Could Khem Birch from UNLV be a 1st round pick 2014 ?
He's still a skinny project right now, going into third year of college. Those guys don't go 1st round often, especially in what looks like a deep draft.
Yes. He's gonna be a first rounder on his defensive potential alone. He's a lightning quick, explosive leaper with tremendous lateral quicks. He covers ground in a hurry. My only concern for him is that he's playing for a terrible coach, so he likely won't learn anything.
Dave Rice has won 51 games in his first two seasons as head coach at UNLV.
Look at the talent he has compared to the rest of the Mountain West. He's still an awful coach.
He's 7-3 against ranked opponents. They beat North Carolina when they were the #1 team in the nation. He happened to do it against a HOF coach in Roy Williams. Also, he's only in his second year as a head coach. He's learning on the job. He didn't have all of the pieces he needed last year to run what he wanted to. He outcoached Steve Fisher and won at San Diego State. Mike Krzyzewski was 38-47 after his first three years at Duke. Duke wouldn't be where they are today if they pulled the plug early. The bottom line is that you can't judge a guy after two years. You also can't judge a guy when he had to use Anthony Marshall at point guard. He doesn't fit an uptempo system. Rice didn't even recruit him. He was brought in under Kruger.
You're one of the few UNLV fans who seems to be a Rice backer.
I don't know how you can watch their style of play, their lack of discipline, his lack of control, no sense of structure, bad conference losses, losing to lower seeded teams in the tourney... and be encouraged.
Because Rice wants to play more uptempo? Speeding up the game could lead to even more chaotic play and lack of discipline. They tried to push the tempo some last yr, but even in an uptempo system there should be some order. It looked like they were playing fast for the sake of playing fast. It still lead to a lot of quick, bad shots.
I watch a ton of college ball and among all the teams that were ranked at one point last yr, they were one of the most poorly coached teams I saw.
Coaches are like players in that they get experience and get better. Yet, fans don't see it that way. They didn't really play uptempo last year. Next year's team will look much different. They lost six of their top eight scorers. It's funny how people forget what UNLV looked like during Dave Rice's first year. They had Oscar Bellfield, an actual point guard, and they played much closer to how Dave Rice wants to play than last year's team. UNLV started two true freshmen and two sophomores who were essentially freshman because of a lack of game experience. UNLV projects to start five juniors, all transfers. If they aren't playing uptempo next year, then I will start to get concerned. I'll admit that they took a lot of bad shots last year. I think that Rice will rein in on that much more this year.
UNLV is the most talented team in the MWC. However, teams like New Mexico and San Diego State are talented as well. They just don't have the depth of UNLV.
One last thing. UNLV was a very good defensive team last year. They were 19th in field goal percentage defense, 58th in three point field goal defense, and 18th in rebound margin. You probably won't give coach Rice credit for that, however. If I'm wrong, then show me the facts. You have yet to give any.
The proof is in the pudding. Ranked to un-ranked, 2 underachieving teams 2 yrs in a row losing to lower, double digit seeds in their first tourney game. You cannot be satisfied with that.
When did I say I was satisfied with that? I want the Rebels to be nationally relevant again and in the national title hunt. If right now is the best that Dave Rice can do (which I don't believe at all), then he should be replaced. I don't expect somebody to be the next Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Jim Boehim, etc. after two seasons. Next year is going to be the first season where the starting lineup is entirely his players. After next season, where he has to coach his own players (and not Kruger's), I'll start to pass some judgement.
Finally, I find it pretty shameful that a lot of Rebels fans are not showing loyalty to a guy who played on Tarkanian's national championship team. He lives, eats, and breathes UNLV basketball.
Your fellow Rebel fans probably see him for what he is instead of what he should be. It shouldn't matter what his past is if he's a crappy X's and O's coach who displays little control over his team. Or maybe he did have control over his team and those terrible shots by Marshall, DeJean-Jones, Katin and Bennett were by design. Either way, it wasn't a good look for him.
Bryce Dejean-Jones shot 47.3% from the field and 40.5% from three over the last nine games of the season. He finished the season 41.3% from the field and 34.7% from three. That shows that he made a BIG improvement over the course of the season. His shot selection and efficiency were much better. Dave Rice talked with him about shot selection over the course of the season, and he obviously learned. Also, he was excellent on defense. Katin Reinhardt shot 33.3% from the field and 33.9% from three over the past nine games. He's no longer with the team. Anthony Marshall shot 47.2% from the field and 36.9% from three for the season. He didn't take bad shots. He was very efficient despite playing out of position. Anthony Bennett shot 53.3% from the field and 37.5% from three. He took some bad shots, but he was efficient. He got worse as the season went along because of conditioning and injuries.
i agree with you...he is a good player with a terrible coach...
Hes a 6'8.5'' 210 lb center, He's like Jarvis Varnado's less-accomplished clone
Except he's not a C, he's a pf.
Varnado needed 4 yrs of college to get to 210.
Birch is 220 as a sophomore. Birch is quicker, more athletic and shows better touch and form on his jumper as well.
I think Birch will go in the first round in 2014. I truly believe that people won't be calling him a project after next season. He's already polished defensively, and he won the DPOY in the MWC. On offense, he looks comfortable shooting the jumper and shooting the hook with either hand. He didn't get the reps he needed on offense last year because of Bennett and to a lesser extent Moser. Next year, he's going to get a lot more touches and he's going to play about 26-30 minutes per game. He only played 21.8 minutes per game last year. I2 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game are reasonable estimates for next year in my opinion.