Coach's Corner with Lon Kruger

Editor's Note: UNLV improved its record to 4-1 on Tuesday with an impressive 97-55 spanking of the South West Metro Pirates in Brisbane, Australia. Runnin' Rebel head coach Lon Kruger gives his thoughts on his team's play during the six-game tour as well as the leadership being exhibited by star senior guard Wink Adams.

It has been a fantastic tour in Australia so far. The development of our team on the court and the opportunity to experience this trip culturally and the tremendous hospitality from the Australian people in Sydney and Brisbane has been great. The competition level has been very good with three of the five games so far going down to the last half-minute.

We shot the ball very well in the last two games where we developed a margin. It has been a good opportunity for several of our players to increase their development for different reasons. Tre'Von Willis and Beas Hamga are both coming off of redshirt years, and this game competition has been great for them. René Rougeau, Joe Darger, Wink Adams and Mareceo Rutledge, with senior leadership opportunities, have been been playing with as much of an increased level of confidence as possible. And a lot of different guys are shooting the ball well, so it has been a good all-around experience for a lot of our guys.

Our senior leadership will be the core of our team and the strength of it this season. Wink is the key to that and the maturity that he is playing with right now is impressive. He not only is scoring points, but he has also turned down decent shots to give his teammates better shots. He knows the value of getting the ball into the post to Beas and giving him some opportunities as well as with Tre'Von at the point guard position. He has also been helping get the ball to Kendall Wallace and helping him make shots as all of our seniors are doing.

Wink is coming off of a very good junior season when he was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection. He has had a terrific spring and summer in terms of getting in better condition and his consistency with his perimeter jumper and his ball handling. He has just had a very focused off-season and that will translate into his senior year.

Over the last few days we have taken some great sightseeing tours. The last couple of days we went to Surfer's Paradise at the Gold Coast and the Australian Zoo. They were outstanding trips and are landmarks here in the Brisbane area. The guys will talk about those trips for years to come.

Today we will play our last game in Cairns. There is a lot of trip left and it has been a very good experience to this point. While in Cairns, we will visit the Great Barrier Reef, which is one of the top attractions on the tour. There is great weather, crystal-clear waters and it is just unbelievably beautiful. It has to rank at the top in terms of experiences.

Please check back here on Monday for another Coach's Corner column, and also continue to check the UNLVRebels.com website for game reports, blogs and photos.

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