Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 | 8:15 p.m.
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No. 20 UNLV (7-1) has one eligible player who hasn’t played a minute this season. That will change Thursday night when the Rebels play La Verne.
“He’ll definitely play in the game and I would expect him to play quality minutes,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said.
The original plan was for Cook to redshirt this season along with Bishop Gorman alum Demetris Morant. Rice announced early in the year that the team decided against that and would use Cook this year. However, he has yet to see the floor.
La Verne, a Division III school from the Los Angeles area, offers a good opportunity to get Cook some minutes and see how the undersized guard from Baltimore performs. Rice has often said how impressed he is with Cook, who just turned 18 on Dec. 1, in practice.
“We wouldn’t have made the decision to make him available if I didn’t have a plan to utilize him throughout the season,” Rice said. “Every game will be different. It will be a feel thing based on matchups and other factors.”
This is the first game UNLV will play without Moser because of his dislocated elbow injury, and it’s also the first of two debuts in back-to-back games. The first semester ends this week so on Monday when the Rebels travel to UTEP, Birch, the 6-foot-9 sophomore transfer, will join them. His home debut will be two days later when UNLV hosts Northern Iowa at the Thomas & Mack Center.