, Villanova, Minnesota and UConn, didn't have a completely normal trip to see UNLV, however. Sandwiched in the middle was Findlay's tilt against Bishop Gorman two hours after the end of the UNLV-KSU game at the Orleans Arena.
The Rebels coaches went to eat with their families in the Orleans after their game, then went right back into the arena to watch Joseph score 18 points in the Pilots' 65-52 victory. They also waited for him in the lobby after the game to escort him back to the hotel, with the visit concluding on Sunday.
"It's real unique," Joseph said. "Just to be here, the atmosphere of the (UNLV) game earlier was crazy. I got to go into the student section, and it was a real good student section. Just getting to be around my teammates, too, there were some really good feelings."
Joseph even caught glimpse of — and admittedly got a kick out of — a sign a UNLV student had, which featured a spread photo of the Strip, reading 'Cory, want a key to the city? Sign with UNLV!'
When Joseph signs is the great unknown. To use recruiting lingo, he's still "wide open."
"I'm not sure," the Toronto native said. "Not until I feel 100 percent. That's when I'll sign."
Inside the numbers
• K-State outrebounded UNLV, 30-25, after trailing 16-15 in that category at the half. It marked the fourth time in five games that the Rebels have lost the battle on the boards.
• In the first game Chace Stanback came off the bench as a Rebel, he had his best offensive output. The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward scored in double digits for the first time at UNLV, tallying 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
• While Derrick Jasper went scoreless for UNLV, the rest of his stat line was filled somewhat. In 19 minutes he had three steals, three rebounds and five assists to just two turnovers.
• The combining for 50 points obviously highlighted the day for K-State backcourt mates Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente. But their production elsewhere was just as pivotal. Pullen, who averaged 2.7 rebounds per game coming in, mixed it up underneath in grabbing six boards, including five on the defensive glass. As for Clemente, who was labeled a score-first guard averaging three assists per game, he had nine helpers to his credit.
The Rebels at least will have ample opportunity to lick their wounds during the next week before leaving the mainland for Christmas.
UNLV's next three opponents — Southern Utah, Weber State and then South Carolina Upstate on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center — have a combined record of 9-17 this season.
The final word
Chace Stanback on Kansas State being the aggressor right from go: "We definitely knew that they were gonna come out and try to take advantage of us, force us to do things we didn't want to do. Ultimately, we just had to play harder and match their intensity."