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NCAA Tournament

Stacey “Plastic Man” Augmon heads back to the big dance

He won it all as a Rebel, now he’s guiding UNLV as a coach

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Back in the day: Augmon knows what it takes to win it all; he’s been there.
Photo: Eric Risberg/AP
Taylor Bern

What has it meant to you, being on the bench beside former teammate Dave Rice this season?

It’s meant a lot—when coach Dave gave me that call, me being back in Las Vegas. … And the city and the university have been great to me. It’s been a special year, but I’m taking it as a long journey. I’m going to be here awhile.

Is there anything about coaching at this level that’s caught you by surprise?

Assistant Coach Stacey Augmon says he still gets the tourney jitters.

Assistant Coach Stacey Augmon says he still gets the tourney jitters.

The travel (laughing). You get very used to those [NBA] charters, and I got spoiled. But you know what? I got real humble after the first couple of road trips.

What has the coaching staff tried to do to counter the team’s struggles in road games?

I always thought it was a different mentality on the road. When the shots aren’t going in, it’s time to take it to the hole. And we’ve got to have the ability to do that.

What does it mean to you to go back to the tournament?

I have the jitters like I want to get out there and play. I’m so excited for these kids and what they’ve done throughout this year. They’ve accomplished a lot of things, and they deserve to be in the tournament.

What will you tell the team heading into Thursday’s game against Colorado?

It’s definitely a different level. Don’t expect to get fouled—finish all the plays. Leave it all on the court, because it’s one game. It’s March Madness and anything can happen.

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