UNLV Basketball

Rebel Yell Your Head Off

UNLV basketball season opens with first of two exhibition games

Are you looking to unwind on election night, maybe let out a few therapeutic screams after the onslaught of political mailers, TV commercials and intrusive phone calls?

While a primal scream in your house or yard could bring the cops knocking, cranking the volume to 11 is encouraged on Nov. 2 at the Thomas & Mack Center when the UNLV men’s basketball team opens play at 7 p.m. with an exhibition game against the Division II Grand Canyon Antelopes.

The game is the first of two exhibitions for the Runnin’ Rebels (the second being against Division II Washburn at 7 p.m. Nov. 9) before the regular season tips off Nov. 12 with a home game against the University of California, Riverside.

UNLV is ranked No. 31 in the preseason USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll, receiving 19 votes, but hopes are high just the same for Lon Kruger’s team, which has more size and maturity than last season but could be searching for consistent long-range shooting.

Senior guard Tre’Von Willis, the Rebels’ leading scorer last season, is suspended for the exhibitions, along with at least one regular-season game, for his off-the-court troubles this year. His absence could allow Kruger to get an extended look at 6-foot-6-inch freshman swingman Karam Mashour, who starred in < ahref="http://weeklyseven.com/sports/2010/october/14/unlv-basketball-tips-practice-free-event-fans">UNLV’s FirstLook event on Oct. 15 but could end up redshirting this season. More standout performances by the former 18U Israeli national team member in the exhibitions, however, might lead Kruger to keep Mashour on the roster.

Tickets for each exhibition game are $13 and $8, and can be purchased at UNLVtickets.com or the Thomas & Mack box office.

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