REBELS BASKEBALL:

Stanback’s old-fashioned touch lifts UNLV to 80-72 victory at CSU

Sophomore forward busts Rams’ zone, helps Rebels over the hump in Fort Collins

UNLV-Colorado State Basketball

UNLV's Darris Santee, left, tries to wrestle the ball away from Colorado State's Travis Busch during basketball action in Fort Collins, Colo., on Wednesday. UNLV won the game 80-72. Launch slideshow »

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — To most ballplayers of Chace Stanback's generation, the mid-range jump-shot rarely is considered sexy.

But for the UNLV sophomore forward, who at 6-foot-8 is blessed with a soft shooting touch and the ability to elevate off of the dribble in a hurry, it's an oldie-but-goodie.

Call it "old school" or call it whatever you will, but Wednesday against Colorado State, Stanback's teammates never thought it was more appealing.

The UCLA transfer produced 15 of his career-high 19 points in the second half, including a handful of jumpers from no-man's land, leading the Rebels through a treacherous second half against the Rams and ultimately to an 80-72 victory at Moby Arena.

"It's kind of fading away as years go on, but I've been shooting that all my life, and it's been successful for me," Stanback said with a grin. "Every time I put the ball on the floor, they back off a little bit, so I just pull up, shoot the jumper."

He was an efficient 7-of-11 from the floor, scoring those 19 points in just 21 minutes on the court, and added five defensive rebounds.

But what made Stanback's offensive presence even more key was his timing.

UNLV (15-4 overall, 3-2 MWC) trailed in the first half by as many as seven points, but went into the half with a 38-33 lead thanks to a nine-point spark by reserve freshman guard Justin Hawkins. Thanks to two key 3-pointers — on one of which he was fouled and then hit the ensuing free throw — the Rebels pieced together two 8-0 scoring runs before the break.

But Colorado State (11-7, 2-2) never stopped charging, aided by what seemed like a never-ending string of 3-pointers from the likes of freshman Dorian Green and junior Adam Nigon.

The Rams' last lead of the night came when they were up 62-61 with eight minutes to play and a crowd of 4,353 still very much alive.

Stanback, who to that point in the second frame already had hit three mid-range shots and put away a swooping two-handed baseline jam, then busted up CSU's zone defense and gave UNLV the lead for good.

First came a shot from the right baseline off of a feed from Kendall Wallace, and moments later an identical score with the assist going to Oscar Bellfield.

"They went to the zone, we put our (center) in the middle and just ran Chace in the short corner," junior guard Tre'Von Willis said. "It was open, he stepped up and knocked some shots down.

"It's hard to really get a feel for him because he can drive the ball, he can shoot the ball, so you really have to pick your poison with him. He loves that one-dribble, two-dribble pull-up, that's his game. That's what we work on all the time and he steps up in the games and knocks them down."

For Stanback, it was just another in a recent string of solid performances, which began with his 14-point, nine-rebound effort Jan. 9 at New Mexico. Over the last four games, he's averaging 16.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per outing.

While Stanback put the Rebels in prime position heading into the game's final minutes, Willis largely was responsible for slamming the door shut.

The Mountain West's leading conference scorer (23.0 ppg) went 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the final three minutes, finishing with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

"We finally buckled down and got some stops, and that's what it came down to," Willis said. "We definitely didn't play like we wanted to at all, but at the same time, we got the win.

"We've been letting teams hanging around. What we've been trying to do is put teams away when we have their backs against the wall. We're still learning as a team to play as best as we can."

The efforts of Stanback and Willis certainly helped the Rebels late in the second half, but the Rams also didn't do themselves any favors — specifically Travis Franklin.

The junior forward had 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists, but it was hard for him to puff his chest out too much after hitting just 3 of 14 shots from the charity stripe.

"We knew he wasn't comfortable at the free throw line, and that's one thing we said — If he does get a layup and beat somebody, just foul him and put him on the line, make him sink both of them," Willis said of Franklin, who entered the night as just a 62.4 percent foul shooter. "(We knew it) going in and as the game progressed. It didn't even look like he was comfortable at the free throw line. But you've got to take your hat off to Colorado State, and Franklin is a good player."

The strongest defensive achievement for UNLV was quieting senior forward Andy Ogide, who came in averaging 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds a game. He was held to four points on 2-of-5 shooting and only two boards in 28 minutes.

UNLV also got nice contributions from Bellfield and Derrick Jasper.

Bellfield had eight points, eight assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Jasper's night — six points, nine rebounds and three dishes — was highlighted by an alley-oop jam on a lob toss from Bellfield early in the second half.

The Rebels also won the rebounding battle, 36-35, with 33 of their caroms coming on the defensive glass, and hit 19 of 23 free throw attempts.

All in all, a nice start to an extended road trip, which sendt the team to Fort Worth this morning to prepare for Saturday's contest at TCU. That game tips at 3 p.m. PST.

"Huge road win," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. "This team hadn't lost all year in here and has a lot of confidence playing in here. The crowd got into it, they made big three after big three in the second half and they're tough.

"There at a critical time, they kept making critical threes to get it back to even or take the lead a time or two, and I thought our guys made big plays when they needed to."

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  1. Certainly not a convincing win but any road win in the conference is a good one. CSU is not a particularly good team but they are going to be pretty tough to beat at Moby. A few observations:
    1. It has been said alot but it is totally true. Jones hurts the team. Yes he hustles and brings energy but his offensive ineptitude hurts us. Three times he was fed right under the basket twice he blew layups and the third time he refused to shoot, tried to pass and turned it over. His defense is also very average. He tries to pressure and get after people but he is too slow when they blow past him. He seems like a great kid but this is big time college hoops. Shortening the rotation starts with him.

    2. Massamba should again be our starting center. Matt Shaw has regressed right before our eyes. He has no inside game and no lift off the floor. He is a poor man's Joe Darger offensively. Santee is doing his usual disappearing act come conference time. Massamba is big, physical and can actually command attention in the post. He passes well out of double teams and given the chance can score on the occasional post move. He needs to play the bulk of the minutes and develop his game further.

    3. Justin Hawkins should be in the rotation big time. Last night Hawkins completely outplayed Marshall and Wallace. Hawkins is a good open shooter, handles the ball well, can slash and puts good defensive pressure on his man. He is overall our most skilled and versatile guy on the bench. He needs to be a major factor the rest of the way.
    Runnin' Rebels!

  2. I respectfully disagree with the opinion that this was a nice start to the road trip. Sure you can beat Col St. with 16 TOs and 3 Off-Reb, but your going to get beat by the better teams in this conference. There were some positives. 17 asst. for 27 FGs, 9 rebs for Jasper, Hawkins played well, Bellfield 8 asst., Willis and Stanback continue to be solid.

  3. Chace only played 21 minutes? Should have played 35 minutes. I agree Chop is horrible and should never take off his warm-up's... Keep your 2 best scorers on the court all the time, who cares about who else needs minutes at their spots. I was all over this team earlier in the year but now they are looking like the same old Kruger teams of the past. They won but they haven't improved...

  4. Stop fouling. Just because we play a lot of guys doesn't mean they can go foul crazy.

    Gumby, I disagree with your #3. Hawkins is still transitioning to college ball like Marshall is (O is already there). Hawkins plays well in the small arenas/small crowds, but when it comes to huge crowds, he lacks a bit whereas Wallace and Marshall shine. They feed off of it, he just needs to overcome the shock value 16k+ fans has.

    I find it really hard to develop guys when there are a couple that need less or no minutes at all. Great example is Hawkins and Marshall. Give them the minutes, even if they don't perform exceptional with the extra, they will learn from it and develop.

    I don't like having a few combos on the court though. O and Tre at the same time. Hawkins, Marshall. Santee, Shaw.

    Not a great game, but a good one, and noteworthy. Plus, UNLV actually covered the spread.

  5. Comment removed by moderator. Comment contained a personal attack.

  6. yeah, so Chop's not a good player. We all know that. What it seems like most people are failing to realize are that Chop's minutes are Hawkins for the taking. Hawkins hasn't been playing up to snuff, but if he can continue what he did last night, guess who will be seeing the floor less. Rotation at 10 except during mop-up duty. I'm cool with that.

  7. A good way to start a tough trip. The Rebs kept fighting off an improved team making a ton of key shots.
    - Nice to see Justin involved.
    - Brice is playing really well. He moves the ball and finishes at the basket. Also, his defense is getting better and better. Hope he sees more minutes. Really liked the rotation in the second half.
    - Jasper was big on the boards, especially late.
    - We ate them up coming out of most timeouts - think Jasper scored twice on dunks on called plays. Nice to see.
    - Take away that dreadful 1-12 vs. Utah, and UNLV's 3-point shooting in conference has been great. Much more selective. 7-17 last night.
    - Shot over 50% from the field and LOVED how the Rebels worked against the zone. Best zone offense since the Louisville game. Chace's mid-range game is fun to watch.
    - UNLV covered again. 4-1 against the spread in conference.
    - One or two more FTs fall against Utah, and we are riding high. Funny how that works.

    Saturday is going to be a brawl. TCU will want to be physical with the Rebs. Finish this trip fellas! U-N-L-V.

  8. Sofaking - The only thing I have noticed about Justin is that we have not seen him enough on a consistent basis to say when he is most effective. All I know is that when he is given some extended minutes, he produces. In the three to four games I have seen that he got significant time (Nevada, Hawaii, Lousiville and CSU) he has been terrific. I am not saying you replace Wallace or Marshall with J-Hawk but work him into the rotation more and go with who is effective. Last night Anthony was awful. Careless with the ball and non existent on offense. Wallace was not able to get many looks and Justin was just the spark we needed down 18-13. He was a big reason we won that game. I would just like to see Kruger go to him and not just in 2 minute bursts. I think he can be extremely valuable.

  9. It is obvious to everyone that the Sun protects players like Chop by not addressing the issues that are of concern to all of us. It is disgraceful that the reporters who are supposed to inform us do not tackle these topics or at least mention them. I remember Miech talking about players, good or bad. Now, all we get is praise for below average play. You will stop hearing us talk about this when you at least address the fact that there is something wrong here.

    Until then, the Sun sounds like they are trying to defend players and are afraid to question Lon Kruger and ask tough questions. Your job is to give assessments, good and bad, and part of that will involve going out of your comfort zone. If players and coaches don't like something you said, then you are probably doing your job correctly. Until then, don't get mad at us for bringing up fair topics. It's beyond ridiculous that you guys haven't even discussed the fact that there are flaws with the rotation and/or certain players and get mad when we have to bring it up.

    How about writing an article about how Jones perfects the art of hitting nothing but the bottom of the backboard on a wide open layup?

  10. By the way, Chace Stanback is a very good player. Good thing we won but not happy about how much we struggled against a below average team.

  11. Chace took himself out in the 2nd half, fatigued. I've been saying this all year and I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, to paraphrase O.J. We need to ease up on the fouling. Out of 340 division 1 teams, our foul rate is in the top 5. If we eased on the fouls just a little, we would have one of the best defenses in the country. I actually agree with gumby that Massamba deserves more minutes, however, he is a defensive liability (all three of our bigs are but Massamba most of all) does not move his feet and takes blocking fouls at an extremely high rate. Marshall had a bad game but I still think he is a better option than Hawkins at this point. Get in the gym and work on those FTs Anthony! Now let's go crush those Horny Frogs on Sat.

  12. Gumby, Marshall only played 8 minutes, and I will agree he was a little erratic with the ball with 3 TO, but also had a few points, a steal, and a board.

    Hey Ryan, early in the season, there was a statistical board put up and an article on +/- statistics each player is producing. Could we get an updated stat sheet like that?

    Found the article: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/dec...

  13. Nice win but certainly not a great one

  14. They got the W. Kruger loves his seniors - Chop will keep getting PT - check my previous post about this being Massamba's year to blow up in terms of progressing. Get over your dislike of Chop - you are not the coach, and the SUN did the same type of hype with Hoffman which some of you couldn't understand.

    To me I think its a slap in the face to Colorado St. when you can lose with people LIKE Chop haha.

    Be embarrassed as an alumni or fan that's your motive - just stay home during their games at the T & M. ;)

    As an alum, I'm happy to see us develop slowly as a team, since for the most part, this "team" hasn't been together long enough yet. Remember that this was a Wink Adams-led (if you wanna call it that) team last year. We lost a lot - it takes time. Give them that. If we were 5-0 in conference right now these comments wouldn't be surfacing.

    GO REBS - Cover the spread again!

  15. here is a link to the +/- for our team prior to last nights game.

    http://unlv.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=1...

  16. gats i like it.... lets stay positive. no need for so much drama and infighting. when someone doesnt agree with you doesnt mean you get to talk ship or "meet them outside" we all get our opinions. simmer peoples save your energy for the lousy cougars... they come here feb 6... lets beat THEM up.. not the sun.. not ryan.. not succotash....

  17. Jones should not see the floor. It pained me to see him attempt a lay-up only to hit the side of the backboard last night. I'm not sure what Kruger is seeing, but its pretty obvious the offense cannot get into a rhythm with him on the floor. He cannot handle the ball, let alone shoot, plain and simple, and it causes increased pressure on the other players. Kruger needs to tighten the rotation. As stated before, Willis and Stanback need to be playing 35min. Lets go Rebs!

  18. @gats: amen. For all of you who hate the Sun's coverage so much, how about posting your comments on the RJ site instead of here.

  19. Any road win in the MWC is good. Turnovers and fouls hurt us last night. But why not foul Franklin when he shoots 3-14 from the stripe? Colorado State shot the ball well, especially the 3's in the second half. All you guys hating on Chop...lay off. Kruger wouldn't be playing him if he thought it was going to hurt the team. I know all you guys commenting are better basketball coaches than Lon Kruger, but I for one know that I am not. Good win last night and good luck at TCU.
    Go Rebs.

  20. Go Rebs at TCU. I love the Rebels. I've been a huge fan since 1977 going to games with my Dad at the convention center.

    Now that i have said that, Chop is hurting the team. Against average and good teams there is usually an 8 to 10 point switch when he comes into the game in the 1st half. Alot of us fans are mystified why Kruger continues to play the eleventh man off the bench. I guess no one would have a problem if Rob Ketchum got 10 minutes a game last year. He actually scored 2 points against CSU last year.

    If some of you don't like fair objectivity, or just want to read alot of rah rah, then you can go to another site and post there. Other wise, if you have a good take, print it. Thats what makes this site interesting. Takes like, "I know all you guys commenting are better basketball coaches than Lon Kruger, but I for one know that I am not", sucks. Give me some facts why Chop should be in the game.

  21. Was it a pretty win last night? Not even close. But, in the MWC, a road win is huge no matter how much you fight and scrape for it. Just ask Utah!

    As a fan, I'm not pleased with some of the things I'm seeing from this team. But, I'm certainly not going to "Chicken Little" the season like some other posters and predict the end is nigh, either.

    UNLV is not perfect. But, guess what? Neither are a lot of teams out there. For those of you piling on the criticism, I invite you to check out how other "prominent" squads are fairing this season. Outside of the Top 5, most of them have their fair share of ugly wins and losses.

    Don't underestimate the teams in the Mountain West. Last night's game against CSU should've been a W, and it was. But, the conference is up this year; just look at each school's non-conference schedules.

    Sure, BYU beat the Rams by 40+ at home. But, keep in mind, the Rebs contest in Provo was ours to lose in the waning minutes. There's a lot of parody in this league, and I all but guarantee you the complexion of BYU's rematch with CSU in Fort Collins will be quite different.

    I wasn't happy with Chop's play, either. But, let's not lose sight that these are college kids playing a collegiate sport. I'm sure he took those missed layups much harder than we did last night.

    Again, are the Rebels perfect? No. Does Lon need to tighten the rotation? Maybe. Is this a work in progress? Definitely.

    Is the sky falling on the UNLV men's basketball 2010 season? Not by a long shot.

  22. Again and again, free throws determine the outcome of games. This is something we have to remember when facing good free throw shooting teams. We got around CSU and SDS because they couldn't shoot free throws. We lost to BYU and Utah for the opposite reason. We'll have to stop fouling so much when facing good free throw shooting teams. And, we have to keep the ball in the hands of Willis and Stanback in the final minutes when we're ahead.

  23. Comment removed by moderator. Comment contained a personal attack.

  24. Nevada, Come up with a decent take. You have a brain. Tell us why Chop should get playing time. Thats the crux of Kenns argument.

  25. Chop Jones couldn't even hold his own at Doolittle but he gets play for the reb's? Just because we aren't the coach doesn't mean we don't know what we are talking about when it comes to hoops!! The only reason Kruger is playing 11 is because the reb's will get murdered inside and outside by anyone who has semi decent post play and good guards. It would be nice to see him recruit centers taller then 6'8. Please don't give me the Lopez smack because he is horrible and will get used as soon as he starts playing. Outside of Tre' & Chace tell me who is going to step their game up and take the 3rd scoring spot consistantly?

  26. @ patticus

    I wrote my response on Chop in the notebook article. "He provided a lot of help to the guys early in the season, and I really wanted him to do well this year, but he's become that one person on the team who is "special." Ya know like when you are real young playing bball with the other kids, and there's always that one kid who is absolutely terrible, but you let him play anyway because he loves it so much."

  27. Fellas,

    I love posting here in the comments and talking UNLV hoops with you guys because I like to get the pulse of what the fans are thinking. Clearly, you guys have something against Steve, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you want to talk back and forth with me about Steve's play or his role on the team, I'll gladly do it. Just e-mail me at [email protected] with your full name. One of the first things I learned in journalism from a mentor of mine was that if you're going to rip someone in print, show up the next day and face them -- don't hide. That said, if you're going to post anonymously, that's certainly your right. But if you want to discuss things like that with me, e-mail me, identify yourself, and I'm more than happy to share opinions and what not. It's what I love to do, and I'd love to discuss with anyone who wants to do so on the Chop Jones topic. But I'd rather keep that back-and-forth stuff off of this forum. I love to have objective conversations on here with anyone who wants to talk.

    Other thoughts on the game ...

    -- I thought it was a good win. Was it a bit ugly at times? Yes. But one thing I've learned in now almost two years of covering UNLV basketball is that there's three teams in this league who seem to have a tougher time on the road than others, regularly -- UNLV, BYU and New Mexico. What I mean is that you can tell that teams such as CSU, Wyoming, etc., get up to play those three more than others. I think it's a pride thing. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, right? That said, UNLV got CSU's best shot. The Rams are not an NCAA Tournament team. But an NIT team? Maybe. It was a loud atmosphere and the Rams played pretty good ball. This win was certainly quality, I think, considering some of those ridiculous shots Green and Nigon hit in the second half. I covered Dorian Green as both a sophomore and junior at Lawrence High, and I NEVER saw him shoot like he did last night. He'll be a nice player in this league for a long time.

    -- I thought Derrick Jasper took huge strides. Over the summer, I remember Kevin Kruger and Curtis Terry saying, after playing pick-up ball with the guys, that while Stanback would be the 15-20 ppg guy, Jasper would give a little bit of everything. His numbers this year indicate that. The nine rebounds were impressive, and he is capable of making momentum-changing plays on offense for sure. He made a couple last night. However, I do think Lon Kruger would love a few more of them out of him each night. He needs to find the consistency that Stanback has.

    -- At this point, I think Tre'Von has a leg up on Jimmer Fredette for MWC POY honors. After all, the award is SUPPOSED to be based on play in Mountain West games. But, of course, I'm sure voters will look at the entire season in casting their ballot. However, Willis has to be in that discussion somewhere, I think.

  28. I think its easier for us to criticize a coach when they are not performing to expectations. It certainly is an individual's right to do so as well.

    But when I say that Kruger is the "coach" of the team, and makes the decisions, my intention wasn't necessarily to state you don't have the right to criticize. What I'm getting at is that these "comments" on a forum are minimal to what boosters and prominent donors will say to Livengood and to the coaching staff themselves. I think at this point, the athletic department and its boosters are still very committed to the way Lon runs this program. It's not a "brainwash" dependancy on this coach because of the slight turnaround he has made to this program. It's a basketball program being able to generate some revenue while our other programs receive money from other conference teams successes (TCU).

    From where I stand right now - you are going to see a coach that is showing signs of improvement on the recruiting trail, which we all know can be better. He's not taking JUCO transfers like Tark, but he's bringing transfers who not only come from larger schools - but more importantly who BUY into Kruger's program. We aren't seeing people who come to UNLV first and then bolt as often (and those who have, they have not done better - see Lawrence, Marcus at Idaho). Bottom line is - the more our fans are critical (not bashing on a player, but critical on play), the more our players will respond. If this year is any indictor of years to come, I think we will continue to see stronger true freshmen, and waiting lists to come play here. But only if we continue to see improvement where it matters (player development, university intrigue, academic programs). Don't laugh about academic programs, these players are at least attending class haha.

    The MWC is not what it was a few years ago. I fully expect this young team to mature and play better. You won't have Mr. Jones next year, so who will you criticize next if the Rebels have a down year? Focus on the more broad criticisms (free throws, long shot dependancy, possibly finding a smaller rotation to combat foul trouble leniency).

    Thanks for the post Ryan. Could you tell me what Brice is taking out of these conference games as of late? He's clearly been able to attack the basket and drain FT's if necessary, and he's getting aggressive without committing the easy foul. He must know that he's getting some attention from the coaches as of late. Why isn't he starting?

  29. You know, I'm not sure about the starting thing, gats. I think that while Shaw's numbers have dropped off a tad, Kruger likes the fact that he's consistently getting good starts to games from his current starting lineup. I think it might be a chemistry thing early in games, and that's understandable.

    Shaw's scoring will come around, I think. He showed a nice post move against Ogide, I believe it was, to open the game last night with a hook shot. But Brice, I think, is earning minutes with his hustle. One thing I've really noticed more this year is that he's moving really well without the ball in his hands. He's allowing himself to get set up for high-percentage looks by moving well without the ball, and that was certainly the case last night. Plus, he's playing good defense in terms of helping out on the perimeter, becoming more and more vocal, too. I don't see him unseating Shaw in the starting five any time soon, but I do think he'll keep getting extended minutes, which says plenty about his progress.

  30. Like I have said before I am guessing Kruger is not checking the Sun website for suggestions... So stating your opinion once and then moving on would be GREAT!!

    For the Kruger lynch mob, he has brought a winning program to UNLV with some good kids... Even as a coach he has done really well... he has about a 70% winning percentage, and his players GRADUATE! These are not players doing there time while salivating over an NBA contract ... I think the fact that you have the ability to be so judgmental of his coaching speaks volumes for the job he is doing... I can all but guarantee that during the Bayno days it was easy to be indifferent because we got used to shady program, remember Lamar Odom... But Kruger has brought the program out of the cellar and now we are a class act program, and now all of a sudden everyone expects wins... I would say that is a huge testament to his coaching tenure at UNLV...

    And about this Chop thing... I think those of us on this board are now WAYYYYYYYYY familiar with some of your opinions of him... We get it... And if you want me to justify my reasoning for getting tired of reading it, see my opening argument...

  31. NevadaSouthern don't lump me in with this group... :) I think this team is a blast to watch... Marshall has now had 2 dunks that I think should have made ESPN... And anytime Jasper can make that backdoor move to the basket rules...

    I think Lon may have a few tricks up his sleeve down the stretch, how cool would it be to see a Jasper, Willis, Stanbeck, Shaw, Masamba court...

    BTW: My feelings have not changed, I still HATE Tavernari....

  32. It seems every year that some "fans" (more like one whack job w/ multiple screen names) pick out one guy on the team to make the target/scape goat for any adversity the team faces.

    Wendell White in his junior year. DEFINITELY Curtis Terry before his senior year.

    I think all this fuss over a guy who's in the game for 6 minutes is pretty silly.

  33. Not against you, Chicken. It was just a figure of speech. :-)

    Look, I'm all for balanced, objective discussions whether they praise or fault coaches and or players.

    My whole point was that we can't hang ourselves on wins and losses. We can't get up too much when we beat Louisville or New Mexico, and we can't get too down when we drop a gimme against Utah at home. It's all the ebb and flow of a season, and what makes it a great time to be a basketball fan.

    Believe me, if this team underwhelms this season like it did the last, I'll be the first to question whether Lon and Co. are steering the program in the right direction. But, those conversations are little premature when there's still eleven games left to be played in the regular season alone.

    Come on these boards as a fan and student of the game of basketball, not to stroke your own egos.

    With that being said:

    Go, Rebs!

  34. Steve Jones 11.4 Minutes per game 1.9 points per game, shoots 35% from the floor 17% from 3 point land, 81% foul shooter, averages 1.2 rebounds, 1.1 foul per game, has 8 turnovers, 8 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. One steal in 217 minutes???? He is out of 11 players the worst in scoring, worst shooter, 2nd worst 3 point shooter, worst in steals, worst in rebounds.

    Who is the moron that wants to know why he shouldn't be playing. Do you know anything about basketball??
    40 minute conversion 6.5 points, 4.2 rebounds the rest is ridiculous as he really doesn't do anything else. He is the team leader in jumping up and down and wasting energy.

    These are not D-1 player stats. These are D-1 clean-up time stats. His stats at ASU were very similar. We are playing a guy a lot of minutes that hasn't played a lot of minutes in three prior years because he is not a good player. So everyone is stupid and Kruger is a genius. As a customer, alumni, fan, RAF member, I don't want to spend my money watching a intramural player play D-1 basketball!!!

    I track every time when our starters leave and Chop Jones, Wallace, and Santee enter. It is horrible as we give up anywhere from 8-12 points in less than 5 minutes the majority of time this substitution pattern is utilized.

    How many times do you need to get hit in the head until you realize it hurts. He is one of the worst players in the nation, conference, and is getting 11.4 minutes a game??

  35. ^^^^ And one more time ^^^^

    Its like a song I can't get out of my head...

  36. Look, regarding Chop I have just one question to ask.

    Who would you rather give more minutes to, a senior walkon who excels at hitting the sides of backboards...

    Or a freshman standout who would gain valuable experience and looks to be a key contributor to UNLV basketball in the future.

    I like Chop. He has heart. But im just sayin

  37. ^^^^ And one more time ^^^^

    Look I am not disagreeing with anyone... Just pointing out how many times the same thing is being stated...

  38. Chop isn't hurting the team. He eats up a few minutes a game, usually late in the first half. He is not a good offensive player, but he hustles, often coming up with loose balls or long rebounds.

    Since conference play started, he hasn't played more than seven minutes in any game. He is a role player. He plays a small role. Kruger allows him to play a few minutes each game in the hopes that he'll make a big play (take a charge, force a turnover, set a screen for a Jasper alley-oop).

    While he missed a few shots he should have made last night, I don't understand the venom from fans toward a guy who plays few enough minutes that if you leave to get a snack in the first half, you'll often miss him entirely.

    He's a role player. He plays hard. He is NOT hurting the team in any way.

    Do I think we need him out there? No. Do I have a problem with him playing 5 to 7 minutes a game? Of course not.

  39. Uhh he plays more than 5-7 mins a game. And the argument that those minutes when he's playing aren't important is ridiculous. Of course they are. But that said, I am definitely pulling for the Rebels to crush the Horned Frogs and for Chop to score 30 points.

    Go Rebels!

  40. When you look at the fact that this team is integrating so many different new players with different styles this season, what they've delivered so far has to at least slightly exceed expectations. Outside of Utah, their losses are very quality ones. The KState loss looks better by the day.

    So after reconciling loses, you can examine and appreciate the wins. As for last night's win, a win on the road is a good win in college hoops, no matter the opponent. Sometimes we forget that these are kids playing, but they are and winning on the road is tough for kids no matter who they play for.

    As for Chop, there's obviously a reason he's getting a few minutes here and there. Maybe it's a reward for doing well in practice and making his teammates better, which is never seen but hugely important. Again, these are kids and that sort of stuff is part of the process. I trust Kruger with this decision.

    Anyway, I like this team a lot and see steady progress that has me encouraged for March.

  41. That's a good point Ryan. He opens up games great - I can't count how many times it's been him thats opened the game with a 3. I just see a huge improvement from Brice as of late - and it may be more obvious to see since he was really bad last year with all that weight.

    I gotta believe though that Shaw's minutes are going to slip a little bit, which does indeed say a lot about Massamba's development. Sweeeeden!

  42. "Uhh he plays more than 5-7 mins a game"

    Uhh, no he doesn't. Since conference play started, he has played 5, 6, or 7 minutes every single game. His per game average is inflated because he played a lot of minutes early in the season.

    I personally find it ridiculous that so much criticism is directed at Chop. Back off. Leave him alone. He plays limited minutes. There is no evidence to support he is hurting the team. He is a good kid that plays his heart out, sometimes with mixed results. The fact that he is lambasted by fans of his own team is sickening. There is nothing wrong with being critical, but I think some perspective has been lost.

    For the record, the team is 13-1 when Chop plays at least 8 minutes and 3-3 when he doesn't. I know that stat doesn't tell the whole story, but it's not entirely meaningless.

  43. Actually his mpg is around 10 or 11 minutes. I tried to drop this at the end of my last comment, but since people keep bringing it up...

    HE HIT THE SIDE OF THE BACKBOARD WIDE OPEN!!!

    Ok im finished now

  44. I'm glad youngrebelfan is finished. I can't imagine how many times he's hit the side of the backboard wide open. ;)

    All in good fun. =D

  45. Its all good I can't get too mad at a fellow Rebel Fan :)

  46. I love this team.
    Chop is a part of this team.
    Without his energy we'd be an angry mob of rebels.
    We need each and every single player we have.

    GO REBS!

  47. You guys that think that Jones is a good player must be crazy! Keep on playing him and you can root for him in the NIT! Please Kruger bring more Jones type players to UNLV so the REBELS are NIT bound! I love it how you fans like this guy:)!!

  48. I think some are too quick to criticize this year's Rebel team. Coming into this season there were a million unanswered questions about a team of transfers with no senior leadership; I think all in all they have exceeded pre-season expectations to date and seem to be improving (except the game against Utah) on a game by game basis.

    Go Rebels!

  49. RebelAlum hit it on the head. There is no one that can honestly say that they knew this team would be 15-4 at this point in the season with so many players leaving from last year's squad. This is a group that is still meshing together.

    As for Chop, he certainly isn't the most talented player on the team. With that said, if his minutes are a reward for how he hustles in practice I'm all for 5-7 minutes a game. This is a young team that could certainly use the inspiration from a senior that hustles on every play.

    Looking forward to another road victory in Texas! Go Rebs!

  50. Huh Lobo. Thats interesting. So your saying a NIT team steamrolled the hobos in thier precious garbage Pit? I guess getting stomped by a "mediocre" team means good things in your future.

    BTW the real kings of the NIT are the Hobos- 2 appearances in the last 2 years, and no NCAA appearances since 2005.

    And I forgot to mention, a 14-25 all time record against the Rebels. So talk your shi*t somewhere where you program isn't considered inferior

  51. @ youngrebelfan40

    Chops Minutes in MWC play

    BYU 6
    UNM 7
    SDSU 5
    UTAH 7
    CSU 6

    and these come mostly in the 1st half. You talk like he is getting crunch time minutes and playing 20 minutes a game.

    Keep the Chop talk alive. He is the most important player playing the most important minutes. Screw:

    Chace coming into form
    Tre leading conference play in scoring
    Tre shooting almost 90% from the line
    The sloppy ball handling
    J Hawks 1st good game in a while which will earn him more minutes
    Rebounding Struggles

    Chops 6 minutes a game are way more important. For the sake of these message boards lets hope J Hawk plays well so he TAKES the minutes from Chop.

    Dont know what these clowns will talk about if that happens? Maybe comment on Lopez, Norman, and Hanni missing shots in the layup line?

  52. Ring one up for lobo69... Yet another Chop is awful comment

    Apparently there are no good message boards in Albuquerque...

    That gets us at 3 chop flames in like 4 hours, really? WOW!...

    Did these same folks forget we WON and on the road!!... Oh well I guess unless we are going undefeated there is no love for the Rebels... Wait how many undefeated teams are left oh yeah 1... A Calipari team none the less... Who knows what kind of recruiting violations UK will ring up... But I am sure we could do the same just to satisfy a few angry Rebel fans...

  53. Hey I said i was going to drop it. It seems like the Chopper rooting section people are the ones that keep bringing it up with me. I stated my opinion. Repeating it a thousand times isn't going to change anything.

    And @LVBORNNRAISED: Youre right. In comparision to everything else,Chopper Jones' PT is pretty meaningless, but still to me its worthy of comment.

  54. @ChickenLittle - Yes we did win on the road, however giving Jones even 5 -7 minutes a game is too much. These min add up, thats over 30 game min just in MWC play. JHawk and Marshall need the pt to gain experience, which only enhances the rebel team in the next few years. You bring up Calipari having the only undefeated team in the nation... his quote a couple weeks back was "The best team I ever coached we played a 6 man rotation, I think Im playing too many people this year." And hes only playing 8-9 players. As an alumni, season ticket holder, and die hard fan I believe we would be a much better team if Jones wasnt playing. Its very simple, he is taking up valuable pt from our freshmen.

  55. ^^^ And Again ^^^

    Really we all get it about Chop... Again, pretty sure Coach K isn't listening...And like I said I don't necessarily disagree, just tired of the same comment rephrased over and over again... I like reading these boards with the intention of seeing if other people are catching the same things as me, not to watch them repeat the same thing over and over, in some LV Sun circle well you get the point...

    BTW, Coincidentally I am an alum, season ticket holder and have a room in my house dedicated to UNLV... So I am not doubting your fan-hood...And my point about Calipari is that the guy coaches crooked programs...Ask Memphis and UMASS how they feel about him.... This does not make him a college coach we should be looking to for advice..

    Just to entertain the room...
    My SoccerFan impression for the rest of the season:
    OPEN QUOTE
    Sat, Jan 23 at TCU LOOSE BAD!
    Tue, Jan 26 Air Force LOOSE BAD!
    Wed, Feb 3 at Wyoming LOOSE BAD!
    Sat, Feb 6 (14) BYU LOOSE BAD! I love Tavernari, he's my hero!
    Wed, Feb 10 New Mexico LOOSE BAD!
    Sat, Feb 13 at San Diego St. LOOSE BAD!
    Wed, Feb 17 at Utah LOOSE BAD!
    Sat, Feb 20 Colorado St. LOOSE BAD!
    Wed, Feb 24 TCU LOOSE BAD!
    Sat, Feb 27 at Air Force LOOSE BAD!
    Sat, Mar 6 Wyoming LOOSE BAD!
    Sunday March 7th, 2009 UNLV will loose the MWC tournment.
    CLOSE QUOTE

    There I think I about covered it...Point is Soccer, we get the point... You dislike this team...

  56. The "other clowns" keep pointing out 6-7 minutes are not that important. Well when you lose by a couple buckets here and there against Utah and BYU, then yes, as the coach would say, every possession counts, let alone 6-7 minutes. I appreciate all these "clowns" because they have be posting consistently. The same people you call clowns were critisizing Tre's turnovers at the end of games, and poor rebounding, poor three point shooting, etc..not to mention defending Kruger against the left field remarks of Succotage and soccerfan, so I don't mind reading their frustrations, as I share the same. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing at UNLV, a team that can get to the final four.
    On another note: I like Ryan's take on other teams bringing their "A" game against the Rebels. I kept thinking something was in the water. The Utah freshman has a field day against us, their center actually hits free throws that bounce straight up and fall through, and then this Green guys is hitting everything he throws up. Crazy. And I'm glad somebody finally pointed out that Tre is the frontrunner for the POY award. All the biased broadcasters have totally missed the ball on that one. Anyways, lets go lick a horny toad!!

  57. Let's go Rebels!!!!!

    S711

  58. Comment removed by moderator. Comment contained a personal attack.

  59. As I have stated we get it about Chop...

    But here is a simple way to settle this... What needs to be determined is what his minutes versus an opposing teams run meaning score for/against... That stat should reasonably settle the argument both sides have here.. Unless I am mistaken... If a team doesn't get on a run with him in then his minutes are good minutes, he gets out there causes some confusion for the offense and rests guys like Willis, Jasper, and Stanback...

    Now if the majority of his minutes per game the rebels are in a funk and the other team is running up the score then the anti-Chop crowd has a valid point...

    So does anyone have those 2 stats? And game by game is the way to break it down...That may present some really interesting observations...

    And like I stated last night... This is a win on the road in the MWC...We should be pretty happy about that, not lets move on and stomp a toad in Texas...

  60. Soccer Fan... No more need to post... I covered all your posts for the rest of the season last night... I even gave your insight on BYU... So we are all good now... No need to keep adding the same comment... We get it..

  61. Great post Kenns. I agree 100%!

  62. I don't care how much tickets cost; we all have a right to our opinion. Everyone gets that, and I respect your opinion.

    My problem isn't an opinion as much as how one chooses to express it.

    "Chop is hurting the team"
    "Chop doesn't give us the best chance to win"
    "I want to throw my remote at the TV when I see him blow easy lay ups"

    These types of comments are all fine.

    However, some of the comments I have read here are kind of nauseating.

    "scrubs like Chop...he has no basketball skills...Chop is horrible and should never take off his warm-up's...Chop Jones couldn't even hold his own at Doolittle...He is one of the worst players in the nation..."

    This kind of crap just makes me mad. First of all, none of it is true. They are mean, stupid, grade school putdowns. No one said we all have to be nice, but when I read untrue, unnecessary, downright vicious comments about a player who has contributed to a winning team, it infuriates me. So I'm going to stick up for the kid.

    It's not just about Chop either. I remember Curtis Terry getting booed at home games his junior year. Made me sick. I got in more than one verbal altercation that season.

    Is anyone here familiar with Ken Pomeroy? He is a very well known and well respected statistician. He digs deeper into the numbers and compiles rankings of less obvious numbers and stats, things beyond just points and rebounds per game. His UNLV breakdown demonstrates that Chop has some obvious weaknesses, but that he also does some very good things.

    http://kenpom.com/team.php?team=Nevada%2...

    Chop is fourth on the team in offensive rebound percentage, second in fewest fouls committed per 40 minutes, and is among the team leaders in free throw percentage and 2pt field goal percentage. His overall efficiency rating is right behind Justin Hawkins and right ahead of Anthony Marshall. He's hardly an all-star, but definitely isn't the bum some fans make him out to be. He has a small role, and generally does it pretty well.

    You have to look at more than just points to see Chop's contributions, but they are there. He missed two easy shots he should have made last game. It happens. That doesn't mean he's a bad player. Tre missed three easy layups in the SDSU game. Again, it happens.

    If someone is disappointed in the teams's play, they have every right to criticize. But, if I feel that criticism is unfair, I'm going to respond.

    Personally, I don't think I have ever seen a more blatant example of unfair, untrue, mean-spirited criticism of a player by his own team's fans than I have read on this site the last couple weeks. You'd think he was shooting at the wrong basket and refusing to play defense.

    I'm sorry to anyone who disagrees. I got mad. I said what I felt needed to be said. Nothing personal to anyone. I'm done now.

  63. No, I'm his hairstylist. Kid has beautiful hair.

  64. GO REBELS

  65. @Wispy

    Great Post. Im with you on this one. Everyone has a role to play on the team, and I see nothing wrong with Chop's role. He brings so much energy and enthusiasm to the team and more importantly the bench. If you go back and watch the old games on TV, who is the first rebel on the bench standing up and cheering every big play we make? Who during timeouts runs out to mid court to congratulate our players and give advice to the younger guys? Chop every time. He is that excited, and he only gets a couple of early first half minutes. All this and most "fans" on here start screaming bloody murder. They blame both "ugly" wins and losses on the poor kid who only wants UNLV to be the most successful it can be, and is busting his ass in practice and workouts everyday during the past 2 years.

    What he lacks in mechanics of the game he clearly makes up for in his high basketball IQ and experience playing years of D1 basketball. Which brings me to my next point: Anyone playing in D1 basketball, all 347 teams, is athletic and has worked for years conditioning and learning the game. Chop is more athletic than any of you morons on this board, yet you keep bashing him like he is on the Special Olympics team.

    So in summary, if your that upset about Chop playing on our team, stop watching. I would rather lower our attendance, at least there would be more people there who actually enjoy watching the games, not being overly critical of our team when they WIN.

    And to all the users on here that use the same tired argument that they are boosters and give money to the school, so what?!?! Just because you gave money to the RAF does not give you the authority to micro manage the basketball team and player rotation. I am an alum as well, and my family has given hundred's of thousands to the school for athletics and the law school. Your probably the same posters on this site that blame every everything you see politically on Obama and the Liberals. They are wasting your tax dollars. Well last time I checked, no one asked you how they could spend your tax dollars either, just like there are no strings attached to that small financial donation either.

    And Rob, keep up the good work. I for one enjoy the pieces you do, especially the podcasts with you and Brewer. Thanks!

  66. Guess what RunninRebel08, its because of posts like yours that this subject will never die.

    Everytime Chop enters the game I will groan. Everytime the opposite team goes on a run when he comes in I will get frustrated. Against a terrible team like CSU it went from 9-9 to 18-13 Csu favor. Everytime he comes out I will be relieved, like against CSU, from 18-13 to a Rebel lead of 38-32 near half-time.

    And guess what Runninrebel, I won't stop watching the games or pretend I don't enjoy watching them just because you say so. If you don't like to read objective criticism, why don't you go drink some kool-aid some where else and be happy.

  67. Thank you Wispy and Runnin_Rebel08. I thought this was a forum to participate in constructive discussions about BASKETBALL, not attack individual players. Most of the dialogue here is far from constructive. Some of it is just downright mean. The last time I checked, basketball was a TEAM sport. Games are won or lost based on the collective play of the TEAM. Yes, some contribute more than others; that point cannot be disputed. However, if a loss occurs after a misstep of a particular player at an inopportune point in the game, the loss cannot be blamed entirely on one player. It is a reflection of the play of the entire team. What is amzing, though, is that all of this inane chatter is coming after the team won.

    For you "fans" that are so offended by Jones, the solution is quite simple. Don't go to the games. Oh, but then you wouldn't have anything to complain about, would you?

  68. So beyond making Chop sit with the fans... Because we all have heard that one

    What do the match ups look like for the Rebels against TCU...

    Anyone have anything in particular that they will be watching for? One of my favorite things about watching these games is watching for things that your typical arm chair fan doesn't... Defensive shifts, offensive sets... those kind of things... So with that does anyone have any real knowledge about TCU, what kind of offense they like to run, who their scorers are, etc... This means you are not invited SoccerFan, unless you can give us one real fact about TCU...This does not include your predictions who wins...

  69. Their PG Ronnie Moss is doing well this year. He is leading their team in pts and assists. We need to pressure him all game with our deep guard lineup. Im more worried about the guy I think I despise the most in the MWC, Zvonko Buljan. He was dirty last year, throwing elbows and talking trash, while never getting a tech. He isn't shooting the 3 ball as well as last year, which is good. I remember him burying a few deep ones against us last year in Fort Worth. I hope we smash on them. Cant wait until tomorrow!

  70. @ Runnin_Rebel08

    If Buljan hasn't been making 3's all year, expect him when they play us. EVery game when we play someone who has been off a little, we end up underestimating them or they have a blow-out performance.

    It's like the teams play better against UNLV then anyone else for some reason.

  71. Yeah we definitely have a target on our backs... I think it was mentioned at one point that teams get up to play us, which there is some truth to that... I guess we could take that as a compliment...

  72. Sofakingbored,

    I know, I never understood that either. Every year, teams like CSU, TCU, AF, Wyoming play well against us. They will have that one player that has the game of the season against us. Even the top teams like BYU, UNM, SDSU play well, even at the T&M. It seems like all of our opponents shoot well on our floor.

  73. ChickenLittle - You made some great points.....I wonder if anyone will come up with the stats? Probably not......because they know what it will tell us.

    Let's go Rebels!

    S711

  74. Re: Reb 08
    Welcome back to UNLV, seems you have been gone awhile. Lets get you caught up. You described exactly what the critics want Jones to be doing:

    "Everyone has a role to play on the team, and I see nothing wrong with Chop's role. He brings so much energy and enthusiasm to the team and more importantly the bench. If you go back and watch the old games on TV, who is the first rebel on the bench standing up and cheering every big play we make? Who during timeouts runs out to mid court to congratulate our players and give advice to the younger guys? Chop every time."

    Also, Rob Meich is no longer with us, its Ryan Greene.

    And yes Obama and the Democrats should be criticized as they are leading the country. Its called taking responsibility. But we shouldn't mix sports and politics.