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Projecting possible Rebels lineups 

Will Khem Kong be coming back next year? It comes down to Khem Birch returning for his final season at UNLV. DANIEL WARD/THE REBEL YELL

 

Even with the college basketball season over, the Runnin’ Rebels always find a way into the news.

Will Khem Kong be coming back next year? It comes down to Khem Birch returning for his final season at UNLV. DANIEL WARD/THE REBEL YELL

Will Khem Kong be coming back next year? It comes down to Khem Birch returning for his final season at UNLV. DANIEL WARD/THE REBEL YELL

And it won’t slow down anytime soon. We’ll know in the next couple of weeks whether Khem Birch will stay at UNLV for one more year or go to the NBA.

In the meantime, with Roscoe Smith going foregoing his senior season, it’s never too early to tinker with the possible lineups head coach Dave Rice can use.

The Rebels have a lot of options thanks to the three star freshmen coming on board next season.

Let’s take a look at some of the ideas that the mad scientist Rice can use next year.

 

Expected lineup
Cody Doolin
Rashad Vaughn
Dwayne Morgan
Christian Wood
Khem Birch

This is the starting five I feel we’ll see on opening night. Doolin still needs to be cleared to play next year, but that should be quick.

Doolin is a pass-first point guard and is the kind of player Rice needs to run his offense. Pair him in the backcourt with Vaughn, and you may not find a better guard tandem in the Mountain West.

Morgan, Wood and Birch would make for an interesting frontcourt. Wood should be a much more polished player in his sophomore season. He benefits most from Smith leaving.

 

Freshman Lineup
Doolin
Vaughn
Morgan
Goodluck Okonoboh
Birch

Don’t rule out the possibility of the three freshmen playing together. They came to UNLV to play on the floor together, and the power forward spot is definitely open for Okonoboh to take if Wood struggles.

Doolin is a plus, so is Birch protecting the rim. Putting Okonoboh and Birch together spells disaster for attacking the basket.

This is the lineup most people want to see, and I wouldn’t be surprised this is used next year.

 

Really Tall Lineup
Vaughn
Morgan
Wood
Okonoboh
Birch

Zone defense, anyone?

Vaughn is a playmaker and gets his share of assists. He’s not the first option I’d want at point guard, but he’s comfortable having the ball in his hands. Dropping Morgan to shooting guard is doable.

You would also be hard-pressed to find a more athletic lineup in the country, let alone the conference. This would be fun to watch on both sides of the court.

 

Crazy Fast Lineup
Deville Smith
Kendall Smith
Vaughn
Morgan
Birch

Kendall Smith should see more time next year, and Deville Smith is a trusted veteran.

This lineup is small, but I see “7 Seconds or Less” Phoenix Suns-style basketball. It’d be the fastest in the history of mankind.

This could also lead to a lot of turnovers, but it’d be fun to watch.

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