STOCKTON, Calif. — Nevada basketball coach Eric Musselman kept his team in the Bay Area after Wednesday’s romp over Santa Clara, and it paid dividends in performance and rest.
“I made the decision about 10 days ago,” Musselman said after Nevada’s 89-74 win over winless Pacific at the Spanos Center on Saturday. “We brought our academic advisor (James Hall) on the trip with us, and took care of academics (on the road) during the day.
“We bused to Santa Clara (Tuesday), and it didn’t really make any sense to come back. We wouldn’t have gotten home until about 4 or 5 in the morning (on Thursday). We would have been home for one day and then turn right around and left town on Friday.”
Musselman said possible weather issues played a factor in his decision.
“I’ve been stuck coming over the hill a few times in the last three years,” Musselman said. “There was snow (on the pass) two of the days we were in the Bay Area.”
The Pack faces Davidson on Tuesday at 7 p.m., and then leaves the next morning for its game against Hawaii.
Davidson has posted two impressive wins to open the season — 110-62 over Charleston Southern and 108-81 over UNC Wilmington.
Davidson is the alma mater of Warriors star Steph Curry.
NEWCOMERS CARRY THE LOAD
Going into Saturday’s game, 55 percent of Nevada’s points have come from new players on the team – Cody and Caleb Martin, Hallice Cooke and Kendall Stephens.
CAROLINE BY THE NUMBERS
Jordan Caroline has started 37 consecutive games. He has scored 20 or more points in the last two games. He had his 16th career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday. It was Caroline’s second double-double in the last the three games.
Pacific has seven new players, including redshirts Kendall Small and Miles Reynolds.
The team lost its top two scorers from last year. Ray Bowles transferred to Fresno State and T.J. Wallace graduated.
FORMER COACH ON THE CALL
Bob Thomason, former UOP coach, is working as a color analyst for the Tigers on TheW.tv.
Thomason is the longest tenured coach in UOP history. He coached from 1988 to 2013, piling up a 436-322 record. The only coach with a better winning percentage that coached more than one season was Dick Edwards, who was 169-72 in nine years at the helm. Edwards went on to coach at Cal.
Cooke, who went 4-for-4 on 3s against Santa Clara, went 0-for-3 from long range on Saturday … Seldom used reserve Charlie Tooley played the final 2 minutes and went scoreless. He missed badly on his first shot, but got an unlucky roll on a lay-up … Tripp was the only Tiger in double figures (24). Roberto Gallinat had 9 … UOP coach Damon Stoudamire was a tad upset, and made his own radio crew wait for at least 20 minutes before coming out for his post-game chat... Pacific led for 4-minutes 12-second, Nevada for 33:18 and the game was tied for 2:30.