Cowboys, Wolf Pack enter as even teams on paper

Saturday is the biggest game on the schedule for the Wyoming men’s basketball team. One reason is because it’s the next game on the’ schedule. But the biggest reason is up until now, this is the best team that’s come into the Arena-Auditorium this season.

UW (12-5 overall, 2-2 Mountain West) hosts Nevada (14-3, 3-1) at 4 p.m. MT, and fans can watch it online on ESPN3. Nevada is in second place in the conference behind Boise State, but has the best record in the league.

When you look at this game on paper, you see two pretty even teams.

— Nevada leads the MW in scoring (79.4 ppg), followed by UW (78.6 ppg). Both teams allow pretty much the same amount of points. Nevada allows 72.2, UW 72.9 per contest. Look for a high-scoring, entertaining game Saturday if nothing else.

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How I voted in MW men’s basketball preseason poll

Ready or not, basketball season is nearly upon us. Wednesday was Mountain West Men’s Basketball Media Day in Las Vegas. The league released its all-conference team and predicted order of finish.

Selected media members voted on both, and I was asked to vote. Here’s how I voted in the predicted order of finish

    My poll                                           Official poll

  1. San Diego State                   1. San Diego State

    2. Nevada                                  2. Nevada

   3. New Mexico                            3. New Mexico

  4. Utah State                                4. Fresno State

   5. Boise State                              5. Boise State

   6. Fresno State                            6. Utah State

   7. Colorado State                        7. Colorado State

   8. UNLV                                       8. UNLV

   9. San Jose State                        9. Air Force

  10. Wyoming                               10. Wyoming

  11. Air Force                                  11. San Jose State

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UW vs. Nevada basketball Q&A

Here is my question-and-answer session with Chris Murray, who covers Nevada men’s basketball for the Reno Gazette-Journal, about Wednesday’s game with Wyoming.

Tip off is at 7 p.m. MT at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.

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It will have been 18 days since the last time Wyoming played Nevada — a 71-68 Nevada win in Reno. Has anything changed a lot with he Wolf Pack since that first game?

Chris Murray

Chris Murray

Well, Nevada still can’t shoot. The team ranked 350th out of 351 teams last year in 3-point shooting against Division-I opponents and sits at 339th in the nation this year. Nevada made 5-of-11 3-pointers against Wyoming in the first matchup, one of its best shooting efforts of the season. But this team struggles to score and its defense and rebounding has slipped since it lost AJ West, who also missed the first game. It’s basically the same Nevada team that is reliant on creating turnovers, scoring in transition and playing with pace. Nevada had a good offensive night in its win over Wyoming earlier this month and will need a repeat of that Wednesday to score the sweep.

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