UNLV 2007 NCAA Tournament Capsule
UNLV Rebels - Mountain West (28-6, 12-4)
Seed: #7 - Midwest Region
Big Wins: 12/9 at Nevada (58-49), 12/28 at Texas Tech (74-66), 3/10 BYU (78-70)
Bad Losses: 11/17 UCSB (76-79), 1/10 at Wyoming (76-86), 2/13 at San Diego State (52-67)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2000, First Round loss to Tulsa
Coach: Lon Kruger (11-9 in 9 NCAA appearances)
Probable UNLV Starters:
Jo’Van Adams, Sophomore, Guard, 14.3 ppg, 2.4 apg, 1.5 spg
Kevin Kruger, Senior, Guard, 13.6 ppg, 5.0 apg
Michael Umeh, Senior, Guard, 7.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Wendell White, Senior, Guard, 14.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Gaston Essengue, Senior, Forward, 7.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Key Roleplayers for UNLV:
Marcus Lawrence, Freshman, Guard, 1.5 ppg, 2.3 apg
Curtis Terry, Junior, Guard, 4.6 ppg, 1.7 apg
Corey Bailey, Junior, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Joe Darger, Sophomore, Forward, 6.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Joel Anthony, Senior, Center, 5.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.1 bpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Everybody is talking about Air Force and their efficient offense, but UNLV only gives up 11.3 turnovers per contest, ranking in the top 15 in the nation. What makes that so impressive is the fact that the Rebels do not have a true point guard in the starting five. Coach’s son Kevin Kruger, sophomore Jo’Van ‘Wink’ Adams, senior Michael Umeh and wing Curtis Terry are not true point guards, but still manage the position effectively. Freshman Marcus Lawrence is a true point guard and has done a decent job when he is in the game, but the freshman still has a thing or two to learn before he is ready to take over the job.
Kruger and Adams are prolific scorers and great outside shooters. That duo will take most of the perimeter shots and can dominate the game on both ends of the floor when they are feeling it.
Why UNLV Can Disappoint:
The Rebels have a negative rebound margin and do not have a single player who will dominate the glass. Wendell White, a big 6-6 guard, is a quality slasher and a great scorer and leads the team with 6.2 boards per game. Senior Gaston Essengue is the lone starting forward and will put up a handful of points per night, but he is not a great rebounder and outside of a three game stretch in December, has not had any double-digit efforts on the glass all season.
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Who To Watch:
What has made UNLV so dangerous all season is their experience and quality bench. Lawrence and Terry are excellent options in the backcourt and have starting experience. Forward Joe Darger is the long range shooting threat off the bench and fellow forward Corey Bailey can do a little bit of everything. However, the best asset to the bench is Joel Anthony. The 6-9 center has some decent post moves and can counteract the rebounding problems that plague the Rebels.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.3 (60th nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.6 (118, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (138, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.7 (115, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.4 (93, 5)
Rebound Margin: -0.5 (205, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.9 (73, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (10, 2)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Second Round loss to Wisconsin
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