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Wolf Pack basketball preview: Nevada closes out non-conference schedule with San Diego

John Byrne || Nevada Athletics Department

Nevada’s final non-conference game of the season will be a road contest against the San Diego Toreros on Monday, Dec. 14. The game can be streamed at 6 p.m. PST on the West Coast Conference Network.

San Diego has played just one game this season, an 83-56 loss to UCLA on Dec. 9. The Bruins currently rank No. 26 in KenPom’s rankings.

A 14-day pause was enforced on Nov. 20, five days before its original season opener, because of a player that tested positive for COVID-19 in the program.

San Diego’s contest versus Cal State Fullerton that was scheduled for Dec. 11 was postponed due to COVID 19 — the second postponement among the two schools.

Nevada is coming off an 87-77 loss versus the Grand Canyon Antelopes Friday. Desmond Cambridge totaled his season highs in points (24) and 3-pointers (6).

Matchup: Nevada (4-2) vs. San Diego (0-1)

When: Monday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. PST

Where: Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego, Calif.

TV: None

Online: WCC Network

Matchup history: Nevada leads 11-4

Last meeting: San Diego won 65-51

Breakdown:

Joey Calcaterra, the team’s top returning scorer from last year (11.3 ppg), led the Toreros with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Frankie Hughes registered 10 points with a team-high two steals in 26 minutes. Hughes, a transfer from Duquesne, averaged 8.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 25.3 minutes per game in 2018-19. He suffered an injury last year, forcing him to sit out the entire year.

The Toreros lacked a presence on the glass outside of senior forward Yauhen Massalski — who tied a career-high in rebounds with 14 — in their season-opener. Nobody else had more than five and the team got outrebounded by 19 (50-to-31). UCLA had 16 offensive rebounds for 13 second-chance points.

Massalski grabbed a team-high 7.0 rebounds, also tallying 8.4 points and 1.5 in just 20 games last season. Despite playing in just 20 games, his 29 blocks were the fourth-most in the WCC. He is among the Top-5 leading shot blockers in program history (124); he needs five more to pass Dondi Bell (1987-91) for No. 4.

In its loss to UCLA, San Diego shot just 31.1 percent from the floor, but hit 42.1 percent from 3-point range.

The Pack are averaging 70.7 points through their first six games. They are shooting 43.5 percent from the floor and 35.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Grant Sherfield rests atop the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game on 42.3 percent shooting. The 6-foot-2 combo guard is shooting a red shot 45.5 percent from 3-point range on 3.7 attempts a game.

Sherfield also leads the team in assists (4.8 apg) and steals (1.8 spg), while placing fifth in rebounds (3.8 rpg).

Cambridge and 6-foot-10 forward Zane Meeks are the team’s remaining two double-digit scorers. Cambridge is totaling 11.8 points per game, though he is shooting just 36.6 percent on nearly 12 field goal attempts per game. Despite netting just 26.1 percent of his 3-point shots, he leads the team in total makes from the outside (12). He is third on the team in steals (0.7 spg) and sixth in rebounds (3.5 rpg).

Meeks is totaling 10 points on 47.4 percent shooting from 3-point range in 19.5 minutes — equating to 20.5 points per 40 minutes. He rests atop the team in offensive rebounding (2.3 orpg) and total rebounding (2.3 rpg).

Both Meeks and Cambridge have two games apiece with 10 or more points.

After a slow start, Warren Washington has emerged the last three games. The 7-footer is totaling 13.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 24.0 minutes per game over that span.

Projected Starting Five:

No. 5 Nevada Wolf Pack (16-9, 10-7)

Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG% 3P%
Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG% 3P%
G 25 Grant Sherfield Soph. 6-2 18.3 3.7 6.1 43.5 36.9
G 4 Desmond Cambridge Jr. 6-4 16.3 4.4 2.4 41.6 35.4
G 14 Tre Coleman Fr. 6-7 5.7 3.0 1.8 42.5 37.1
F 20 Daniel Foster Fr. 6-6 4.3 2.6 1.5 48.6 45.5
F 5 Warren Washington Soph. 7-0 9.6 5.8 0.8 57.4 ------ (0-1)

San Diego Toreros (1-0)

Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG% 3P%
Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG% 3P%
G 5 Finn Sullivan Jr. 6-4 6.0 ----- 3.0 28.6 50.0 (2-4)
G 2 Joey Calcaterra Jr. 6-3 18.0 1.0 3.0 54.5 80.0 (4-5)
G 3 Frankie Hughes Jr. 6-4 10.0 2.0 2.0 30.0 33.3 (1-3)
F 4 Josh Parrish Sr. 6-4 6.0 3.0 1.0 33.3 -----
F 25 Yauhen Massalski Sr. 6-10 9.0 14.0 ----- 37.5 -----

Prediction:

Nevada: 71

San Diego: 65

Though it is an incredibly small sample to work off of, the Pack defense has not done as well defensively in the latter three games than it did in the first three. In its first three games, Nevada gave up 57.3 points on 30.8 percent shooting and 23.9 percent shooting from deep. In its latter three games, opponents are shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and 37.8 percent 3-point range and are scoring 21.4 more points per contest (78.7 ppg). San Diego trots out an experienced group. Seven of the nine players that played 10-plus minutes in the season opener were upperclassman — including its entire starting-five. The Pack must silent the Toreros, who struggled against a tough Mick Cronin-led UCLA squad, in order to win this game. Season Record: 4-2

Additional Links:

Nevada Game Notes: https://bit.ly/3qO2V0t

San Diego Game Notes: https://bit.ly/2WpzHqR

Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2IM3kPH