Nevada vs. Washington: Preview, Odds, Keys To A Victory, How To Watch
Nevada taking on a Pac-12 foe
Lyle’s status is currently unknown at this time
WHO: Nevada Wolf Pack (2-4, 0-0 in the MW) vs. Washington Huskies (4-2, 0-0 in the Pac-12)
WHEN: Wednesday, November 24th 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT
WHERE: Sioux Falls, S.D.
Line: TeamRankings.com projection: Nevada 75, Washington 72
The Nevada Wolf Pack bounced back Tuesday night against George Mason. The Wolf Pack improved to 2-4 and seemed to find some sort of rhythm, leaning on their all-conference guards. Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge Jr. combined for 52 of Nevada’s 88 points, scoring 31 and 21 respectively. The Wolf Pack also seemed to tighten up on defense, limiting the Patriots to only 22% from beyond the three-point line. George Mason averaged above 35% from three coming into the contest. It is also worth noting that Robert Morris transfer AJ Bramah is no longer with Nevada.
Going forward, Nevada needs to keep feeding its guards. Early in the season, they relied on Warren Washington and Will baker. Both players struggled to make any mark in the point column during the Wolf Packs victory against George Mason. Another attribute Nevada needs to carry going forward against Washington is the effort on the defensive side of the ball. Holding a red-hot George Mason, who shot 39% from the three-point line against Washington to 8-35 from deep is something the Wolf Pack needs to transfer into their matchup against the Huskies.
Washington has started the season as many would expect, going 4-2 with tough losses against Mountain West foe Wyoming and Northern Illinois. The Huskies were picked to finish eighth in Pac-12 and are expected to struggle in Mike Hopkins’ fifth season as head coach. Washington performs above-average on defense but tends to struggle offensively. Washington hasn’t scored above 73 points this season and averages a mear 25% from beyond the arch. The Huskies are led by Terell Brown who averages 21 points per game but scores most of his points in the paint.
The Arizona transfer shoots an impressive 44% from the field but is only 2-9 from the three-point line on the season. The Huskies also lean on another transfer in PJ Fuller, who comes from TCU and gives a spark shooting the ball. Fuller averages 31% from the three-point line and dropped an impressive 21 points in their 77-74 win against George Mason.
Keys for Nevada:
Find an offensive balance that is sustainable. There is no arguing that Nevada is at its best when its guards are carrying the load, but the two seven-foot big men need to step up if Nevada wants to reach their highest potential. Nevada also needs to force the Huskies to shoot threes. Washington is at its best driving to the lane finishing at the rim. If Wolf Pack players like Washington and Baker can clog the middle and force the Huskies to shoot the three, Washington will struggle to score the ball.
Keys for Washington:
Washington needs to attack Nevada’s bigs and force the Wolf Pack to get into foul trouble. Washington attacks the rim at a high percentage and will struggle against Nevada’s seven-footers. The Huskies need to force at least one of them into foul trouble to open up the middle and score at the rim. Washington also needs to limit Nevada’s guard production. If Nevada’s big-two in the backcourt struggle, the entire team struggles.
Nevada will face a big lengthy opponent in Washington, which could pose some threats down low. While it may be early in the season, this has big implications for this Nevada team who already has four losses to their name. The Wolf Pack’s defense will continue improving and their guard play will be too much for Washington. Nevada’s momentum from Tuesday night will carry over into Wednesday and the Wolf Pack will end the Crossover Classic on a high note. 81-75 Nevada wins.