Ranking the Rebels’ Promo Photos

Goodluck Okonoboh media day

Photo by Toby Acuna.

School is starting up again, and though the UNLV basketball players may be amazing athletes, they are just like every other student at every level of the educational system in one universal way—they want to look cool.

But instead of lacing up new kicks and casually slinging a backpack over one shoulder on the first day of class, the Rebels have expressed their coolness in a series of promotional photos for UNLV basketball’s season-ticket drive. Some guys were more successful than others, so in the spirit of mean girls everywhere, I’ve appointed myself the arbiter of cool and taken it upon myself to rank the Rebels’ promo photos.

Smile guys—it’s school photo day!

Ranking the Rebels’ Promo Photos

12. Jalen Poyser
Meet PoyserFirst things first, Rule No. 1 of looking tough is NEVER SMILE. He’s the only player who dared to flash a grin in these photos, and while I admire his bravery, you don’t earn points for non-conformity here. Also, he puts his arms behind his back, which is a violation of Rule No. 2 of looking tough. Sorry Jalen, but someone has to finish last.

11. Tyrell Bellot-Green
Meet Bellot-GreenBellot-Green has a pretty good mean mug going here, but he ignores Rule No. 2. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing? South of the border, it’s sun’s out guns out.

10. Ike Nwamu
Meet NwamuI’m no Photoshop expert, but that jersey doesn’t go with that body. That’s not really Ike’s fault—he may not have been on campus when the photos were shot—but still, he’s getting docked for the cut-and-paste job.

9. Daquan Cook
Meet CookAny red carpet veteran can tell you, never face the camera straight-on. Even with some added muscle from the last time we saw him, Cook struggles to pull off the straightaway look.

8. Derrick Jones
Meet JonesReally? Jones gets an action shot, but we don’t see him in flight?? It’s even mentioned in the bio notes that ESPN named him the nation’s Best Dunker! I don’t know who they named the nation’s Best Listless Ball-Handler Caught in Casual Mid-Dribble, but I don’t think it was Jones. This is a missed opportunity for UNLV’s graphic design team.

7. Patrick McCaw
Meet McCawFor all of McCaw’s talents, holding a basketball doesn’t appear to be one of them. Who holds a ball in such an unnatural way? He looks like he’s holding up today’s newspaper in a hostage video. Loosen up, Pat. It’s going to be a fun season. On the plus side, he does get to show off his new jersey number.

6. Jerome Seagears
Meet SeagearsThey forgot to bring a ball to Seagears’ photo shoot, but the crafty fifth-year senior audibles to a photogenic arms-crossed pose. This is 100x better than the arms-behind-the-back look, which I’m sure is why Seagears was a team captain last year.

5. Dwayne Morgan
Meet MorganStanding at an angle, head slightly cocked… Dwayne Morgan is clearly a step-and-repeat veteran. He also does a good job of filling the frame. I’d say his sophomore season is off to a strong start.

4. Stephen Zimmerman
Meet ZimmermanThat’s a solid mean mug for a freshman. This guy has clearly been through a photo shoot before. And this shot manages to make Big Zimm look even bigger by shooting him closer and fading out his legs—he’s so big, he can’t even fit in the frame! Zimmerman also gets bonus points for having a really strong bio.

3. Ben Carter
Meet CarterAkimbo is a risky pose, but Ben manages to pull it off without looking goofy. And he ain’t worried about his bio. It’s like, yeah, he’s got some accomplishments, but he’s got his back turned to them like it’s no big thing. Not caring will always be cool.

2. Goodluck Okonoboh
Meet OkonobohGood pose, good ball placement, and Mr. Okonoboh definitely wins the Best Menacing Glare award. He is also almost definitely flexing in this photo. That’s a little much, and it keeps Lucky from the top spot.

1. Jordan Cornish
Meet CornishBadass mean mug? Turned away from his bio in silent rebellion? Ball cupped behind his back with a renegade flourish? Give this man the trophy.

(All photos via UNLV Athletics)

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