Busting Brackets

UNLV Basketball: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels 2015-16 Season Preview


UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

2014-2015 Record: 18-15 (8-10, Mountain West)
Postseason: Mountain West Tournament – Quarterfinals 

There was a bit of a shake up in the Mountain West last season.

The usual suspects did not perform up to par and Wyoming was able to swipe the conference championship right out from under the noses of consistently good teams like UNLV and San Diego State.

This season, the Runnin’ Rebels will look to return to their former glory as they have added some highly ranked recruits.

At first glance, it’s looking like the Mountain West could be a bit more predictable this year.


G – Ike Nwamu (Graduate transfer from Mercer University)
G – Jalen Poyser (#138 247Sports)
F – Tyrell Bellot-Green (JUCO transfer from Hill College)
F – Derrick Jones (#45 247Sports)
F/C – Chris Obekpa (transfer from St. John’s)
C – Stephen Zimmerman (#11 247Sports)

Key Non-Conference Games

Nov. 23 vs UCLA – The Rebels will get a great early season look against a team that made it to the Sweet 16 last season. It could be a tough game for UNLV since they have some new pieces. It will be good for them to face a good team and test what they are really made of.

Dec. 9 at Wichita State – Huge game for UNLV. They have a tough non-conference schedule and being able to steal a game from a better team would be big. This one will be tough, but a win here would show that the Rebels are legit.

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Dec. 19 at Arizona – It’s going to be a rough stretch for UNLV. Between Dec. 9-Dec. 19 they take on Wichita State, UC Riverside, Arizona State, and Arizona. If UNLV wins all of these games they would have the beginnings of an excellent resumé come March.

This probably won’t happen though. Even if the only team that the Rebels beat in this stretch is Arizona that would be big.

Key Players

Stephen Zimmerman – The 7′ 0″ freshman has a big job ahead of him. He can dominate in the paint with his size. He also has some decent post moves and a fairly nice jump hook.

Zimmerman can shoot pretty well from the outside as well. He’ll have to develop his mid-range game and get used to tougher defenders on him. I expect him to have a good transition though.

Goodluck Okonoboh – Okonoboh was named to the 2014-15 Mountain West All-Defensive team.

He will need to continue playing good defense in order for UNLV to be successful.

Last season,Okonoboh averaged 5.7 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game.

He’ll have the opportunity to get these numbers up this season and will have to take full advantage of that opportunity in order for UNLV to be successful.

Season Outlook

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels are looking like they will have a good team this season.

They have a tough non-conference schedule that could give them some trouble, but it looks like they could run the tables in the Mountain West.

I expect that UNLV will remain in the top two spots in the conference unless a dark horse team emerges like Wyoming did last year. UNLV fans have a lot to be excited about.