Transfers have become a trend for Nevada during the Eric Musselman era. Seven players on the 2017-18 roster began their collegiate career elsewhere. On Tuesday, that number increased to eight.
Marquez Letcher-Ellis, who played his first two years at Rice, joined the Wolf Pack, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN. He will sit out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations but will have two years of eligibility remaining.
He averaged 7.7 points per game this past season, which was down from average double figures as a freshman. Letcher-Ellis left the program after Mike Rhoades accepted the head coaching job at VCU. Rice assistant Scott Pera was elevated to head coach.
Letcher-Ellis finds his new school days after Marcus Evans, one of the more sought after transfers, followed Rhoades to VCU. Egor Koulechov and Marcus Jackson, the other two leading scorers for the Owls, graduated and are eligible immediately. Jackson has since committed to UC Santa Barbara.
While Letcher-Ellis will be restricted to practice, he could play an integral role. The Wolf Pack could be ranked in the preseason, even if Cameron Oliver does not return. Jordan Caroline and Lindsey Drew both return while Caleb and Cody Martin (N.C. State) and Kendall Stephens (Purdue) join the program after sitting out last season. Letcher-Ellis, a versatile defender given his size and length, will be a valuable addition to the scout team.
NBC Sports ranks Nevada No. 25 in the 2017-18 preseason poll.
What Jordan Caroline did on Saturday night is almost beyond belief.
The 6-foot-6 Nevada forward went for 45 points, 13 boards, nine assists and five blocks, sparking a comeback from 25 points down with 11 minutes to play while hitting the game-winning three in overtime to give the Wolf Pack a 105-104 win at New Mexico.
That is the second-most points that anyone has scored in a game this season. It’s easily the most impressive statline that anyone has posted.
And it came in a game where Nevada erased the eighth-largest deficit a winning team has ever faced in the second half of a college game.
That’s not all, either. Caroline also went for 19 points and 11 boards as Nevada picked up a win over San Diego State, who suddenly looks destined to finish at the bottom of the Mountain West. That’s not a bad week for Caroline. It’s not a bad week for Nevada, either. Not only are they currently sitting in second place in the conference, just a game behind Boise State, but they’re doing so after their third-most talented player did all of this.
Watch out for Nevada. You’ve been warned.
(You can see all the highlights from the comeback here.)
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THEY WERE GOOD, TOO
- Joel Berry II, North Carolina: Berry opened up the week with a career-high 31 points, hitting seven threes – including a number of critical jumpers down the stretch – as the Heels knocked off Clemson on the road. Berry followed that up with 19 points, five boards and five assists in a 51-point win (you read that right) over N.C. State in Chapel Hill.
- Steve Vasturia, Notre Dame: The Irish won games at home against Clemson and Louisville this week, and Vasturia averaged 19.0 points in the two wins. He also scored critical baskets down the stretch in both, which includes the game-winner against the Cardinals.
- John Gillon, Syracuse: In the last two games, Syracuse has played, essentially, a five-man rotation, and it seems that John Gillon is the biggest beneficiary. The new full-time point guard, Gillon has handed out 22 total assists and averaged 14.0 points in two wins, as the Orange bounced back from a blowout loss to Boston College.
- Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga: Williams-Goss had his best game at Gonzaga on Thursday, exploding for 36 points, 11 boards and six assists in a 95-80 win at San Francisco. The knock on this Zags team is that they don’t have a star, a go-to guy that commands the rock on big possessions. Could Williams-Goss end up being that guy?
- Justin Patton, Creighton: There may not be a bigger breakout star in college hoops this season than Justin Patton, a redshirt freshman 7-footer who is playing his way into the NBA Draft. This was his best week yet, as he averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 boards, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks on 20-for-27 shooting in wins over St. John’s and Providence. Should I mention he can also hit threes?
Eric Musselman keeps adding reinforcements to his roster. For the 2017-18 season.
Musselman and Nevada received commitments from N.C. State transfers and twin brothers Caleb and Cody Martin, according to multiple reports.
That brings Nevada’s sit-out transfer count for this upcoming season to four with Hallice Cooke (Iowa State) and Kendall Stephens (Purdue) already in the fold. Under NCAA transfer rules, the quartet will have to sit out the upcoming season before being eligible in 2017-18.
Caleb averaged 11.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 36 percent from deep while Cody put up 6.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists, shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc.
The timing of having four sit-out transfers works well for the Wolf Pack given that two of the team’s three leading scorers from last year, D.J. Fenner (a senior) and Cameron Oliver (a sophomore), return while senior transfers Marcus Marshall (Missouri State) becomes eligible. Having those four experienced transfers begin playing in 2017-18 while all but two players from this upcoming team slated to return makes Nevada an interesting team, a year from now.
RENO, Nev. (AP) AJ West, who led Nevada in scoring and rebounding a year ago, has left the Wolf Pack for personal reasons.
West, a 6-foot-9 senior, was one of only 11 players in the nation to average a double-double last season with 12.2 points and 10.8 rebounds. His 5.9 offensive rebounds per game led the country and were the most in the NCAA in 20 years.
The Brooklyn, New York, native was averaging 9.6 points and 7.7 rebounds this season but he recently fell out of the starting lineup and his playing minutes were declining under first-year coach Eric Musselman.
West said in a statement provided to the Reno Gazette-Journal on Tuesday that he’s leaving for undisclosed personal reasons and doesn’t “want to be a distraction to the team.”
Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com
Since taking over as the head coach at Nevada this summer, Eric Musselman’s enjoyed a great deal of success on the recruiting front. Two talented transfers in guard Marcus Marshall and forward Leland King will take the floor in 2016-17, as will a freshman class that now has three commits.
Thursday afternoon four-star shooting guard Josh Hall verbally committed to the Mountain West program. The 6-foot-7 Hall, who attends Genesis Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia, announced the news via his Twitter account.
Hall, who last October committed to Rice, joins point guard Devearl Ramsey and power forward Kenneth Wooten in Nevada’s 2016 recruiting class. And in Hall and Ramsey, the Wolf Pack have their backcourt of the future with veterans such as Marshall (one season of eligibility remaining) and junior D.J. Fenner among those who can serve as a buffer of sorts as the freshmen get acclimated to Division I college basketball.
Hall’s a Los Angeles native who this summer played for the California Supreme grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit. Hall averaged 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, shooting just under 51 percent from the field in those games.
Nevada added a local forward on Monday as junior college product Sam Williams pledged to the Wolf Pack, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.
The 6-foot-8, 208-pound Williams played at nearby Hug High School before going to Mt. San Jacinto College for two seasons. In his second season at Mt. San Jacinto, Williams was conference player of the year after averaging 25.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Williams shot 54.1 percent from the floor and 41.6 percent from 3-point range for the season.
Originally committed to Cal State Fullerton, things didn’t work out with that commitment, so Williams opened things up and searched for options. In a report from Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal, Williams will enroll in classes in December and spend this season redshirting.
After the redshirt year, Williams will have two years of eligibility remaining and essentially becomes a 2016 commitment for head coach Eric Musselman. During the redshirt year, Williams can acclimate to the Division I level and also add strength before he likely plays on the wing for the Wolf Pack.