The Rebels have long had a reputation as a team that can fill up the basket, but who are the top shooters in UNLV basketball history? Here’s a look at the top seven, all of whom gave opposing defenders nightmares:
1) Freddie Banks
The Rebels’ fourth all-time leading scorer is also one of the most storied clutch shooters in UNLV history. He holds the school record for 3-pointers in one season, knocking down 152 in 1986-87, including an NCAA-record 10 3-pointers in the Rebels’ Final Four loss to Indiana.
2) Sam Smith
“Sudden” Sam averaged 15.7 points per game in his UNLV career, but that number would be significantly higher if Smith hadn’t played before the 3-point shot was implemented in college basketball. A member of the Rebels’ “Hardway Eight” team from the 1970s, Smith made 30-foot jumpers look as effortless as a layup, and was seemingly in shooting range once he crossed midcourt.
3) Eddie Owens
Owens, the leading scorer in UNLV history, made 52 percent of his shots in four years with the Rebels, averaging nearly 19 points per game. Another member of the “Hardway Eight,” Owens led UNLV in scoring his final three seasons, and was deadly from nearly anywhere on the court.
4) Anderson Hunt
Nobody has hit more 3-pointers in a Rebel uniform than Hunt, who made 283 shots from long distance in his three-year UNLV career. And what longtime Rebel fan can forget Hunt’s game-winning 3-pointer with four seconds left against No. 1 seed Arizona in the 1989 NCAA tournament?
5) Robert Smith
Yet another member of the “Hardway Eight,” Smith not only directed the Rebels’ offense as the team’s point guard, but he was also a deadly shooter. Smith holds the UNLV records for free-throw percentage for one season (92.5 percent in 1976-77) and in a career (87.8 percent from 1974-77).
6) J.R. Rider
Everyone remembers Rider as an outstanding scorer when driving to the basket, but he was also a deadeye threat from downtown. Rider not only ranks 10th on the Rebels’ career list for made 3-pointers (136), but he also is seventh in career accuracy (40 percent). Rider got it done at the free-throw line, too, making 80.5 percent of his career attempts to rank eighth all time at UNLV.
7) Larry Anderson
Anderson, a four-year starting guard from 1979-83, played in the shadow of teammate Sidney Green throughout his UNLV career, but few Rebels possessed his sweet stroke. The eighth-leading scorer in UNLV history, Anderson made 821 field goals in his career, surpassed only by Eddie Owens and Green among Rebels.