#101 Nevada Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Nevada Wolf Pack

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #101
Conference Rank: #7 Mountain West

Nevada Team Page#101 Nevada Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Nevada Basketball Tickets

Well, that was terribly disappointing. Nevada went to the Mountain West Conference with high hopes of competing for a conference title. Instead, the Wolf Pack won just three conference games during their debut season. With Malik Story and Deonte Burton leading the way, Nevada should have been a much, much better team. They will get better, but now it will be up to Burton. He is a great floor leader who plays tough defense and can get the rest of his teammates involved. Burton is not a great shooter, yet he is at least a threat to knock down the long ball. He is, however, an amazing scorer. He averaged 16.3 points per game last year and he is not afraid to attack the basket and finish or get to the charity stripe. With Burton leading the way, Nevada will have hope.

2012-13 Record: 12-19, 3-13
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: David Carter
Coach Record: 74-58 at Nevada, 74-58 overall

Who’s Out:
There are some major losses though. Story led the team with 16.7 points per game and knocked down 2.7 three-pointers per contest. The team as a whole shot under 31 percent from beyond the arc. Story was the player boosting that percentage. Jordan Burris, a big 6-7 wing, is transferring out of the program prior to his senior season. He did a decent job picking up the slack on the glass, but never found his shooting touch. The frontcourt has lost Devonte Elliott and Kevin Panzer, who are also transferring. Elliott was the team’s best interior scoring option, although that is not saying much. Panzer could stretch out the defense on those occasions when his outside shot was falling. Without those two there is not much experience in a frontcourt that was extremely unproductive.

Who’s In:
Thus, Coach David Carter had to go out and get some frontcourt players who could immediately contribute. What he found were three junior college transfers. How well Lucas Stivrins, AJ West and Ronnie Stevens adapt to life in the Mountain West will be the difference between a decent team and another awful season. At 6-11, Stivrins is the tallest player on the roster, but West and Stevens have a bit more girth. Whoever proves to be the toughest defensively and on the glass will likely earn a starting job. The others must provide quality depth and any scoring would be a huge bonus. D.J. Fenner, a 6-6 wing, is the lone incoming freshman. Michael Perez is a transfer from UTEP who is expected to help the team’s outside shooting. He was a starter for the Miners two years ago and can score in bunches.

Who to Watch:
With Marqueze Coleman and Jerry Evans Jr. joining Burton, the backcourt will be productive. All eyes should be on the development of the frontcourt. Cole Huff started 14 games as a freshman, but only averaged 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds. The summer in the weight room needs to translate into production on the floor if Huff is going to have a breakthrough sophomore season. He can shoot and move around very well for a 6-8, 205 pound forward. Nevada needs him to do more. Cheikh Alioune Fall came into the program from the junior college ranks last season and the hope was he could be the tough interior player this team so desperately needed. He ended up averaging less than ten minutes per game. He is a decent enough rebounder, although it could be tough for Fall to find more minutes this year with the new junior college transfers headed to Reno.

Final Projection:
In the backcourt, Coleman showed potential during his freshman campaign. He can develop into a big-time scorer and the shots are there to be had without Story. Evans Jr. will have the pressure of again trying to usher in a new frontcourt. The 6-8 wing led the team in rebounding and was third in scoring. Like the rest of the team, his shot was not falling consistently. Evans Jr. will be asked to do what he can to help out the frontcourt and it is not inconceivable that this group will play small and slide Evans Jr. to the four spot on occasions. If that happens on a regular basis, it means that the Wolf Pack failed to find new frontcourt players who could be productive. If that is the case, it will be another long, long season for Nevada. But it should not be that bad. Burton is a great leader and the frontcourt has more new, experienced options than they did a year ago. It may not be ideal, but there is enough here to finish in the middle of the Mountain West pecking order.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Deonte Burton, Senior, Guard, 16.3 points per game
Michael Perez, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Jerry Evans, Senior, Guard, 7.5 points per game
Cole Huff, Sophomore, Forward, 4.3 points per game
Lucas Stivrins, Sophomore, Center, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.5 (168th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.9 (296, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.1 (237, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.3 (290, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (193, 8)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.8 (317, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.9 (58, 2)
Rebound Margin: -1.7 (249, 6)
Assists Per Game: 11.3 (278, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (135, 8)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#47 Deonte Burton


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