UNLV Runnin' Rebels: UCLA Transfer Mike Moser Will Be Difference Maker This Year

Mick AkersAnalyst INovember 12, 2011

photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun
photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Making an immediate impact in the UNLV Runnin' Rebels 83-66 season-opening win over D-ll Grand Canyon University, UNLV forward Mike Moser had 16 points to go along with 20 rebounds in his first game in scarlet and gray.

Moser transferred to UNLV last year but had to sit out per NCAA rules. His first game shows he won't need any time to get acclimated to in-game play and will be an immediate force for the Rebs.

The 20 rebounds Moser hauled in were the most for a Rebel since current NBA player and former UNLV Rebel, Louis Amundson grabbed 22 in a 2005 game against Auburn.

Moser did show he might have been too excited getting back to real basketball as he fumbled away a few fast break opportunities—something that will go away as Moser settles into his own with the Rebels.

Moser more than picked up the slack for Anthony Marshall and Chace Stanback, who were unavailable for the game due to being suspended for separate reasons.

Don't expect Moser's numbers to fall too much when Marshall and Stanback return for the November 14th match up with instate rival Nevada-Reno. Defenders won't be able to zero in on Moser with two other threats on the floor with him.

It is obvious that the Rebels new "Let's Run" style of play is a work in progress, but the improvement from their dreadful showing in their exhibition game a week and a half earlier was evident.

Look for the Rebels to shine as they will be a surprise team to many on the national scale. Only a few analysts have given UNLV any recognition at all leading up to this season.

With Moser added to the already talented UNLV mix, the question won't be if the Rebels will be a part of the 68 teams that will play in the NCAA tournament this season, but rather how far this team will go on the road to the Final Four?