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FirstLook Set For Oct. 16

Oct. 1, 2009

LAS VEGAS - The UNLV men's basketball team is planning FirstLook 2009, featuring the Runnin' Rebels' first official practice of the season. It will take place at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 16, at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Fans are encouraged to attend the free event. Doors open at 8:15 p.m. and concessions will be available.

"Our fans were amazing last season and it started with our FirstLook event," said UNLV men's basketball head coach Lon Kruger about last October's event, which nearly 4,000 fans attended. "This year's event is truly the fans' first opportunity to see many of the new players on the roster. We have a lot of potential, but potential alone wins nothing."

For the second year in a row, the date of the event falls during UNLV's Homecoming Week and will be held on "Rebel Red Day," the night prior to the homecoming football game vs. Utah. All fans are encouraged to wear red throughout the day and to the event. October 16 marks the first day college basketball teams can begin official practice for the upcoming season.

According to Kruger, this year's event will feature an increased amount of team and individual drills as well as shooting competitions to give fans a chance to see many of the new players. Eight Runnin' Rebels who did not play in games last season are on this year's roster.

"Our fans have been asking about so many of the new players and this is a good opportunity to see a little bit of what they can do," Kruger said. "It's also good preparation for our guys. Even practicing in front of a crowd is different than being in the gym alone. This type of event benefits the guys from a performance standpoint."

The event will end with a team scrimmage. Kruger said he hopes fans will treat FirstLook as they would a game.

"This city was amazing last year with its support," he said. "And everyone in the program took notice."

Last season saw UNLV fans fill the Thomas & Mack Center at one of the highest marks since the early 1990s. UNLV averaged 13,446 fans per game last year, the Runnin' Rebels' second-highest mark since Jerry Tarkanian's last year as coach in 1991-92.



In fact, that number grew to just below 15,000 per game in conference play last season, including drawing a sellout crowd of 18,523 for a win over BYU in February. It was UNLV's first sellout since 1993.

UNLV grew to No. 22 in the nation in home attendance last season, including being No. 1 on the West Coast.

"Not only is that great for our players and our fans, but we love to talk about that to our recruits as well," Kruger said. "What our fans did last season will have a long-term impact on our program."

UNLV has won 20 or more games in each of the past three seasons. It marks the first time the Runnin' Rebels have accomplished that feat since 1990-93. The Rebels have won 75% of their games since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, going 78-26.

All season tickets, in both donor and non-donor seating areas, are now available for purchase for the 2009-10 Runnin' Rebel season. Seating is available in the plaza level in both donor and non-donor areas. Balcony season tickets for 16 home games at the Thomas & Mack Center are available for $175 and $90.

For more information on purchasing season tickets, call 702-739-FANS (3267). Those interested in purchasing donor season tickets in the plaza level should call 702-895-1533. Remaining tickets are expected to go on sale on a single-game basis in early November.

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