The men’s basketball team will have to follow the weekend’s 35-point road loss with a game against one of the conference’s hottest – and maybe most complete – basketball teams.The Horned Frogs will host the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (11-8, 5-2) Wednesday when the Rebels come to Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in an attempt to not only continue their strong Mountain West Conference play, but send TCU to its third consecutive loss.
Head coach Neil Dougherty said UNLV’s recent success has generated momentum for a team that plays like just that – a team.
“It may be (the most complete team in the conference),” Dougherty said. “They’re playing as well as anyone right now.”
Dougherty said the Rebels not only buy into the team concept, but have the personnel to use it, especially freshman guard Jo’Van Adams and senior forward Louis Amundson.
“They have a lot of people with different abilities. They’re athletic at every position,” Dougherty said. “Adams and Lou are both really good players.”
Though Adams has only started nine games, he is fourth on the team in points (10.2 per game) and first in steals (2.11 per game.) Amundson leads both in points and rebounds and is close to averaging a double-double (14.1 points and 9.5 rebounds.) He also finished the 2004-2005 season as an All-Mountain West Conference honorable mention.
Statistically, the Rebels also back up Dougherty’s teamwork claim. UNLV averages over 16 assists a game, and has over 80 more than their opponents on the season. However, the Rebels have shown to be careless at times, and their average of over 15 turnovers a game leaves them behind the opposition in total turnovers.
Senior guard Nile Murry said UNLV uses its personnel in many different ways, which makes it difficult to defend.
“They have a pretty good balance of guards and big men, and they do a lot of posting up,” Murry said.
Both Dougherty and Murry said the Rebels play strong defense and pressure the ball well. However, UNLV is allowing opponents to shoot 43 percent from the field. While not a particularly high number, the average is substantially higher than the Frogs’ dismal season field goal percentage of 35 percent. TCU’s total points per game average, 62.4, is also lower than UNLV’s 67.9 average points allowed.
Murry also said the Rebels, win or lose, will leave a mark.
“They’re very physical,” Murry said. “But that comes with the territory.