How to Watch (and bet)
Date: Wednesday, 11/24/21
Tip-Off Time: 4:00 pm PT
Streaming: ESPN+ at Espn.com/watch
(If you haven’t done so before you can sign up for an ESPN+ free trial this week to get the games online. It’s also just $6.99 per month and you can cancel before the end of the month so that it only costs you about $2.50 per game to watch all 3 this week. If you already have Disney+ or Hulu it’s also only a little bit extra to get the full bundle and add ESPN+.)
Radio: KJR 950 AM/KVI 570
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Nevada 2021-22 Statistics:
Points For per Game: 77.7 ppg (66th)
Points Against per Game: 81.8 ppg (325th)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 108.6 (42nd)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 98.5 (137th)
Strength of Schedule: 84th
Nevada Wolf Pack Key Players:
G-Grant Sherfield, Jr. 6’2, 189: 16.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 6.2 apg, 42.5% FG, 41.7% 3pt, 94.4% FT
Sherfield left as part of the great Wichita State exodus like Erik Stevenson did but he has definitely found more success. He had a huge game against George Mason last night with 31 points and 6 assists but it was accompanied by 8 turnovers. That’s been the biggest problem for Sherfield this season as he’s an elite shooter from 3 and the free throw line.
G- Desmond Cambridge, Sr. 6’4, 180: 16.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 44.0% FG, 32.1% 3pt, 63.6% FT
After transferring in from Brown, Cambridge hasn’t missed a step. In his 4th year of college he has averaged at least 15 points per game every season. He’s shooting about 15% above his career average on 2-point attempts so far so you can expect that to regress to the mean a bit over the course of the entire season. Unlike Sherfield however he doesn’t really ever turn the ball over which helps his efficiency.
G- Tre Coleman, So. 6’7, 185: 2.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 20.0% FG, 20.0% 3pt, 100.0% FT
Every team needs their 5th option who is okay not scoring the ball and that’s Coleman. He’s in a horrendous shooting slump to start the year (5/25) but last year showed he was a passable scorer in limited reps so at some point he’ll break out. Hopefully it’s not tonight.
C- Will Baker, Jr. 7’0, 245: 12.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.3 bpg, 58.3% FG, 62.5% 3pt, 72.7% FT
Nevada has not 1 but 2 7-footers in their starting lineup which are reminiscent of the Arizona lineups of old. Baker has come in from Texas and plays more like a stretch 4 than a true center. Last season he shot just 6 of 39 (15.4%) on 3-point attempts and so far this year is 10 of 16. At some point that’s going to crash down to earth. Despite his height he hasn’t had more than 5 rebounds in a game and had 0 against George Mason.
C- Warren Washington, Jr. 7'0, 215: 11.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 61.5% FG, 63.6% FT
Husky fans may remember that Washington started his career at Oregon State. He’s off to his best career start with highs in block rate and field goal percentage with a career low in turnovers. He’ll give Nate Roberts issues on both ends of the court.
I’ll admit that on Monday morning I didn’t expect that the Huskies would be in position to end up with a sweep in Sioux Falls (obviously, since I picked against UW in both games). Just based on team record this appears to be the easiest game since the Wolf Pack are just 2-4. However none of their losses are terrible. Dropping a home game to #159 San Diego isn’t great but the other 3 were against top-75 teams away from home and Nevada took care of George Mason more handily than UW did.
It’s worth noting that Robert Morris transfer AJ Bramah who had been averaging 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game was dismissed from the team after Monday night’s games for violating team rules. There’s no telling whether his presence for whatever reason had been hurting team chemistry but they’re now 1-0 without him.
Washington has recently played a bunch of mid-majors who have maybe one dominant 6’9 post player and otherwise don’t have any taller bigs. Now against Nevada there are a pair of 7-footers and the Wolf Pack will have at least 1 on the court at all times and will also play them together. Neither is a truly elite shot blocker but it will be a big body in the middle against a Husky team that relies on driving the ball and attempting to get to the rim.
One key to besting Washington in recent years has been an ability to share the ball and Nevada ranks 24th nationally with assists on 61% of their baskets. They don’t play very much iso ball and there’s a chance that they’re consequently able to dice apart the Dawgs when they play zone. On the bright side Nevada shoots just 36% from the outside which is ~5%+ less than the other two teams Washington has played at this event.
Defensively, Nevada has really struggled and are 325th in opponent field goal percentage. Teams have been able to score the ball at a high rate both from 2 and 3 and also haven’t really forced turnovers. That’s generally not a great combination. Half of their opponents have scored 90+ points while the other 3 have been in the low 70’s range. If Washington is closer to the former than the latter then they should win it going away.
This may be the kiss of death but Washington the last 2 games have showed me more of the team I hoped they would be coming into the year. They’re once again underdogs based on their season-long results but I’m going to open myself to getting hurt and trust in the Dawgs completing a 3-0 sweep in the Crossover Classic.
Washington Huskies- 82, Nevada Wolf Pack- 75