Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/18/11

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

First year head coach Dave Rice inherits a veteran UNLV team that should compete for the Mountain West Championship this season.  With seven of their nine rotation players back from a year ago, the Rebels have plenty of experience on their roster.  Add in the return of an injured player and a pair of transfers and the depth of this team will be their strength.

UNLV REBELS
Last Season: 3rd, 11-5 in MWC, 25-9 overall
Predicted MWC Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Quintrell Thomas (Jr)/Brice Massamba (Sr)
F: Mike Moser (So)/Carlos Lopez (So)
SF: Chace Stanback (Sr)/Karam Mashour (So)
SG: Oscar Bellfield (Sr)/Kendall Wallace (Sr)/Justin Hawkins (Jr)
PG: Anthony Marshall (Jr)/Reggie Smith (So)

Gone: G-Derrick Jasper, G-Tre’Von Willis

2011-2012 Outlook:
The team’s top returning scorer, Chace Stanback has been suspended the first two games of the season after pleading guilty for a DUI which is really nothing more than a slap on the hand since the only regular season game he will miss is against Grand Canyon.  Stanback is a versatile wing who can play mutliple positions and is a solid defender.

With Anthony Marshall and Oscar Bellfield back, the backcourt should be able to replace Derrick Jasper and Tre’Von Willis without missing much of a beat.  Bellfield has been a major contributor since arriving in Vegas and became more of a scorer last season than distributor since UNLV had several players capable of running the point. That includes Marshall who will take over the point guard spot this season and is also a lockdown defender that fit perfectly with the Rebels’ aggressive style of play.

Kendall Wallace returns after sitting out all of last season due to a torn ACL.  He is a three-point specialist who will provide UNLV with scoring punch off the bench.  Justin Hawkins adds even more depth at guard as will Marquette transfer Reggie Smith who becomes eligible after the first semester.  He is another active guard who will pester opponents with his on-the-ball defense.

The frontcourt receives a boost with the addition of UCLA transfer Mike Moser who figures to slide into the starting line-up right away.  Quintrell Thomas, Brice Massamba, and Carlos Lopez provide size inside.  That trio rotated minutes inside last year and that will likely be the case again as Moser and Stanback figure to eat up the minutes at power forward.

Another transfer is on the way in former USC Trojan wing Bryce Jones.  Per NCAA transfer rules, he must sit out this season but will be able to practice with the team.

Rice has said that he plans on putting the Runnin’ back in the Runnin’ Rebels this season.  They have the athlete to get up and down the floor in a hurry, but once again UNLV will rely on forcing turnovers with their smothering defense.

Player to Watch: Mike Moser
The 6-8 Moser rode the bench in his lone season at UCLA and is looking for a fresh start in Sin City.  He has a good combination of size, strength, and athleticism, and can also knock down shots from the perimeter.  With a balanced offensive attack, Moser could be the factor for the Rebels this season.  If he can be a 10-point, 6-rebound a night sort of player, that will make the Rebels an even more dangerous and complete team.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/25 vs. USC (Las Vegas Invitational)
11/26 vs. North Carolina/South Carolina (Las Vegas Invitational)
12/4 at Wichita State
12/10 at Wisconsin
12/14 at UTEP
12/17 vs. Illinois (in Chicago)
12/23 vs. California

OTHER 111 IN 111′S:
#26 Washington Huskies
#27 UCLA Bruins
#28 Butler Bulldogs
#29 Missouri Tigers
#30 Texas Longhorns
#31 Villanova Wildcats
#32 Michigan State Spartans
#33 Florida State Seminoles
#34 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#35 Harvard Crimson
#36 Illinois Fighting Illini
#37 Oregon Ducks
#38 Wichita State Shockers
#39 Cal Golden Bears
#40 Belmont Bruins
#41 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#42 Saint Mary’s Gaels
#43 Purdue Boilermakers
#44 BYU Cougars
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs
#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs
#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

 

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