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3 takeaways from Nevada’s win over USC

Nevada passed its first true-road test with a hard-fought, 73-61 win.

NCAA Basketball: Nevada at Southern California Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Nevada faced its largest deficit of the season when they trailed USC by seven in the middle of the first half on Saturday. However, Musselman got his team together and cut the halftime deficit to one. Nevada would go on to dominate the second half, outscoring the Trojans by 13 en route to a 73-61 win.

Here are the takeaways from Nevada second consecutive blowout road victory.

Jordan Caroline is still the heart and soul of this Nevada team

Eric Musselman has a lot more toys to play with in his frontcourt, but Jordan Caroline is still the engine that runs the Muss Buss. The Wolfpack are 31-2 when Caroline has a double-double. Caroline came big once again scoring 24 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Caroline exemplifies the identity of this Nevada team. Look for the undersize forward to continue to be Nevada’s most important player.

Nevada’s length is a problem

In the first couple games, Nevada had trouble using their length as an advantage. They had issues with defensive spacing and had struggled with their communication. Teams were shooting very well in the paint — something that shouldn’t happen against Nevada’s length. USC came into the game with one of the most efficient offenses in the country. Coming into the game Betonline gave USC a high team total of 76.5. They ranked No. 27 in effective field goal percentage and 1232 No. 17 in three point percentage.

USC scored at least 75 in six of its seven games. But against Nevada, USC shot 50% in the first half but only shot 38% in the second. Nevada was able to rotate much better defensively in the first half. Caleb and Cody Martin length on the perimeter prevented USC from getting any open shots from three.

This win proves Nevada is a top five team

If you just thought Nevada was a good mid-major team that played a bunch of nobodies, well it’s Dec. 1 and you have already been proven wrong.

Nevada road domination over the Trojans should go a long way into the selection committee’s minds. USC will sit a top of the PAC-12 conference and this win will look very good come March. Nevada had the superior talent and it showed. The Wolfpack exemplified themselves as a top 5 team.