Nevada Wolf Pack: Steve Alford
Biggest challenge: Continuing the momentum. Nevada was one of the hottest programs in the country under Musselman the past few years. High-level transfers all had the Wolf Pack on their list, they landed a McDonald’s All-American and they went to three straight NCAA tournaments. Can Alford keep that going? It’s going to be a tough ask, especially since half the roster was seniors or left via transfer. But despite Alford’s perceived struggles at UCLA, he still went to three Sweet 16s in a four-year span, played up-tempo basketball and recruited effectively. He can win at Nevada.
Early returns: It certainly could have been worse for the Wolf Pack. While six of the team’s top seven scorers departed and four players transferred, Alford did persuade five players to withdraw from the transfer portal and return to Reno — including former starters Lindsey Drew and Jazz Johnson, and potential all-conference player Jalen Harris. He also filled out the roster with a couple of late signees, but also picked up two intriguing sit-out transfers in Desmond Cambridge (Brown) and Warren Washington (Oregon State).