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Gameday update: Nevada at Wichita State

Wichita State’s Anton Grady will play at Koch Arena for the first time since suffering a spinal concussion against Alabama.
Wichita State’s Anton Grady will play at Koch Arena for the first time since suffering a spinal concussion against Alabama. The Wichita Eagle

▪  Nevada’s defensive numbers are impressive, although it’s hard to know how much of that performance is influenced by a schedule that includes two NCAA Division II schools and six other opponents 200 or lower in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings.

The Wolf Pack played two top-100 teams and lost to both. It allowed Hawaii to make 53.2 percent of its two-point baskets in a 76-75 road loss, while holding the Warriors to 4-of-19 shooting behind the arc. Oregon State shot 42.3 percent inside the arc and 35.7 percent behind it in a 66-62 home win.

According to kenpom.com’s rankings, the best offense faced by Nevada is Oregon State, ranked No. 69 in offensive efficiency, followed by No. 128 Hawaii and No. 129 Drake. Four of its NCAA Division I opponents rank in the bottom half of the nation in offensive efficiency.

Nevada averages 7.3 blocks a game, tops in the Mountain West. Freshman center Cameron Oliver (6-foot-8) has 26 of Nevada’s 80 blocks. However, senior A.J. West, who has 18 blocks, is no longer on the team.

Also factor in that 18 of Nevada’s blocks came in the two games against NCAA Division II opponents.

Nevada has out-rebounded all 11 of its opponents.

▪  Nevada’s offense certainly benefited from playing the two lower-level teams. The Wolf Pack is shooting 27.6 percent from three-point range in games against NCAA Division I opponents. Its effective field goal percentage of 44.6 ranks No. 307 among 351 teams.

F Tyron Criswell, one of Nevada’s most efficient scorers, may be out or limited by a knee sprain.

▪  Center Bush Wamukota, who has been bothered by back stiffness since before the season and didn’t play in the second half Saturday, participated in Monday’s shootaround. So did forward Zach Brown, who left Saturday’s game with his left foot wrapped in ice.

Freshman guard Ty Taylor (shoulder) isn’t expected to play. Taylor has not played since recording two minutes of action at Saint Louis.

▪  Nevada has three transfers sitting out, two from MVC schools — Marcus Marshall (Missouri State) and Jordan Caroline (Southern Illinois).

▪  WSU is protecting a 36-game home win streak and one of 35 straight home non-conference games.

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Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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