RUNNIN’ REBELS TO OPEN MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT PLAY WEDNESDAY AGAINST AIR FORCE
First round game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center
- Game Notes vs. Air Force – MWT (PDF)
- Season Stats (web) | Season Stats (pdf)
- Media Guide | Schedule
- @UNLVAthletics | @TheRunninRebels
The UNLV men’s basketball team will open play in the Air Force Reserve Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championships against Air Force on Wednesday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The Runnin’ Rebels are the No. 7 seed, while the Falcons are No. 10. The winner of that contest will move on to the quarterfinals to face No. 2 seed Utah State on Thursday, March 11 at 6 p.m. Wednesday’s game will be shown on the Mountain West Network.
UNLV closed the regular season with a home split against Fresno State, then lost each of its make-up games last week: at home to then-No. 19/21 San Diego State and on the road at Wyoming.
Because of COVID-19 issues, the Runnin’ Rebels went 33 days without a game before playing at Colorado State on January 7 for its first MW series of the season. However, since resuming play, UNLV has played a total of 20 games in a 58-day span.
Coming off a tie for second place in the Mountain West standings last season, UNLV has had an entirely new look this year as 10 of its 13 scholarship players had yet to play in a game for the Runnin’ Rebels as the 2020-21 season began.
UNLV’s returners included senior forward Mbacke Diong, and junior guards Marvin Coleman and Bryce Hamilton. It was announced on January 16 that Coleman would miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his right leg. Other returners from last year’s roster include junior transfer guard David Jenkins Jr., sophomore transfer forward Moses Wood, and walk-on junior guard Trey Hurlburt. Of the nine newcomers added to this year’s roster, seven are freshmen.
Hamilton was the team’s leading scorer last season. The Runnin’ Rebels’ first First-Team All-Mountain West recipient in seven seasons, he averaged 16.0 points per game as a sophomore. Diong led UNLV in rebounding at 7.9 per contest as a junior. Hamilton was also named a Preseason All-MW honoree in November, while Jenkins Jr. was selected as the league’s Preseason Newcomer of the Year and freshman guard Nick Blake was named the conference’s Preseason Freshman of the Year.
Hamilton, who was named Second Team All-Mountain West this season, is the team’s leading scorer and is third in the MW at 18.0 ppg. He became the 40th Runnin’ Rebel to eclipse the career 1,000-point mark and he now has scored 1,042 in a Runnin’ Rebel uniform over his three years at UNLV. He missed a couple games this season with an ankle injury, but returned on Feb. 6 vs. Air Force. He also leads in assists with 3.0 apg (11th in MW), steals with 1.3 spg (7th in MW) and field-goal percentage at .427 (9th in MW). Diong, who was named honorable mention All-MW and to the league’s all-defensive team, is the team’s rebounding leader (7.6 rpg, 6th in MW). Jenkins Jr., who was selected Third Team All-MW is also averaging in double figures in scoring with 15.0 ppg (11th in MW), is second in the MW in 3-point percentage (.412) and 3-pointers made (2.7 per game).
Air Force is 5-19 overall this season and was 3-17 in MW play. The Falcons have lost two straight games and 12 of their last 13. AJ Walker leads the team in scoring at 15.2 ppg (9th in MW) and assists with 2.5 apg, while Nikc Jackson is the team’s leading rebounder with 3.4 rpg.
Wednesday’s television announcers will be Nate Kreckman and Marty Fletcher. Jon Sandler and former Runnin’ Rebel Curtis Terry will handle the UNLV radio call, which may be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas. All streaming links and live stats are available at UNLVRebels.com.