Nevada vs. Wyoming: Game Preview, Odds, How To Stream, More
Cowboys vs. Wolf Pack should be an interesting matchup
Wyoming looks to keep the win streak alive as the Cowboys travel to Lawlor Events Center to battle the Nevada Wolf Pack.
WHO: Nevada Wolf Pack (8-6, 2-1 in the MW) vs. Wyoming Cowboys (12-2, 1-0 in the MW)
WHEN: Monday, January 17, 5:00 PM PT
WHERE: Lawlor Events Center: Reno, NV
STREAM: Get a free trial with FuboTV
Line: KenPom, Wolf Pack 1-point favorites
Wyoming is coming off a huge win against Utah State after having more than two weeks off due to COVID precautions. Nevada is also coming off a conference win of their on taking down the Air Force Falcons. The Cowboys are having a great season, only losing two games and showing they belong in the upper tier of the Mountain West. Nevada is struggling to keep their heads above water, getting beat by 15 points against Boise State and skating by a lower-tier Air Force team.
The Cowboys have built an impressive resume so far in the season. Wyoming beat Grand Canyon University, Washington, Northern Iowa, and Mountain West foe, Utah State. Wyoming ranks in the top-70 in Kenpom and ranks in the top-30 in the NCAA NET rankings. The Cowboys find success in being incredibly efficient on offense. Wyoming ranks in the top-50 in adjusted offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and ranks seventh in the nation in two-point percentage with 57.9%.
The Cowboys are led by the all-around guard, Hunter Maldonado, and 6’9 forward Graham Ike. Ike leads Wyoming in both points per game, averaging nearly 20 per game, and in rebounding, grabbing eight a game. Maldonado has been leading the Cowboys for years now and is continuing to improve every season. The 6’7 guard averages 17 points per game, five rebounds, and five assists per game. Maldonado is also showing much-improved efficiency on offense. The fifth-year guard is shooting over 50% from the field and 27% from beyond the arc. Xavier DuSell and Drake Jefferies also average over 10 points a game and provide important scoring roles for the Cowboys.
Nevada has been able to find success in their guard play, leaning on Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge Jr. As of late, the Wolf Pack have been able to get point contributions from their big men like Warren Washington and Will Baker when Sherfield and Cambridge Jr. struggle. The Wolf Pack are able to find efficient scoring, shooting over 50% from the field and nearly 33% from the three-point line. Nevada also knows how to get multiple people involved, ranking in the top-20 in assists per game.
The Wolf Pack continues to lean on Grant Sherfield. When the 6’2 guard struggles, Nevada struggles. Fortunately for the Wolf Pack, Sherfield rarely struggles. Sherfield averages over 19 points and six assists per game, while shooting nearly 45% from the field. Nevada is extra dangerous when either one of the Wolf Pack’s 7’0 centers comes to play. Texas transfer Will Baker has been stepping up his game of late, averaging 11 points in the past five games, including two double-doubles in that span.
Keys for Wyoming
Wyoming has to slow the Wolf Pack down. Nevada loves to play fast and shoot the three-ball in transition. The Wolf Pack ranks 27th in adjusted tempo and would love to trade baskets back and forth with the Cowboys. Wyoming also has to do what every team in the Mountain West continues to attempt to accomplish, which is limiting Nevada’s guard play. If the Cowboys can limit Sherfield and Cambridge Jr, and force pressure on the Wolf Pack’s big’s, then Wyoming can continue this impressive win streak.
Keys for Nevada
The Wolf Pack needs to tighten up on defense and force Wyoming to make mistakes with the ball. The Cowboys know how to make the most out of every possession, being incredibly efficient on offense. While it may be easier said than done, Nevada needs to limit the one-two punch in Ike and Maldonado. If the Wolf Pack can force the ball into the hands of a third and fourth scorer then Nevada will be able to keep up on offense.
Nevada and Wyoming are two Mountain West squads who are both clicking at the moment. Wyoming knows their identity and can score almost every time down the court. Nevada is finally finding production from their bigs to take much-needed pressure off of their guards. I think Wyoming will be too much to handle for the Wolf Pack. Nevada loses at home, the Cowboys take this game 79-72.