When I arrived at UNLV as a freshman in the fall of 1974, I always wondered about the top players in the school’s (admittedly short) history. I would go through the media guide to see the guys who set records as Rebels or just had good seasons here. It was a little intimidating to see all the names—guys like the late Elburt Miller, who once scored 55 points in a game, and John Q. Trapp, who went on to play for the Lakers, and Bob Florence, who had graduated the year before I arrived—but it was also a way to motivate me to go out every night and play hard as a Rebel. Once my career was finished, I was able to hold a couple of records that still stand in the media guide.*
Two current Rebels are now having the kinds of seasons future Rebels may someday look up. Forwards Mike Moser and Chace Stanback have become the Dynamic Duo for coach Dave Rice’s first UNLV squad. Both were blue-chip high-school recruits who committed to UCLA and transferred to UNLV after one year with the Bruins. Both can hit the 3-pointer, score at the rim and rebound over bulkier players in the post.
Moser averages 14 points and 11 rebounds per game, has twice been named the Mountain West Conference player of the week and once ESPN.com’s national player of the week. He has quickly developed into one of the nation’s best rebounders. Meanwhile, Stanback—the Rebels’ leading scorer and rebounder a year ago—averages 13 points and six rebounds, and has excelled under pressure, with 28 points against top-ranked North Carolina and clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch of a double-overtime victory over UC Santa Barbara. It’s rare that you see two forwards on one team have the type of season that they are enjoying—and work together so well while achieving individual excellence. I wonder if either of those guys looked through the media guide to get fired up as I did; Moser and Stanback are walking in some pretty big footsteps, and they’re filling them just fine.