UNLV Lady Rebels 2022-23 season preview

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UNLV senior guard Essence Booker looks to score against Colorado State in the 2022 Mountain West Tournament last March. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain.

The Lady Rebels burst onto the NCAA women’s basketball scene in 2021-22 last season, finishing 26-7 overall under coach Lindy La Rocque while becoming the Mountain West champions and making an appearance in the NCAA tournament. 

UNLV’s quest to repeat as conference champions and get back to the NCAA Tournament begins Monday with its regular season beginning against Pepperdine at 5:15 p.m. at Cox Pavilion.

In hopes to improve upon last season, UNLV added senior guard Ashley Scoggin from Nebraska, freshman guard Jasmyn Lott, and freshman center Erica Collins. They join a Lady Rebels squad that returns six of their top seven scorers from last season.

With the season beginning, here is a breakdown of what you need to know about this year’s Lady Rebels team:

Biggest Question

The Lady Rebels have potent firepower offensively with the ability to score at all three levels. Many teams cannot match and efficiently score on the level UNLV can. 

However, the question for this team is not outsourcing teams but rather being able to score at an elite level and high clip consistently every game. 

Last season, the Lady Rebels on average scored 75 points a game with 45% field goal percentage, 36% 3-point percentage, and averaged six and a half threes made per game. 

For the 2022-23 season, these stats among others must consistently maintain and improve to build upon the successes of last season.

Key Stat to Know

In 2021-22, the Lady Rebels scored more than 10 points on average in their wins than their losses. 

Season Prediction

UNLV is the team to beat in the Mountain West.

The Lady Rebels are a talented and hard-working group that is not limited by anything, but themselves. 

This team can make a deep run and mark in the NCAA tournament by playing their fast-paced style while ensuring the qualities to be a stout and tough defense. 

An explosive offense and the potential to truly shut down opposing great scoring teams reassures the repeat of Mountain West champions and improves the presence felt in the big dance.

Projected Starting Five

Essence Booker: The Las Vegas native led the team in free throws made, total steals, and total assists last season. The All-Conference Team guard proved her ability to attack and push in transition will be a major contribution in applying pressure to win games.

Alyssa Durazo-Frescas: Selected as a member of the Mountain West All-Freshman Team, Durazo-Frescas’ presence as a lights-out shooter was felt by averaging 44% from the three-point line.

Justice Ethridge: In 2021-22, Ethridge proved to be one of the best defensively as she was selected to the Mountain West All-Defensive Team. She recorded 33 steals and 12 blocks over the entire season.

Nneka Obiazor: The reigning Mountain West Sixth Person of the Year in 2021-22 recorded a 51% field goal percentage. Keep an eye out as Obiazor extends her range this season with an expanded role in the starting lineup.

Desi-Rae Young: The Mountain West Player of the Year, All-Conference Team, and All-Defensive Team is one of the centerpieces of this squad. Young averaged 15.2 points and 8.5 rebounds last season.

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