Nevada vs. San Francisco: Preview, How To Watch, Odds, More
Wolf Pack looking to remain undefeated
Lyle’s status is currently unknown at this time
Who: Nevada Wolf Pack (3-0) vs. San Francisco Dons (2-2)
When: Wednesday, December 2 – 6:00 PM PST/8:00 PM CST/9:00 PM EST
Where: Lawlor Events Center; Reno, Nevada.
Stream: Mountain West Network
Radio: Stream on TuneIn
Odds via BetMGM: Nevada -1
The Nevada Wolf Pack are coming off a sizzling hot start winning their first three games of this young season. The San Francisco Dons have split their four games in the Mohegan Sun Bubbleville Pod but came away with what is arguably the upset of the season so far topping the number four ranked at the time Virginia Cavaliers 61-60. These two exciting teams clash in Lawlor Events Center Wednesday then again on Sunday in War Memorial Gym in the Bay Area.
Nevada’s young group of players have so far stepped up when needed. In the first two games, it was the one-two punch of Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge. In the 12 point win over Pacific, it was the sophomore forward Zane Meeks who put up 18 points and 11 rebounds coming off the bench. Nevada has continued their effort on defense holding the Tigers to just 58 points on 38% shooting from the field and 23% from beyond the arch. Nevada has now held their opponents to a combined 29% shooting from the field which is ranked eighth-best in the country.
Nevada is also rebounding at a high rate this season ranking 84th in the country in total rebounds. The boost in defense and rebounding has been at the hand of Robby Robinson who has proven to be the Wolf Pack’s lockdown defender while averaging seven and a half rebounds per game. While Robinson may not jump out to you on the stat sheet, the 6’8 forward could possibly be Nevada’s most important player at the moment.
San Francisco is coming off a 71-84 loss to Rhode Island. However, that game may have been a hangover game after upsetting fourth ranked Virginia in the biggest upset of this young 2020 season. The Dons lost three starters from their 22-12 season last year but the players that remain have plenty of talent to carry the team from the Bay Area to a top-five finish in the West Coast Conference. The players that will carry the team in scoring will be the backcourt duo of 6’2 senior Jamaree Bouyea and 6’1 junior Khalil Shabazz. Nevada will also have to key on 6’9 big man Dzmitry Milstead who is averaging 12 points and six rebounds per game.
Milstead has started three out of four games and averages 27 minutes per game. San Francisco struggles on defense allowing opponents to shoot 43% from the field and 30% from beyond the arch ranking 100th and 130th respectfully. While the Dons have talent and experience to be a top-five WCC team, they have been extremely off and on this young season making them hard to predict. Second year head coach Todd Golden is looking to get his guys to bounce back after their 13 point loss against Rhode Island and will look to beat Nevada in Lawlor on Wednesday in the first of this two-game series.
Keys to victory:
For Nevada to win this game on Wednesday they will have to stop the Dons from shooting fro behind the arc at a high percentage. This San Francisco team lives and dies by the three-ball. They rank first in the country in three-pointers attempted with 127 including a whopping 40 attempted threes in their game against Rhode Island.
Their 33% from beyond the arc ranks 124th in the country. Nevada will have to limit the threes and shut down their two studs in the backcourt. If someone other than Bouyea and Shabazz have to lead the team in scoring, the Dons will surely struggle. On the other hand, San Francisco needs to hit their shots from deep to beat the Wolf Pack. While it has only been three games for Nevada, they have shown that they are legit on the defensive side of the ball. San Francisco needs to find their flaws and exploit them which may be making their shots from deep. There may not be many teams in the country that can compete with Nevada’s twin towers down low in Warren Washington and K.J. Hymes. While the Dons have a 7’0 center in Samba Kane, the big man doesn’t score often and sees only 15 minutes per game.
Despite Nevada’s game against Big10 foe Nebraska, I am extremely excited for this two game series because I believe San Francisco will give the Wolf Pack their toughest test to date. They score effortlessly which will test Nevada’s defense and proved already this year that they can compete with the best teams in the country. I think both teams will come away with a win in this back to back two game series. However, I think they both do so on their own home courts. The Wolf Pack will step up on defense once again and limit San Francisco’s shots from beyond the arch.
Nevada 68, San Francisco 63