Top 57 Greatest UNLV Runnin Rebels of All Time: Part 6


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



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1. Larry Johnson (1989-91)– LJ, Grandmama, or simply the GOAT at UNLV. However, you want to refer to Johnson, his spot at the top of this list is unquestioned. The former JUCO All-American from Odessa was a splendid mix of finesse, touch, athleticism and brute force. Johnson was the player who got the Runnin’ Rebels over the hump and turned them into a championship-caliber program. There is no 103-73 dominance over Duke without LJ.


2. Stacey Augmon (1987-91)- A truly unique specimen at 6’8. The Plastic Man ran the floor like a gazelle, defended like no other, and was the consummate team-first player. He was recruited to UNLV as a scorer but evolved his game to become the ultimate glue guy. Augmon is the Pippen to Larry Johnson’s MJ in UNLV lore.



3. Greg Anthony (1988-91)- Hard to imagine that Anthony didn’t start his collegiate career at UNLV. The local product from Rancho High School began at Portland before transferring back home to become the floor general for Jerry Tarkanian’s championship team. Anthony’s toughness (Broke his jaw and never even missed a game) and leadership helped put UNLV in consecutive Final Fours.


4. Robert Smith (1974-77)- The Hardway Eight was the team that put Runnin’ Rebel basketball on the map. Smith was the point guard for those teams, and he was the guy that led UNLV to its first Final Four back in 1977. Smith played for 7 NBA teams, but he will always be remembered as arguably the greatest guard in UNLV history.


5. Anderson Hunt (1989-92)- The Most Outstanding Player of UNLV’s 1990 title run, Hunt was Tark’s sharpshooter. His 29 points against Duke were a significant reason the Rebels ran the Blue Devils out of the gym that night in Denver.


6. Freddie Banks (1983-87)- A local superstar from Valley High School, Banks was an elite scorer. The year he led UNLV to the Final Four, he averaged 19.5 ppg, and the Rebels went 37-2 that season. Banks still owns the record for most three’s in a Final Four game with ten made shots from behind the arc in the heartbreaking loss to Indiana.



7. Reggie Theus (1975-78)- Theus was the 6’7 silky smooth scoring guard for the heralded Hardway Eight. For his career at UNLV, he scored over 1100 points and dished out over 400 assists. Theus was the type of NBA guard Tarkanian made a habit of recruiting. Theus went on to become the runner-up for Rookie of the Year for the Chicago Bulls and enjoyed a 13 year NBA career.


8. Armon “The Hammer” Gilliam (1984-87)- While Gilliam was at UNLV, the Rebels went 93-11. Gilliam was so dominant in fact that he scored 998 points in a single season for Tarkanian. Part of that 1987 Final Four run, if it wasn’t for Larry Johnson coming to UNLV, it’s arguable that “The Hammer’’ is the best to do it as a Runnin’ Rebel.



9. Sidney Green (1979-83)- Green was a 2,000 point scorer and 1,200 rebound guy while he played at UNLV. At the time of his commitment, Green was widely regarded as the best recruit ever to choose the Rebels. After his very storied UNLV career, Green went on to become the 5th overall pick of the Bulls.



That completes the Top 57 Runnin’ Rebels series on Franchise Sports Media. Our UNLV men’s basketball insider Jeff Waddilove would love to debate the series with you and hear your Top 57! Please feel free to leave a comment in our comment section and let Jeff know how wrong he is or where he is right!

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-Jeff Waddilove – Franchise Sports Media

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