It shouldn’t be overlooked how important Lindsey Drew was to one of the best basketball eras in Nevada’s history.
When talking about Drew’s career, there are few words to describe it. Uncommon, unique and extraordinary are just some words that come to mind.
Drew averaged just 7.6 points in his collegiate career. Not a lot of players—at least in this generation—are revered as much as Drew was at Nevada because of his low scoring numbers.
Why is that?
Drew was the player that, if he wanted to, could have scored 20 points each a night. But he never needed to. He was surrounded by terrific scorers—such as Marqueze Coleman, Caleb Martin, Jordan Caroline, Marcus Marshall, Cameron Oliver, Jalen Harris and others—throughout his Nevada career.
It’s not that he couldn’t score—he did when Nevada needed him to.
In the Wolf Pack’s season opener against Utah on Nov. 5, Harris played just eight minutes due to an ankle injury. In his first game in 18 months after having surgeries on his Achilles and both of his hips, Drew scored a career-high 30 points, including a career-best: five 3-pointers.
Drew put together a 24-point performance with nine rebounds and seven assists the following game en route to a 72-67 win over Loyola Marymount on Nov. 9.
It wasn’t all about scoring for Drew, who tallied 38 double-digit scoring performances in 130 career games in the silver and blue. It was about putting his team in the best position to win when he was on the floor. When Nevada didn’t need him to be a primary scorer, his fluid style of play allowed him to contribute in every other way.
Here is where Drew ranks among different non-scoring statistics in Nevada history:
- Wins – 93 (4th)
- Minutes played – 3,934 (3rd)
- Assists – 508 (3rd)
- Steals – 168 (5th)
- Blocks – 106 (9th)
- Rebounding – 654 (9th)
In Nevada’s 88-74 win over New Mexico on Feb. 18, Drew etched his name into Wolf Pack history after becoming the first player in school history to total 900 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists in his career.
He is 18 points away from being the thirtieth player in Wolf Pack history to accumulate 1,000 career points. The tranquil guard is also looking to become the eleventh player in Pack history to join the 1,000 points and 600 rebounds club.
In his fifth year at Nevada, Drew is having his best season to date. He is having career-bests in scoring with 11.4 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game and 45 3-pointers. For his efforts, Drew was named as an All-Mountain West Honorable Mention and to the All-Defensive team for the second time in his career.
Coming out of Fairfax High School, Drew was named one of the top point guards in the nation and the third-best in the state of Calif. He decommitted from Arizona State after head coach Herb Sandek was fired. This is when he set his sights on Nevada, becoming Eric Musselman’s second-ever recruit at Nevada. Musselman departed a year to take over coaching duties at Arkansas.
From the moment Drew stepped on campus, his leadership and poise were on full display. Starting in 36 of his first 37 games, he averaged 5.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his freshman season. Drew also led the team and was fourth in the conference in steals at 1.5 per game.
Drew was an essential piece to Nevada’s CBI Championship run, averaging 7.8 points, five rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.2 steals in the six CBI games. He scored a season-high 16 points— 14 coming in the second half—in Nevada’s 79-75 win over Montana in the opening round.
The 6-foot-4 guard was tasked to fill a bigger role the following season after Coleman graduated. He did just that and served as the conductor to Nevada’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007.
Drew’s 164 assists set a Nevada record for most assists by a sophomore and he led the conference with 4.7 assists per game. He was named to the All-Mountain West defensive team, finishing Top-10 in the Mountain West in both steals and blocks.
Drew averaged 8.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists in his junior season—which was cut short after an Achilles injury. He missed the final ten games of the season.
Being one of the few remaining pieces from the Musselman era, he filled his role to the best of his ability. His laid-back attitude translated into a fearless, consistent and disciplined play on the floor. He never seemed rattled when the lights shined brightest.
He did it all—which is why he should be remembered as one of the great players in Wolf Pack history.
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or its staff. Matt Hanifan is a student at the University of Nevada and studies journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.
Matt Hanifan can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @SagebrushSports.