Nevada basketball opens with exhibition

Eric Mussleman celebrates with fans after Nevada beat Morehead State for the College Basketball Invitational last season at Lawlor Events Center.

Eric Mussleman celebrates with fans after Nevada beat Morehead State for the College Basketball Invitational last season at Lawlor Events Center.

Basketball fans in Northern Nevada will get their first look at the University of Nevada tonight when the Wolf Pack entertains San Francisco State in an exhibition game.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center

The Wolf Pack closed its 2015-16 season with a flourish in winning the CBI, topping Morehead State in a best-of-three series. Nevada finished 24-14 last year, while SF State finished at 16-11.

“I want to accomplish two things (tonight),” second-year coach Eric Musselman said last week at Nevada’s Media Day. “I do want to win, but not at the expense of player evaluation.

“It’s more important for us to evaluate and determine roles.”

The Pack scrimmaged an unknown D-1 school over the weekend, so this will be Musselman’s second live look at his team.

The Gators return nine players, including three-year lettermen Nick Calcaterra and Derrick Brown. The latter along with senior guard Coley Apsay won’t suit up tonight.

“We are excited about the opportunity to come play at the University of Nevada,” SF State head coach Paul Trevor said. “We are going to approach the game just like any other game early in the season. We are going to play a lot of guys and use this as an opportunity to get better.

“It gives me a chance to see some returners who didn’t play a whole lot last season as well as our new recruits. I hope to play everybody and will go deep into the rotation regardless of the score. I’m not trying to win no matter what, but we will compete and play hard. I don’t know much about Nevada except they have a lot of new players and should be very talented. We are grateful for the opportunity.”

Today’s game marks the Nevada debuts of three D-1 transfers — 6-3 senior combo guard Marcus Marshall from Missouri State, 6-7 junior forward Leland King II from Brown and 6-7 Jordan Caroline from Southern Illinois.

All three are expected to see significant action, though Musselman hasn’t announced a starting lineup or rotation yet.

Freshman point guard Devearl Ramsey and shooting guard Josh Hall are the only two freshmen scholarship players.

Marshall is a proven scorer, averaging 19 a game in his last season at Missouri State.

“I’m excited to get out there and play,” Marshall said. “Now that it’s here it’s crazy. Last year was tough having to sit out. I look at it that it gave me an extra year to work on my game. I’m looking to score a lot this year.”

King brings a solid 3-point shooting game to Nevada, while Caroline brings physical toughness.

Musselman said earlier this year he expects Nevada to be a better scoring team, especially from the outside.

Cameron Oliver (13.4, 9.1), D.J. Fenner (13.7, 4.6) and guard Lindsey Drew (5.4, 4.5) are the top returnees. Oliver was a first-team preseason Mountain West selection.


Former Carson High grad Vince Inglima serves as an assistant coach for San Francisco State.

Inglima is in his third season with the Gators. He previously served as an assistant coach at Sonoma State.


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