Around the Rim: Nevada at San Jose St Preview

After a somewhat disappointing non-conference stretch, the Nevada Wolf Pack look to improve upon last seasons finish and truly compete in the Mountain West. The Pack opens up against the Spartans of San Jose State (6-6, 0-0) an old WAC foe, which should be one of the weaker teams in the conference. A win for Nevada would boost morale and confidence in a program that has struggled as of late.

Freshman 6-6 Guard Rashad Muhammed
Muhammed, a player whom Nevada recruited but never offered a scholarship, is arguably the Spartan's best player. The brother of former UCLA guard and current Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Shabazz Muhammed is averaging 17.3 points per game off the bench. Nevada's bench has been less than spectacular, being outscored in ten of the teams thirteen games this year, so San Jose State on Muhammed alone should have the advantage in bench play. Senior Jerry Evans Jr., the team's best perimeter defender should draw the assignment on Muhammed and possibly even freshman D.J Fenner. If Nevada can keep Muhammed and the Spartans off the three-point line (36.3% on the year) they have a solid chance of winning the game, but Nevada has not been too successful at defending the three-point line (allowing 36.9% from the three point line).

Freshman 6-3 Guard Jalen James
Another freshman is the focus of our Around the Rim. James is one of the most well rounded players on the Spartans team and even the MWC. Averaging 6.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game, James can beat the Pack in numerous ways. Although none of his numbers stand out, James' versatility is impressive. Junior transfer Michael Perez will likely draw the James assignment and attempt to slow down the freshman. James can beat you in a number of different ways, so slowing down James will be huge for Nevada. If Nevada can slow down James in either scoring or assists and completely take James out of the game, Nevada will likely steal the win on the road.

Prediction:
Nevada 77 San Jose State 70

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