Nevada Wolf Pack Notebook: Caleb Martin out indefinitely
UNLV knocks Nevada Wolf Pack out of 1st place
RENO — With Caleb Martin out of the lineup for the foreseeable future with a lisfranc ligament sprain to his left foot, Mountain West games are going to get a lot tougher for the Nevada Wolf Pack.
Martin has been putting up good numbers — 19.8 points, including a 47 percent shooting percentage from beyond the 3-point arc, and 5.3 rebounds per game.
“Probably after the Colorado State game,” said Cody Martin after the 86-78 loss to UNLV on Wednesday night. “Assumed he wasn’t going to.
“He’s a big part of our scoring. Definitely need other guys to step up and play. Hard to (replace) somebody shooting almost 50 percent from 3. He’s one of our leaders. He’s an energy guy. He’s one of our best leaders.”
Certainly those points will need to come from somewhere. The team needs more consistency from sophomore Josh Hall, who had just four points and four rebounds in 31 minutes. Hallice Cooke also will be counted on for more offense.
Cody Martin also said he needs to do more offensively.
“It’s a team effort,” Jordan Caroline said. “It’s not just one guy.”
Coach Eric Musselman and his players said that defense is a key, especially without Caleb Martin. Musselman said he hasn’t been pleased with his team’s defense for the last three weeks.
“We’re not going to outscore people,” Musselman said. “If we don’t defend and rebound, we’re not going to win another game. I don’t know whether we’re capable of it (playing defense).”
“I don’t think we need to change our identity,” Cody Martin said. “The biggest thing is just play defense; take pride in our defense. We’re capable of doing that, I just don’t know why we don’t sometimes.”
Nevada did a tremendous job against 7-foot UNLV freshman phenom Brandon McCoy, who was held to eight points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes. He came in averaging 18 a game. McCoy got up just six shots. He didn’t play a lot in the second half after picking up his fourth foul with 15:31 left in the game. He did come back in late, but fouled out after picking up a technical foul.
SOMETHING ABOUT BEING RANKED
Nevada moved to 0-4 in games played after being ranked.
The loss could knock the Pack out of the rankings again even if it spanks San Diego State. There isn’t a lot of margin for error for mid-major teams.
Of the four games, this is the first time Nevada has played at home after being ranked.
The crowd was the eighth-largest in school history, and Musselman and Martin appreciated the support, but obviously were disappointed that they were unable to deliver a win.
“It was an unbelievable crowd,” Musselman said.
“Awful, especially after a turnout like that,” Martin said when asked how he felt. “They want to see us win. We appreciate them coming out and showing support. They are a big influence on how we play. We didn’t give them what they needed.”
NEW, OLD FACE
Nevada added two players to its roster this week. David Cunningham, a walk-on last year, was in uniform along with Elijah Cooks, a wide receiver on the football team.
Neither played, and probably won’t the rest of the year. Musselman said they were added mainly to be practice players.
BY THE NUMBERS
UNLV still leads the all-time series, 60-25, but Nevada has won four of the last seven meetings … Nevada has won 20 or more games three straight years and 11 of the last 15. The three straight 20-win seasons ranks second to the streak Mark Fox- and David Carter-led teams accomplished from 2003-2010 … Nevada put four players in double figures for the 12th time this season. The eight-point loss was the largest margin in a loss this season.
The Pack concludes its two-game homestand with a Saturday (5 p.m.) contest against San Diego State.
The Aztecs are 5-6 in conference play and 13-9 overall under first-year head coach Brian Dutcher. San Diego State is 1-5 on the road this season.