If there was any concern whether or not first-year UNLV head coach Dave Rice could continue the recent momentum behind the program, it was erased when the Rebels went for 26 wins last season. Forward Mike Moser skipped the NBA Draft while Rice brings in super-newcomers Anthony Bennett, an elite freshman recruit and Khem Birch, a high school All-American who transferred from Pitt. But UNLV must replace four-year starting point guard Oscar Bellfield is crucial to feed all the talent and run the up-tempo offense.
Enter Anthony Marshall, a third-year starter at guard who earned second-team All-Mountain West honors last season. At 6'3", Marshall can play either backcourt position and is a stat stuffer in the truest sense; he ranked top three on team in 2011-12 in scoring (12.2), rebounds (5.1), assists (4.5) and steals (1.5). What makes Marshall a promising replacement is his ability to control the offense and get into the paint where he excels in drawing contact and getting to the foul line (second in the MWC in free-throws made and attempted) and dumping the ball off to a big man inside. And even as Marshall ranked second in the conference in assists last season, behind Bellfield, he ranked just as high in turnovers as well, resulting in a mediocre 1.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Given the keys to the offensive machine of the Runnin' Rebels, Marshall will likely find success. He will have to as Moser is the only other player on the roster to average better than 2.0 assists per game last season.