As soon as the UNLV’s schedule came out this ear I immediately circled the game at Air Force. Being that the Air Force campus is only 50 minutes from my house, and they have dollar hot dogs at Clune Arena I was geeked up about going. Well the game was this last saturday and Crystal and I went down with a group of friends to watch UNLV lay a big turd, and play like Bill Bayno was coaching.
Basically UNLV got beat at their own game. They were out hustled, out smarted, and out coached. So if you think UNLV is going to be dancing this year, you better re-think that idea right now. Unless Beas is magically declared eligible tomorrow we will lack the inside game to compete with teams like New Mexico and BYU.
In the long run though this loss might have been good for UNLV. I could tell even during warm-ups and the first five minutes of the game UNLV thought it was just going to walk all over Air Force, and they could afford to look forward to their upcoming game against BYU. Well the philosophy of this team and its talent level makes it impossible to look past anyone. What makes this team able to complete with a team like Arizona is the same thing that makes them liable to loss to anyone; their entire success depends on team unity, and constant hustle and effort.
I do wonder though that as conference play wears on, if Joe “two mommies” Darger can hold up while taking a beating against players so much bigger and stronger than him. He and Rene were our main post players against Air Force, and seemed over matched at times. This does not bode well considering that Air Force’s front court is quite anemic compared to other teams we will face.