As LL Cool J said: Don’t call it a comeback. Right now, that’s the song Mike Moser is singing, coming off the big night he had against the University of Nevada-Reno on March 2. He finished the game with 20 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes of play–good numbers for a man who dislocated his elbow in December and has been bothered by it ever since. During our postgame radio interview, I asked Moser if he had to put a percentage on how his elbow has healed up to now, and he said somewhere below 90 percent. Every time it gets bumped, he feels pain, and sometimes it just starts aching on its own.
I understand what he means: Once I had an elbow injury and tried to play through it, and it’s almost as if you’re playing one-handed. You don’t want to be involved in any physical play, and you can’t extend your arm. Jon Sandler–my partner on Rebel radio broadcasts–and I have been talking about the difference Moser makes for this team when he is healthy. The Rebels are more aggressive, they’re a better rebounding team, and they’ve got another productive scorer in the lineup.
Last but not least, Moser–even at 90 percent–gives the Rebels an experienced, smart player who’s been through tense situations. UNLV looked good against Reno and are currently on a four-game winning streak–even winning two in a row on the road after having had a miserable time away from the Thomas & Mack in conference play. Now, thanks to the re-emergence of Mike Moser, the Rebels just may be ready to become the team fans were hoping for when the season began.
Robert Smith, a star UNLV point guard from 1974-77, is the color analyst for Rebel broadcasts on ESPN Radio 1100.
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