Nevada Men's Basketball 2012 NIT Capsule

Nevada Wolf Pack
WAC (26-6, 13-1)

Nevada took advantage of a pretty weak Western Athletic Conference and cruised through the conference without any major hiccups. The non-conference slate was relatively tough, but the Wolf Pack emerged with victories over Washington and Montana…wins that look much better now than they did back in December.

Big Wins: 12/2 Washington (76-73), 12/10 at Montana (70-64), 1/26 at New Mexico State (68-60)
Bad Losses: 11/11 Missouri State (46-68), 2/4 Idaho (68-72), 3/1 New Mexico State (65-61)
Coach: David Carter (3 seasons at Nevada)

Why They Can Surprise:
Nevada has good size across the board. Malik Story is a 6-5 shooting guard and Jerry Evans and Jordan Burris are listed as 6-8 and 6-7, respectively. With size like that on the perimeter, Nevada has done very well on the glass and has a large variety of players who are shot blocking threats. The best shot blocker is forward Dario Hunt. The 6-8 senior mans the paint for the Wolf Pack and will swat away about two shots per game. Hunt is also a very strong rebounder and has emerged as a consistent interior scorer. If he could make a free-throw, Hunt would be even more dangerous. Olek Czyz will start beside Hunt in the frontcourt. Czyz is a versatile power forward who can step outside and knock down the mid-range jumper or battle in the paint. Czyz and Hunt will do plenty of scoring, but the best scorers Coach David Carter has at his disposal are Story and point guard Deonte Burton. Story is a superb shooter from anywhere on the floor, while Burton does most of his damage attacking the basket.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Burton is a fine point guard with a great assist-to-turnover ratio and a ton of offensive firepower, but the team as a whole turns the ball over way too much. The Wolf Pack will not have the luxury of committing 14 or 15 turnovers if they want to pull off an upset. The guards are really not to blame for the turnover problem as Czyz and Hunt are often the players committing the turnovers, but the guards do have to put their big men in a better position to score…and not in a position to make a mistake. This is a pretty experienced team and they have played well down the stretch, unlike last season. However, this group has not been tested very much this season and they could easily get overwhelmed in the tournament.

Probable Starters:
Deonte Burton, Sophomore, Guard, 14.9 ppg, 4.3 apg
Malik Story, Junior, Guard, 14.2 ppg, 2.3 apg
Jerry Evans, Sophomore, Guard, 6.9 ppg, 1.1 apg, 4.9 rpg
Olek Czyz, Senior, Forward, 13.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg
Dario Hunt, Senior, Forward, 10.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.4 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Jordan Burris, Sophomore, Guard, 2.6 ppg, 1.3 apg
Patrick Nyeko, Junior, Guard, 1.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Kevin Panzer, Sophomore, Forward, 2.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.2 (98th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.8 (113, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (93, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.9 (69, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (96, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.1 (55, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.4 (297, 7)
Rebound Margin: 3.7 (62, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (149, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (203, 6)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
Nevada    2010    NIT           First Round win over Wichita State
Nevada    2010    NIT           Second Round loss to Rhode Island
Nevada    2009    CBI           First Round loss to UTEP
Nevada    2008    CBI           First Round loss to Houston
Nevada    2007    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Creighton
Nevada    2007    NCAA        Round of 32 loss to Memphis
Nevada    2006    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Montana

*all team stats through 3/4

See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules