REBELS BASKETBALL:

UNLV’s 2010-11 non-conference men’s basketball slate nearly complete

After learning their MWC/MVC Challenge opponent, Rebels have two vacancies left on non-conference schedule

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SUN FILE PHOTO

UNLV guard Derrick Jasper drives against Southern Illinois during the Rebels’ 78-69 victory over the Salukis on Nov. 21 at the Thomas & Mack Center. That game was part of the inaugural MWC/MVC Challenge. UNLV learned on Tuesday that it will travel to face Illinois State on Dec. 1 in the second set of match-ups between the Mountain West and Missouri Valley Conferences.

Tuesday's announcement of match-ups for the second MWC/MVC Challenge Series added another piece to the puzzle that is UNLV's still-incomplete 2010-11 non-conference men's basketball schedule.

But the Rebels are close to having all the pieces in place.

In one of several intriguing contests set to take place just after Thanksgiving, UNLV will face Illinois State on Dec. 1 in Normal, Ill., in the first meeting between the two programs since Jan. 13, 1978.

The Redbirds are 71-30 in the last three seasons under Tim Jankovich, who, like UNLV coach Lon Kruger, played his college ball at Kansas State. In each of Jankovich's three seasons at the helm, his team has won at least 22 games and appeared in the NIT.

Among the other match-ups in the second round of regular-season showdowns between the Mountain West and Missouri Valley Conferences are BYU traveling to face Creighton, New Mexico hitting the road to face Southern Illinois and — maybe the best of the bunch — a Dec. 4 meeting between Wichita State and San Diego State on the Aztecs' home floor.

Northern Iowa, which knocked UNLV out of the NCAA tournament last month in first-round action in Oklahoma City, will play at TCU on Dec. 4.

The MWC went 4-5 this season in the inaugural set of games, including UNLV's 78-69 home victory over Southern Illinois on Nov. 21.

With that game now being set in stone, it leaves the Rebels with two open spots on their non-conference slate.

UNLV is still searching for an opponent to come to the Thomas & Mack Center for the season opener and also is attempting to land a higher-profile foe to begin a home-and-home series with next season, with the first game being played at the Mack.

According to director of basketball operations Mike Shepherd, there are a number of ways the Rebels can go in terms of an opening-night opponent. But finding formidable opponents to go on the road early to face a team which returns virtually everyone from a 25-9 squad isn't the easiest of tasks.

"It's just so hard to find that opener from a Division-I standpoint," he said, adding that the Rebels aren't necessarily looking to "buy" a game against a bottom-tier opponent. "We opened with San Diego a couple of years ago, and that was good, but those are challenges, because no one wants to open on the road, and we don't. We definitely don't want to open on the road."

As for the second vacancy, he said, the two prime candidates are Wisconsin and Arizona State.

Wisconsin went 24-9 this season, losing to Cornell in the second round of the NCAA tourney, 87-69. Arizona State was one of the bubble teams that was left out of the field of 65, finishing 22-11 with an appearance in the NIT.

"They both are in a pretty good position where they need a road game, and we definitely need a home game," he said. "It's just a matter of trying to work it out date-wise. If it doesn't work out with those guys, there's a couple other options that we have."

Shepherd also added that UNLV is in talks with some other schools — with Illinois being one of them — regarding future home-and-home sets.

Senior Associate Athletics Director Jerry Koloskie confirmed the rest of UNLV's 2010-11 non-conference schedule Tuesday.

The home games that are scheduled so far include Southeastern Louisiana, UC-Riverside, Southern Utah and Central Michigan. Those will come on the heels of an exhibition game at home against Washburn.

The annual game played down the road at the Orleans Arena will be against Boise State. There had been talk of Gonzaga coming to down for that contest, but the long-discussed deal — which included a return game at Spokane Arena to be played in 2011-12 — fell through. It was rumored to have crumbled on the Gonzaga side of things.

On the road — along with the trip to face Illinois State — the Rebels will play at Louisville, at Nevada-Reno and at Kansas State.

UNLV has won its last two meetings with Louisville — most recently downing the then-No. 16 Cards at the Mack on Nov. 28, 76-71 — and its last four against Reno. As for the first game in the series with Kansas State, UNLV fell to the Wildcats on Dec. 12 at the Orleans, 95-80.

The game against Louisville will be played in the Cardinals' new home, the Louisville Downtown Arena. As for the K-State game, it will be played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. There had been talks of that game, which is in return for this season's meeting at the Orleans, taking place at the Intrust Arena in Wichita.

The rest of the non-conference schedule is occupied by three games in the 76 Classic, which will be played from Nov. 25-28 in Anaheim, Calif. That field also includes Cal State Northridge, DePaul, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Tulsa, Virginia Tech and one team that still has to be determined.

The Arizona series will be on hiatus for at least a year after the Rebels and Wildcats had met each of the last four seasons.

"Coach Kruger and (Arizona) coach (Sean) Miller have talked about renewing that one, I just don't think we can get it next year," Shepherd said. "Because they need a home game and we do, too."

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  1. I am really excited about our non-conferance road schedule. The K-state game will be the measuring stick for how we can play in the big dance. However, I am disapointed in the caliber of teams coming to the Mack. We need to get big name west coast teams like the Zags to play us in some home-and-home series. Lets hope we can at least secure Wisconsin, we need to play more tourney teams.

    Thanks for the update Ryan!

  2. I think it is more important to get a big name team next year than it is to make sure it is a home game. If we can't get the ASU or Wiscy game on, then tell Arizona or Gonzaga we will play there first. I don't get Gonzaga. They usually play a tough non-conference schedule. What is their problem with playing at the T&M?
    This should be the best Rebel team under Kruger. I want to see them play a tough schedule and let them prove it.

  3. KState on the road is going to be tough.

    Can't wait for the Illinois series to start. Especially if the one in Illinois is at the United Center.

  4. Southeastern Louisiana
    UC-Riverside
    Southern Utah
    Central Michigan
    Boise State

    What the H9LL is that?

    So can you confirm, Ryan, that season tickets are going to be half price?

    I mean, we're basically only paying for the home games in conference, right? I don't see why we should be expected to pay full price for FIVE bottom feeder games.

    What a crock. We better win at KSU and UL, because the home schedule is a bunch of donkeys. They'll absolutely kill our rpi/sos.

    And forget about getting big crowds in order to oh, i don't know, maybe generate some REVENUE in these tough economic times. We'll be lucky to get 10k for each of those 5.

    What a HUGE disappointment to this season ticket holder.

  5. The MWC went 4-5 in the inaugural MWC-MVC Challenge, not 5-4.

  6. How could Cory Joseph and Dwayne Polee POSSIBLY turn down the chance to play all those donkeys in a half empty T&M?

  7. This schedule is a complete emabarrassment to UNLV basketball. This is the definition of mid major basketball. This is a complete disgrace of the highest level.

    Hopefully Wisconsin and Illinois will come through. If not, we'll need to win like 28 games again to get a top 5 seed.

  8. This schedule is a huge digression and disappointment. I'm a fan through and through but this home line-up may make me think twice about buying season tix for such a dismal level of opponent.

    I'd rather spend the money on road trips to Anaheim, Reno, and Louisville and watch us play some real opponents.

    Concerning the in conference schedule, rebel fans better hope Hobson and Fredette pull out of the draft and make the MWC strong once again. If not, our RPI will be a travesty as a result of poor OOC schedule strength.

  9. The T and M must be a bakery, because it sure is serving up the cupcakes.
    I agree this is a huge disappointment. Not a single quality home game? Plus haven't someone learned the importance of strength of schedule? Its one thing to play so many gimmies this past season rebuilding year but it's inexcusable to play this many 200-200+ RPI teams this upcoming season. To top it off no Gonzaga. Great.
    With this schedule they could go undefeated and get a maybe a 4 seed.
    Plus isn't the K-State game at a quasi-neutral site?

  10. Wow, not what I was expecting. Is Arizona scared? We better get Wisconsin here.

  11. I've gotta agree with everyone on this. The schedule is an RPI nightmare. If we don't win at least one of those road games, we'll have to win the conference outright. I would think that the Pac-10 would like to see the Arizona State game happen, since it seems that most of the media outlets this year were saying that the MWC was far better than the Pac-10, although we didn't prove that in the tourney this year. Disappointed, yes, but still looking forward to next season.

  12. jvegian: I don't get Gonzaga either. You mentioned that they won't come to the Mack--actually, they were going to be the opponent for the Orleans Arena game, which makes even less sense for them to pull out, seing as they have actually played more games there than the Rebs have.

    I give the athletic dept. credit for attempting to schudule some big boys--it just seems that no one wants to play us. Not that that is an excuse--the home schedule is amazingly weak, and as many stated, an RPI killer, win or (god-forbid, lose). Hopefully we can still lure a somewhat decent opponent for the home opener, and hopefully either Wisc or AZ State will work out. Our road schedule looks nice, but even there it looks like our most quality wins will come on neutral courts (K-State, and possible matchups with OK-State, V-Tech, or Stanford in the 76 Classic).

    I understand it is tough to schedule people to come to your place when you are returning a team that won 25 games, but so far it looks like the pressure will really be on to beat up on some cupcakes and to perform well on the road in order for us to show our worth next year, as our SOS and RPI look to be pretty mediocre even if we rack up a bunch of wins.

    Still, November can't come soon enough! Looking forward to an exciting 2010-11 campaign, even if the schedule leaves something to be desired. Go Rebs!

  13. I understand that it can be difficult to schedule top 50 teams, especially from big conferences. But the teams in the 200+ RPI inexcusable. You should be able to keep the non conference opponents all within the RPI top 150, especially for next year.
    All we to do is hope for good teams in Anaheim, a step forward for teams like CSU and Wyoming (Utah seems to be going in the wrong direction with all the players that are abandoning ship)to in the conference to boost conference SOS, and a repeat of the big 4 in the MWC to get some top 50 games.

  14. WTF?

    I made every home game this year except 1, next season is looking like I don't even want to go to the games! There is not even 1 team on the home schedule worth paying for a ticket.

    T&M folks, whoever does the scheduling, you not gonna sell out 1 game with that schedule.

    Can't get a Dayton, Old Dominion, UTEP, Marquette, Richmond, Cal, Utah St, or St. Mary's? Not asking for a final 4 team to play at home, just a middle of the road team.

    I guess I have to hope they do well in Anaheim (Road trip anyone?) cause that's the toughest schedule they are going to have.

  15. That is a tough non-conference road schedule. Hope they can firm up Wisconsin or ASU at home to add depth to the non-conference schedule. Sounds as if teams are scared to come to the T&M again. We've heard that story before.

  16. Rebelnomics ... my bad. You're right on that one.

    As for the schedule in general, I don't think it's going to be an RPI nightmare at all.

    I mean, if you look back on this last season, the only marquee home opponent at the Mack was Louisville, right? Wisconsin or Arizona State this upcoming season would meet that quota. I don't think the home schedule is much worse off ... It also just so happens that it's UNLV's turn to return some games -- i.e. Louisville, K-State, UNR, MWC/MVC.

    You've also got to remember that not a lot of teams are going to jump at the chance to come on the road and play at UNLV with as strong as the Rebels could potentially be next season, which Shepherd mentioned.

  17. Ryan-I bet your opinion of the schedule would be different if you had to pay for season tickets.

  18. As hot as The Rebel's play at The Thomas and Mack getting a quality team like Gonzaga to come in will be difficult

  19. Salty,

    I'd probably look at it from a different perspective if that were the case, sure. I'm not saying it's a brutally strong home schedule, but UNLV is simply struggling with the same issues that have gotten Gonzaga for years - no one wants to go on the road to play them. Only just recently have the Bulldogs finally gotten some teams to play them on their actual home floor. Remember all of those years where their marquee "home" game would be played in Seattle? It wasn't until just now when some more teams headed up there, such as Oklahoma and Wake Forest this past season.

    I'm more defending the argument that this schedule murders UNLV's RPI. If they hold their own on the road like they did last year, then defend the home floor, they'll be in a similar position they were in towards the end of this season, where they're not squirming on selection Sunday.

    Plus, I'd wait to see who they find for a home opener before completely slamming the schedule. If they're able to find someone of the caliber of, say, San Diego from two years ago (who at the time was just outside of the Top 25), along with a Wisco or ASU, it all of a sudden looks a whole lot better, IMO.

  20. Sugar coat it any way you want.

    FIVE donkeys is TOO MANY.

    "they'll be in a similar position they were in towards the end of this season"

    -THAT is the problem. We get to look forward to another 8/9 seed with this lousy schedule.

    I'm sure I will (reluctantly) end up renewing my season tickets, but I can gaurantee that the T&M will see pathetic attendance for ALL of those donkey games.

    Sheduling like this hurts us on so many levels.

  21. No one cares, Sufferin. You're always wrong.

  22. Sufferin - You're dumb! Stop typing. It's more likely there will not be an NIT next year than that we will be in it; Google "NCAA Tournament Expansion" and then throw your computer away. EVen without the expansion, we will be strong next year.

    TRUE - If you're reluctant to renew your season tickets, then keep your butt at home.

    For everyone else slamming the schedule, give it a rest. Your whole attitude seems to suggest that you think UNLV is intentionally trying to schedule cupcakes. Like Ryan said, TEAM DO NOT WANT TO COME HERE! It sucks and its unfortunate for us, but it is the truth.

    Even middle of the road teams (RPI 100ish) don't want to schedule a game they know they can't win. Perhaps we can blame expansion of the tournament for this problem? Now, all of the sudden, there's 31 more bids to go around and those "back of the bubble" teams don't want to risk getting blown out.

    The money isn't there to pay some of these teams to come in for games and it takes some time to build the relationships needed to set up those home-and-home series with other schools. I'm thinking we probably add Wisconsin since we've had them off and on with football.

    While the schedule isn't what we'd like it to be, the REAL fans need to be there supporting the team and the Rebs just need to take care of business. We'll more than likely be right around the Top 25 when the first rankings come out, so we win the games and we'll be in good shape. We still have 2 slots we are trying to fill, so lets all see what happens there before we break out the torches and pitchforks!

  23. You smelt it last year too sufferin. Must have just been your underwear or something. Guess its time for your annual shower again

  24. Mike's right. If you wanna see big name opponents, open your wallets and pony up the $100K it'll take to make happen. Oh wait, the reason you're posting on the Sun site and not talking to Coach or Livengood is because you don't have the money or the access.

    Win games and the schedule doesn't really matter.

  25. UNLV will play a tough non-conference schedule for 2010-2011. The non-conference home schedule so far is very weak, got to get Wisconsin and one Top 25/NCAA Tournament team to play at the Thomas & Mack Center. The scheduling is not over yet so Rebel fans don't freak out now. But for the conference home games against BYU, New Mexico and San Diego State again will draw large crowd again just like this past season.

  26. "While the schedule isn't what we'd like it to be, the REAL fans need to be there supporting the team"

    So you, in your arrogance, get to decide who the real fans are, how they should feel, and what their comments about the schedule should be?

    I don't know why you are calling me out. I said the same thing you did: "the schedule isn't what we'd like it to be"

    So there you go. You don't like it either. But you're going to go anyway to support the team.

    Which is basically the same thing I stated. Yet you have the audacity to tell me to keep my butt at home?

    I think you should grow up and stop acting like an internet tough guy.

    If you read the comments, you'll see that you are in the minority. This forum, the UNLV message board...people are upset and disappointed (yourself included) and they have a right to be.

  27. I'm not saying anything about your feelings about the schedule, because I am a bit disappointed about it too. However, saying that you will "reluctantly renew your season tickets," is a ridiculous statement to make. If you're hesitant to renew your season tickets, then don't. The impression that statement gives off is that you don't want to support the team because they have a weak schedule.
    You can be whatever kind of fan you want to be, and I'm sure, in the end, you'll get your tickets, you'll go to the games, and you'll cheer your lungs out every game. But making statements like you did sounds strangely like those who bail on the team when things don't work out. While I too am disappointed in the schedule, notice I acknowledge some reasons why this happened rather than take shots at and ridicule the school and the program. Everyone has the right to say what they want and feel (both of us included) and thats what I did a the time too. So we'll both be at the games, except I won't be "reluctant" to go.

  28. RPI-impact schedules for 2010-2011 UNLV Basketball:

    At Louisville (BIG EAST)
    At Illinois State (MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE)
    At Kansas State (BIG 12)
    At Nevada-Reno (WAC CONFERENCE and state rival)
    76 Classic Opponents (Hoping to play against Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech or Tulsa)
    BYU (2 regular season games)
    New Mexico (2 regular season games)
    San Diego State (2 regular season games)

  29. And TRUE - You are free to write, think and feel how you see fit, but putting something on paper (or message board) leaves it open to interpretation by others, and I interpreted your posts how I saw fit. Apparently I misunderstood, and that happens. I'll chalk it up to miscommunication and we'll just all go back to the good ol' days of talking Rebel ball and making fun of Sufferin.

  30. Many of you are right about big-name teams not wanting to play us. It is a price we pay for success. I think if we can get to a higher level and remain a solid top 25 team for a few years, it will take us to the position in which those big-name teams would love to play us at home. All rising teams go through these growing pains when they begin succeeding. Someday soon we'll be one of those big-name teams. Then, teams will be courting us. Coach Kruger is getting us there. We just need to be patient and keep going to the games and show support. Go Rebs!

  31. SufferinSuccotash is a non-believer to UNLV Basketball. Smelling NIT is like smelling North Carolina, UCONN, Arizona, UCLA and Memphis that didn't made it to the NCAA Tournament this year. SufferinSuccotash is a UNLV Basketball hater!!

  32. "saying that you will 'reluctantly renew your season tickets,' is a ridiculous statement to make."

    No it's not.

    Maybe I'd rather spend my money traveling to the KSU, UL, Reno, etc... games and see my team play some actual competition. And then buy individual game tickets for the ONE good OOC home game (if we get it)and all the conference games.

    I think I would get more enjoyment out of going to watch practice than seeing what should be the best team in the Kruger era beat up on a bunch of 200+ rpi donkeys.

  33. This schedule is a complete joke.

    Our confernce might be a little tougher these days but their is no excuse for playing such a soft out of confernce schedule.

    Let me remind you of what our out of conference schedule looked like the year we won the national championship.

    Oklahoma state
    North Carolina State
    Temple
    Arkansas
    Kansas
    Cal
    Loyola Marymount
    LSU
    Depaul
    Towa
    Arizona

    Depaul, Arkansas, Iowa, Temple, NC state, LSU, LMU...these were all powerhouses back in the day. NO cupcakes at all on the schedule by choice.

    At the end the year we will have an RPI of 60... we will be able to point back to the scheduling as the reason why.

    Obviously they dont see attendance as being important. Seriously how many people are going to go to the UC-Riverside game? I urge season ticket holders to cancel their packages when they put this product in front of you and expect you to renew your season tickets. This is a complete joke. Cancel your season tickets and tell them you want them to schedule better opponants and maybe the next year the staff will get their head removed from their rear. It's pretty bad when New Mexico and Utah play tougher schedules than we do. Enough said!

  34. Mike Lange,

    You need to ask the Sun to pay you for your stories. Every single one of your posts is longer than the original story.

    Ryan,

    I really hope Kruger pays you under the table to be his PR guy because everything is always great according to you. This home schedule is laughable. Tell me I'm wrong when 8k show up to the Mack.

    The way you get big time schools to come here is by scheduling a series of 2 away games and 1 home game. UNLV should take what they can. If not, you should at least be able to schedule some bubble teams, not this crap.

  35. I'm as disappointed as most about the home schedule so as a SEASON TICKET HOLDER I'm hoping that Mr. Scheduler surprises us with two opening games against the likes of Wisconsin and Xavier (or Temple or Butler or Wake Forrest or ...) you get the point.

    I am wondering if this smacks of the coaches confidence in this next group of guys? I mean, if we take care of business with ALL of the OOC away games and even pull away with the 76 Classic crown who cares about the home schedule - so to speak? From a fans perspective, I would love to see our Rebels kick it hard on the road (which as we all know is paramount to getting the NCAA Committee's attention AND a favorable seed), perform well in the conference games and be in REALLY good shape come tournament seeding time. From a season ticket holders perspective I am disappointed with the home games. Boise State - woohoo! SE Wheesiana - outstanding!

    Ok, I'm done bitchin'. Let's just get past this, finish up the home schedule with a couple of strong opponents (like a couple of posters already alluded to) and look forward to CJ or Polee signing. UNLV! Go! Fight!! Win!!!

  36. I agree that so far it is not shaping up to be a great schedule but there is still hope!

    Apparently scheduling big name schools to play us here is as easy as recruiting quality big men....just close your eyes and wish for it and it will happen. Do you really believe the people at UNLV, who are paid to do this, have not tried all of the ideas suggested on this site? Please...

  37. Let's take a look at the cupcake games according to last season:

    Central Michigan: 15-15, 4th in Mid-American, scored a whopping 38pts vs. Purdue, had a close game vs. USF.

    SE Louisiana: 19-12, 3rd in Southland conference, kept Mississippi St within 15 pts...

    UC Riverside: 12-17, Last in Big West Conference, loses 5pt game vs San Diego State.

    Southern Utah: 7-22, Last in Summit League, Beat UC Riverside...

    Illinois St.: 22-11, 3rd in MVC, No big games, loses to Dayton in NIT.

  38. Well we got to live with what the powers to be give us. So let's just offer some ideas to fill the stands...
    1. Dollar Beer Night (The game will more them likely put us to sleep, but we will get watch just how ripped one can get by looking past the game over to kids in the student section)
    2. Donkey rides for the kids (Heck we have a few on the schedule why not a few in the parking lot...)
    3. Lon can fight a Bear at the half
    4""..
    Because lets face it these game are weak. I am confident we can get some better games. It just takes some wheeling and dealing to get them. I for one am frustrated that in a town of wheelers and dealers we can't cut a deal to make the games happen. Go Rebels

  39. Exuses are just that. Shep can make excuses all day long but the fact of the matter is the results he produced are dogcrap!

    The years Tark was here he always got heavywieghts to come and play and the T&M and we were 3 times as good and the T&M was one of the heardest places to play in the country. The past 6 years we have had better schedules than this. When Rice was the Director of basketball operations he put together much better schedules than this. Mr Shep dont give me these "EXCUSES" about how hard it is to get good teams to play a road game at the T&M. When Utah and New Mexico plays tougher schedules than we do it is embarassing. We can do a whole lot better than teams that hover around the 200-300 range rpi. Maybe we cant get Kentucky or Duke to play here but dont tell me we cant get Utep, St Mary's, Xavier, LSU, Auburn, Clemson, Missouri, Oregon State or Dayton to come here? Dont say we dont want a tough game to open the season. Listen its the first or second game for the other team too. When the rest of the schedule is that weak you'd better fill that home opener with a quality a opponant because we are going to need some tougher opponants on our schedule. The Anaheim Classic has a pretty weak field too.

    The way I look at it the guy who gets on the phone and "works" on the schedule is that of a saleman. Maybe it takes contacts, friends, favors, and a smooth oparator to get the results we need? whatever it takes. In my opinion the results of this scheule is that of someone who didnt work that hard and just seetled on opponants. It is entirely unacceptable to put this product in front of the fans after 7 years at this university you mean to tell me we cant put together a better schedule than this?

    In what is supposed to be our best team since Kruger arrived at UNLV it is even more important to have a tough schedule. I dont see how recruits could possibly be excited to come to UNLV and play teams like Southeastern Louisana on a saturday night in front of 10,000 fans when they should be playing in front of 18k agasint the likes of Gonzaga or UCLA. Entirely unacceptable! I am seriously disappointed a sa fan!

  40. Ryan,

    I am open minded to being wrong and ignorant here. Therefore, it would be great to hear more about what the staff is doing to put the schedule together. Are they trying neutral court games with PAC 10 schools (like Arizona)? Why NOT schedule an opener on the road (no follow-up in the article)? What is wrong with 2-1 series with a powerhouse if it gets the program on ESPN in primetime? These are questions I would love to hear answers to, perhaps we are all very wrong and misinformed, we are going solely off of an article in this nuclear meltdown on the board this week.

  41. I don't think Rebels fans should be up in arms over this schedule in terms of RPI. The Rebs will be going on the road to face some very tough competition. If they do well there then the RPI will go up. If they don't do well then its good to have a cupcake home schedule to pad the record a bit. The home schedule is bad for fans but good for the record.

    The non-conference home schedule is terrible but if teams aren't willing to play in Vegas thats not necessarily the Rebel's fault. How much would UNLV have to pay to get teams to come? With the athletic department's hamstrung budget its understandable that they won't shell out money for a big time school.

    We're apparently looking for a home and home around November 20: http://bti.sportshd.com/mens_schedule_bo...

    Interesting website.

  42. TRUE_FAN,

    "I think you should grow up and stop acting like an internet tough guy."

    Calling out someone who uses their full name for their username (MikeLange) when your name is the very descriptive, "TRUE_FAN"?

    ...that's not ironic.

    "If you read the comments, you'll see that you are in the minority. This forum, the UNLV message board...people are upset and disappointed (yourself included) and they have a right to be."

    Maybe you should consider your sample. The posters to this comment section and to the UNLV message boards do not at all represent the opinion of most UNLV fans.

    For example, you! You spent most of this season dogging our team. Talking about how we were "weak", "pathetic", and were likely NIT bound.

    Go be disappointed with the schedule and travel to the away games. Save room for the "non-reluctant" fans.

  43. I am a stout supporter of Coach Kruger, but this non-conference schedule is inexcusable and indefensible. To say that I am extremely disappointed is putting it mildly.

    I am a season ticket holder and the tickets are not cheap, especially in this economy. And what really irritates me is that when our attendance freefalls (don't worry, it will -- UNLV fans know garbage when they see it), the promotions will kick in (you know"bring a toy, beer can, or crack habit for half-off Plaza level entry), and my $48 dollar Plaza ticket will look like a complete rip off.

    This is the product?! Really?! Coach Bayno had better non-conference schedules than this! This is the worst schedule I can remember. EVER.

    I used to hammer New Mexico fans for their weak non-conference schedules for so many years, which as a result hurt their chances for at-large berths (and our collective RPIs). Sadly, we have become New Mexico. I would be angry at UNLV if I were BYU, New Mexico, and San Diego State: we will literally bring their RPIs down when they play us.

    So, we can't schedule a decent team, but our conference partners can. Yeah, I buy that excuse.

    This is not cool.

  44. "For example, you! You spent most of this season dogging our team. Talking about how we were "weak", "pathetic", and were likely NIT bound."

    Don't recall saying we were "likely nit bound"

    link? or should I say links? (since is allegedly did this for "most of the season)

    And I may have referred to Santee as weak and pathetic. Or used those terms to describe our rebounding/inside game.

    And guess what.....I was right.

    Don't worry, there will be plenty of room for the 8k-10k that show up for those home games.

  45. shawn,

    I forgot to mention in the story that Shepherd told me the Rebels are working on scheduling a home-and-home series starting in 2011-12 with one of a couple of Big East schools.

    I do understand why season ticket holders are a little off on this one. But to call the team's entire non-conference schedule weak is off-base. Louisville, Kansas State, UNR and the field at the 76 Classic makes it very RPI-conscious. It just so happens that the brunt of those games are away next year ... after the majority of them were at home this year. There's give and there's take.

    With the Arizona series, I mentioned in the story that it will more than likely pick back up in 2011-12.

  46. As a season ticket holder I will either pull back my donation or just buy individual tickets next year. The problem is Ryan Greene is right. Last year wasn't much different except we had home games with Louisville, Reno and Southern Illinois but outside of those teams we played some crap opponents too. This coming year looks much, much worse I say. The coaches are being weak about this. Go play some away games if you have to start the season that way but don't stack yourselves with cupcakes. Lon and Co. are crazy if they don't think this will affect ticket sales. Everyone I know who follows basketball in the offseason is dissapointed. Let's hope we get some good news this weekend or else this place could get really bad quickly.

  47. This is just another example of why Kruger is a slightly above average coach with no nads. Pathetic. My donation is history.

  48. I like this schedule. I'll definitely be going to the Central Michigan game. I've got family who go there. I'm also a student and get into all home games for free so that helps my decision. lol

  49. Ryan you include UNR as a quality opponant? It wasnt a good win last year and it certainly wont be a good win next year when their 2 best players are in the NBA. The field in the Anaheim Classic is WEAK! I dont recall one of those team appearing in the top 25 last year.

  50. I don't think the Anaheim classic is TOO weak, OK st, and VT were consistently in the votes. It's ours for the taking this year, like last year's tourney was supposed to be when we lost to USC.

  51. I was really hoping for a rematch with Northern Iowa in the MWC-MVC series.
    Revenge would be nice, but they were a very senior-heavy team at the NCAAs. I wouldn't expect them to be particularly good next season.

  52. anonymous boosters withdrawing "donations" over the schedule..... Kruger must be worried.

  53. The slection comittee is becoming a little more predictablewith there selection process. A team's RPI doesn't really matter that much in itself to get in or to be seeded, but it does help open the door per se. The overall record means little anymore as well. Its all about record vs the Top 50 and 100 and overall SOS. It becomes very simple. Give yourself as many games in the top 100 and minimize games against lower tier teams. If you run through the schedule and say we lose at Louisville, and K-state, and a LARGE portion of the wins are from bottom feeder teams you end up in SDSU's position, needing the conference tournament to get in. So it looks like we better at least split the L'Ville and K-State series for an at large, or winning the MWC regular season, otherwsie it WILL be NIT (with a 65 team tourney) or an extra game (in a 96 team tourney).

  54. That link theplastic had was interesting. It looks like Utah State is looking for a home and home to start on the road next year in mid November. That sounds good to me! A quality home game to open the season, get it done Shep

  55. I looked at that list, and there are a few other teams on there that need the same dates, such as Duquesne (who also needs to start on the road), Mississippi St., Arizona St (who needs to start on road, and is a close drive), hell even Utah St, would be better than the rest of the home schedule.

  56. I think the remarkable thing about that scheduling link I posted earlier is that it exists. Who would've though that major D1 programs have to turn to match.com to get their basketball schedules figured out?

  57. "any time...any place" That seemed to be Tark's motto. Playing it safe with University Of Alaska School of Plumbing isn't going to do anyone any favors. Not happy.

  58. UNR is not losing Babbit- he is staying in school.

    No reason to do 2/1 with "powerhouse" schools. How many of them play in a 19,000 person arena? Not many. We should get home and homes. And we have- just that next year will be alot of road games. Talk about whiners. Just have to win some of those road and neutral games.

    truefan is just a whiny Lib- nothing better to do.

  59. That match.com site is amazing. One thing I saw was Kansas wanted a garuntee game. Why not take that? Even if we lose its great TV exposure.

  60. What a bunch of cry babies! You guys have to be kidding. I am sure the staff wants nothing more than a few quality home games. Long off season of you clowns complaining every chance that you get!

  61. 2009-2010 records of participants for 76 CLASSIC next season:

    Oklahoma State (22-11)
    Virginia Tech (25-9)
    UNLV (25-9)
    Tulsa (23-12)
    DePaul (8-23)
    Stanford (14-18)
    Cal-State Northridge (11-21)
    One more team to be determined:

    Playing in this invitational is like NCAA tournament type environment on neutral court if UNLV gets a chance to play against Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Tulsa and Stanford. Cal-State Northridge played Memphis last year in the NCAA Tournament in a close first round game.

  62. Utah State would be perfect. I always thought we should try to play as many teams that are consistantly in the top 100 out west as possible. All Pac 10 teams. Gonzaga, USD, St. Marys, Utep. Also any school from the big 6 conferences even if they arent in the upper echelon. Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Norhtwestern, Iowa, Georgia, St Johns, Miami etc. I can think of 50 opponants better than the 5 cupcakes we have on our home out of conference schedule that would be better. You mean to tell me it is because of a athletic budget crisis? The budget will be in a bigger crises once fans quit buying tickets. Does it cost money for our university if we schedule a home and home series?

  63. UCLA, Arizona State and Utah State are good opponents to invite in Las Vegas if they are concerned on athletic budget.

  64. Belen - Yeah, those would be good. ASU was already mentioned as a 'finalist' due to their needing an away game along with Wisconsin. My vote would be to either work it out with Wisconsin and Utah State or (given the fact that our home schedule is so lame) give up one more home game and get out on the road. I think Vanderbilt is looking for a home and home series to start there. I would think that with all the 'public outcry' that has been posted on this forum, Shep (and his staff) is working his little hairy behind off just to give the fans a little satisfaction by closing the final two openings with some great opponents.

    Ryan Greene - When you say the Gonzaga game/series was being worked but 'fell through or didn't work out,' what exactly went wrong? We didn't return their phone calls? We only would play them at the Mack?

    As far as the UNLV schedule is concerned, IMHO, come conference play in January, we may all be "in a better place" mentally because if, IF the Rebels take those away games by storm and hold firm at the Mack - WOW! We should be high in the polls and looking pretty fine as we enter conference play. Let's hope for the best given our home games are mostly 'donkey's' as one poster put it.

  65. Funny how people are complaining about the HOME schedule, but yet are advocating 2-1 series, in which 2/3 of the series would be on the road. Seems like a contradiction to me, especially considering there's nothing wrong with the Rebels' road schedule next season.

  66. I'm ceretainly not complaining about the road schedule, it's tough, but I think the rebels are worthy of it. I just want to actually see some quality at the mack if I'm going to go to those games.

  67. Scheduling 2-1 series will not get you more games at the Mack, quality or otherwise. In fact, the opposite is true.

  68. How bout a recruiting update Ryan?

  69. who got kicked off the team?

  70. unlvrunrebs: It was just a rumor.. It was said Matt Shaw was the one but it is completely untrue.

  71. It won't matter what our schedule looks like if we go to 96 teams. Projected bracketology for next season if the expansion happens; http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/bracket?i...