UNLV barely escaped with a 76-75 win over Cal on Sunday, with Anthony Bennett going off for 25 points and 13 rebounds. Unfortunately, the Runnin' Rebels may have lost a major piece as Mike Moser went down with what was later determined to be a dislocated elbow. While it appears that Moser could come back in as little as 3 weeks, the likely scenario is more than a month, possibly even as late as February.
Moser transferred to UNLV after his freshman season at UCLA, having a very strong sophomore season where he averaged a double-double. With the addition of Anthony Bennett, he became a tad more perimeter oriented and was having some difficulties with the adjustment. Even before the injury, Moser had missed what was supposed to be a homecoming in UNLV's 68-60 victory in Portland.
Some reports were even more pessimistic about Moser's injury as CBSSports.com was reporting he could be out for the year. UNLV coach Dave Rice said this was indeed a possibility, also stating that his X-Rays were negative and his status was largely unknown. Nonetheless, this injury could be very tough in what looks to be a strong Mountain West conference.
Sophomore USC transfer Bryce Dejean-Jones should see a major boost in minutes with Moser's absence. In what was easily his best game this season, Dejean-Jones scored 22 points and made crucial second half baskets against Cal. Of course the Runnin' Rebels still have a possible freshman of the year candidate in Anthony Bennett, though one will want to monitor his history of injury and reports of a lower back issue.
With Khem Birch eligible next week, UNLV will at the very least get another rebounding presence to try to make up for Moser's contributions on the glass. With a stable of Katin Reinhardt, Savon Goodman and of course Dejean-Jones, the Rebels have some options on the wing, though none as versatile as Moser. This team would definitely be much more dangerous with his presence in the line-up, though in the mean time, their are options that should still make UNLV a likely top 25 staple as well as a contender for the Mountain West title.