Joe Santoro: With the Martins, the Nevada Wolf Pack can be great | NevadaAppeal.com

Joe Santoro: With the Martins, the Nevada Wolf Pack can be great

Joe Santoro

Joe Santoro

There's simply no rational reason for Caleb and Cody Martin to leave the Nevada Wolf Pack right now for the NBA. Neither one distinguished himself or improved his draft stock at the recently completed NBA Draft Combine. So there's little chance either of the Wolf Pack twins will be drafted next month. Is now the time to leave one of the best teams in all of college basketball simply to start a career in basketball's minor leagues or overseas? The minor leagues will always be there for the Martins. This is their last chance of playing in the Final Four. It might be the one and only chance in the history of Wolf Pack basketball. Delaying a professional career one more year will do nothing to harm the Martins. In fact, it might help them tremendously since next year's draft isn't supposed to be nearly as deep as this one. The Martins have a chance to make history this coming season. The NBA will be drooling all over them a year from now if that happens.

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The Wolf Pack needs both Cody and Caleb Martin. The twins are the heart and soul of this Wolf Pack team right now. They're the perfect Eric Musselman players. Versatile, skilled, incredibly intelligent. Motivated, competitive and determined. Take both Martins off this team and, yes, the Pack could likely still win the Mountain West. But the Pack isn't going to the Final Four without them. Take Cody away and who plays point guard? Lindsey Drew coming off a serious Achilles injury? A 5-foot-10 Jazz Johnson? Mariah Musselman? Take Caleb away and, well, the Pack suffers in about a half dozen areas, namely scoring, rebounding, shooting, passing, rebounding and, the biggest one of all, leadership. The Pack would still be good — Mountain West title, NCAA tournament team — without them. But with them the Pack can be great.

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The Final Four, by the way, will be in Minneapolis in 2019. Eric Musselman's father Bill is a legend in the state of Minnesota, having coached the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the early 1970s to huge success. Bill Musselman is also the first head coach in the history of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Musselmans would be the darlings of the Final Four next April in Minneapolis. It's all falling into place, Wolf Pack fans.

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