LAS VEGAS, NV – For the first time since Dave Rice took over as head coach of the men’s basketball program, there will be no appearance for UNLV in the NCAA Tournament.
The Runnin’ Rebels were ousted from the Mountain West Tournament Friday night; a tournament they had to win to be considered to compete for the national championship.
Over the weekend, the university issued a pair of announcements on its decision not to pursue an invitation to either of the lesser two tournaments; the College Basketball Invitational or Collegeinsider.com Tournament
UNLV Director of Athletics Tina Kunzer-Murphy:
“After not receiving an invitation to the NIT this evening, Coach Rice and I discussed the other possible postseason opportunities but agreed that the best thing for our program right now is to start preparing for the 2014-15 season. Dave and his staff have a good recruiting class coming in, good returning players, and have lined up a very exciting and challenging schedule for next season. The focus now needs to be on next year and we can’t wait to get it going again in the fall.”
UNLV Head Coach Dave Rice:
“It is difficult when a season ends short of reaching your goals. After meeting with our administration, we have decided that this is in the best interest of UNLV and the Runnin’ Rebel program. The best thing now is to focus on next year.”
There will be no next year for junior point guard Bryce Dejean-Jones. At least not in the scarlet and gray. For the second time in a week, Dejean-Jones was involved in an altercation with a teammate that resulted in suspension; this time for good. Coach Rice said that he met with the player and his parents informing them Dejean-Jones would not be on the team next year.