UNLV MEN’S BASKETBALL NEWS: Otzelberger Announces Coaching Staff

UNLV’S OTZELBERGER ANNOUNCES COACHING STAFF

Trio of Buckley, Kruger and Slocum bring Power 5, NBA and NCAA Tournament combined experience to Runnin’ Rebel program

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UNLV men’s basketball head coach T.J. Otzelberger announced his coaching staff Friday as Tim Buckley, Kevin Kruger and DeMarlo Slocum have all been hired as assistants for the Runnin’ Rebels. 
 
All three assistant coaches come to UNLV with experience at the highest levels, including at Power 5 institutions and in the NBA, with a proven track record of developing student-athletes and advancing in the NCAA Tournament.
 
“I am extremely pleased with the coaches that we recruited to join our program,” Otzelberger said. “Each one has top-notch experience at schools that have made multiple NCAA Tournament appearances and they are all experts in player development. Tim, Kevin and DeMarlo embody the attributes that we will look for in recruits and understand the work that is necessary to elevate the Runnin’ Rebel program.”
 
Buckley, who has served as a scout with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves for the last two years, was previously at Indiana under Tom Crean as an assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach. During his nine years in Bloomington (2008-17), the Hoosiers were nationally ranked, won Big Ten championships, made multiple NCAA Tournament runs, recruited McDonald’s All-Americans and developed All-Americans who went on the NBA, including 2013 National Player of the Year Victor Oladipo.
 
Prior to his time at Indiana, Buckley was an assistant coach at Marquette (2007-08), also under Crean, and was an assistant coach at Iowa (2006-07) under Steve Alford. He also has head coaching experience as he led Ball State for six seasons (2000-06). Additionally, he was the top assistant coach on Crean’s first Marquette staff (1999-00) and prior to that spent five seasons at Ball State as an assistant coach and one as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (1993-94). His collegiate coaching career began at Bemidji State as an assistant coach before he moved on to Rockford where he was an assistant before becoming the head coach.
 
Buckley played collegiately at Waubonsee Community College in Illinois and then at Bemidji State, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
 
Kruger, who was the point guard on UNLV’s 2007 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team as a senior under his father, former Runnin’ Rebel head coach and current Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger, returns to Las Vegas after spending the last three years as an assistant coach for the Sooners. With Kevin on the staff, Oklahoma made multiple NCAA Tournament appearances.
 
Kruger was also an assistant coach at Northern Arizona for two seasons (2014-16) following a year as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma. Prior to making the move into coaching, he played professionally from 2007-13. He began his collegiate playing career at Arizona State, where he earned his degree in 2006, before transferring to UNLV. He then earned a master’s from Oklahoma in 2017.
 
Slocum, a Las Vegas native, comes to UNLV after serving as an assistant coach at Utah for the past eight years, which included multiple NCAA Tournaments and a total of seven postseason appearances. He was also instrumental in the development of three NBA First Round Draft Picks while at the Pac-12 school. He is an Eldorado High School graduate and former head coach of the Las Vegas Prospects AAU team. 
 
Prior to his time at Utah, Slocum spent four years as an assistant coach at Colorado State and was at Idaho as an assistant coach for one year before that. He previously served as an assistant coach at Dixie State and Director of Basketball Operations at USC.
 
Slocum played at Dixie State and then at Georgia Southern, where he earned his degree in 2001. He went on to earn a master’s from Grand Canyon in 2016.

Rebel Swag The First Ever Legends Reunion Celebration at Hooters Las Vegas

We attended The “First Ever Legends Reunion” honoring iconic past athletes at Hooters Las Vegas last night and had a great time.

From many decades who have made an indelible impression on our community and the
sports world wearing the Scarlet and Gray while representing the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Over 30 “Legends” from a variety of UNLV’s sports programs were in attendance
They mix and mingle, and share memories with more than 500 dedicated Rebel fans both young and young at heart.

There were complimentary appetizers that were provided by Hooters Casino Hotel. April greeted us and made us feel very welcome as media. We must comment that the food was awesome and lots of it!

The “Legends” we saw and interviewed were:

Kevin Kruger – Kevin was the fist UNLV legend that we interviewed. He is super sweet! He did talk to everyone that wanted to talk to him. We ask him what his plans are and he told us he is going Europe soon to play basketball. Even though he only played one year at UNLV he considers Las Vegas to be his permanent home. We did ask him how his Dad was and he said his Dad was doing fine and so far liking his new job. Kevin is a co-owner of Rebelswag, who by the way, is sponsoring Moses basketball camp. Make sure you purchase all your UNLV products at Rebelswag.com

And yes ladies I did ask him and he told me he is single!

Moses Scurry – Moses has to be one of the nicest guys I have interviewed and one of the tallest. He is very personable and very easy to talk to. Most of the other players came to talk to him when they arrived. Moses is putting on a basketball camp in August for Las Vegas youths. He told us that the reason he wanted to do this camp was to give back to the community. The camp is called “Mosed 1st Scurry Annual 2011 Back to School Basketball Camp”. You can find out more about it by emailing them a bballcamp2011@yahoo.com.

Bobby Florence – A super guy that would talk to us all night but his other fans were waiting for him! We asked him what he was doing now and He told us that he just retired at 59! He also said that he was involed with some new games in Las Vegas.
He talked to us about the early days of UNLV basketball.

Coach Dave Rice – We did get a chance to talk to Dave and we asked him how he was liking Las Vegas and the heat. He told us that he did not mind the heat and he and his whole family likes Las Vegas. Dave told us that the team is loooking good and he is optimistic! His outlook on next seasons sucess was bright.

L. Hunt – L was very friendly and we had a good time interviewing him!
He has two kids the same age as mine. His kids are in Los Angeles with one going to college and the other getting ready for college. When he is not in Las Vegas, he is in Los Angeles with them. He was there with his buddy and they were there for a long time. They talk talked quite a bit to the fans and other players.

Donovan Stewart – We did say “Hi” to him but did not get a chance to interview him.

Trevor Diggs – We saw him but he was busy with the food line and with his other fans.

Steve “Chop” Jones – We saw him but he was busy at the bar.

Back by the pool at Hooters

Kevin Kruger

Moses Scurry

L. Hunt


Bobby Florence

Coach Dave Rice
Photo Credit: Judy Reppart