Mar 22, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Pacific Tigers forward Ross Rivera (20) blocks the shot by Miami Hurricanes forward/center Kenny Kadji (35) during the first half of the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at the Frank Erwin Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Pacific Game Preview: Tigers Pick Fight With Wolfpack

Game time: 7:05 PM PST


Radio: See

Projected Starting Lineups – PAC – Andrew Bock, Sama Taku, Trevin Harris, Khalil Kelley, Tony Gill – Nev – Deonte Burton, Michael Perez, Jerry Evans Jr., Ali Huff, Cole Fall

Welcome to the WCC, Pacific. Well, kinda. The Pacific Tigers will play its first regular season game as a member of the West Coast Conference tonight. However, it will not be an easy contest, as the Tigers will have to travel to Reno, Nevada to take on the Wolfpack of Nevada. Below is a closer look at this Mountain West Conference adversary and keys to victory for the Tigers.

Closer Look at Nevada

Conference: Mountain West

Head Coach: David Carter

Record Last Season: 12-19 (3-13)

Returning Leading Scorer: Deonte Burton (16.3 PPG)

Returning Leading Rebounder: Jerry Evans Jr. (5.6 RPG)

Returning Leading Assister: Deonte Burton (3.6 APG)

The Wolfpack was expected to do much better in the MWC last season, but head coach David Carter’s squad struggled. The Wolfpack went 3-13 in conference play, and were a cellar dweller last year. This season could be rough as well, considering Nevada lost its leading scorer Malik Story to graduation. Deonte Burton will need to replace a large chunk of Story’s scoring, even though Burton averaged 16.3 points last season. Burton is also the Wolfpacks point guard, and will be dishing out most of the assists. He will be a tough matchup for Pacific point guard Andrew Bock.

Keys to the Game

Feed the Post

Nevada does not have a lot of experience in its front-court, and the Wolfpack struggled to rebound last season. Thankfully for Pacific, its frontcourt is its strength. If Pacific pounds the ball down low to Tony Gill, Ross Rivera, and Khalil Kelley, that will create a mismatch with Nevada and increases the Tigers chances of winning.

Sama Taku: Score, Score, and Score some more.

Senior guard Sama Taku is the most seasoned scorer on the Tigers roster and will be asked to carry the offense throughout the season. With the Tigers adopting a faster pace this season, expect Taku to get shots up early and often. This will be Taku’s first true test of the season, and his response could be indicative to a win or a loss for Pacific against Nevada.

Tags: Basketball College Basketball Nevada Nevada Wolfpack Pacific Pacific Tigers WCC West Coast Conference

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