Team preview: UNLV

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2003-04 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 4, 2003, 5:14 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 327 Division I teams.

UNLV coach Charlie Spoonhour's first two years were very similar in many ways and that has created a very positive atmosphere. The two constants on those back-to-back 21-11 teams were all-conference performers Marcus Banks, a first-round selection of the Boston Celtics in the 2003 NBA Draft, and Dalron Johnson.

The one experience each of the last two UNLV teams would like to forget is the finals of Mountain West Conference Tournament. The Rebels have lost in the final the last two years, relegating them to the National Invitational Tournament. Last year's defeat was particularly painful. Playing on its homecourt, UNLV squandered a 10-point second-half lead and lost, 62-61, to Colorado State on a Brian Greene jumper with 12 seconds remaining.