Nevada vs. UNLV: Game Preview, Odds, TV Schedule, More
In-state rivals face off.
Who you got? Red or blue?
UNLV looks to gain a big win at home as the Wolf Pack, travels south to battle the Runnin’ Rebels in Las Vegas.
WHO: Nevada Wolf Pack (9-9, 3-4 in the MW) vs. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (12-9, 4-4 in the MW)
WHEN: Tuesday, February 1, 7:30 PM PT
WHERE: Thomas and Mack Center: Las Vegas, NV
STREAM: FuboTV — Get a free trial
Line: KenPom, Rebels 5-point favorites
UNLV is poised to make a huge statement at home as interstate rivals, the Nevada Wolf Pack, come to town. The Wolf Pack are coming off their worst home loss in nearly 25 years. Nevada got absolutely demolished at home, 78-49. UNLV on the other hand is coming off their best win of the season, taking down Colorado State in Colorado.
It’s no secret that the Rebels are led by their guard play. That was displayed perfectly in Friday night’s victory when Bryce Hamilton scored a career-high 45 points in 36 minutes. The 6’4 senior also had seven rebounds and five assists, all while turning the ball over once. Hamilton is averaging 21 points a game and looks to continue the hot streak. Also playing well as of late is Jordan McCabe. McCabe averages just under 10 points in the Rebel’s last three games and is proving to be a nice one-two punch with Hamilton.
This Rebels team shoots and plays defense at an average rate, but can go on runs that will leave teams clawing to catch up. UNLV also does a good job at pressuring teams, ranking 39th in steal percentage. The Rebels can hurt teams with their ball movement and passing, ranking second in the Mountain West in assists per game.
Nevada is flat-out struggling. The Wolf Pack are coming off an embarrassing loss at home, in a game where Nevada looked lost. Desmond Cambridge Jr led the squad with 12 points, Will Baker would be the only other Wolf Pack player with double-digit points with 11. Grant Sherfield went 1-12 from the field, scoring four points and failing to make a shot from deep. According to Head Coach Steve Alford, Sherfield is battling a foot injury and is questionable for this game against the Rebels (for the purpose of the article, I will assume Sherfield is playing). There is no scenario in which Nevada will win a game in the Mountain West when Sherfield and Cambridge Jr combine for 16 points. If Nevada wants to turn things around, Alford has to go to the drawing board and find out ways to get his guards open. It is obvious that Nevada is living and dying with Sherfield and Cambridge Jr. In that scenario, the Wolf Pack need to do a better job at getting their playmakers open looks.
Keys for Nevada
Nevada has to find a way to put the ball through the hoop. Sherfield and Cambridge Jr. have to find a way to both incorporate a third scorer and score the ball at will. If Nevada’s guards are unable to produce like they were again Utah State, then the Wolf Pack will leave Sin City with yet another loss on their schedule.
Keys for UNLV
The Rebels have to make Sherfield and Cambridge Jr. uncomfortable. If Sherfield plays, he will be playing through an injury and the Wolf Pack will have to lean more on Desmond Cambridge Jr., who has been struggling in Mountain West play.
While it’s no secret that Nevada has been struggling as of late, this contest could truly be a turning point. However, the Wolf Pack looks beaten down, leaving too much room for error. The Rebels will take this one at home, 73-64.