Massamba won’t start, ’50-50′ to play Thursday for UNLV

UNLV coach Dave Rice has labeled senior center Brice Massamba’s chances of playing on Thursday at Cal State Bakersfield as ’50-50.’

Massamba has not practiced and suffered from concussion-like symptoms since taking an elbow to the face during Saturday’s win at Hawaii.

Rice said that sophomore Carlos Lopez will start in Massamba’s place, though Massamba traveled to Bakersfield with the team on Wednesday. It seems likely that, given the matchup and the extended period of rest coming up after Thursday’s game, Massamba won’t play. The 17th-ranked Rebels (15-2) get eight full days off after Thursday before their Mountain West opener at No. 24 San Diego State next Saturday.

Massamba is one of three Rebels to start all 17 games this season, averaging 5.5 points and three rebounds per contest. Off of the bench, Lopez is averaging 7.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.4 minutes a game. Junior Quintrell Thomas, who has picked up his play of late, will also likely see extended time against the Roadrunners.