Dear Fellow Runnin' Rebels,
It's so exciting to be back home at UNLV. I'm grateful to be chosen as the head coach of your program and am proud to represent so many former Runnin' Rebel coaches and players. This is the UNLV Runnin' Rebels - one of the greatest programs in the history of college basketball. We are just caretakers of your program, but we will always take ownership of the great tradition and the legacy.
While much of the attention has been about my return to the Runnin' Rebel program, the real focus in our program will always be on the players. We are fortunate to inherit a situation with a terrific group of returning players, tremendous fan support and so much potential to keep growing this program. Coach Kruger and his staff deserve all the credit for that. We've gotten to know all of the guys this past week and we're thrilled with what we're learning and seeing. As you know, they are talented on the court and good guys off the court. And that is so important to us as we are helping them to develop as student-athletes.
This team plays really hard. Facing them the past several seasons, we knew nothing would come easy against this competitive group. And what always impressed me was how obvious it was that the only thing that mattered to them was the scoreboard. Not stats, not headlines, just the score and that they had more points than the other team. They are winners.
As I told our players on the night I was hired, we already consider them to be one of the best defensive teams in the country. That cannot change and will not change. The really fun part will be stressing the offensive transition game. We are going to run the floor and push the ball and the guys are already committed to it. We are the "Runnin'" Rebels for a reason. There will be some growing pains, but the result will be well worth it. We know in this profession, winning is No. 1. We get that. But style of play is No. 1A for us. When you are at UNLV you are supposed to run and that's exactly what we are going to try to do.
Finally, we are going to stress consistency. I know that sounds like coach speak, but we need to be consistent every day, every practice and every game, as well as off the court. We know we won't always be perfect, but consistency is a characteristic of a winning team.
So Rebel fans, thank you for the warm welcome back home. Mindy, Travis, Dylan and I are so excited to be here. Our staff and players know there is a lot of hard work ahead as we build on the strong foundation that was left. Thank you for believing in us!
UNLV Runnin' Rebel Coach Dave Rice