#111 UNLV Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #111
Conference Rank: #5 Mountain West
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T.J. Otzelberger’s first season at UNLV went about as expected. The Rebels finished 17-15, roughly the same record they had the previous year. However, UNLV closed the year strong winning five of their final six regular season games including handing San Diego State their first loss. Otzelberger will have his hands full in year two though as only three rotation players return from last season. UNLV will have to rely heavily on transfers and freshmen in 2020-21.
2019-20 Record: 17-15, 12-6
Coach: T.J. Otzelberger
Coach Record: 17-15 at UNLV, 87-48 overall
Key Departed Players:
Amauri Hardy, Guard, 14.5 ppg
Elijah Mitrou-Long, Guard, 12.6 ppg
Donnie Tillman, Forward, 10.1 ppg
Jonah Antonio, Guard, 6.9 ppg
Nick Blair, Forward, 4.3 ppg
Vitaliy Shibel, Forward, 2.5 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Bryce Hamilton, Junior, Guard, 16.0 ppg
Cheikh Mbacke Diong, Senior, Forward, 7.7 ppg
Marvin Coleman, Junior, Guard, 6.9 ppg
Key New Players:
Nicquel Blake, Freshman, Guard

Reece Brown, Freshman, Forward
Edoardo Del Cadia, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Junior College
Caleb Grill, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Iowa State, pending waiver
David Jenkins, Junior, Guard, Transfer from South Dakota State
Isaac Lindsey, Freshman, Guard
Jhaylon Martinez, Freshman, Center
Devin Tillis, Freshman, Forward
Moses Wood, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Tulane
Donavan Yap, Freshman, Guard
UNLV lost a lot of production from last season but the good news is top scorer Bryce Hamilton returns for his junior season. Hamilton is a former four-star recruit that exploded as a sophomore averaging 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Hamilton earned a spot on the All-MWC First Team despite starting just 14 games and could be the top scorer in the conference this season. The Rebels get a couple more starters back from last season in Cheikh Mbacke Diong and Marvin Coleman. Diong started 27 games last year and averaged 7.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. Coleman started 20 contests and averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals. Both players will be valuable, experienced role players for UNLV this season. At least three transfers will join the Rebels this season while Caleb Grill awaits a decision on his waiver to play this season. David Jenkins is the most notable acquisition as a 6-2 guard who earned First Team All-Summit League honors in 2018-19. Jenkins spent two seasons at South Dakota State and averaged 19.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists as a sophomore. UNLV will need Jenkins to pick right up where he left off two seasons ago. Moses Wood is a 6-9 forward who spent one season at Tulane where he averaged 4.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and shot 37.3% from three. Lastly, Edoardo Del Cadia is a 6-7 forward from the College of Central Florida where he averaged 13.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists last season. UNLV will also welcome six freshmen to the roster. None of the freshmen are rated higher than three stars, though Nick Blake is ranked just outside the top-150 nationally on 247sports. Bryce Hamilton and David Jenkins give UNLV a high scoring one-two punch, but the rest of the roster is one big question mark. The Rebels should still find a way to finish in the top half of the Mountain West.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.1 (140th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.1 (195, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.3 (195, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (127, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (148, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.9 (258, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.2 (237, 10)
Rebound Margin: 6.7 (17, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (216, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.3 (198, 9)