Is it lack of talent or lack of coaching? Or both? And a recruiting tidbit.
This is just a quick breakdown for you Premium Subscribers on our opinions (from seeing every game, and being at many of the practices) of why exactly UNLV is so disappointing this year…
27% shooting obviously can't be blamed on a coach, but running a standstill/non-movement offense can. True UNLV blew many easy baskets, and even a dunk, vs. Wyoming, but they also didn't have a lot of open looks in the half court set. Stubborn Spoonhour won't listen to the players, coaches, or fans and continues to force this team to "hold up" on offense, not running while forcing them to pass X amount of times before taking a shot. This clearly isn't working, and won't work. He's coaching like he has a team of high basketball IQ, limited athleticism, jump shooting, backdoor cutting players…while he has a team full of athletic, quick, not great shooting, up and down players. Similar to buying a Porsche Boxter and driving like a 79 Pinto. Why he continues to do this? Who knows?
We dare you to find a team that is worse at the center position in the country. Omari is a great kid, but is playing way out of position, has slow feet, bad hands, limited energy, and NO offensive moves. Louis Amundson is a true freshman and plays with more of a mean streak (needed in the post) than Omari and deserves more minutes. He is certainly not a Division I level center, but has more to offer this team right now than does Omari. The answer…POST DALRON JOHNSON! He does have moves with this back to the basket, and doesn't have a great perimeter game (regardless of what he thinks). Spoon needs to force DJ to stay in the paint 85% of the time, fight for position and DEMAND the ball. The Rebels can't rely on the three point shot, especially when gunner Lou Kelly is 0 for 16 in his last two games.
Let Marcus create! For some reason, Spoon instructed Marcus not to penetrate much at all vs. Wyoming, and that killed UNLV. He is the engine that makes the Rebels go, and needs to attack every possession.
Start Lou Kelly. He is one of the best 3 offensive players on the squad and doesn't come into games until the 12-minute mark of the first half. Leaving him on the bench for a "spark" later in the game is ignorant. Play your best five, give yourself the best chance to win.
After Dalron, Marcus, and Lou, this team has very little talent. ET hasn't come along yet, Jevon is bad, Lafonte is too slow to create his own shot, Booker is a former water boy, Bigby is very bad, Richardson has tons of athleticism but little basketball ability, Omari doesn't have much ability and is out of position, Amundson is a freshman and also playing out of position.
This season is just about shot, however next year Spoonhour will have a starting
lineup of Marcus, Hunter, JLew, Dalron, and JK Edwards/Peters. This is a massive
improvement in talent, and if the results are like this year fans will be quickly
calling for Spoons head.