The Scorer's Table: An Early Look at the 2013-14 MW Men's Basketball Season
June 14, 2013
This is the fifth in a series of MW men's basketball blogs detailing developments involving the league's hoops programs since the conclusion of the 2012-13 season. We continue today with Nevada.
Nevada Wolf Pack
Last Season's Record: 12-19, 3-13 MW (9th)
Key Losses: G Malik Story; G Jordan Burris; F Kevin Panzer; F Devonte Elliott.
Key Returners: G Deonte Burton; G Jerry Evans, Jr.; F Cole Huff; G Marqueze Coleman.
2013-14 Signees: G D.J. Fenner; C Ronnie Stevens; C AJ West; F/C Lucas Stivrins.
Sizing Up The Recruits: The 6-6 Fenner, a product of Seattle Prep High School, was last season's Player of the Year in the state of Washington. He averaged 27.3 points per game and scored fewer than 20 points only three times all season. He had nine games of 30 or more points and two games of 40 or more. Stevens is a 6-9, 225-pound center from Los Angeles who played at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, the past two seasons. Appearing in 18 games last year, he averaged 4.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.0 block per game. As with Stevens, Nevada coach David Carter added much-needed size to the lineup with the additions of West and Stivrins. The 6-9, 230-pound West arrives from Monroe College in New Rochelle, N.Y., where he averaged 10.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and a nation's best 5.1 blocks per game. He recorded 10 or more blocks three times and posted double-digit rebounding totals in 11 games. Stivrins, a 6-11, 205-pound forward/center played just one year at Pratt Community College in Kansas and will have three years of eligibility remaining. The Phoenix native averaged 5.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season.
Overview: The good news for the Wolf Pack is that Burton, the fifth-leading scorer in the MW last season (16.3 ppg), opted to return for his senior year rather than declare for the NBA Draft. The not-so-good news is that Burris, Panzer and Elliott, three players who combined for 54 starts last season, all opted to transfer, leaving Burton as the only full-time returning starter. Burris, Panzer and Elliott all would have been entering their senior seasons. Burton, one of 29 players in the nation invited by USA Basketball to compete for a spot on the roster for the 2013 USA Basketball Men's World University Games, was Nevada's second-leading scorer last season. He also averaged a team-high 3.6 assists and had the best field-goal percentage on the squad (.449) among full-time starters. Evans Jr. averaged a team-high 5.4 rebounds to go along with 7.5 points per game, while Coleman and Huff averaged 4.5 and 4.3 points, respectively. Nevada endured its share of struggles on the defensive end last season, ranking last in the MW in scoring defense (71.9), field-goal percentage defense (.453), three-point field-goal percentage defense (.308) and three-point field-goal defense (.373).