How does Nevada basketball stack up against the Wyoming Cowboys?

Nevada basketball is traveling to Laramie, Wyoming to play the Wyoming Cowboys in another two-game series. Although they may not be the greatest challengers that Nevada has faced, the Cowboys still have a few players who are major threats as well as a tight man defense. Nevada certainly has the talent to win on the road, but it cannot afford to underestimate these threats.

Wyoming’s largest offensive threats are junior guards Hunter Maldonado and Drake Jeffries, and freshman guard Marcus Williams. All three Wyoming players are outside shooters and are patient enough to wait for an opening. Considering that Nevada has allowed for outside 3-pointers on missed slides and slippery passes from opponents, it needs to pay extra careful attention. In the last five games, these three Wyoming players have scored 69 points on 3-pointers alone. The Cowboys will try to stay as spread out as possible on offense for not only these three-point opportunities, but to catch Nevada’s defense off guard when they drive to the basket.

As for the Cowboys’ defense, they play a tight man defense and try to stick to their opponents like glue, which causes high pressure. But this will give Nevada players like sophomore guard Grant Sherfield and junior guard Desmond Cambridge the opportunity to easily get past and drive inside. Wyoming doesn’t like to leave more than a couple feet for its opponents’ offenses so Nevada can exploit this with a classic back door cut and pass from the outside.

While Wyoming has some strategies that are effective against most teams in the conference, Nevada has more young skill and talent that will give it the upper hand in this weekend matchup. Sherfield, Cambridge and sophomore forward Warren Washington will all be the Wolf Pack’s biggest assets on both offense and defense. Sherfield is averaging 18.7 points per game with 85 overall assists and 25 steals for the season so far. Washington has forced 21 turnovers and scored 129 points as a major inside threat for Nevada. And lastly, Desmond Cambridge is a major outside threat with five games over 20 points this season.

In order to effectively beat the Cowboys on offense, Nevada is going to have to keep its eyes open for any gap in the man defense. Because Wyoming likes to play so tight, the key for Nevada will be to settle into a spread offense but rapidly rotate the ball to try and find that back door pass for a three from Cambridge or Sherfield or inside for a quick dunk from Washington. The fact that Wyoming likes to keep high pressure while on defense will work against it when playing against Nevada basketball this weekend simply because the Wolf Pack have threats both inside and outside. You can watch game one on Stadium Television Network on Friday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN Radio 94.5 FM) and game two will be televised on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. ET (ESPN Radio 94.5 FM).

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