Grading the Nevada Wolf Pack’s 88-39 men’s basketball victory over the Pacific Tigers at Lawlor Events Center on Wednesday:
JAROD LUCAS: C
Lucas remained cold from the floor this season, making just 4-of-13 shots and 2-of-7 threes. He finished with 12 points in his 23 minutes with five rebounds.
One of those rebounds on the offensive end led to his layup and a 71-25 lead with 10:47 to play. He was lifted from the game 44 seconds later and didn’t return.
Lucas drained his first 3-pointer for a 16-3 lead five-plus minutes into the game and then missed five of his last six.
Lucas has yet to heat up this season, shooting just .282 from the floor (11-of-39) overall and .211 on threes (4-of-19). Despite the struggles, though, Lucas is still averaging 14.3 points a game mainly because he is a perfect 17-of-17 from the line after three games.
He’s made his last 23 free throws in a row dating back to last season’s Mountain West Tournament loss (81-77 in overtime) to San Jose State on March 9, 2023.
KENAN BLACKSHEAR: A
It’s not often a team scores enough points to win with 6:24 to go in the first half. But that’s what happened on Wednesday when the Pack took a 40-12 lead with almost a third of the opening half yet to play.
Blackshear, as he often is, was the key to a phenomenal flurry that lasted four minutes, stretching an already comfortable 22-10 Pack lead into an insurmountable 40-12 advantage.
Blackshear literally put the game away in those four minutes, scoring six points and handing out four assists that led to 10 more points.
Blackshear’s teammates then took over from there, adding 10 more points to extend the run that eventually turned out to be 28-2 over eight minutes, producing a 50-12 lead with two minutes left in the half.
Blackshear played 20 minutes, playing just 7:26 of the final 23:38. But he found the time to score 12 points (10 in the first half) on 6-of-10 shooting with five assists, three rebounds, three steals and a block.
NICK DAVIDSON: A
Davidson played a huge role in this blowout with 11 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two assists in a mere 19 minutes.
He scored all 11 of his points, blocked two shots and had two assists in his 13:45 of playing time in the first half. He had a 3-pointer and a layup off his own offensive rebound just 39 seconds apart for a 13-3 lead five minutes into the game.
His two layups (and another offensive rebound) 1:46 apart gave the Pack a 35-10 lead with 8:10 to go in the first half.
Davidson’s five second-half minutes consisted of a missed layup, two fouls, two rebounds, a block and a turnover and no points. But by then the Pack had a 61-21 lead with 15 minutes left and it was time for the Pack to empty the bench.
TRE COLEMAN: B
Coleman had eight points, two assists, a block and a steal in his 21 minutes.
It was his assist on a K.J. Hymes dunk and his own steal and dunk that wiped out Pacific’s only lead (3-2), giving the Pack a 6-3 lead less than two minutes into the game.
In a three-minute span early in the second half Coleman had two free throws and a layup and assisted on a Jazz Gardner layup for a 69-23 lead with 12:19 to play.
K.J. HYMES: B
The 6-10 center was on the floor for 13 minutes and filled up the stat sheet with six points, four rebounds, three fouls and a block. He was 3-of-4 from the floor with a dunk and two layups.
Hymes had a layup for a 44-12 lead with 5:11 to go in the first half and another for an 80-31 lead with seven minutes to play in the game.
HUNTER McINTOSH: C
McIntosh played 14 minutes and contributed three points, a rebound and an assist with two fouls and a turnover.
All three of his shot attempts were 3-pointers, with one going in for a 53-15 lead a minute before halftime. His nine second-half minutes consisted of two missed threes, a rebound and a turnover.
JAZZ GARDNER: A
The Wolf Pack’s 7-foot freshman was as efficient as any player of the floor, scoring eight points on 4-of-6 shooting with seven rebounds and an assist in just a dozen minutes.
He pulled down an offensive rebound and promptly hit a jumper in the paint for an 18-5 lead six minutes into the game. In the second half, he scored six points in eight-plus minutes with four rebounds.
He connected on jumpers for leads of 67-23 (12:41 to go) and 73-27 (9:38 left).
DANIEL FOSTER: C
Foster played 20 minutes and scored six points on 2-of-3 shooting with four rebounds.
Pacific’s Jalen Brown fouled Foster on a 3-point attempt, for some reason, with the Pack up 48-12 just two minutes before halftime. Foster made two of the three free throws for a 50-12 lead.
TYLER ROLISON: A
The Wolf Pack, it seems, has an abundance of point guards this year. Rolison, a 6-foot freshman, broke out on Wednesday with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal in a team-high 24 minutes.
He played the final 12:34 of the game. He had a pair of free throws, a steal and a layup in a span of 1:27 for a 77-31 lead with 7:47 to play. His jumper with 2:52 closed the Pack scoring for an 88-37 lead.
Rolison hit his only 3-point attempt for a 25-10 lead with 10:26 to go in the first half.
AMIRE ROBINSON: C
The 6-4 freshman from Akron, Ohio, had just two points in 17 minutes but he didn’t turn the ball over and committed just one foul.
Robinson, who played just three minutes against Sacramento State and two at Washington in the first two games, also had an assist and blocked a shot while playing the final 6:42 of the first half and last 10:03 of the second half.
JERIAH COLEMAN: A
Coleman, a junior from Anchorage, was a ball of energy. OK, at 7-foot-1, he was a huge ball of energy, packing as many activities into his nine credited minutes as humanly possible.
Coleman, who played at Clarendon (Texas) Community College last year and Saint Francis (Loretto, Pa.) the two previous years, never stopped working. He attempted three field goals and made one, he attempted four free throws and made three, pulled down seven rebounds, committed a foul, turned the ball over twice, blocked three shots and scored five points in his actual 10:06 of playing time.
His dunk gave the Pack a 55-15 halftime lead and his 3-of-4 showing from the line gave the Pack an 83-35 lead with 4:49 to go.
Coleman entered the game having played just two minutes (against Washington) all season.
ISAAC HYMES, SNOOKEY WIGINGTON: Incomplete
Hymes, the brother of K.J., and Wigington made their season debuts. The two entered the game together with just 3:38 to play and 27 seconds later Hymes hit a 3-pointer off an assist from Wigington.
Hymes, a 6-8 freshman, also had a rebound. The 5-foot-8 Wigington, who played in three games (five total minutes) last season for the Pack, also missed two shots and committed a foul.
COACHING: A +
Steve Alford might have turned in the most perfectly coached game in Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball history.
Alford played 13 players at least four minutes each and nobody played more than 24 minutes. All 13 players attempted at least one shot, 12 of them had at least one rebound, 12 had at least two points and nine had at least one assist.
It was a coach’s dream. The best part of it all was that Alford somehow squeezed 88 points out of a team where no single player scored more than 12. The last time that happened in Pack history is probably never.
When a coach gets his team to play unselfishly and efficiently and works hard on defense (51 rebounds, 10 blocks, five steals) in a game that was a blowout for the last 35 minutes, well, he’s doing a lot of things correctly.
Welcome to Pack heaven. There are no ego problems on the roster, everybody shares the ball and the minutes, and the Pack is 3-0.
OVERALL: A +
Somewhere, Jake Lawlor is smiling.
Lawlor, whose name is on the arena the Pack and Tigers played in, is the last Nevada coach to hold Pacific under 40 points before Wednesday. Lawlor and the Pack beat the Tigers 41-32 on Jan. 5, 1946, behind 22 points from Jimmy Melarkey.
Pacific had just 13 field goals and six free throws in that 1946 game, just one fewer field goal and one fewer free throw than it had on Wednesday. A total of 61 more games were played in the Pack-Pacific rivalry after that 1946 game until Wednesday night.
The Wolf Pack made 34-of-67 shots on Wednesday (51 percent) and held Pacific to 14-of-57 shooting (25 percent). The Pack outrebounded the Tigers 51-27, had more assists (17-7), fewer turnovers (10-13), more blocks (10-3), was better at the line (14-of-18 to Pacific’s awful 7-of-18) and, yes, had 49 more points.
It is the Pack’s most one-sided victory since beating Fresno Pacific also by 49 (119-70) on Dec. 9, 2015. Pacific’s 39 points are the fewest by a Pack opponent since Sonoma State also had 39 in a 95-39 Pack win on Dec. 9, 2008.
The Tigers never put up a fight. The game was basically over after Jarod Lucas’ 3-pointer gave the Pack a 16-3 lead less than six minutes into the game. So, yes, it is difficult to judge whether or not this Pack team is truly this good or it was just a case of all the silver and blue stars being aligned perfectly.
It was probably a combination of both, which, come to think of it, is a pretty good place to be in the middle of November.