Mountain West Notebook: Pack’s Drew a complete artist
1st place on the line when Nevada Wolf Pack visits Boise
RENO — Lindsey Drew is on fire.
The Pack’s 6-foot-4 junior guard has scored in double figures a career-best four straight games. Included in that run was a career-best 17 points in a recent loss against UNLV.
He had probably his most complete game on Saturday in the 83-58 win over San Diego State, scoring 12 points, adding 11 rebounds and dishing out nine assists. He played nearly the entire game in an effort to get that elusive triple-double.
No Nevada player has had a triple-double since 1979. Drew came close last season against Bradley with 11 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.
His scoring average has risen by nearly a full point, and he has one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the country. Throw in his shutdown defender abilities, and you have one of the most complete players on the team. Game in and game out he fills the boxscore with points, rebounds, assists and steals.
“Lindsey Drew continues to get better and better,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman said. “What he is doing is really impressive. He played a lot as a freshman, and had a really good sophomore year. This is when you expect him to take his game to another level. He doesn’t understand how good he really is.”
Drew said aggressiveness is the key to his sudden offensive outburst.
“Guys are telling me to be more aggressive,” Drew said after Saturday’s win over San Diego State. “I’m just playing basketball. If there is an open shot I’ll shoot it. I’m not out there trying to force the issue.”
Drew played a facilitator role in high school, and he’s comfortable in that role at Nevada. Any time he scores in double figures it’s icing on the cake.
“I just do a little bit of everything,” Drew said.
“It’s great,” Jordan Caroline said. “We always knew he could do it. Probably maturity. He’s grown as a player. He is getting better at reading the defenses and being more aggressive. His 3-ball is a lot more consistent.”
GRIMES HELPING BULLDOGS
Nate Grimes has been a key contributor to Fresno State in recent games.
The forward reached double figures for the third straight game, tallying 20 points, including 17 in the second half, in a win over Wyoming.
He also scored 15 and grabbed six rebounds in a win over San Diego State.
“I just want to keep going and show coach that I can do it,” Grimes said. “I want to keep going and improve my game. I love to rebound and play defense. Coach Terry says that is the only way we will be able to win so I built my game around that.”
“I think he is really believing in himself,” Fresno State coach Rodney Terry said of Grimes. “This year has been a learning curve for him in terms of reaching potential and playing with that motor. It’s a matter of him getting on the floor and learning valuable experience from being on the floor. Nate has a good skill set. The more you are on the floor, the more you will expand the skill set.”
AIR FORCE EXPLODES
The Falcons set a school record for scoring with its 110-point outburst in a 110-92 win over New Mexico last weekend.
Air Force has now won back-to-back conference games for the first time since the 2015-16 season when it beat UNLV, 79-74, and New Mexico, 76-72. The Falcons are 2-3 in home conference games and 7-5 overall at home.
Air Force shot 59 percent from the floor, its second-best effort on the season (61.4 against Johnson & Wales).
Trevor Lyons has 988 career points, 12 shy of the 1,000 mark.
BARNES ON LEAVE AT CSU
The Colorado State Rams are on their third head coach, as interim coach Steve Barnes was placed on leave by the school.
Things are so bad CSU players boycotted a practice recently.
It seems a matter of time before CSU lowers the boom on the current coaching staff.
All-session and single-session tickets for the Mountain West Championships (March 5-10) at Thomas & Mack on the UNLV campus are now on sale.
Nevada fans can purchase tickets through the university ticket office or go to TheMW.com.
Teams that finish first through fifth get a first-round bye. The women’s tourney starts Monday and the men’s tournament starts Wednesday with Nevada expected to start on Thursday.
If Nevada get the No. 1 seed it would play at noon on Thursday, and if it finishes second, it would play at 6 p.m.
UNLV STAR HONORED
Shakur Juiston, who led UNLV to wins over Nevada and Wyoming last week, was named the MW Player of the Week.
The 6-10 UNLV star averaged 20.5 points and 13 rebounds per game. He made 20 of 26 field-goal attempts, including several putbacks against Nevada. He had 19 and 12 against the Pack. He added 22 and 14 against Wyoming. He has 11 double-doubles this season.