Getting road win in the Mountain is a tough business. Wyoming will try to do just that tonight as they head to Vegas and the Thomas & Mack Center. Both Dave Rice and Larry Shyatt are in their second year of coaching in the Mountain West and have done well. Rice has been working with a team that has been a basketball powerhouse while Shyatt has rebuilt the Wyoming program.
To show how tough things will be for the Pokes in Vegas the Rebels are nine point favorites. With a very tall and athletic team UNLV will have a size advantage over Wyoming. Led by freshmen phenom Anthony Bennett the Rebels have only lost once at home this year. That loss came in their third game of the season against a talented Oregon team.
This game will feature a contrast of styles as UNLV will attempt to go with their run and gun style that averages 76 points a game. Meanwhile Wyoming will attempt to play lockdown defense and slow the game down. If the Cowboys can force a slower tempo it will play in their favor. UNLV pulls in 13 offensive rebounds a game compared to 8.4 for the Pokes. Giving up second chance points could be killer for the Pokes.
UNLV is coming off a tough road loss to Colorado State while Wyoming has the highs of their upset of San Diego State. Anthony Bennett appears destined for a short career at UNLV. He is currently averaging 18/8 and shooting 40% from three point range. Khem Birch is also now eligible and has played in 10 game so far this year. The 6-9 220lb transfer from Pitt is average nine points in just 23 minutes. Don't forget about Anthony Marshall who scores 10 points a game and dishes out more than five assists as well. Mike Moser almost headed for the NBA last year but decided to come back. He has take a back seat to Bennett bu still provides plenty of fire power.
As the last three weeks have shown us.... anything can and will happen in Mountain West basketball.