REBELS BASKETBALL:

UNLV announces 2010-11 men’s basketball non-conference schedule

Slate features 10 guaranteed games against teams in 2010 NCAA tournament field

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV guard Anthony Marshall drives to the basket against Kansas State Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009, at the Orleans Arena.

2009-2010 UNLV Basketball

UNLV forward Matt Shaw fights for a rebound with Washburn guard Nate Wallace, left, and William McNeill during their preseason game Tuesday, November 11, 2009.  UNLV won the game 62-52. Launch slideshow »

Next season without question will bring the most lofty preseason expectations coach Lon Kruger has faced since coming to UNLV in 2004.

The athletic department announced its finalized slate of pre-Mountain West Conference games Thursday, highlighted by a home game with Wisconsin and road tilts against Kansas State and Louisville.

The schedule guarantees UNLV 12 games against teams that were in the RPI Top 100 last season — Wisconsin, Illinois State, UNR, Louisville, UC-Santa Barbara, Kansas State, BYU (twice), New Mexico (twice) and San Diego State (twice).

Kruger's club also will have 10 guaranteed games against teams which made the 2010 NCAA tournament.

The Rebels, who went 25-9 last season and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third time in four seasons, will open the 2010-11 campaign Nov. 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center against UC Riverside. The Highlanders were 12-17 last season overall and 5-11 in the Big West.

That game will be preceded by a pair of exhibitions at the Mack — Nov. 2 against Grand Canyon College and Nov. 9 hosting Washburn.

Following the regular-season opener will be a Nov. 17 contest against Southeastern Louisiana, then a Saturday, Nov. 20 game with Wisconsin. The Badgers went 24-9 last season and have been to the NCAA tournament in each of coach Bo Ryan's nine seasons in Madison. UNLV will play a return game in the 2011-12 season.

Over Thanksgiving the team will be in Anaheim, Calif., for the fourth installment of the 76 Classic, which takes place Nov. 25, 26 and 28. The tournament will be carried on the ESPN family of networks.

The field for the tournament also includes Cal State Northridge, DePaul, Murray State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Tulsa and Virginia Tech. Both Murray State and Oklahoma State were in the NCAA tournament's field of 65 with UNLV this season, while Virginia Tech was a 25-game winner in 2009-10.

Then things get crowded.

After wrapping up the 76 Classic on Sunday, the Rebels travel to face Illinois State in Bloomington, Ill., that Wednesday (Dec. 1) as a part of the Missouri Valley-Mountain West challenge.

That's followed by a game Saturday (Dec. 4) at rival UNR.

On Dec. 8, UNLV returns home — sort of — for its annual contest at the Orleans Arena, which brings Boise State to town.

The Rebels' series with Louisville will continue Dec. 11, as UNLV will play the Cardinals in their swank new downtown arena. UNLV has won its last two meetings with Louisville, with the Cardinals being nationally ranked in each contest.

After a month-long stint away from the Mack, UNLV will have back-to-back home games — UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 15, then Southern Utah on Dec. 18.

Maybe the biggest game in the non-conference portion of the Rebels' schedule will take place Dec. 21, when UNLV faces Kansas State, widely considered a preseason top-5 club, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

It's the return game from last December's game in the Orleans Arena, which K-State won convincingly, 95-80. The Wildcats finished the season 29-8 behind third-year coach Frank Martin, advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1988, when, oddly enough, Kruger was the coach in Manhattan, Kan. K-State returns four of five starters and six of its top seven scorers from last season's squad.

The non-conference schedule will wrap up Dec. 30 back at the Mack against Central Michigan, who figures to be improved from last season's 15-15 campaign thanks to the addition of blue chip recruit Trey Zeigler — the son of Chippewas coach Ernie Zeigler.

UNLV Men's Basketball 2010-11 Non-Conference Schedule

Tues., Nov. 2 — vs. Grand Canyon (exhibition) — Thomas & Mack Center

Tues., Nov. 9 — vs. Washburn (exhibition) — Thomas & Mack Center

Fri., Nov. 12 — vs. UC Riverside — Thomas & Mack Center

Wed., Nov. 17 — vs. Southeastern Louisiana — Thomas & Mack Center

Sat., Nov. 20 — vs. Wisconsin — Thomas & Mack Center

Thurs., Nov. 25 — 76 Classic — Anaheim, Calif.

Fri., Nov. 26 — 76 Classic — Anaheim, Calif.

Sun., Nov. 28 — 76 Classic — Anaheim, Calif.

Wed., Dec. 1 — at Illinois State — Bloomington, Ill.

Sat., Dec. 4 — at UNR — Reno, Nev.

Wed., Dec. 8 — vs. Boise State — Orleans Arena

Sat., Dec. 11 — at Louisville — Louisville, Ky.

Wed., Dec. 15 — vs. UC Santa Barbara — Thomas & Mack Center

Sat., Dec. 18 — vs. Southern Utah — Thomas & Mack Center

Tues., Dec. 21 — at Kansas State — Kansas City, Mo.

Thurs., Dec. 30 — vs. Central Michigan — Thomas & Mack Center

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  1. Tues., Nov. 2 -- vs. Grand Canyon -- Thomas & Mack - WIN
    Tues., Nov. 9 -- vs. Washburn -- Thomas & Mack - WIN
    Fri., Nov. 12 -- vs. UC Riverside -- Thomas & Mack - WIN
    Wed., Nov. 17 -- vs. Southeastern Louisiana -- Thomas & Mack - WIN
    Sat., Nov. 20 -- vs. Wisconsin -- Thomas & Mack Center - WIN
    Thurs., Nov. 25 -- 76 Classic -- Anaheim, Calif. - ?
    Fri., Nov. 26 -- 76 Classic -- Anaheim, Calif. - ?
    Sun., Nov. 28 -- 76 Classic -- Anaheim, Calif. - ?
    Wed., Dec. 1 -- at Illinois State -- Bloomington, Ill. - WIN
    Sat., Dec. 4 -- at UNR -- Reno, NV - WIN
    Wed., Dec. 8 -- vs. Boise State - WIN
    Sat., Dec. 11 -- at Louisville -- Louisville, Ky. - LOSS
    Wed., Dec. 15 -- vs. UC Santa Barbara - WIN
    Sat., Dec. 18 -- vs. Southern Utah -- Thomas & Mack Center - WIN
    Tues., Dec. 21 -- at Kansas State -- Kansas City, Mo. - LOSS
    Thurs., Dec. 30 -- vs. Central Michigan -- Thomas & Mack Center - WIN

  2. And anyone who disagrees is a RAT TRAITOR!*

  3. Nice schedule. Believe UNLV had 12 regular season Top 100 RPI games this past season and that was far more than many teams in the nation. Looks like that might happen again.

    December is going to be a bear.

    Looking forward to the Badgers in the T&M on Nov. 20. And UNLV owes Santa Barbara.

    U-N-L-V!!!

  4. Still not great, but getting Wisconsin to the T&M makes up for a lot.

    Must win one of the big road games: @ UL or @ KSU.

    Renewed my tickets. I'll see all of you in the T&M on 11/2! :)

    Is it November yet?

  5. I'll still go to support the Rebels no matter what, but that schedule stinks. I'm not paying face-value for my tickets this year. Scalpers, I'll see you in the parking lot. I hope the Thomas and Mack isn't going to be as quiet as I am imagining in my head right now. Crickets...

  6. For info4you2see.

    Don't be that confidant about The Rebels beating The University of Nevada Wolf Pack in Reno.

    Their Coach David Carter has put together a fine team that includes a seven foot center from Australia who played junior college ball near Chicago

  7. williamtomany1.

    UNR beating UNLV... That will be the day. The Rebels are going to crush the Wolf Pack.

    Rebs all the way!

  8. So this comment: "And anyone who disagrees is a RAT TRAITOR!*" looks weird because they deleted Sufferin's Kruger-hating comment that was right above it.

    Sorry for the randomness! Go Rebels!

  9. That Wisconsin pickup is nice.

    It's unfortunate that both at K-State and at Illinois State are both in the middle of the week. I would have definitely tried to make one of them if they were weekend games!

  10. While I am happy that we pulled out the Wisconsin deal, I am still dissatisfied with the Home OOC Schedule.

    The stats that Ryan regurgitated from the press release sounds good until you analyze it: the majority of the good games that are cited are conference games, which, due to defections, may not be that good after all. Consider the statement "10 guaranteed games against NCAA Tournament" teams. SIX of them are in our own conference! TWO more are on the road!

    I guess the adage is true: you can make numbers say whatever you want.

  11. And as moronic as williamtomany1 can be on virtually every topic he/she posts about here on the LV Sun, this person has a valid comment about the Wolf Pack. Although they lost the WAC's best player (Luke Babbitt) and the biggest cancer in the WAC (Armon Johnson), they are recruiting well.

    Still, with the returning team we have and the newcomers, we should paste them at their house by 25 points minimum.

  12. UNR will be humiliated in their house worse than the last 2 times up there.

    And these new guys they're bringing in will go winless vs. UNLV for their entire UNR careers just like Babbit and Johnson did.

  13. Not looking at the schedule too deep, I think this line up speaks volumes on how we can measure the team for this coming season going into 2011-2012. It means that there are teams on the schedule that the Rebs 'should' win out-right with the talent level and experience they already have and with the harder teams, like K-State and Louisville, this would be the measuring stick on how 'good' the present talent can hang with power house teams on the national level. If the Rebs fare well, losing maybe 1 or 2 against the 'tougher' teams, and winning the rest, this could set the program on a slightly higher level for better competition,national recognition, and could lead to better recruits in the future, but the team can't lose the 'give aways' if you know what I mean.

  14. It's going to be tough to beat the Badgers. Bo Ryan is one of the most underrated coaches in the country and Wisconsin's tough, defensive style is hard to play against.

  15. guess whos going to disneyland for thanksgiving?!!!

  16. I hope I can make it to Disneyland for those thanksgiving games. I might go to Six flags instead, but that might be a plan. Anyway, we should win all of those except K-state and maybe Wisconsin. Good games to get us prepared for the conference. The impact of the red shirts will be key this season.

  17. Only 5 1/2 more months, cant wait, especially for the Wisconsin game. I know I'll be there!!!