Top 57 Greatest UNLV Runnin Rebels of All Time: Part 5


Franchise Sports Media’s UNLV Runnin’ Rebels Basketball insider Jeff Waddilove ranked the Top 57 players in UNLV basketball history. This is the fifth installment of our FSM UNLV basketball series commemorating the 30-year anniversary of the Runnin’ Rebels’ NCAA Championship.



Photo Credit: AZCentral


10. Eddie Owens (1973-77)- There have been so many great players to lace them up for UNLV, but Owens stands alone as the all-time leading scorer in program history. The 6’7 guard scored 2,221 total points for the Rebels. In his time at UNLV, he sunk 913 field goals and 395 free throws.


11. Ricky Sobers (1973-75)- UNLV enjoyed a lot of success recruiting New York City’s boroughs under Jerry Tarkanian. Sobers called the Bronx home before signing with the Rebels out of the College of Southern Idaho. At UNLV, Sobers averaged just under 16 points per game, and he went on to enjoy an 11 year NBA career.



12. Isaiah “JR” Rider (1991-93)- Rider averaged 21 ppg for the Rebels under Massimino in that 1992 season, but never played a game on national television that year due to NCAA sanctions. Famously dropped 40 points on Georgetown, and in his final season for UNLV averaged damn near 30 points.


13. Glen “Gondo” Gondrezick (1973-77)- The original blue-collar UNLV guy. Where Augmon was that player for the 1990 team, Gondo was the effort and energy extraordinaire for the Hardway Eight. He averaged 14.6 points per game and was an integral part of UNLV getting to that first Final Four.


14. Richie Adams (1981-85)- Another NYC product, Adams played his high school ball at Benjamin Franklin High School in Harlem. He was one of the premier rebounders in program history. Adams pulled down 623 rebounds in his time at UNLV, and once had a 37 point and 18 rebound effort on the road at Utah State.


15. Gerald Paddio (1986-88)- Another tremendous 6’7 guard brought in by Tark. Paddio scored over 1,100 points and hit an incredible 118 three’s in a season. He also appeared in 129 career NBA games for the Cavs, SuperSonics, Pacers, Knicks, and Bullets.



16. Jovan “Wink” Adams (2005-08)- Definitely the best player to come out of the Lon Kruger era at UNLV. Wink was a bulldozer of a guard at 6’1 and put together a lot of big-time performances. A 4-year starter, Adams scored a mighty 1,852 points in his career for the Rebels.




17. “Sudden” Sam Smith (1975-77)- Earned his nickname by being able to fill it up and fill it up at a moment’s notice. Another critical cog to that amazing Hardway Eight team, Smith scored 943 points for UNLV in just 60 games.


18. Silas Stepp (1962-66)- Played center for the Rebels standing at only 6’5. Despite being undersized (Well, maybe not that undersized for that era), he put up big numbers. Stepp scored 1,942 points and hauled in an impressive 895 rebounds during his time in Las Vegas.


Photo Credit: Marcus Banks



19. Marcus Banks (2001-03)- Arguably the best player to come out of Las Vegas. The Cimarron-Memorial High School product won Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at UNLV. Appearing in 63 games for the Rebels, Banks averaged 18 points per game and 4.3 assists per game. After college, Banks was an NBA lottery pick after being drafted 13th overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies (he was traded to the Boston Celtics shortly after that). Banks played 11 seasons in the NBA. He currently runs the MB3 Basketball Academy powered by The Institute of Human Performance, located in Las Vegas.



Tomorrow on Franchise Sports Media, Jeff will release his top UNLV Runnin’ Rebels #9-1 in the sixth and last installment of our series. Please feel free to leave a comment in our comment section and let Jeff know your thoughts!

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-Jeff Waddilove – Franchise Sports Media

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