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
Despite dominating the WAC in their swan-song season, the Nevada Wolfpack missed out on the NCAA Tournament last year since the team was upset in the conference tourney. Now, David Carter's team transitions to the Mountain West Conference where the level of competition certainly picks up.
Nevada will become a very guard dominant team this season having lost their starting frontcourt of Dario Hunt and Olek Czyz. 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 lineup. 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 lineup, 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. The 250-pounder 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, PG
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.
am i the only to think Walt's got his J. Williams' confused? Joe Williams, highly talented explosive speedster from Utah retired at the beginning of the season and came back a few games in to have a stellar season. Dont see him anywhere on this list, but would think him worthy of top 10 at least by comparison.
Why is it that you hate the Chargers? Every year you make @#$@ picks for them, it just bad all the way around starting with Hooker at 7. Tom Telesco doesn't draft players who have been at the position only a year, and recently has been straying away from injury prone players as well. I would re-access your thought process on the Chargers.