Live From Omaha: Wink says he's ready to go

OMAHA – Just hours before opening NCAA Tournament play against Kent State at the Qwest Center, the UNLV Rebels got some good news. Guard Wink Adams, the MVP of the Mountain West Conference Tournament last weekend, says he's feeling much better after a nasty bout with the flu.

Adams had been experiencing the chills during Selection Sunday and skipped his team's practice on Monday to try and fight the illness.

"I'm feeling a lot better right now," Adams said. "I practiced and worked out this morning. I'm feeling really good. I got my stamina and shots up. I'm sweating it off. I'm feeling a lot better right now."

The Rebels practiced for an hour at nearby Creighton University before holding another 25-minute workout at the Qwest Center in front of about 1,000 fans.

Adams looked particularly sharp shooting the ball in that workout and showed no signs that he was the illness had slowed him down.

Of course, try convincing BYU that Adams was under the weather last Saturday. The junior guard from Houston, who spent much of his time on the bench chugging Gatorade to keep hydrated, scored 14 straight points down the stretch to help rally UNLV to a 76-61 victory.

"Saturday, I mean, it was just real bad," Adams said. "My body was aching. I couldn't really eat."

After having a small meal on Saturday morning, Adams said he couldn't eat again until Monday.

"And just taking a meal after that long, it just wears on your body and takes a lot of strength away," Adams said. "But right now I'm drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of food, kind of getting my strength back and getting ready for the game."

"Today he looked pretty normal," UNLV coach Lon Kruger of Adams' practice performance. "I think he'll be full speed tomorrow."

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Adams will be going up against an old childhood friend from Houston in Kent State forward Rashad Woods. The two bumped into each other Wednesday before practice.

"He's really athletic," Adams said. "He blocks shots. Rashad can do a lot of things and play a lot of different positions very effective for Kent State. He's somebody very difficult to guards."

So who used to get the better of their matchups when they would play horse?

"I used to always beat him," Adams said with a smile. "We were young. But his shot wasn't that good like it is now. But I see he's been working on it on film. He's knocking it down from five feet behind the 3-point line."

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Kent State players Mike Scott and Al Fisher were asked what they know of UNLV as a school at today's press conferences.

"Pros, NBA players," Scott said. "Great program all the way around and just athletic players."

"I have to agree with him," Fisher said. "Pros, and just a great squad. They've been a good squad for years and they're probably going to be a good squad for years to come, too."

The two players believe tomorrow's game could be a defensive battle. "I feel like it's going to be a grind out," Scott said.

"They're fast, they play very hard and they just get up and down the court," Fisher said. "We're going to have to come out and follow the game plan and do what we've been doing thus far."

So which team plays the better defense? Kent State coach Jim Christian side-stepped that question.

"I think defense is the pride of both programs," Christian said. "And if the score is 1-0 tomorrow, then you'll know who plays better defense. … I respect how hard they play and the way they play because I think it is very similar to how we play."


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