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Nevada Wolf Pack Preview and Game Thread

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The Huskies look to rebound against a dangerous Nevada squad

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Sunday, 12/11/16

Tip-Off Time: 5:00pm PST

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: Komo 1000

Nevada Statistics:

Record: 7-2

Points For per Game: 78.4 ppg

Points Against per Game: 70 ppg

Strength of Schedule: 150th

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 107.2 (81st)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 98.9 (81st)

Line: Washington -4

Nevada Key Players:

F- Cameron Oliver, So. 6-8, 225: 15.8ppg, 6.6rpg, 2.6apg, 48.5% FG, 68.6% FT, 43.9% 3pt

Oliver is the tallest player on the Wolfpack at 6-8 but he takes more than 4 three-pointers a game so he can play more like a stretch 5. On the defensive end, his block percentage is almost identical with Malik Dime’s so he’s going to be an intimidating presence in the paint for our guards driving inside.

F- Elijah Foster, Jr. 6-7, 240: 12.0ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.0apg, 61.5% FG, 83.3% FT

Foster is entirely an inside threat but is shooting over 60% from the field so he’ll be a challenge for our bigs to contain. He’s also a very good free throw shooter and given our propensity to foul he’ll probably be there often.

G- Jordan Caroline, So. 6-7, 235: 11.3ppg, 8.7rpg, 2.4apg, 43.7% FG, 53.7% FT, 33.3% 3pt

Caroline’s rebounding rates are pretty close Noah Dickerson’s so he is the primary player to box out on defense. His free throw rate is 11th in the country which means he is excellent at creating contact and drawing fouls.

G- Marcus Marshall, Sr. 6-3, 190: 19.1ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.6apg, 39.7% FG, 82.5% FT, 35.4% 3pt

Marshall is the primary offensive weapon for Nevada. He’ll likely lead the team in attempts but he’s also very steady with the ball with solid assist to turnover numbers. He’s taking more than 9(!) threes per game so expect him to shoot to get hot and then shoot until he gets cold.

G- Lindsey Drew, So. 6-4,195: 6.7ppg, 5.8rpg, 6.0apg, 48.9% FG, 57.1% FT, 35.3% 3pt

Drew’s assist rate is right behind Markelle Fultz nationally so that’s the kind of passer we’re talking about. He’s not much of a scorer but plays the true point guard role. He does however have a higher turnover rate than David Crisp so the Dawgs have a chance to force turnovers if they can play against him aggressively.

The Outlook

The Nevada Wolf Pack have a team that is built in the old Lorenzo Romar style. They don’t have a true legitimate big man (their tallest player is 6-8) but the shortest rotation player is 6-3. They have a host of 6-6 or so players on the wings who are athletic enough to rebound well in traffic.

The deciding factor in this game will likely be the foul situation. Nevada plays pretty much a 6-man rotation. If the Dawgs are somehow able to get Nevada in foul trouble they should have mismatches against the subs coming off the bench. Don’t count on it though. Nevada is in the top-20 nationally in free throws per field goal attempt on both offense and defense. That means that they play defense without fouling and they’re aggressive at taking it to the hoop on offense.

The Wolf Pack also are first in the country at not getting their shots blocked so that will be a strength on strength matchup with the Huskies offense. The primary weakness on weakness matchup will be turnovers when UW has the ball. Nevada is just 272nd nationally in steal percentage so if the Dawgs turn it over it will be because of unforced errors.

Nevada has a very solid team that has a chance to compete for a Mountain West Conference title this year. A win here could look very good if UW is able to turn things around and get in the conversation for a tournament spot. Given the way the last three games have gone however doesn’t provide a lot of hope. With the game immediately following a Seahawks game and happening the Sunday before finals week it will probably be a lackluster crowd which diminishes the home court advantage. I hope I’m wrong but I think Nevada has the edge.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 84, Nevada Wolf Pack- 89