Athletics News - UNLV
A View From Within ... Tues., Nov. 1
D.J. Allen writes a periodic column for UNLVRebels.com.
D.J. Allen writes a periodic column for UNLVRebels.com.
 

Nov. 1, 2011

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Tonight is the night. Being raised a Rebel here in town, there is something magical about the first Runnin’ Rebel game of the season at the Thomas & Mack Center. The aroma from the food on the concourse, the sound of the band in pregame, the first time the red carpet is rolled out. Yes, there is tradition in Las Vegas. It’s called Runnin’ Rebel Basketball. See you at the Mack tonight. Let’s Run…

The best coaches – and leaders in all walks of life, for that matter – are experts at taking negatives and turning them into positives. New Runnin’ Rebel head coach Dave Rice’s team had a well-documented poor practice last week where he took the team off the court to address them privately because the guys just weren’t ready to perform that day. The team responded with four straight days of strong practices, some of their best in the preseason.  That’s the sign of a strong coach and a team that gets it...

I’m a little partial to the guy since building a relationship with him after his transfer from UCLA, but I can’t wait to see sophomore Runnin’ Rebel Mike Moser on the court this season. He has a chance to be something special on the court. But off the court, his personality is already All-Conference…    

Saturday’s victory over Colorado State was an important win for the young football team. And what is even more important to know is that coach Bobby Hauck is only playing one true freshman out of high school this season – WR Devante Davis. That means there are 11 Rebels right out of high school on scholarship who are redshirting and seven more non-scholarship true freshmen redshirting. In college football, redshirting your true freshmen takes patience, but leads to success in the upcoming years…

Bobby is also playing two freshmen who were grayshirts last season – RB Dionza Bradford and DL Desmond Tautofi. Bradford has started the last two games and has rushed for over 100 yards in each game – the first Rebel with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since Frank “The Tank” Summers in 2008. There’s young talent on this team and keeping patient is going to pay dividends for the coaching staff and fans…

On UNLV’s first play from scrimmage at Wyoming, the left side of the field had a very young feel to it. True freshman Davis was wide left with redshirt freshman Brett Boyko at left tackle, redshirt freshman Cameron Jefferson at left guard and redshirt freshman Robert Waterman at center. To top that off, Bradford was at tailback getting his first start…

Dwaine Knight is one of the most fascinating stories in all of the Las Vegas. He came to UNLV in 1987 and took advantage of the booming city – and the success of Runnin’ Rebel basketball – to transform a barely existent men’s golf program into a national power… This year’s rather young Rebel squad won three of its four tournaments in the fall and is ranked No. 12. The next couple of seasons should be fun to watch… Spending any time with Coach Knight in his office is like getting a lesson on the history of Las Vegas over the past 25 years. It’s a great experience and the guy is not just a great teacher of the game, he is a savvy businessman who set his program up for long-term success...  

Speaking of having young teams that are going to be successful in upcoming years, softball coach Pete Manarino is intrigued by his young squad, which finished second in the Mountain West last season, despite starting five freshmen on most days…  And watch out for first-year head coach Cindy Fredrick’s volleyball team, which has already surpassed the number of wins from last season while playing mostly sophomores and freshmen…

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D.J. Allen, UNLV Athletics' Sr. Associate AD of External Affairs, writes a periodic column for UNLVRebels.com. A lifelong Rebel fan and a native of Southern Nevada, Allen graduated from UNLV with both a communications degree and a MBA. We hope he brings Rebel fans a unique perspective to their beloved programs. If not, at least he helps to take up space on the website. He can be reached at dj.allen@unlv.edu.

 
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