One down and two to go.
The Nevada basketball team got good news last weekend when senior Jordan Caroline opted to pull his name out of the NBA draft process and return to the Wolf Pack.
Caroline has been the heart and soul of the Pack the last two seasons. His blue-collar mentality, especially on the offensive glass, has made him a favorite with Pack fans.
In two seasons under Eric Musselman, Caroline is averaging 16.4 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. He has 27 double-doubles in his career.
Now, the Pack is awaiting decisions from Caleb and Cody Martin, who were instrumental in leading the team to 29 wins last season and a berth in the Sweet 16.
I’ve seen one mock draft that has Caleb going at No. 46 and Cody going undrafted.
I can believe that, and I don’t think it’s worth it for Caleb to bypass his last year of college basketball to sign a non-guaranteed contract as a second-round pick. If Caleb stays in the draft, it’s because he wants to make some money and not have to continue his education. I can understand that. He’s been in college for five years, and that’s a long time.
Maybe I’m overestimating Nevada’s worth. All of the experts are predicting big things, especially if both Martins and Caroline returned
Right now, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid, and I think Nevada will be ranked in the top 15, maybe the top 10, when the AP releases its preseason poll.
The Pack came within a basket of an Elite 8 appearance last year with a seven-player roster that didn’t include the injured Lindsey Drew, new recruit Jordan Brown, sit-out transfers like Tre’Shawn Thurman, Nisre Zouzoua, Corey Henson, Jazz Johnson, and grad transfers Trey Porter and Ahab Emin.
Henson is a senior, while Zouzoua and Johnson are juniors. Johnson could be a key, especially if Cody Martin leaves and Drew’s injury will keep him out until early December. Johnson is probably the one guy with the most ball handling experience. He played two seasons at Portland.
That’s a lot of talented, battle-tested guys, and Nevada will have its deepest team in school history.
The question is, will there be enough balls to go around, and can everybody on the roster have a team-first mentality? Nevada only had two or three bench guys on scholarship last year, and there’s a big difference between keeping eight guys happy and 13 happy.
Muss talked a lot about the happy faces he saw in the locker room last season, but let’s face it, there are only so many minutes in a game. Hopefully winning a lot of games will be enough for guys who may only play 7-8 minutes a game or less.
Williams ends career in style
Former Sierra Lutheran running standout Nathanael Williams concluded his Colorado School of the Mines career with a fourth-place finish in the NCAA Division II Nationals 10k race.
Williams ran a 30:08.08, earning All-American honors with his placement.
Meyer transfers from SMC
Valerie Sue Meyer has left the Saint Mary’s College soccer program after one season, and has decided to enroll at Lake Tahoe Community College.
“Valerie Sue is obviously one of the more talented and athletic players to come out of Northern Nevada in the past few years,” said Jeremey Evans, the head women’s coach at LTCC. “Unfortunately things didn’t work out at Saint Mary’s, but she will help form a defense that has a chance to be even more dominant than last year’s. She’s as competitive as they come, and she’ll have an instant impact at this level.”