In addition to a new coach, and a higher-octane offense, these six Rebels are key catalysts to UNLV’s 2011-12 campaign.
The UCLA transfer was often the best player on the floor during UNLV practices last season. Now the 6-foot-8 sophomore forward gets to show his skills to the rest of the country.
After a May arrest for DUI, the Rebels’ leading returning scorer and rebounder sharpened his focus and spent the summer in the gym. The senior’s legal problems are now behind him; his next challenge is to be more engaged and assertive in the team’s up-tempo offense.
The sharpshooting guard returns for his senior year after missing all of last season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. The Rebels lacked consistent outside shooting last season, and Wallace is just the man to supply it.
The 6-foot-8 junior forward got off to a slow start last season after transferring from Kansas, but he turned into a significant low-post threat in the final month. Will he continue his development this season?
The Mojave High School graduate emerged as the Rebels’ most dynamic player and emotional leader last season. In moving from off-guard to the point this year, the junior will have to show the maturity, patience and vision to successfully guide UNLV’s offense this season.
The senior guard ran the point in his first three years as a Rebel but now is being asked by Rice to play off the ball more this season. As UNLV’s top 3-point shooter last season (66-for-174; 38 percent), Bellfield should have little problem adjusting to his new role.