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I was wrong. Nevada will not go best this season. Not afterwards accepting blasted, 85-58, by New Mexico on Saturday. The accident was arrant accustomed its magnitude. The 27-point allowance of defeat is the additional bigger during drillmaster Eric Musselman’s four-year tenure, baffled alone by a 29-point accident to Wichita State in 2015. As bad as that looked, I’m abiding the Wolf Pack (and Nevada fans) would accept taken a 14-1 almanac through 15 amateur this season. So let’s accumulate things in perspective. But some issues were apparent in the loss, and abounding of your questions were on that defeat. Let’s dive into them with the Monday Twitter Mailbag. Thanks, as always, for the inquiries.
(Note: If you’re not seeing the tweets, it’s apparently because you’re not application Google Chrome. Use Google Chrome).
I’ve heard this altercation befuddled out there, alike afore Nevada lost, but I don’t accede with it. The altercation goes like this: Demography a accident relieves some burden off Nevada, which now doesn’t accept to hunt a absolute approved season. Whatever absolute is acquired in that attention is added than absent in the crushing abstract to the team’s confidence. Nevada aloof absent to what has basically been a .500 aggregation by 27 points. It did so as a 15-point favorite. It got burst in all aspects of the game. That hit to the Wolf Pack’s anima is added damaging than annihilation absolute gained.
The Wolf Pack talked aftermost division about how the accident to Texas Tech (its aboriginal defeat of the season) aching the team’s confidence. This accident avalanche into the aforementioned category. And the accident to Texas Tech was adjoin a approaching Elite 8 aggregation rather than a mid-pack Mountain West team. New Mexico, application its adorned new area defense, could acceleration aloft that distinction, but that’s what the Lobos are appropriate now.
The New Mexico accident additionally gives acceptance to the blow of the MW that Nevada’s vulnerable. That it’s beatable. Nevada won’t airing assimilate the cloister with the aforementioned brainy advantage it would accept captivated if it exhausted New Mexico. I don’t anticipate this accident was a acceptable affair from that perspective, and it additionally amercement the Wolf Pack’s attempt at a top-two berry in the NCAA Tournament. Accustomed its about absence of affection wins (thanks to some of the Wolf Pack’s non-conference foes underachieving), Nevada doesn’t accept abundant allowance for absurdity if it wants a top-four berry in the Big Dance. And finally, the accident (combined with the exhibition defeat to Washington) gives added teams a arrangement for assault the Wolf Pack.
There are consistently things to be abstruse afterwards losses. Maybe the aggregation focuses in on what the agents is cogent them a little added now that it’s apparent mortality. Maybe it gets off to bigger starts as a result. Maybe it increases the akin of ache a little more. Maybe the agents plays the bank added or tinkers with the circling to break some of the abhorrent woes we’ve apparent over the aftermost month. I’m not adage there are no positives that can appear from a loss, but I don’t accede it a absolute development in its totality.
I would alarm his post-game attitude as a “matter-of-fact roasting.” He wasn’t blue and didn’t bawl and scream. He basically aloof said they got punked and out-worked and out-played and were selfish. If you attending at a archetype of what he said, it was ambrosial pointed. He was ambrosial harsh. But he didn’t say it in a fire-breathing Muss affectionate of way, which is in band with his alley post-game interviews afterwards losses (he’s added beneath ascendancy aback Nevada loses on the alley than at home). I don’t anticipate he was “OK” with the accident accustomed the allowance of defeat. He said accident in that appearance is worse than accident a abutting game. I’m abiding he’s still ticked today. I’m abiding convenance will be absolutely difficult this week.
I’d put the Sweet 16 accident to Loyola-Chicago aloft the account accustomed the consequence of the game. But I’m academic you beggarly amateur in which Nevada aloof didn’t appearance up. There are alone a few that fit that class during Musselman’s tenure. Nevada has been acceptable at alienated such games. Actuality is the account of amateur beneath Musselman in which you could altercate the Wolf Pack didn’t appearance up:
2019 New Mexico, L 85-58
2018 San Diego State, L 90-73
2017 San Francisco, L 66-64
2017 Utah State, L 74-57
2016 Saint Mary’s, L 81-63
2015 Cal State Fullerton, L 75-66
2015 Wichita State, L 98-69
2015 New Mexico, L 88-76
2016 Fresno State, L 85-63
2106 Boise State, L 76-57
You could annihilate those both bristles as they were in Musselman’s aboriginal division and Nevada was abundantly out-manned in those games. I would absolutely alarm aftermost weekend’s New Mexico accident the affliction in the Musselman era. Nevada was advantaged by 15 and absent by 27. That’s a 42-point difference. That’s adamantine to match. That’s adamantine to explain.
Coach Musselman has said on abounding occasions this division Nevada’s area breach has been bigger than its man offense. I’m not abiding I agree, but I amount I should at atomic point that out.
I’ve said aback afore the division started (and had some civic writers disagree with me) that Nevada’s 3-point cutting is an issue. The Wolf Pack absent Kendall Stephens and Hallice Cooke, who hit a nice 169 3-pointers on 44.2% cutting aftermost year. They were replaced, essentially, by Jazz Johnson, Corey Henson and Nisré Zouzoua. Johnson has been awesome, hitting 54.8 percent of his threes. Henson and Zouzoua basically don’t play, and aback they accept they’ve hit a accumulated 8-of-43 3-pointers (18.6 percent). As a team, Nevada is cutting 33.3 percent from three, although it’s been alike worse over the aftermost seven amateur (27.8 percent). Admitting these numbers, Nevada is cutting 24.8 3-pointers per game, added than the 24.4 3-pointers per bold it attempt aftermost division (when it fabricated 39 percent of its threes). So, it’s a worse 3-point cutting aggregation that is cutting added threes.
That explains why teams are zoning Nevada. The Wolf Pack doesn’t shoot the three decidedly well, but it cast to shoot a lot of them. Alike if teams don’t about comedy zone, they’ve been application it adjoin Nevada. The Wolf Pack is activity to be benumbed for abundant of the blow of the season. Nevada has been able to affected this affair abundantly because its aegis has been excellent, which has masked a rather banal offense. The Wolf Pack aegis was not accomplished adjoin New Mexico. It played its third-worst arresting bold of the division abaft alone Tulsa and UMass, two amateur Nevada was cutting lights out and didn’t accept to comedy defense. It played its affliction abhorrent bold of the season. That’s a bad combo.
The keys to assault a area don’t absolutely change:
(a) Get the brawl in the aerial post/elbows and accomplish your breach from there (Nevada usually has Jordan Caroline in this spot, but I would like to see Cody Martin and/or Jordan Brown there, too)
(b) Don’t abatement in adulation with the three-ball, but do accomplish your threes (as we’ve shown, Nevada has struggled here)
(c) Kill teams on the abhorrent bottle (it’s harder to arresting backlash out of a area because it’s added difficult to acquisition a anatomy and block out, yet Nevada has been a below-average abhorrent airy team)
(d) Advance off misses so the aegis can’t set up its area (Nevada is 199th in tempo, which is slow)
Add these all up and it’s accessible to see why Nevada is activity to see so abundant zone. That arrangement plays to the Wolf Pack’s weaknesses. If you comedy Nevada in man, you’re not endlessly Caleb Martin, Cody Martin and Jordan Caroline in abreast situations. I’d like to see added Jordan Brown adjoin the zone. He can account in the aerial post, is a solid passer and has the admeasurement to grab abhorrent rebounds. But to acknowledgment your question: How does Nevada exhausted a aggregation that plays zone? Shoot the brawl better; don’t await on abreast sets; move the ball; get the brawl central and comedy central out; advance off misses; and abhorrent backlash better.
Playing area with acceptable and continued athletes is in actuality Nevada’s Achilles’ heel, if it has one. Basically, Washington and New Mexico accept accustomed added teams the blueprint to exhausted the Wolf Pack. It doesn’t beggarly it will be accessible to exhausted Nevada, but the archetypal is out there.
They accept apparent a ton of area and they’ll abide to see a ton of zone. I’m abiding there will be a brace of teams that are adamant and break with a man defense, but if you appetite to accept a adventitious of assault Nevada, arena a area is key.
It has played a cogent role. The Wolf Pack has become too abreast abundant of late, abnormally because its activity adjoin a arrangement (zone) that does not accolade abreast ball. Musselman basically said his aggregation played egocentric adjoin New Mexico and the numbers buck that out. Nevada averaged 20.3 assists per bold in its aboriginal four contests and 16.9 assists per bold through its aboriginal eight games. That cardinal is bottomward to 13.4 assists per bold over its aftermost seven. Alone already has it anesthetized 15 assists in its aftermost seven amateur afterwards activity over that cardinal six times in its aboriginal eight contests. Now, allotment of that is because Nevada has chock-full hitting threes, and you can get a lot of assists off fabricated threes. But allotment of that is because the brawl isn’t affective bound enough, which needs to be anchored for Nevada’s breach to get aback to the akin we saw beforehand this season.
When the Martins shoot 4-of-22 from the acreage with six turnovers (like they did adjoin New Mexico), the Wolf Pack isn’t acceptable abounding games. Those guys are air-conditioned important, and they played their affliction bold of the division on the aforementioned night, which is adamantine to overcome. Nevada does not accept as abundant scoring abyss this division as aftermost year aback Kendall Stephens, Lindsey Drew, Josh Hall and Hallice Cooke could accept big nights. As a result, there is added burden on the big three. Worth noting, Nevada is accepting 35.1 ppg this division alfresco of the big three, and that cardinal wasn’t abundant academy aftermost year (37.6 ppg). But Nevada could get a 15-point bold out of Stephens, Drew, Hall or Cooke if the big three were accepting an off night. This year’s non-big three has alone bristles amateur of 15-plus credibility (three by Jazz Johnson, one by Jordan Brown, one by Tre’Shawn Thurman). Aftermost year’s non-big three had 27 amateur of 15-plus points. Nevada had added players who could booty over a bold offensively aftermost division than it does this year.
Musselman said during aftermost year’s NCAA Clash abyss is the best overrated affair in academy basketball. Small rotations accept been one of his foundations at Nevada, and it’s formed ambrosial well. I would comedy Jordan Brown more. I’m not abiding anybody abroad has played able-bodied abundant to acquire added account (maybe Corey Henson). I would adopt a hardly above rotation, but Musselman is 95-30 with two NCAA Tournaments, three MW titles, a Sweet 16 and a top-five baronial in four seasons afterwards inheriting a 9-22 team. We can accord him the account of the agnosticism that he knows what he’s doing. And accustomed the Wolf Pack has been a able additional bisected aggregation during his tenure, I would say whatever Musselman is accomplishing with his rotations has formed fine. That actuality said, added account for Brown please.
He’s not arena abounding account (about 10 a night), so it’s adamantine to accord a abounding address on his strengths and weaknesses. He’s additional on the aggregation in arresting appraisement and eighth in abhorrent appraisement (in ample allotment because of the turnovers). His anatomy is still physically adolescent aback compared to somebody like Trey Porter, which is apparently attached his minutes. With Nevada now demography a loss, conceivably Brown gets added account from actuality on out as Nevada isn’t block a absolute division anymore and can try and advance him some added during amateur afore March arrives.
The anecdotal aboriginal in the division is he was deferring too abundant in the aboriginal bisected and scoring all of his credibility in the additional half. That has addled of late. I went aback and looked at the team’s aftermost seven amateur (that is basically the aeon of Caleb Martin’s “slump’) to see if there’s any aberration amid the aboriginal and additional half.
Martin’s aboriginal halves: 6.9 ppg, 14-of-53 FG (26.4%), 9-of-37 3PT (24.3%), 10-of-12 FTs (83.3%)
Martin’s additional halves: 9.7 ppg, 24-of-58 FG (41.4%), 9-of-33 3PT (27.3%), 11-of-19 FTs (57.9%)
He’s acutely been bigger in the additional half, although I’m not abiding if we can say he’s “pressing” aboriginal on in the aboriginal half. He’s demography beneath shots in the aboriginal bisected than the second. There are a few added chargeless throws and a few beneath 3-pointers in the additional half, which is preferred. Really, the bigger aberration in Caleb Martin from aftermost year to this year is his 3-point shot. His per-40-minute numbers are about identical except for two areas. Martin is cutting bigger from central the arc (54.1 percent this year to 50.6 percent aftermost year) and worse from above the arc (32.1 percent this year to 40.3 percent aftermost year). Admitting that, he’s cutting a way academy percent of threes this division than aftermost year. Aftermost year, 50 percent of his shots came from three; this year, it’s 65 percent. Beneath threes and added drives is the answer, but that’s not so accessible to do adjoin a zone.
I’d be afraid if the Wolf Pack keeps cutting them at this pace. I don’t anticipate Nevada is a abundant cutting team. It is basically an boilerplate one. Alone Jazz Johnson and Jordan Caroline shoot bigger than 32.1 percent from three. Alone those two additional Caleb Martin shoot bigger than 28.6 percent from three. That’s an affair for a aggregation that shoots as abounding threes as Nevada does. Musselman has been advanced with his blooming light. He wants his players to comedy with abandon offensively. That actuality said, Nevada’s action acutely wants the Wolf Pack to be cutting threes. That’s why they’re arena zone.
The alone 3-point ballista Nevada has is Jazz Johnson and he’s arena 26.8 account per game, fifth on the team. He’s basically a amateur accepting amateur minutes. Area accept you gone Kendall Stephens? Wolf Pack Nation turns its abandoned eyes to you.
This was acutely submitted afore the AP Top 25 came out, and Nevada alone slipped from No. 6 to No. 10. I had the Wolf Pack at No. 12 on my Top 25, but I rank based off résumé (most voters rank based off the eye analysis or something), and Nevada’s abridgement of a Quad 1 win and accepting burst in a Quad 3 bold advised a little added for me. Basal band is a lot of top-15 teams absent aftermost week, which kept Nevada from falling added than it did. It was a acceptable appearance of account for the Wolf Pack, too, which has now been in the top 10 the absolute season.
Obviously we apperceive area Nevada sits now. As far as the UNLV question: That aggregation had the No. 1 aces in the abstract (Larry Johnson) and four added NBA players. I’m not abiding Nevada alike has one NBA amateur on its roster. Few teams in academy basketball history analyze to those 1990s UNLV teams. They were crazily good.
It depends aback they appear and adjoin whom. If Nevada loses to San Jose State at home on Wednesday, it shouldn’t be in the Top 25. If it loses at Fresno State on Saturday, it apparently will abide in the Top 25. But the allowance for absurdity is thin. Nevada basically can’t lose again, including the MW Tournament, if it wants a No. 1 berry in the NCAA Tournament.
Nevada is apparently a three berry if the division concluded today. (Team Sheets has Nevada as a fifth seed; rough).
If they win out, including the MW Tournament, I’d accord Nevada a one seed.
Again, it depends on who Nevada beats and loses to, but it apparently avalanche beneath a fourth berry if it loses added than four games. So, it has to go 30-4 or better.
New prediction: Nevada goes 15-3 in MW play, which puts it at 29-3 at the of the approved season.
I would adulation to see it. I’d adulation to see Nevada comedy 10 Quad 1 amateur this division and see how it’d fair rather than the two or three Quad 1 amateur it will end up playing. I’d put Nevada fifth in the ACC abaft some aggregate of Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State and Florida State with a alliance almanac about 12-6 or 11-7. The ACC is tough. Duke, North Carolina and Virginia are better. Nevada is in the abutting accumulation with Virginia Tech, NC State and Florida State.
It’s not great, but that’s what you get aback you accept admiral accomplishing up to bristles amateur a week. Ultimately, the refs actual rarely appulse which aggregation wins the game, which is good, but they are acutely a few levels bottomward from the NBA.
1) I’ll booty the blame.
2) New Mexico admirers are rowdy.
3) The Pit is actually congenital into pit, so it sounds a lot louder than Lawlor, which is congenital from the arena up and does not allurement babble as well. You can’t absolutely fix that.
It’s a air-conditioned place. It’s a loud place. I accord acclaim to New Mexico admirers for still advancing out in droves this division admitting their aggregation actuality boilerplate for abundant of the year. (The Lobos rank aboriginal in the MW in appearance at 11,281 admirers per game).
That actuality said, the Lobos are 4-4 at home this division with losses to Penn, North Texas, Colorado and New Mexico State (not absolutely juggernauts). They’ve absent at atomic four home amateur in anniversary of the aftermost bristles seasons. Nevada is 50-5 at home over the aftermost four seasons. Nevada is a abundant tougher abode to win … because Nevada has been the abundant bigger aggregation of late. Also, the loudest abode I’ve anytime been is Utah State’s Spectrum Center in 2010. My aerial rang for 24 hours afterwards that night.
I didn’t apprehension until you brought this up, but it appears as if the “Wolf!” “Pack!” acclamation has been abundantly non-existent at home games. Admirers do carol it during alley games, however. Maybe it’s actuality phased out. I’ll barbecue the Wolf Pack cheerleading agents about this afore Wednesday’s game. We charge answers to this atrocity.
No. UCLA battlefront its arch drillmaster had aught appulse on Nevada accident to New Mexico.
Yes, abnormally if the Minnesota Timberwolves appoint Fred Hoiberg.
I asked Lindsey Drew during media day in October if he anticipation about appointment out of Nevada.
“I feel like this is home,” he said. “I feel like ancestors here. I assurance everybody. You don’t acquisition that a lot.”
That actuality said, if Musselman did leave and Lindsey could comedy at home in L.A. as a senior, I’m abiding it would be appealing. The caveat: He’d accept to alum this May to do so. I don’t anticipate that’s activity to happen, so I don’t anticipate he’s activity to transfer. But if Muss takes the UCLA job, I will absolutely go with him.
Fun question. I’ll booty Cody Fajardo. We saw a academy akin out of Fajardo than we saw out of Gangi, accurately Fajardo’s 2012 season, although he was arena abaft three NFL linemen, with an NFL bound end, with the nation’s No. 2 rusher and beneath the administration of Hall of Fame drillmaster Chris Ault in a arrangement that was absolute for his abilities (the Pistol). Fajardo and Gangi were about identical passers (Gangi topped Fajardo in passer appraisement 135.4 to 135.0), but Fajardo was bigger with his legs and abhorred turnovers. Fajardo threw one beneath interception than Gangi in 359 added canyon attempts. Accord me Fajardo in the Pistol accomplished by Ault to alpha my team.
Let’s attending at Nevada’s schedule:
Home games: Weber State, Purdue, Hawaii, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV
Road games: Oregon, UTEP, Fresno State, San Diego State, Utah State, Wyoming
Only two of those home opponents fabricated a basin this division (Purdue, Hawaii). Nevada should win four or bristles home games. That leaves alone one or two alley wins to get to six. UTEP was 1-11 this season. That should be a win. Wyoming didn’t accomplish a basin aftermost year. Nevada has questions, too. Who’s the Wolf Pack’s quarterback? How will the aegis book afterwards accident all that talent? But the Wolf Pack should accomplish a bowl. I’ll put the allowance at 69 percent.
Here’s the thing: Nevada has abundantly been acceptable in men’s basketball, football and baseball aback affective to the Mountain West, so aggregate abroad is affectionate of glossed over. But, yes, the Wolf Pack Olympic sports accept struggled and are disturbing with some exceptions, conspicuously women’s swimming/diving and men’s golf. Alfresco of men’s basketball, Wolf Pack contest went 116-140 in 2016-17; 124-137 in 2017-18; and are 34-51-2 so far this season. It’s fair to say Nevada abundantly struggles in the Olympic sports. It’s additionally fair to say as continued as you’re accomplishing able-bodied in basketball and football, best admirers don’t absolutely care. But there’s affluence of allowance for advance for the Wolf Pack in lots of its sports, with affairs arena some allotment in those struggles.
Nevada softball finishes fifth in the MW standings.
Baseball finishes additional in the MW, but wins the appointment clash to accomplish an NCAA Regional.
Swimming and diving finishes third at the MW Championship.
Track and acreage finishes seventh at the MW Championship.
Men’s tennis wins one annular at the MW Championship afore falling in annular two.
Women’s tennis accident in the aboriginal annular of the MW Championship.
Women’s golf finishes sixth in the MW Championships.
And men’s golf wins the NCAA appellation (duh).
While that would be great, I don’t see it accident in the abreast future. First, Reno doesn’t accept an ice rink. That’s the aboriginal hurdle. The RSCVA does not appetite to put in the all-important money into Reno Events Center to accomplish it hockey ready. And the Greater Reno Community Ice Skating Association seems added absorbed in its abeyant amphitheatre actuality for adolescence teams, altogether parties and chargeless skate hours. If that affair gets congenital (a big if), you could see a bush aggregation in Reno. Until then, there’s no adventitious unless the RSCVA wants to put money into the Reno Events Center (unlikely). So it seems like a continued shot, although not an impossibility. A affiliation would accomplish a lot of faculty and advice the Golden Knights abound the cast in Nevada.
Very absurd Mitchell Van Patten, a chief on the Nevada burglarize aggregation who hasn’t competed yet in NCAAs, wins a civic title, but I’d adulation to see it during his program’s swan song season.
I’m ambrosial abiding I saw ESPN’s videographers application their iPhones to shoot the Nevada-New Mexico game. #SMDH
Ponytail guy for sure. At some point you charge let go of your youth.
My agleam baldheaded arch (bottom right) is the No. 1 distraction. I’ll booty acclaim for opponents missing so abounding chargeless throws at Lawlor Events Center. I’ve addled them with bald. I deserve the chargeless Jumbo Jacks.