UNLV athletics:

Rebels roundup: Basketball schedule coming into focus; teams ace APR

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Sam Morris

UNLV mascot Hey Reb waves a flag as the Rebels take the court at the Thomas & Mack for their home conference opener against Air Force Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.

This offseason has been anything but dull on Maryland Parkway. That includes a few items over the weekend and early this week. Let's get everyone caught up, starting with more news from the UNLV basketball team.

Arizona State announced a home-and-home series with UNLV this season beginning Nov. 19 in Las Vegas. The Rebels will make their return trip in the 2014-15 season.

That means UNLV will play both of the state’s biggest universities this season, facing Arizona on Dec. 7 in Tucson. With the National Finals Rodeo in the Thomas & Mack Center from Dec. 5-14, the Rebels will take another trip a week after Arizona, going to play Southern Utah on Dec. 14, a source told the Sun.

Pending an unexpected addition, the marquee home nonconference game is Nov. 26 against Illinois. The Rebels also have two games Dec. 22-23 at Orleans Arena for the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic against either Mississippi State, South Florida or Santa Clara. The event will include two home games at the Mack against two of the following three teams: Radford, Sacred Heart and Florida A&M.

The rest of the nonconference schedule should be wrapped up by the end of the month, though most of it is expected to be filler games against smaller teams.

UNLV passes its APR tests

All 17 sports programs scored above the minimum NCAA standard in the multiyear academic progress rate (APR), the organization announced Tuesday.

The APR awards points for keeping student-athletes enrolled and in good academic standing, using a system that accumulates points on a 1,000-point scale. The minimum score is 925, under which programs may be punished with a loss of scholarships or missing postseason play, among other things.

The multiyear scores start with the 2008-09 season and go through 2011-12, and every program scored at least 932. The leaders were women’s golf, women’s tennis and men’s swimming and diving, which each scored 993. Seven programs set or tied new scoring records, including men’s basketball (965).

Quick hits

• UNLV is expected to fill Justin Hutson’s spot on the coaching staff by July 1, and probably a little sooner, according to a source. Hutson left in April after two seasons on Rice’s staff to return to his previous position as an assistant at San Diego State.

• Gov. Brian Sandoval on Tuesday signed Assembly Bill 501, allowing the Nevada System of Higher Education to issue $85 million in bonds for construction projects at UNLV and UNR. That includes a measure marking $57.7 million to renovate the Mack, which is in its 30th year of operation.

What will that money go toward? Check out our look at the proposed upgrades.

The Mack will remain open during the 24- to 30-month renovation.

• League leaders have been teasing the expanded use of the Mountain West Digital Network for several months, and on Monday, the conference unveiled some more details. The Mountain West is partnering with Campus Insiders and Volar Video and will live-stream hundreds of sporting events, add some in-studio programming and expand its distribution on multiple devices. Read more about it here.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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