UNLV wins hoops scrimmage at Long Beach State

However, rebounding continues to concern sixth-year coach Lon Kruger

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV head coach Lon Kruger talks to his players after the Rebels FirstLook scrimmage Oct. 16 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

UNLV won a closed-door basketball scrimmage at Long Beach State late Saturday morning then jumped on a bus for a long ride back to Las Vegas.

According to Rebels coach Lon Kruger, UNLV won by five or six points, but he said there are many miles to go before his squad is where he wants it to be.

“We have a long ways to go in that area,” he said of how physical his guys played. “We’re certainly more physical than we were a year ago … but not as physical as we need to be going forward.”

Kruger did not have a final stat sheet, but he was disappointed about one aspect of the private scrimmage.

“Rebounding continues to be our biggest concern, like we anticipated going in,” he said. “That didn’t change. (The 49ers) rebounded aggressively in the first half, but we did better in the second half.”

College teams can either play two closed-door scrimmages, a private scrimmage and an exhibition, or two exhibition games before they start their seasons.

As it has done recently, UNLV plays one of each. The Rebels play host to Division-II Washburn in an exhibition Tuesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. Long Beach State defeated San Diego by a point in its other closed-door scrimmage.

After three weeks of practice, many Rebels were relieved to finally play someone else Saturday.

Tre'Von Willis, the junior guard who has been trying to get his teammates to play with a more physical edge, was the lone Rebel to score in double figures against Long Beach State, Kruger said.

He also said new point guard Derrick Jasper was aggressive and looked good pushing the ball.

“It was close all the way,” Kruger said. “Their team played hard. They were very aggressive. We got to play a lot of people and see a lot of combinations. We learned a lot of things that we have to do a lot better and keep working on.”

Twelve Rebels played at least 10 minutes apiece.

“It was a good experience for us,” Kruger said. “Long Beach State felt the same way. It was very competitive all the way and very good for our guys.”

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  1. The hype of this new team has been that they will "run" more. Unfortunately, you can't run without rebounding first. I HAAAAAATTTEEE watching the Rebs get slaughtered on the boards. I hope they can get it together this season. Otherwise.... could be a lot more of the same.

  2. That inside game is a must, jeff, no doubt ... should be better than a year ago, but how much better??? Many questions, but very, very early ...

  3. Well at least they won:P Last year started with defeat at ASU in a closed scrimmage. I'll take it as a good omen.

  4. It is not just on the defensive end, offensive rebouding is always an issue. Simple things like following your shot, blocking out, and timing your jump all seem to be lacking with this team in the past. I don't think coaching can help as based on this article, they haven't improved that area. I do not have high expectations for this team, because I just don't see the rebounding improving without some wide bodies like Quintrell.

    Brice and Santee are weak rebounders, Birce because he can't jump and Santee because he hands of stone. Carlos might be their only hope, but it always seems that the coaches shy away from the freshman if they can. It's going to be a long year again.

  5. My favorite line "Twelve Rebels played at least 10 minutes apiece". I can stomach a 5-6 point win over LBSU easier with that many guys playing. About the rebounding.I don't know what it is but over the past 10-15 years all of our teams have been poor rebounders. We can't let other teams get the second chances while only getting one on the other end.

  6. Unlike Nas' "Illmatic", It IS hard to tell. What can we take away from this scrimmage that we didn't already know. We need help on the boards. BUT I can't really say anything, since we all didn't get to see it with our own eyes. I'll take coach's word for it that we STILL need work this close to the season. At least we're more physical than last year!

    Even if we were say, a team like Kansas, I would still expect us to need improvement in some areas. As long as they get to work, watch some film, and do what they need to do before next Saturday. If we beat Pittsburg State by 5 or 6 points, no matter who or how many kids we play, I might have a heart attack. That being said, this Tuesday's exhibition can't come soon enough.

  7. Many feel like you jersey ... there should be a learning curve, to some degree depending on the player, until January. Conference should be the starting block for all. Could be some apprehension the next few weeks as they get into synch ... that said, yes, Pittsburg State should be a double-digit deal...

  8. rebounding is an effort by all 5 players not just the pf and center. they needa treat it that way.

  9. True, fan11 ... that's why Bellfield is such an asset. He has a great nose for caroms and has not got an ounce of fear for mixing it up with the big'uns under the rim, as he showed last season.

  10. thats right...wow the football team is winning so far 21-7 haha who cares its basketball season

  11. they had to go there on the bus,what is this,unlv technical vocational school

  12. Times are tough, chuck. All teams at UNLV have had to cut back in the past year. However, the hoops team also bused to ASU and Pepperdine the past two years for private scrimmages, soooo ... a little team bonding away from Viva Las Vegas

  13. rob, lets get a Miech Again today or tomorrow :)

  14. Hmmm...do vocational schools travel by chartered private jet to all thier regular season away games?? It wouldn't exactly call times too tough now, right Miech?

  15. Vocational schools? hmmm, not sure what you mean 76. UNLV coaches have been given an edict more than a year ago to trim costs anywhere and everywhere they can, and bus travel is one example.
    11, thanks for the interest. I'll try to put one of those up a day, separate and exclusive from anything else I do. A practice thought, something interesting about a player or who knows? I'll surprise you and try to entertain you.
    Look for those to start pretty regularly, say, Wednesday on ... thanks.

  16. Rebounding is 90% effort & 10% height. We all remember Rodman who was 6'8 at best but a manchild on the glass all because his effort would not be outmatched. I will take 6'8 guys that are cat quick and jump a foot ATR everyday over 7 foot stiffs that have a 3 inch verticle. It's all about effort, hustle, and heart. Who cares if they take a bus to SoCal? It is good time together for the players to kick it with each other on the road.

  17. Sorry for the cryptic message. The "Vocational" comment was in regard to the post by Dodgerchuck. My comment to him was that this team will travel by private chartered jet to all away games this year, it was a sarcastic remark. Then another mark of sarcasm comes from me with regard to your indication of "hard times".

  18. beton, touche (on the bus rides) ...
    rebel76, no problem ... thx

  19. Sufferin - Big Dance

  20. I also think we are going to see improved point guard play this year and more reliable outside shooting. In turn, it should take a little pressure off the bigs and everything will turn around.