Monday, March 9, 2009 | midnight
Before Larry Johnson , Stacey Augmon and the golden days of UNLV basketball, there was Bob Florence. At a time when the UNLV basketball team was toiling in obscurity, Florence came to Las Vegas and established himself a dominant player.
His numbers hold up against the great Jerry Tarkanian-era teams and he ranks 11th on UNLV ‘s list of career scorers (1,674 points). The power forward averaged 21.7 points during his career (1971-74) with the Rebels, third best in history.
He was also one of the most accurate shooters in school history, finishing his career with a .564 field goal percentage.
Florence came to Vegas during John Bayer’s tenure with the Rebels, and played two seasons under Bayer before Tarkanian took over the program. Tarkanian’s arrival in Vegas brought a top-notch recruiting class to the Rebels, but Florence led all the new stars.
In Tark’s first season with the Rebels, Florence was the star, leading all scorers with 18.1 points per game.
Regardless of who coached him, Florence was consistent. During his sophomore season, Florence averaged 24.6 points per game, top-15 in the country. A natural scorer, Florence put up more than 35 points five times during his career.
After graduating from UNLV, Florence got involved in community affairs, working to keep local kids enrolled in school.