I am pleased to announce that Inside The Rebels has a new family member, Jeff Waddilove. Jeff will cover the UNLV basketball team and give you the latest news on the Runnin Rebels from game recaps, recruiting news and more.
Here is a message from Jeff:
As the cruel Las Vegas summer heat mercifully subsides and cool autumn breezes sweep into the valley, it tells me that my favorite time of year is finally here. It’s not Halloween that has me chomping at the bid, but Runnin’ Rebel basketball.
Yes, I am a true fanatic. For me it started like it does for most of us who end up cheering implicitly for the home team; a trip to the stadium as a youth with our father to catch our very first game. I was seven years old when my dad first took me to the T&M to see my very first UNLV game. And it was 1990.
So my introduction to the Rebs came during the height of Jerry Tarkanian’s reign. So not only was I spoiled by the fireworks and the shark’s encircling the Mack as the them from, “Jaws” blared from the pep band, it was also my baptism to college basketball royalty. Tark was the king, but Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony and Anderson Hunt were his princes.
I was truly blessed. As we all know, that was arguably the best college basketball team to ever play the game. They finished 35-5 and trounced Duke 103-73 in what is to this day the largest margin of victory in a National Championship game. I, along with the rest of Las Vegas celebrated and reveled in being the number one team in the country.
That blessing continued when the following season UNLV returned its full compliment of superstars and went undefeated all the way to the Final Four. Instead, it turned out to be more of a curse. In the rematch against Duke, the vaunted and seemingly indestructible Rebels fell in one of the greatest upsets sports has ever known.
I won’t go into the rest. We are all keenly aware of the Rebels fall from grace and how for the most part they’ve stayed out of the limelight the last twenty-six years, or so. But for me, the damage was already done. Despite some trying years, I’ve bled Scarlet and Gray ever since. My father and I have never missed a single game and that’s been our life long bond. Whether it’s at the T&M, or on television, or a radio broadcast, we’ve always tuned in. We live, breathe and die by every jumper, rebound and dunk.
So as the Menzies era gets underway this Tuesday night against Dakota Wesleyan for its first exhibition game, I’ll be living, breathing and dying by every jumper, rebound and dunk with you all, too. Check back in after the game and I’ll have a full recap and breakdown as we all are introduced to the new roster of Rebels.
Jeff was at both UNLV games this past week and has recaps on the Runnin Rebels first two games in the basketball forums.