Location: Reno, NV
Conference: Western Athletic
Last Year’s Record: 21-13
Why they’ll make it: The outstanding duo of Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson return to lead the Wolfpack this season. Babbitt is a uniquely skilled player who can not only score and rebound in the post, but he can also step out behind the arc and shoot the three-pointer at a high percentage. Johnson is the floor general and really makes the Wolfpack move. Those two, along with key contributors, Brandon Fields, Joey Shaw, and Dario Hunt, should be provide enough production to help Nevada return to the Big Dance. If incoming freshman Devonte Elliot and Jerry Evans are cleared to play for the second semester, that’ll just be icing on the cake.
Why they won’t make it: This Nevada team will have an extremely short bench. With only eight returning letterwinners, the Wolfpack will not have much depth. The fact that Elliot and Evans were declared ineligible for the fall semester only makes the problem worst. The Wolfpack will have a very solid starting five, but that’s about all they know they can count on right now. If Elliot and Evans aren’t cleared and no one else steps up off the bench, this could be a worn down team in March. Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, that’ll probably mean it won’t be a NCAA tournament team.