REBELS BASKETBALL:

UNLV claws its way to 63-59 victory over short-handed K-State

Bellfield’s late heroics help Rebels flip 11th-ranked Wildcats, head into holiday break at 11-2

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Charlie Riedel / AP

UNLV coach Lon Kruger talks to his players during the first half of Tuesday’s game against Kansas State in Kansas City, Mo.

UNLV vs. Kansas State

Kansas State guard Will Spradling, right, tries to steal the ball from UNLV guard Derrick Jasper during the first half of Tuesday's game in Kansas City, Mo. Launch slideshow »

UNLV vs. Kansas State

UNLV vs. Kansas State

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After knocking off K-State without Jake Pullen and Curtis Kelly, do you think UNLV deserves to be back in next week's Top 25 polls?

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A few months down the road, when much of the nation is hemming and hawing over resumés for potential NCAA tournament teams, there's a good chance that some will throw an asterisk next to UNLV's 63-59 victory over No. 11 Kansas State.

One side will argue that K-State was — at the last second — without senior stalwarts Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly, while the other will fire back by saying that the "neutral" site was anything but that.

Either way, nothing came easy for the Rebels, who headed off of the floor at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday night all smiles.

They overcame poor outside shooting and a major deficit on the boards with a smattering of crucial scores at the rim and stellar second half defense, winning ugly to head into the season's first extended break with an 11-2 record.

"We prepared like they were gonna play, and we knew they were gonna fight without them," UNLV guard Tre'Von Willis said when asked about the last-second personnel news. "We had to try to play our best ball, we didn't feel like we did that, but we came away with the win."

K-State put out a press release less than an hour before the game regarding Pullen and Kelly, announcing that they were both deemed ineligible after committing a secondary NCAA violation. The incident involved receiving impermissible benefits from a local department store in Manhattan, Kan.

UNLV coach Lon Kruger told his team of K-State being without its leading scorer and top interior threat just before it took the floor in front of 18,422 fans.

"Most importantly, we mentally didn't want to approach it any different," Kruger said.

The Rebels didn't show any signs of taking the Wildcats lightly, while K-State appeared to use the suspensions as fuel.

UNLV held a 24-17 lead following a Derrick Jasper 3-point play with 7:50 to go in the first half, but it would be the last field goal for the Rebels before the intermission. Meanwhile, the K-State reserves who there thrust into more prominent roles stepped up.

Leading the way was Nick Russell, who entered the game averaging just 10.3 minutes and 3.9 points per game. The sophomore scored 11 in the first half, including a 35-foot heave as the buzzer sounded to give the Wildcats a 34-32 lead and the crowd some buzz to carry over into the second stanza.

UNLV trailed by as many as six points early in the second, and took the lead back with another and-one sequence from Jasper with 12:51 left. It was toward the end of a 14-2 Rebels run that was pushed along by strong perimeter defense and attacking the rim on the other end. UNLV's outside shooting was cold all night, but Jasper, Willis and Anthony Marshall all found ways to score tough buckets against K-State's front line as the game wore on.

K-State got back to within a point with eight minutes to go but couldn't get over the hump, as Marshall responded with a lay-up while getting fouled just before a TV timeout. After that, the Cats' best opportunity to close the gap was in the final minutes, as 6-foot-8 Jamar Samuels strode toward the basket all by himself off of an outlet pass from an Oscar Bellfield 3-point miss.

The lanky 6-foot-8 forward let up just as he got to the rim to leap off of both feet for a nonchalant lay-in with K-State down by three. But Bellfield had hustled back off of his miss, slid in front of Samuels, elevated and wiped the shot the other way.

It turned out to be the ultimate tipping point, as he would ice the game two minutes later with what was only the team's second 3-pointer of the night with 1:22 remaining.

"Usually, the point guard has to get back, so that's what I was doing," Bellfield said humbly of his defensive heroics. "He had a foot ahead of me, but I put some effort into it and tried not to give up a bucket. I thought he was about to go up for a dunk, but I just gave it my all."

Bellfield was just 2-of-10 from the floor but scored 11 points. Willis tallied a game-high 16, while Marshall scored seven of his 11 after the break.

What UNLV lacked in efficiency outside, going just 2-of-13 from deep, it made up for at the free throw line.

K-State came in as a 55 percent free throw shooting team and held form in a game that saw 47 foul calls, going 14-of-26. Meanwhile, UNLV was an efficient 19-of-24, with Willis and Bellfield combining to go 10-of-10.

Chace Stanback, UNLV's leading scorer on the season, stayed mired in his recent shooting slump, going just 2-of-9 from the floor and 1-of-3 from long distance. He did have three rebounds, two assists and two steals, but the 6-foot-8 junior's shot looked off for much of the night.

UNLV was out-rebounded 43-26 but made up for it with opportunistic defense. Without Pullen to help keep things steady on offense, K-State's young lineup fumbled its way to 23 turnovers across from only six assists. Russell, who replaced Pullen in the starting lineup, committed a team-high five giveaways.

The postgame fireworks then turned out to be just as entertaining as the game itself, as the turnovers were one of a few topics that fiery K-State coach Frank Martin snapped about during an intense, hostile and, at times, awkward six-minute press conference.

After it was announced that he would not address questions about Pullen and Kelly, who were not on the bench with their team, he barked at a reporter who tried to beat around the bush a little. That set the tone for the rest of his time on the podium.

Moments earlier, while Kruger was in the same room, Martin could be heard through the walls in the adjacent locker room wildly screaming at his team.

In essence, that sequence in the depths of the building summed up where both teams currently stand.

Pullen will miss K-State's next two games, while the length of Kelly's absence has yet to be determined. At 9-3, the Wildcats, who entered the season ranked No. 3 in the nation, are in limbo and struggling mightily both on and off the court to live up to some of the highest expectations ever put on the program.

UNLV, which was far from pretty in several areas on Tuesday, appeared simply relieved to have escaped with a win that should still hold some significant weight on an NCAA tourney resumé.

"We can't worry about who's on the court," Willis said. "That's up to them,"

Notes

• UNLV heads back to Las Vegas on Wednesday morning, and from there, the players will be freed to spend the holidays with their families. The team doesn't return to practice until Sunday afternoon and won't play again until Dec. 30, when it hosts Central Michigan at the Thomas & Mack Center.

• Both Kruger and Martin after the game expressed interest in continuing the series between the schools, with the possibility out there that future meetings could move to the teams' home courts.

• UNLV's coaching staff was contacted before the game by UCLA transfer Matt Carlino, who visited campus last week on an official visit. He told them that he will be heading to BYU. The 6-foot-2 combo guard, who will be eligible as a freshman at the conclusion of the fall 2011 semester, visited BYU, UNLV and Butler before making his decision.

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  1. Last night was a big road win for us, but sloppy execution at times continues to kill us. Some things I've noticed: Willis at times seems to dribble the ball way to long and makes bad decisions. Last night he had three turnovers in the second half that killed us. Stanback looks like he's fading away on every shot he takes. I don't know if he's worn out banging down low with physical teams, but it seems like at times he has know lift on his shot. Although I like his hustle, I still don't know why Massamba plays as much as he does. He doesn't have any lift, he doesn't have strong hands, and when he does get a box out he isn't quick enough to get to the ball. I also don't like to see big guys try to take charges all the time like he does. The thing that bothers me the most is lacking that killer instinct to put teams away. Numerous times over the Kruger era we've built good leads against teams but lack that intensity to finish them off. I hope we get things corrected in time because I could see this team doing some damage come march.

  2. Yes it is always good to get a win but UNLV has really not played a good basketball game since Illinois State. We are so dependent on outside shooting and guards creating their own shot off the dribble. I can not think of one time that we kicked the ball into a post player last night on the blocks. Everything was off the dribble and K State did a nice job jamming every screen. I personally do not see why every team does not play lots of zone. We are so streaky and only effective when we are driving. We maybe 11-2 but we are not playing well. I was amazed at how soft we were. Something has got to change or the MWC will not be kind to the Rebs.

  3. UNLV was offering a clinic in ball handling, ball movement, inside-outside, and perimeter shooting this season - until halftime at Louisville. They have been scraping by ever since. This was a needed win, but the UNLV team of today is not the same team that wore UNLV uniforms pre-Louisville halftime. Coach Kruger should be making adjustments to get that team back on the floor.

  4. you can see the lack of confidence in Stanbeck's release.

    What I hate about the Rebels being on ESPN is that whenever UNLV can't score it's because of the stellar defense from the opponent, despite the fact we had many open looks and they just weren't falling. But when our opponent can't score, it's because they aren't in rhythm. Dicky V is a joke.

  5. I say we haven't been the same since halftime of the Reno game. Massive amounts of turnovers (especially in critical times), they haven't been consistent shooting the rock and......we see flashes of good defense but nothing sustained, teams are figuring us out on our presses and traps. All that being said, the Sprint Center last night was a zoo (which we overcame) and we did do what we were supposed to with KSU missing their top two guys.....win. Moreover, no one has a crystal ball.....and it is near impossible to predict the score had they played. Maybe the Rebs would have turned the juice on knowing who they were playing against for all we know. What I do know is that we needed a win and got one, even if it was an ugly one. Here's to hopin' that we see some shots fall during conference play.

  6. Congradulations to the Rebels for fighting hard for a win on the road. Road wins can't always be pretty and the Rebs found a way. I thought the officiating was very inconsistent; allowing blood baths at times and just extending their arms as if to say "play on" while blowing the whistle for "ticky-tack" stuff at others. The team fought off the refs, big crowd, and some K-State runs though. One of the keys was keeping K-State's end of the first half run to a minimum. The Rebels finished the half with no bigs since they were all in foul trouble. Good game Rebels.

  7. Bigs are a joke. They hack away, can't box out, and have no offensive capabilities. Where are all the Q Thomas supporters? Told you guys he is AWFUL. And Massamba is just a slob. They should have been able to beat that team by 20, instead they were lucky to eke it out. Face it, when this team shoots well, they will win. When they throw up bricks, they can lose to anybody. 4th place is looking about right.
    I agree about Dickie V- if you don't play in the ACC or Big East, he has no idea who you are. He said Jasper left Kentucky because of playing time- fricking idiot- Jasper started at Kentucky.

  8. Again, a pretty good win, but had Pullen and Kelly played K-State would have won by a sizable margin (and if last nights team would have been able to shoot a mere 73% from the foul line they would have won). This was basically the equivalent of beating Iowa State, Nebraska, Colorado on the road.

    Two things in hindsight that baffle me from KSU's perspective: 1) I don't understand why Martin didn't go to a 2-3 or 3-2 zone when UNLV went on its second half run with the back doors and drives to the basket (he went to a 1-3-1 late but I'm not too big a fan of that zone as it leaves large gaps like the one Oscar found). 2) Why in the world did he have Wally Judge in the game at such a crucial time? Judge shoots something like 15% from the foul line. I don't know if it was the coaching staff who told him, or if Brice knew on his own, but very smart foul to send such a poor FT shooter to the line at such a crucial point in the game.

    As far as the Rebs problems. I am not sure why some are scratching their heads when it comes to the offense. The same problems have persisted pretty much throughout Kruger's time. We live and die by the jump shot/3 ball and have virtually no interiror presence. Other than Jasper backing down someone late in the second half that is about the only time I saw that from any Reb (much less a big) during the entire 40 minutes. This type of offense makes it much easier for defenses to defend.

    In terms of the differences from earlier in the season. The biggest difference I see is the sufficiating full-court pressure defense isn't there anymore. The Rebs forced a lot of turnovers last night, but only a very small number were the variety that could be converted into easy transition buckets. We were getting alot of easy baskets from forced turnovers in Anaheim, against Illinois State and other opponents earlier in the season. For a team the struggles quite a bit with its half court offense at times, easy baskets like that are a big help.

  9. Rebs are good. When they start hitting open looks from the perimiter, they are a good team and difficult to beat. Rebs beat K-State shooting 2-13 (.154) from 3 point land.

  10. Great win. Sloppy performance. The team chemistry we had in November is long missing ever since Illinois St. There's been a frustrating drop off since November.

    Personally, I'd put Tre back at 6th man again since he's not the same player anymore, and go with the original line up we had that moved the ball better and attacked the rim constantly, and ran over teams early on.

  11. **Typo: You put the teams go back to Vegas Monday morning. I assume you meant Wednesday morning?**

    Anyway UNLV got a good win playing sub-par which was a blessing.

    Tre starting has nothing to do with whats going on. If you watched the game you would of noticed he was the only one who was constantly playing good.

    The team is in some kind of shooting funk, and the only way to get out of it is keep shooting. Let's hope this time off gets our Rebs back on track and we use the Central Michigan game as a confidence booster before playing BYU.

    There's no reason why the BYU game doesn't sell-out, so get out there everyone. REEEBBBEEELLLSSS!!!

  12. Sweet win for the Rebels. The Sprint Center is a great place to win for the Rebels and am glad to see te Rebs take command of the court and bring a lot of charisma to Overland Park and to the Mid West at this time of year. Sure the Rebs will be glad to be back in the warmth of the desert sun now. California and Southern California are not so lucky.

  13. This is a team that hasn't yet figured out its identity. Their play will improve as Kruger figures out the right combinations for certain situations, an identity emerges and the team become more cohesive.

    The play can be frustrating to watch at times, while the process works itself out, but that's a very nice byproduct of being 12 deep with serious talent and an excellent technical coaching staff.

    Quite wisely, Kruger is coaching for March not December.

  14. We started off on the right foot with the shooting and got into a big slump afterwards, but I want to point out that decisions had to have been made to drive to the basket because the perimeter shots were not falling, and we only threw up a handful of 3's in the 2nd half. We really bulldozed their taller team in the paint and improved at driving to the hoop. Sure they were down 2 of their best players, and I wish they had been in the game, but they weren't. The way Pullen has been shooting (37%) I don't see much of a difference except in his defense perhaps.

    Keep in mind over 18k k-state fans were there, coming off a terrible loss to Florida where they had 44pts total WITH Pullen/Kelly, can't make a FT if their life depended on it, have a McDonald's All-American playing in Wally Judge, and have a coach that will rip you a new one even if you do something right. Every time one of the K-state players came off the floor or fouled, Martin was all over them. He wants leadership and maturity on his team, but the dude needs to look into the mirror and lead by example. Glad we have Kruger.

  15. Ernie,

    considering we scored the majority of our points in the paint, you're wrong. Our BIGS may not dominate inside, but our guards are all slashers that can attack the rim.

  16. thanks for the video link ryan, i was curious how the postgame went. did you dare ask a question? lol

  17. Coach Kruger has done a good job this year getting the team on ESPN during the non conference schedule. I haven't seen any other MWC schools on as much as us. Too bad we have to live with the mountain from here on out. Good win last night. A win is a win. They did a good job in the second half realizing their shots were not falling so they fed the backdoor pass down low and scored a bunch of times. I think that recognition shows a mature team. Knocking down the free throws were huge also. These guys play hard and I believe they can win the conference this year. Go Rebs.

  18. Yeah me too, I'm not a big fan of Frankbob Martinknight. K-State maintenance personnel best be bolting down the chairs before they lose a couple.

  19. Ernie,

    Again, since it looked like you just typed without reading other posts......you don't have a crystal ball. You can try but it is impossible to predict the outcome with Pullen/Kelly. As another commented, with them playing KSU scored 44 against Florida..........ooooooooooh, sounds like they've been lightin' up the nets lately!!!!

    It's a win over a program who was not good enough to beat us for any reason that presented itself at the time, whether it be by injury, suspension, free throws, ect.....That, is K-States problem that they had suspensions, the only thing that UNLV can control are wins and they did.

  20. @MWCRob
    I agree - This team will be different in March.

  21. Also great coaching by Krugs to have Brice foul their 17% free throw shooter down the stretch.

  22. You know you made it when your 3-1 against top 30 teams and your pissed. Three of those games on the road too. We are in a funk for sure, but our team is good and has shown glimps of greatness. Let's find the balance and work through it. And latte with pullen still equals a loss. He is frustrated from the loss before and would be shut down from an even better defense than Florida.

  23. That's a shame that Carlino went to BYU. I kind of expected it though. It seems like he is ready to play and not wait around, and with Jimmer leaving, that gives him that opportunity. Also, with all the conference changes, the MWC will be weaker than it has these past couple years.

  24. @Jerry, obviously you do not know what I am referring to. You are looking at general points in the paint which includes everything such as a wide open lay-up scored with not a sole around. That is not what I was referring to.

    When I am referring to interior play/play in the paint, I mean anyone (obviously typically a big) getting the ball in the low block, or backing someone down, and converting. You can't honestly tell me we have that in our offensive repertoire. As I mentioned earlier, other than Jasper late in the second half, that was the only time I recall anyone trying to do something with their back to the basket last night. Other than a few nice back cuts, everything else was jump shots are guys driving to the basket.

    Having a low post game dramatically can improve offensive efficiency. Among its benefits, it typically leads to double teams which frees up shooters and also helps lead to easier baskets with guys cutting freely to the rim.

  25. Look at that! 80% free throw percentage versus 54%, and we won. Amazing how such a simple, basic statistic decides most games. Regardless of the 2 missing K State stars, this was a good win. Marshall looked good.

  26. Carlino should have made his visit when we play BYU in a couple weeks.

  27. @ FastCameron, I'm not here to rain on anyone's parade but facts are facts. Despite not having 37% of their offense (their best overall player and their best low post player) if KSU shot 67% from the foul line, much less the national average, their depleted team wins last night.

    With this in mind, while I don't have a crystal ball, I don't think it is a dramatic leap either to think KSU wins fairly comfortably with that 37% of offense in their line-up.

  28. @ ErnieBaer, If they were shooting FTs better you you believe some of the fouls that were made would have been made?

    The correct answer is no, BECAUSE they shoot that bad of FTs.

    The game is done and we got the W. "What if's" and hypotheticals are over.

  29. The caption from ESPN is ridiculous. "UNLV pulls stunner". Not much of a stunner even if Pullen and Kelly are suspended.

  30. I'm as happy with the win last night as anyone and I'm usually a "glass is half-full" guy when it comes to my Rebels, but some of you guys are kidding yourself if you think not having Pullen and Kelly in there wasn't a huge deal for KState. Regardless of if they struggled against Florida with them and regardless of the fact that KState seems to send Shaq to the line every trip, Kelly and Pullen are their two best players by a wide margin and KState lost them about an hour before tip-off. Its not just the points KState lost, but with Kelly and Pullen, they have less turnovers, probably even more rebounds and the leadership. At the end of the game last night, they looked like they didn't really know what to do. Their pg took too much time coming up the court and attacking in the final minute. That doesn't happen with Pullen at the point. They had Judge and his 17% free throw percentage in at the end and we hacked him like we should have. If Kelly is there, Judge is on the bench in crunch time.

    I agree that we don't have a crystal ball and can't predict the flow of the game with those two there. We can't determine how well they play or if our Rebels would have stepped up had Kelly and Pullen been in. I can say that given our performances the last few weeks, I'm not confident that we would have stepped up. We didn't even play that well in blowing out Utah State. All of that being said, we gutted it out and this win will look better in March when KState has their stuff together.

  31. Woulda, shoulda, coulda. No one knows what would have happened with Pullen and Kelly in the lineup. We beat Louisville on the road a couple of years ago without Wink, so what does that mean? Nobody knows. What we did learn last night was that UNLV found a way to score with back door cuts and driving when the shots just weren't falling. We learned that UNLV had their B+ game offensively last night and still got a very good road win. If the Rebs shoot well, which is becoming a bigger "if" these days, the Rebels are a very good team. On a hot shooting night these guys can maybe beat anybody. So far Rebs lost one road game to a 10-1 team and one stinker. There's a great season ahead of us.

  32. I'd say they had a B- game offensively. We also don't know if K-State would have played with as much intensity if their two stars would have been in the game.

  33. @ Mike, When did we blow out Utah St.?

  34. Meant Southern Utah. My mistake. Utah State might have given us a run for our money that game.

  35. "caliing out Q THomas supporters"
    I'll come out. I think Q is not getting a fair shake. Sure he's a fouling madman, but he's been productive nin his limited minutes. The Rebels were at their best last night when Q was in the game. I bet his plus/minus was like +10. They didn't get nearly as many O rebs becuase he can at least seal off his man underneath. Plus he has the best low post game of the 3.
    I wish LK would play him more when he gets 3 fouls. Why not? He doesn't get back in the game anyway. Especially last night against a gawdawful FT shooting team.
    I think QT deserves more minutes.

  36. Well said Toon, my sentiments exactly. Especially the example of Wink not playing in the Louisville game.

  37. "Despite not having 37% of their offense (their best overall player and their best low post player) if KSU shot 67% from the foul line, much less the national average, their depleted team wins last night."

    Ernie, that is a rediculous notion. That's like saying, well, if the Rebels would have made 50% of their 3's we would have blown them out. The fact is......K-State is one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the country. They shot the way they normally do. If they would have shot 67% it would have been above and beyond their norm and could have been considered a fluke. Much like how UNLV shot way way below their average from 2 and 3 last night yet still managed to find a way to win.

    K-State played to their averages without Pullen/Kelly and still lost.

    UNLV played below their averages yet won.

    Again, again, it issszzz a huge leap to predict that a team at full strength, scoring only 44 points the game before, would beat anyone of a decent calibur.

    BTW, I don't think that you're raining on anyone's parade, this is good debate. I just disagree with your opinion that isn't supported by fact....and will never be because we can't go back to last night and replay the game with Pullen/Kelly in the game.

    The only thing that matters is that the Rebs won. We'll take it and hopefully learn from the mistakes we made that made it a close game when it possibly shouldn't have been.

  38. No problem fastcameron. I guess we will have to agree to disagree. My point about the free throw shooting was simply to say they could have won even without Kelly and Pullen which supports my overall notion that I think KSU would have won fairly comfortably had they played. I agree with MikeLange that in reading some posters' comments it seems some are underestimating how much Pullen and Kelly mean to them, besides comprising 37% of their offense.

    In the end it doesn't matter one way or the other as the game is over. Pretty good win, but it is disappointing they didn't play as the win obviously won't mean as much to the selection committee when it comes to seeding.

  39. I agree, its easy to say the KSU stars would have made a difference, but you could also say the couple of times UNLV got up 8-9 points they were on the verge of blowing out this KSU team when a few horrible calls from the refs would turn the tide. The double foul comes to mind, a driving lay up by Marshall comes to mind. There were times where every time down the floor the refs would call something on UNLV, even Kruger was jawing with the refs in complaints. It was home cooking on the level of a BYU home game.

  40. Well said htownreb. I to have said in earlier posts that Q. Thomas can be dominant big. The guy may look a little raw at times, but this is pretty much his freshman season. He's got the physical ability, soft hands, and the frame to be very productive. The problem is Kruger's offense doesn't allow him to be dominant. I have never seen an offense of set this year to allow him to post up. The only way we will see what Thomas has is if first, Kruger would let him play more than 15 minutes a game and second, our guards open their eyes and start looking down low. And remember to everyone saying Thomas is overrated, this guy was recruited by Bill Self out of high school. So maybe I would hold off on the overrated comments and start targeting our coaching staff for not putting him in a situation to be dominant.

  41. Rebel 32:

    It is not Kruger's fault that Thomas doesn't get the ball. The guy is sitting on the bench nearly the whole game because he is a total HACK. If the guy learned how to play defense, he may stay on the floor more and then we can watch all those offensive "moves" of his.

  42. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.... A win is a win and congrats to UNLV. What would have been nice for UNLV is if they would have pulled off the win with Pullen and Kelly playing. UNLV would have gotten a great win on national TV and better national respect. Instead all the headlines are UNLV beats a "shorthanded" K-State team. It make the win seem meaningless for UNLV, which I think is wrong. It was a good win for UNLV and a tough loss for K-State.

    With all that being said, this game matters about as much for both teams as a preseason NFL football game. K-State has three very easy games before conference play and will probably be 12-3. UNLV will be 12-2 going into conference play. Conference play is where it is at and will show where both of these teams are at come March.

    I think both teams get so much playing each other before conference play, win or loose that makes them better teams. As a K-Stater living in Vegas, I root for UNLV because of the HUGE K-State connection they have on their staff. I read in the newspaper KC, both coaches are wanting to continue these games but in Manhattan for K-State and the Thomas and Mack in Las Vegas. That would be a great game to attend at both places.

    Go State....

  43. I see what you are saying rose1414, but I don't think you clearly read my comment. I said it comes down to coaching more so than the player. Now, I know it's not the coaches out there making the dumb fouls, but it's the coaches responsibility to teach technique and positioning in practice to help prevent those kind of plays. Like I said, this is basically his freshman year of collegiate basketball. He's going to be a little bit rusty for some of the season. Also, I never said he has all of these great offensive "moves". I simply stated we will never get a chance to see if he can be dominant the way Kruger's offense is set up.