UNLV vs. San Diego State: Keys For A Rebel Win
Rebels looking to go to 6-1 in Mountain West play
Pair of rivals meet up
The UNLV Runnin Rebels have been off to a red hot start in conference play. The Rebels are currently tied for second place in the Mountain West with (5-1) record in conference play. Marvin Menzies is off to his best start in conference play during his tenure at UNLV.
The Rebs are have looked fantastic in the early goings of Mountain West play. The first six games of conference play for the Rebels have been against the five worst defensive teams in the Mountain West. Now the Rebs are entering the tough part of their schedule.
With San Diego State up next a team who the Rebels split the season series with last year (1-1) let’s get into the keys for the Rebels to win their first matchup against the Aztecs.
Set the tone defensively.
In the Rebels two wins against New Mexico, the key to winning both of those game was Noah Robotham’s perimeter defense. Look for Robotham to start the game guarding Devin Watson. Watson who is the Aztecs seconding leading scorer with (15.4) points per game.
Watson is also a knockdown three-point shooter shooting around 40 percent for the season from three. In the Rebels last game against New Mexico, Robotham held Anthony Mathis in check and holding him to just eight points and forcing him to commit three turnovers. Robotham is not doing it alone his backcourt mates Amauri Hardy and Kris Clyburn have been defending the perimeter and not giving up anything easy. The Rebels are the best team in the conference when it comes to defending the three-point shot. The Rebels opponents having made and taken the least number of three-point shots in conference play
Move the ball around.
In their six games in conference play, UNLV has led the Mountain West in scoring with 80 points per game. In their six games in conference play, the Rebels have four different leading scorers (Clyburn, Ntambwe, Hardy, and Blair). This UNLV team is diverse enough to have just about any player breakout and put up a big scoring night. Nick Blair scored 26 points in the last game against New Mexico, before that his season high was just nine points. With every player having a chance in coach Menzies system it will be exciting to see who has the hot hand against San Diego State.
Just keep shooting
Marvin Menzies teams have never been knowing for their three-point shooting, but for the past six games, the Rebels have been the best three-point shooting team in the Mountain West. Shooting 41 percent from deep in conference play is a bit surprising, but the Rebels need to keep shooting from three. Joel Ntambwe has emerged as a very reliable long-range shooter. Teams have not respected UNLV from deep sagging off on defense and not jumping out on bigs like Ntambwe on pick and pop situations leading to open three-point shots for the Rebels.