#55 Nevada Wolfpack: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Despite dominating the WAC in their swan song season, the Nevada Wolfpack missed out on the NCAA Tournament last year since they were upset in their conference tourney.  Now David Carter’s team transitions to the Mountain West Conference where the level of competition certainly picks up.

NEVADA WOLFPACK
Last Season: 1st, 13-1 in WAC, 26-6 overall
Predicted MWC Finish: 4th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Devonte Elliott (Jr)/Chiekh Alioune Fall (Jr)
PF: Kevin Panzer (Jr)/Richard Bell (Fr)/Cole Huff (Fr)
G/F: Jerry Evans (Jr)/Jordan Burris (Jr)
SG: Malik Story (Sr)/Patrick Nyeko (Sr)/Marqueze Coleman (Fr)
PG: Deonte Burton (Jr)/Jordan Finn (Jr)/Keith Fuetsch (Sr)

Gone: F/C-Dario Hunt, F-Olek Czyz

2012-2013 Outlook:
In losing their starting frontcourt of Dario Hunt and Olek Czyz, Nevada will become a very guard dominant team.  Leading the charge will be 2012 WAC Player of the Year Deonte Burton who was tops on the Wolfpack in scoring and assists a year ago.  Former Indiana Hoosier Malik Story is back to flank Burton in the backcourt.  Story connected on 41.6% of his triple tries which certainly helps take some of the pressure off Burton.

Jerry Evans Jr. also returns to the starting line-up.  The 6-8 wing makes his biggest impact on the defensive end due to his length and ability to guard multiple positions.  Jordan Burris is a similar build and could move into the starting five after being a key reserve last season.  If that is the case, Carter will have more of a four guard line-up that doesn’t have the physicality inside of a year ago but will certainly bring more versatility and athleticism to the floor.  Senior Patrick Nyeko could also step into that spot but either way, he and Burris will be used as valuable rotation players.

The more likely scenario will see Kevin Panzer and Devonte Elliott replace Hunt and Czyz in the starting frontcourt.  Panzer has the ability to stretch defenses with his outside shooting while the 6-10 Elliott will try to make his biggest impact by protecting the rim and cleaning up the glass.

With no true inside presence, expect junior college transfer Cheikh Alioune Fall to play a significant role off the bench.  At 250 pounds, he is a needed banger inside but also has decent range on his jumper.  Redshirt freshman Richard Bell and true freshman Cole Huff add more depth inside.

Nevada also picked up a transfer in UTEP guard Michael Perez who must sit out this season per NCAA rules.  His addition to the roster could be huge for the 2013-14 season if Burton decides to turn pro after this year.

Player to Watch: Deonte Burton
If Nevada is going to compete at a high level against the likes of San Diego State, UNLV, and New Mexico in the MWC, Burton must be the ringleader.  He is a physical guard who is at his best off the bounce but needs to improve his shot selection if he is going to take his game up a notch which the Wolfpack will certainly need.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/24 at Marshall
12/1 vs. Drake (MWC/MVC Challenge)
12/8 at Washington
12/31 at Oregon

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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