Gut-Check Time

by Jake Runyon (@jakerunyon)

UNLV losing at Wyoming isn’t a surprise; neither is losing at Kansas. In fact, there was a lot of positives to take away from those two games.

-Christian Wood scored UNLV’s first 19 points against Wyoming and he did in the first 10 minutes of the game. He continues to raise his NBA stock. He and Larry Nance Jr are the two most feared players in the league.

-Pat McCaw is continuing to develop as one of our most reliable players.

-The offense is really meshing. The rebels have the ability to get hot. Something that will come in handy during conference play when in tight games.

-Dave Rice is showing more emotion than usual and this is a good thing. The rumor is that after the Utah game, Dave Rice went off on the players in the locker room. Since then, UNLV beat Arizona, blew out SUU, and delivered strong showing against Wyoming and Kansas.

Despite two consecutive losses, things seem to be looking up. The conference seems to be wide-open with Wyoming appearing to be the early favorite, followed closely by several other teams, including UNLV.

UNLV has a great opportunity to gain ground in the conference race this week as they host two of the bottom-feeders in the conference.

The first of those two match-ups is against UNR. The Wolfpack’s 5-8 record is deceiving. Yes, they had a nasty 8 game losing streak, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that UNR was only blown out in one of those games. Now, UNR is coming off three straight victories where they won by an average of 20 points per game, and scored more than 80 points in each.

After Reno, UNLV faces San Jose State, who nearly upset Wyoming last Saturday. Yes, SJSU is having some real difficulties in their program, but anything can happen in conference play.

If UNLV wins these two games, they are back in the conference race. Which is a race that UNLV has NEVER WON. How on earth has UNLV never won the Mountain West league?