Next up on our men’s 2014 fall countdown, No. 19 UNLV:
Editor’s note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Lance Ringler, as he looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings won’t be available until a couple of the weeks into the fall season. Our staff of Andy Zunz, Cassie Stein and Brentley Romine are writing the individual profiles of the teams.
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Preseason rank: 19
Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 30
2013-14 in review: UNLV showed its strength with a win at arguable the most competitive event of the regular season – the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters – but a poor showing (9th) at the Sugar Grove regional sent the Rebels packing early.
Notable departures: None
Key returnees: Seniors Kurt Kitayama and Carl Jonson, juniors A.J. McInerney and Zane Thomas and sophomore Taylor Montgomery
Newcomers of note: Freshmen John Oda and Shintaro Ban
Circled on the fall calendar: Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, Oct. 6-7, Old Overton Club, Birmingham, Ala.
Fall outlook: Falling at the regional stage is something head coach Dwaine Knight says will motivate his team in 2014-15. Throw in some talented rookies, and Knight has his sights set on match play. Zane Thomas, Carl Jonson and Kurt Kitayama all had solid summers, giving UNLV some momentum heading into the season.
Coach’s perspective: “With all of these guys coming back after last year’s campaign, I feel like we’re in good position to make a run. … It’s a good blend. We have good experience and youth coming in.” – Knight