Category: Basketball

Here’s a link to a Yahoo Sports article. In it, Ryan Greene name Nevada the No. 13 best basketball team in the west! Greene writes of Nevada: The Wolf Pack moves to the Mountain West, and comes in strong with one of the league’s best backcourt combos in Deonte Burton and Malik Story.

Sounds good! Other MWC teams that made the list are Nevada Southern, San Diego State, New Mexico and Colorado State.

Obviously it shows that head coach David Carter and company are going to have a challenging season. No WAC teams made the list, just for reference. The bigger question is can Nevada replace Dario Hunt’s defensive and rebounding contributions and who can step up to fill Olek Czyz’s role?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Report: Blazers fire coach

Multiple media outlets are reporting that the Portland Trail Blazers have fired head coach Nate McMillan. Portland is 20-23 on the season and lost seven of its last 10 games.

Not sure I’d give Nate the boot like this so quickly. I sort of think Portland’s problems go beyond this…like two franchise players not being able to play.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Yes, March Madness has begun. And with the NCAA Tournament comes the brackets. And with the brackets comes the feeling of hope, frustration and utter stupidity as my brackets fall by the wayside. So I’ve given up trying to pretend I know enough about all the teams to make “educated” picks. So, here’s my final four from my first bracket, the, what I hope, is the more realistic bracket then my second one.

Wisconsin, Michigan State, North Carolina and Baylor.

Yes, I do have another bracket but I’ll wait to reveal that one until late tonight. That was more of a fun one where I used different methods people told me they used to pick my bracket. Stay tuned.

Luaks Eggen can be reached at

Nevada lost to Louisiana Tech in the semifinals, setting up a New Mexico State-La. Tech WAC Championship game. For the record, I think the Aggies will cruise to the win.

That leaves the Wolf Pack on the outside looking in for the NCAA Tournament. But, does it deserve to get in?

The fan in me says yes. Nevada still went 26-6. It still won the regular season WAC title. It had a 16-game winning streak. It had a top 6o RPI and was 4-3 against the top-100 RPI teams it faced. Its strength of schedule (164th) was still higher than Drexel’s, and the Wolf Pack did beat Washington, another bubble team and went 4-8 against top-1oo RPI teams.

The problem? Who exactly did the Wolf Pack beat this year? Montana, who won its conference tournament to get a spot in the NCAA Tournament? Yet, it also lost to UNLV, lost to BYU, lost to Iona and had a loss to Idaho. The point? Every chance Nevada had to get a great victory it faltered. Not to mention its wilting in the WAC Tournament again doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the selection committee. Why choose a team that already peaked and is now apparently not playing nearly as well?

The fan in me wants them to make it. The sports writer in me knows that it doesn’t deserve to.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Earlier, I wrote that the Nevada men’s basketball team has the potential to go down as one of the better teams in program history. Last night against San Jose State, they didn’t show it. A pitiful shooting effort in the first half led to the Spartans taking a 14-13 lead into the half. Yes, the Wolf Pack managed just 13 points, tied for the lowest record in WAC Tournament history. My rec league basketball team when I was in grade school scored more than that. Though it recovered to win 54-44, some questions now linger. Was that the Wolf Pack just overlooking the Spartans and are now good since they “woke up” in the second half? Is there a bigger problem?

Deonte Burton, this is your chance to shine once again. Prove you deserve that WAC Player of the Year Award. Coach David Carter, this is your time to step up as well. This team must play better at the beginning of the game. It can’t get away with trying to coast against Louisiana Tech or potentially New Mexico State. Fair or not, the only way the Wolf Pack is going dancing is if it wins this tournament. Especially with Washington losing to Oregon State in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, Nevada’s resume just doesn’t stack up. It’s time to rise to the occasion boys. Make us proud.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

It’s time. The road to the NCAA Tournament begins today for the Wolf Pack. Nevada likely needs to win the WAC Tournament to get a spot in the big dance. Up first is No. 8 San Jose State. The Wolf Pack crushed the Spartans in the first meeting, but had trouble shaking them off in the second. Is San Jose State prime for a major upset?

The last time these teams met is probably a good indicator of what the Spartans will have to do to have a chance. That game, Olek Czyz and Malik Story were on fire, but Deonte Burton went just two-of-seven from the field. San Jose State had three players score in double figures, James Kinney, Keith Shamburger and Wil Carter. They need all three to do that again. Kinney had 11 points in the first five minutes of the second half alone, keeping the game close. But, the big advantage came on the boards where Nevada had 15 offensive rebounds. Dario Hunt needs to dominate in the middle.

The Wolf Pack hasn’t looked dominant as of late. Since a 13-point win against Fresno State on Jan. 21, Nevada’s conference wins have come by eight, two, one, one, six, three, four and 10 points. In short, the WAC is wide open.

If San Jose State wants to win this game it needs to hold Nevada to fewer than 70 points. The Spartans simply do not have enough scoring options to get into a shootout and win. It also needs to keep the rebounding battle close, especially on the offensive boards.

For Nevada, it will be key to get a big lead early. The longer the Spartans stick around, the more pressure the Wolf Pack will feel. With Nevada being the top seed, the pressure’s all on them. If this game stays close, the Wolf Pack could get tense and then San Jose State has its chance for the upset.

Prediction: Nevada should take care of business today. The Wolf Pack wins 77-67.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

The WAC Tournament begins tomorrow. And it should be a fun one. The Wolf Pack will be looking to lock in its spot to the NCAA Tournament while the others will be looking to spoil the party and go dancing themselves.

On paper, Nevada should be the odds on favorite. Coach of the year David Carter and player of the year Deonte Burton lead a talented starting five. But, it’ll be Malik Story and Olek Czyz who will be the difference makers. If they’re on, the Wolf Pack will cruise. If they’re off…well they’ll be in some trouble.

Don’t overlook New Mexico State. The Aggies showed it can hang with the Pack and a showdown could be set for the championship game. Also don’t overlook Idaho. The Vandals could play Nevada in the title game. The Vandals were the only team to beat Nevada during conference play.

Nevada hasn’t looked too impressive in the last few WAC tourneys. And, as San Jose State showed last season, come tournament time, anything can happen. Who do you think will win?

Prediction: Nevada takes down New Mexico State in the championship game.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

No. 1 Fresno State vs. No. 8 New Mexico State

This appears to be the Bulldogs’ championship to lose. Fresno State scored 70 or more points in 12 of the team’s 14 conference games. It had just one conference loss, a one-point loss at San Jose State. Ki-Ki Moore and Rosie Moult combine for 29.4 points per game, making them one of the most prolific scoring duos in the WAC. Fresno State’s outscoring opponents by an average of more than 13 points per game. The Aggies don’t stand a chance on this one.

Fresno State wins 77-59.

No. 2 Utah State vs. No. 7 Nevada

The Wolf Pack is entering the WAC Tournament on a two-game winning streak, including a win against the third-seeded Lady Techsters. And has been in 16 games decided by 10 points or less. Nevada is just 5-11 in those games, however. Clearly seniors Kayla Williams, Kate Kevorken and Amanda Johnson are going to have to be at their best for Nevada to have a chance. The Aggies, however, have won five of its last six. Devyn Christensen and Ashlee Brown (who average 15.4 and 14.8 points per game, respectively) lead four players averaging double digit points per game. Nevada will play inspired basketball, but fall just short.

Utah State wins 74-67.

No. 3 Louisiana Tech vs. No. 6 Hawaii

The Lady Techsters have been wildly inconsistent. It came close to beating Fresno State twice, but got blown out against Utah State. Louisiana Tech lost three of its last four, including a three-point loss to Fresno State and a four-point loss to Nevada. It’s not as potent offensively as it has been in past years, averaging 66.7 points per game. Jasmine Bendolph is going to have to have a big game. Hawaii also lost three of its last four games, losing blowouts to Fresno State, Utah State and Idaho. But, Hawaii did beat the Lady Techsters twice already this season. For the Rainbow-Wahine, all eyes will be on how well Kamila Jackson plays. It’s hard to get a read on Hawaii. It’s suffered a lot of blowouts. But, the Lady Techsters seem ripe for an upset. And Hawaii seems to have their number.

Hawaii wins 69-62.

No. 4 Idaho vs. No. 5 San Jose State

Idaho and San Jose State split its season series. Both games were decided by five points or less. The Spartans will need Brittany Johnson, who set a single season scoring record for SJSU to be on her game. The Vandals are coming in hot, winning three of its last four. It will be a back and forth game, but I’ll give a slight edge to San Jose State.

Spartans win 68-64.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Yes, one week from today we will be in the middle of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. The Wolf Pack clinched sole possession of the regular season title with its 65-61 victory against New Mexico State last night. And, while Nevada still needs to win the WAC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament, last night’s win was big for several reasons.

One, it was nice to see Malik Story get hot again, especially in the first half when he was four-of-five from beyond the arc. Two, it’s nice for the team to close out the regular season championship. It makes a team a lot more confident knowing its the number one seed and facing what should be a pretty easy path to the championship game than if it stumbled in and just shared the WAC regular season title. Three, the team looks like it is on a mission. It knows it has to win the tournament to get to the Big Dance. And, Olek Czyz, Dario Hunt and company look ready for the challenge.

Biggest worry? How healthy Deonte Burton will be. He said via Facebook he fractured his middle finger on his shooting hand. And it affected him, as he scored just nine points on three-of-nine shooting from the field. If this injury nags him through next week, the potential is there that Nevada could find itself in some trouble. It’s hard for opponents to take both Story and Burton out of the game if both of them are playing well. But, if Burton’s injury does it for them, Nevada’s scoring attack gets a whole lot less scary. A less than 100 percent Burton puts Nevada in treacherous waters.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

The Green Bay Press Gazette reported that middle schooler Miranda Washinawato was punished in front of her class and held out of a basketball game in January because she said “I love you” to to of her friends in a language native to the Menominee tribe which her family is a part of.

The teacher said it was because she couldn’t understand what she was saying.

Are you kidding me? Look, I understand that you’d want students to speak in English in school. But to punish her publicly and to hold her out of a game because she said I love you? That’s a little extreme. People curse at each other in English and don’t get in that much trouble. You’re saying that uttering a phrase like “I love you” to your friends in a different language is worse than cussing someone out in a language you understand?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at