Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
UC Irvine has been the class of the Big West in recent years, but this group is going to take a step back this year given all of the veteran talent that moved on this past offseason. UC Irvine is also hurt by the fact that their one returning starter Luke Nelson is also out. The Anteaters have opened the season 5-6 overall and in their last outing UCI was thoroughly dominated losing to Saint Mary’s on the road by a final of 53-84. Offensive consistency has been a major issue for the Anteaters who have really slowed the pace of play ranking 339th in the nation in scoring average and 62nd in total defense. Jaron Martin is the only player averaging in double figures putting up 12.5 points per game.
Nevada picked up a huge win for their confidence the other day taking down Washington on the road by a final of 87-85. This was the best win of the young season for the Wolf Pack who now standing 8-2 overall heading into the final stretch of the nonconference. Nevada has all the talent needed to compete in the upper tier of the MWC this season led by Missouri State transfer Marcus Marshall who leading the offense averaging an impressive 20.4 points per game. Nevada is hurt by Elijah Foster being out, but the Wolf Pack have enough talent and depth to cushion the blow. Nevada has been putting up some solid numbers ranking 77th in the nation in scoring average and 178th in total defense.
Nevada will look to push things a bit in this matchup as they go against one of the slower paced teams in college basketball. UC Irvine is coming off a blowout loss on the road and things don’t get much easier for the Anteaters in this road test. Take Nevada to come through on their home court as they go on to win and cover the spread.
Nevada -11 -110