Nevada Sports Net’s Chris Murray will break down each of Nevada’s 12 eligible scholarship players prior to the Wolf Pack basketball team’s season opener Nov. 6 versus BYU. We will count the players down in alphabetical order using their last names. Today’s player: Trey Porter.
Hometown: Woodbridge, Va.
2017-18 stats: 23.6 mpg, 13.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 58.8 FG%, 67 FT% (at Old Dominion)
Likely role: Porter is the big man the Wolf Pack has lacked during coach Eric Musselman’s first three seasons at Nevada, a true center who brings experience after playing at George Mason and Old Dominion before joining the Wolf Pack this offseason as a graduate transfer. He’s an excellent athlete for his size and will add the lob to Nevada’s offensive arsenal as he can go up and get it. Porter is a solid rebounder (he would have led the Wolf Pack in total rebounding rate last season) and can protect the rim, averaging three blocks per 40 minutes across his college career. Porter, who is a type one diabetic and wears a patch during games, has never played more than 23.6 minutes per game, so he might not be a 30-minute player for the Wolf Pack, but he should make a big impact during the time he is on the court while filling one of the few holes on the roster. In addition to his strong defense, Porter shot 58.8 percent from the field last season and has improved that mark each year in college. He’s an efficient scorer who will match up well against the bigger frontcourts in the Mountain West.
Key stat: 27.9 — Porter’s Player Efficiency Rating (PER) last season was 27.9, which was among the top numbers in the nation. For comparison, Nevada’s leader in PER last season was Caleb Martin at 23.2. Porter also ranked 10th in the nation in win shares per 40 minutes at 0.245. These stats are pointed out to highlight how effective Porter has been when he has been on the court. Nevada has not played with a true big under Musselman, so finding minutes for Porter at the start of the season might not be easy, but he’s worth getting on the court – he’ll start at center – as often as possible, especially in the right matchups.
In his words: “The one thing I want to get out of the season is a lot of wins and a deep run in the tournament. That’s something I haven’t been able to do in college. I haven’t been in the tournament. I think that’s what everybody wants. With this year’s team, it’s bigger than just getting to the tournament. It’s making a run to the Final Four. With this being my third school, one thing that is different is it’s an open system. I don’t have to just stay on the block. That’s where they do see using me a lot, but I do get the option to step out and show different aspects of my game. Our experience actually helps a lot because when times get tough, having that maturity to rally everybody up and knowing what we have to do is great. We have seven seniors, which is remarkable. When we do go and play against their younger and talented teams we have to face, that experience and maturity we can really rely on it. I think people won’t get bitter (because of their minutes) because of the potential this team has. It’s different to go ride the bench on a team that is projected to finish mid-conference and not have as high of aspirations. With at team like this, you’re going to get seen with the players we have. My first school we didn’t have very much support, my second school we had a pretty good fan base, but this year I’ve heard it’s going to be great with the hype and season tickets sold out. I think it might be the craziest.”
Sports columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MurrayNSN.