Media roundup: ESPN, NBC preview Mountain West

NBC Sports has UNLV No. 14 in preseason hoops rankings

The Rebels are in the national spotlight again today, with a couple of high-profile web sites taking a closer look at UNLV and the Mountain West Conference.

NBC Sports’ hoops blog CollegeBasketballTalk is unveiling its top 25 one at a time, and today the Rebels check in at No. 14 on their list. The article projects a starting five of Anthony Marshall and Justin Hawkins in the backcourt, with Mike Moser, Anthony Bennett and Khem Birch up front.

The story pegs UNLV as a potential national title contender.

  • From a talent perspective, UNLV has enough pieces on their roster to legitimately warrant consideration as a Final Four contender heading into the 2012-2013 season.

CollegeBasketballTalk also released its MWC preview today, and it projects UNLV to edge out San Diego State for the No. 1 spot. It also picks Mike Moser as the conference Player of the Year. Moser and Bennett make the site’s All-Conference team.

ESPN’s College Basketball Nation blog got in on the action too, posting a piece today previewing the MWC, with writer Andy Katz speculating on how Birch and Bennett will fit into the Rebels’ rotation.

  • UNLV has been extremely successful with transfers and some under-the-radar players. Yet, in this instance, the Rebels pick up two of the higher-profile big men in the recruiting world from the past two years … Vegas has a legitimate chance to pound the ball inside and play inside-out even more than last season.

From the tone, it reads as though both NBC Sports and ESPN are extremely high on the Rebels this year. Other publications have also touted UNLV as a potential Final Four contender, which is a testament to how highly the national media thinks of the returning players and the recruiting class coming in this season.