UNLV did not play a great game against Oregon on Friday. The Rebels didn’t even play a good game. But they still had a chance to win it late, with Oregon finally clinching when Anthony Marshall’s layup attempt rattled out with less than 15 seconds to play.
The Rebels almost definitely didn’t deserve to win this game, and that’s what made the loss so difficult to take. They could have stolen it. Coach Dave Rice admitted it was a “devastating” loss in his post-game press conference, but there’s no time for the Rebels to dwell on it — they’ve got to bounce back and play a gritty Iowa State team at 5 p.m. tomorrow.
Let’s get some instant analysis of UNLV’s 83-79 loss to Oregon with a Fast Breakdown.
Reinhardt shows upside and freshman follies
Katin Reinhardt experienced both sides of being a high-profile college basketball player. He scored 18 points (all in the second half) and drilled some gigantic 3-pointers to keep the Rebels in the game, but he had some major struggles on the defensive end as well. We examined Reinhardt’s defense earlier this week, and Oregon isolated him on three consecutive possessions in the final minutes, resulting in three easy baskets. “Yeah,” said Reinhardt when asked if he felt Oregon was targeting his defense. “I’m just gonna watch a lot of film and learn from it. It sucks, but I’ve just got to move on.” Reinhardt has to work through his defensive issues (and a lot of that will come with experience), but his overall upside was clear as he shot the Rebels back into this game.
Marshall bottled up
UNLV wasn’t able to get out on the break at all, and ended up scoring just eight points in transition. Much of that was because Oregon focused on slowing down Anthony Marshall. The Ducks threw a half-court trap at him in the first half, and the rest of the Rebels seemed confused as to how to break it. Marshall did what he could, but finished with his most meager stat line of the season: 7 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 turnovers. This game should be an example of how important Marshall is to the offense.
Thirsty for threes
Once again, the Rebels did not show a very discerning eye when it came to shot selection. They attempted 30 3-pointers, with many coming early in the shot clock. Dave Rice wants his team to shoot open shots and gives everyone a green light, but Marshall felt the Rebels were too quick on the trigger. “At times as a team we kind of abuse that freedom,” said Marshall. “There was a stretch where we jacked some shots up where we shouldn’t have.” UNLV hit just 8-30 from distance, and most of the makes came from Reinhardt (4-8). Bryce Dejean-Jones had an especially itchy trigger finger, shooting 3-12 for the game and 1-8 from 3-point range.
Moser takes a backseat
It was almost eight minutes into the game before Mike Moser attempted his first shot, and he finished with just nine points on 2-6 shooting. Six attempts for an All-American candidate is not enough, no matter how much Moser contributes in other aspects (he also had 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals). Anthony Bennett (game-high 22 points) and Reinhardt need the ball and deserve to be big parts of the offense, especially when they’re working as well as they were against Oregon — but not at the expense of Moser. The Rebels need to find a way to consistently work Moser into the offensive game plan.
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