If one basketball practice can be an indication of what’s to come, UNLV coach Dave Rice is severe about his promise to create changes.
Rice and his assistants ran the Rebels through a high-energy, 2 1/2-hour session Monday at the Mendenhall Center. It was the first authorities practice of the 2015-16 season.
Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-foot freshman from Bishop Gorman High School, leads a new-look roster that is probably the most skilled from top to bottom in Rice’s five periods.
A major focus of off-season exercises was implementing a full-court pressure defensive system that Rice has talked about considering that the day he was hired. Off an 18-15 period and in requirement of returning to the NCAA Competition after a two-year absence, he understands now is the time.
“We have a situation now where we have the depth and we have the personnel to play that method,” Rice said. “We have to do some things to require tempo, and so we’re going to pick up early on every property and trap on some of those properties. We’re absolutely committed to playing by doing this. It just takes a great deal of effort.”
Sophomore guard Patrick McCaw, the group’s leading returning scorer, stated the players are buying into the change.
“We’ve got a great deal of athletes on this team,” McCaw said. “It’s extremely interesting. That’s how we wish to play, up pace and prompt paced. I’m really positive in the full-court press and the pace we plan on playing this year. I think it’s going to work.”
The Rebels are allowed 30 practices prior to their Nov. 13 period opener versus Cal Poly at the Thomas & & Mack Center.
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