UNLV planned to give Mike Moser a homecoming to begin a set of games away from the Thomas & Mack Center, but it's unclear if he'll get a chance to play.
The junior forward is dealing with a nagging injury ahead of the 21st-ranked Runnin' Rebels' visit to Portland on Tuesday night.With the National Finals Rodeo taking over the team's home arena, UNLV will play three road games and one at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas over a 14-day stretch.The Rebels (5-1) were hoping to have Moser available for that stretch, but his status is unclear after he aggravated a hip problem in Saturday's 77-63 win over Hawaii. Moser, a member of the preseason All-Mountain West team and a returning honorable mention All-American, missed time in the preseason with a similar ailment."We're getting him checked out but don't know anything more. We'll know a lot more about Mike in a few days," coach Dave Rice said Sunday. "It's a big game. Portland is a good team on their home floor and it's a game we scheduled for Mike Moser because he's from Portland."Moser, averaging 12.3 points and a team-best 9.2 rebounds, scored in double figures for the third straight game Saturday with 10 points and added three blocked shots despite his early exit. Freshman Anthony Bennett had a team-high 16 points, the fifth game he's finished with at least a share of the UNLV scoring lead and fourth in a row.Fellow freshmen Savon Goodman and Katin Reinhardt also made major contributions against Hawaii. Goodman had a season-high 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Reinhardt finished with 10 points and a season-best seven assists."I feel like our young guys have come along as fast as I've seen a group of young guys come along," senior guard Justin Hawkins said.The Rebels' newcomers will get their first experience in a collegiate road environment as they visit the Pilots (3-4), who are 3-0 at home.Portland is hosting a Top 25 team for the first time since a 79-48 loss to then-No. 12 Kentucky on Nov. 19, 2010. The Pilots have dropped eight in a row to ranked opponents since a 61-56 victory over then-No. 22 Minnesota on Nov. 27, 2009.They're facing UNLV for the first time since 1967, when the Rebels won the only two previous meetings between these programs on back-to-back days in Portland.The Pilots, who haven't lost back-to-back games this season, are coming off a 72-60 loss at Washington State on Saturday. Leading scorer Ryan Nicholas (13.4 ppg) was their only player in double figures with 17 points. The junior forward added nine rebounds and is leading Portland in that category, too, with 8.9 boards per game.