Lew Hill, former UNLV assistant, puts the Texas School on the WAC map

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After his team racked up 19 points to advance to three finals against the New Mexico State in the semifinal of the Western Athletic Conference on Friday, Lew Hill was quoted as saying that the comeback brought back memories of Wink Adams and Curtis Terry and those hard-headed guys. Lon Kruger UNLV teams for which Hill was assistant.

All that was missing was a few slaps of palm on the defensive side of the court.

Although Hill's new team, UTRGV – the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg – finally missed out at 79-72, the backstage trip made him smile at the press conference afterwards. -match at the Orleans Arena.

After 12 seasons on Kruger's bench at UNLV and Oklahoma, Hill took on the challenge of rebuilding the program at UTRGV – the same school that gave Kruger his coaching position under the name of Texas-Pan American.

After being 10-22 in his first season and 15-18 in his second, Hill guided the Vaqueros to 19 wins in 2018-19. He is a finalist of the Ben Jobe Award, presented annually to the best coach of Division I for Minorities.

Under Hill, UTRGV has experienced one of the best defensive seasons in the history of the program. The Vaqueros ranked in the top five of the NCAA for flights, per-game flights, turnover margin and forced turnarounds. The UTRGV almost defeated No. 11 Houston in late November and went from 24 points to Lamar.

This is a team that Kruger would have been proud to call his.

"We're not there yet, but we're getting closer," Hill said of joining the New Mexico State and other WAC supporters. "I think everyone at the conference is beginning to feel a little bit. The conference is improving every year, but we are improving. "

If you read between the lines of his organic media guide, there is an additional element linking Hill to UNLV. Eddie Fogler, for whom he played in the state of Wichita, is leading the research committee that will help the Rebels find a replacement for Marvin Menzies, who was sacked on Friday.

Oklahoma will open next season on the road to UT Rio Grande Valley and UTSA, according to a source. Both schools coached by former Lon Kruger assistants – Lew Hill and Steve Henson.

– Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 10, 2018

Zags in the house

The West Coast Conference Tournament at Arena Arena had two big surprises. The first was St. Mary's who eliminated Gonzaga, the number one NCAA, in the championship game. Gonzaga did not appear until Monday's semifinals had little impact on casino traffic.

"Not really, that does not seem to affect us a lot," said Orleans general manager, Tony Taeubel, about Gonzaga having reached an agreement with the WCC to avoid the first rounds. He added that many Zags fans had bought tickets for all tournaments and showed up for the weekend games.

"Initially, when this format was developed, we thought this might be the case," said Taeubel about a potential drop in casino traffic this weekend. "But there really was not one."

He also said that the Orleans training center and the WCC had signed a three-year extension, or 14 consecutive years in which the WCC will decide on its post-season championship to be held. Orleans Arena.

Who are these guys? How St. Mary's knocked out the world of basketball https://t.co/iOBYQEXy3R

– QG Sports Bay Area (@BayAreaSportsHQ) March 15, 2019

Farm Club

Here is a joy you do not hear every day at a university sports event:

"Agriculture, agriculture!

"Cows and plows!"

"Agriculture!"

It can be assumed that Oliver Douglas, Mr. Haney, Eb, the farmer, and Fred, Doris and Arnold Ziffel, as well as the other characters of "Green Acres", which I seem to have forgotten I have names, shoot for the New Mexico State Aggies in March. Madness.

03/12/16 #NMSU 93 Long Beach 85
The Roadrunner group was present and even played the Game of Thrones theme at one point. Winter is coming. pic.twitter.com/DcaAg6AGGU

– Dave / Peggy Stevenson (@HomeTeamLC) December 4, 2016

Coyotes lying around

On February 1, the College of Southern Nevada baseball team was 2-4, confirming that the Coyotes had slightly escaped their usual high standard.

Now, CSN is 23-4.

Coach Nick Garritano and his company – which includes mainly players from southern Nevada – have won 21 consecutive Cleveland Indians and placed fifth in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Their last win came Friday, when Nick Rupp (Spring Valley) and Trever Berg (Basic) allied for a non-hitter win in the second match of a 1-2 at Colorado Northwestern.

The coyotes remain in the top 5 JUCO polls. @PGCollegeBall @ NJCAABaseball @PBR_JUCO @The_Noah_Sharp @TSRNSports #KeepGrinding #ChampionshipExpectations #PearThePack@ScenicWestConf @CSNCoyote pic.twitter.com/yi83eb2XcV

– CSN Baseball (@CSN_Baseball) March 13, 2019

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The Mint 400 issued a press release prior to the major off-road race stating that the Bureau of Land Management had reported that members of the media were drinking marijuana and alcohol on the course.

Two comments:

– The US Royal Mint sells media passes for $ 150. It is therefore possible that some of the alleged perpetrators are not media in the traditional sense of the word.

– Hunter S. Thompson, who was once the world's most famous gonzo journalist and corresponding to the 400 Menth star, would have really enjoyed this year's race.

"In some circles, the" Mint 400 "is a much better thing than the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby and Lower Oakland Roller Derby finals, and this race attracts a very special breed …" – Hunter S. Thompson# mint400 # Mint2019 #frehttps://t.co/xLLwW89oTe pic.twitter.com/PcK2tU1hqt

– electrified (@ LVElectrified) March 6, 2019

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. To follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.