by Stone Harper
Nevada had its lightest tests of the season last week when it took on Air Force, who is the third worst team in the Mountain West Conference and the worst team in the conference San Jose State. Nevada was able to go one for two as it got a win over San Jose State and a tough five point loss to Air Force.
This week’s contests will not be as easy; the Wolf Pack has dates with Colorado State and a trip to San Diego State to take on the 24th-ranked team in the country.
NEVADA HOPES THE REMATCH WON’T BE AS UGLY
When Nevada took on Colorado State in January, nobody expected what was coming. In the end, the Rams defeated the Wolf Pack 98-42 to give Nevada its worst loss in 40 years. This week Nevada will host Colorado State on Senior Night with two goals: send the seniors out right and exact some revenge on the Rams. In its first matchup the Rams had five players score in the double-figures, including two players scoring over 20 points.
Unfortunately for Nevada, the beatdown did not feature Colorado State’s best player, senior J.J. Avila. Avila is currently averaging a team high 16.1 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game which is also tops on the team. Avila is as versatile as they come — he can score inside and shoot the occasional three pointer, and is also the Rams’ best rebounder aver- aging three assists per game which is tied for second on the team. Nevada will have a tough task containing Avila because even if it limits his scoring he affects the game in so many different facets. The Wolf Pack will need to play tight man-to-man defense in order to limit his playmaking abilities.
WOLF PACK VS. THE BEAST
San Diego State is the model of consistency in the MWC. The Aztecs have won either the regular season or conference tournament championship in five of the last six seasons. This season is no different as San Diego State is tied for first place in the conference with two games remaining.
Besides having great players, San Diego boasts some- thing that makes it especially difficult to play against. A true home court advantage, Viejas Arena is one of the most difficult venues to play in all the country.
San Diego State was defeated by Boise State at home this weekend to snap its 29-game home winning streak. The Aztecs will look for revenge in their last home game of the season and the lowly Wolf Pack may be the target.
In order for Nevada to win this game it will have to come out of the gates strong to silence the raucous crowd. If the crowd is in the game it will affect the Wolf Pack mentally and it will make the tough task of beating the Aztecs even tougher.
Stone Harper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu and on Twitter @StoneHarperNVSB.