Mike Moser may be out for a month or more after an ugly elbow dislocation, which would be bad news for any team. Moser was a preseason all-american. Those aren’t usually easy to replace.
The good news for the Runnin’ Rebels is that they do have some reinforcements on the way.
Next week, when UNLV travels to UTEP, former top ten recruit Khem Birch will be making his debut, which will help bolster the front court depth with Moser in a sling.
But that wasn’t a secret. The bigger news is that freshman point guard DaQuan Cook won’t be redshirting this season after all. The 6-foot-1 Cook was initially going to be held out for a year along with Demetrius Morant.
“We wouldn’t have made the decision to make him available if I didn’t have a plan to utilize him throughout the season,” head coach Dave Rice told the Las Vegas Sun. “Every game will be different. It will be a feel thing based on matchups and other factors.”
Rice has repeatedly said how impressed he is with the Baltimore native in practice, and this could end up being a beneficial move for the Rebels. As good as Anthony Marshall is, there are questions about whether or not he’s the kind of point guard that UNLV needs to be successful this season. Cook doesn’t necessarily have the reputation of being a pass-first point guard, but given the makeup of the UNLV roster, it may be a good move to get Marshall off the ball.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: