RENO — Undefeated Nevada takes on its second Atlantic-10 team in eight days when the Davidson Wildcats visit Lawlor Events Center on Tuesday.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. (AT&T; Net/ESPN Radio).
Nevada, ranked No. 30 in the latest Associated Press poll, dispatched preseason A-10 favorite Rhode Island, 88-81, last Monday. Tonight, Nevada takes on a team that’s averaging 109 a game after wins over Charleston Southern and UNC-Wilmington.
Nevada could very well be playing a mirror image of itself. Davidson is a team that can score inside and out. The Wildcats lead the nation in 3-point shooting per game (19.5) and they have 52 assists compared to just seven turnovers. The Wildcats made 26 3s (in 53 attempts) in their opening 110-62 win over Charleston Southern. They made 13 of 33 in the win over UNC Wilmington.
“They (Davidson) value the basketball,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman said. “They don’t turn the ball over. They play faster than people think and they cut hard without the ball. We have to get back on defense and make Davidson work very hard at the offensive end.
“They have a freshman (Kellan Grady) who is as good as any freshman in the country. They have an inside player (Peyton Aldridge) who they talk about being the Larry Bird of the A-10. He can post up and shoot the 3.”
Aldridge scored 37 points against UNC-Wilmington, and Grady is the first Davidson player since John Gerdy (1975-76) to hit the 20-point plateau in each of his first two games.
“We have a lot of interchangeable parts,” Davidson’s coach Bob McKillop said. “We are versatile. We made 26 3s our first game. The second game UNC-Wilmington did a good job of running us off the line. We have the ability to shoot the 3 and get to the rim.”
So does Nevada. The Pack is coming off two straight games where it shot 50 percent from beyond the arc in a 93-63 win at Santa Clara and an 89-74 win at Pacific. Nevada hit a school-record 17 3s against the Tigers on Saturday.
“It was awesome,” said swingman Kendall Stephens, who shot 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. “I didn’t know until after the game. It shows how deep we are.”
“I think we’re a versatile team and hard to prepare for,” Musselman said. “We are not relying on one or two guys (to lead in scoring). On any given night, a different guy could be the leading scorer and a different guy could be the leading rebounder. We are feeling good about shooting the ball, but we’ve done a good job mixing in the dribble drive.”
Cody and Caleb Martin are averaging 15.8 and 17.8, respectively, and Jordan Caroline is at 18.5. Throw in Stephens at 9.0 and Josh Hall, who had seven 3s against Pacific, at 9.8 and you essentially have five guys in double figures.
“We go nine deep,” Musselman said. “The first two years we went 6 1/2 or 7. Having that extra guy and a half has made a big difference.”
“We are playing a top-50 team that beat Rhode Island from our conference,” McKillop told 730AM Radio over the weekend. “We certainly will have our hands full.”