Monday’s UNLV practice was closed to the media, but according the coach Dave Rice, the session was heavy on 5-on-5 scrimmages and was once again focused on pushing the pace.
Speed has been a common theme through the first handful of practices, with Rice trying to get his players to completely buy into an up-tempo, running attack.
“That’s our goal,” said Rice. “We want our guys to play at a higher rate of speed and make our opponents play at a higher rate of speed than they’re used to. That’s our philosophy. If we make good decisions on both ends of the floor, we’ll have an advantage.”
Rice said he was generally pleased with how quickly the
players have been catching on to that philosophy, particularly the newcomers.
“[The freshmen] are doing well,” Rice said. “The pace of
play is new to them, but they’re coachable and they get better every day. I’m
very pleased with Anthony Bennett’s progress, and I’ve always liked his
basketball IQ. And I like that we’re giving reps at point guard to Katin
Reinhardt and Daquan Cook, in addition to Anthony Marshall.”
Bennett has been widely projected as the opening night
starter at power forward, and he’s been impressive so far during workouts. But
Rice said it’s way too early to begin speculating about potential lineups.
“I have no doubt that Anthony will play a lot of quality
minutes for us. He will definitely be a big part of what we’re doing and he’ll
play major minutes, but it’s too early to be projecting who’s going to be in
the starting lineup.”
The Rebels will practice again on Tuesday afternoon, and
that session will be open to the media.