Texas and Nevada ready for shoot-out

Rick Barnes has now taken the Texas Longhorns to seven straight NCAA Tournaments, and on Monday he showed his comedic side.

When a reporter on Monday's Big 12 basketball teleconference informed him that Nevada coach Mark Fox was having trouble finding tape on his squad, Barnes didn't miss a beat.

"We tape a lot of games," Barnes said. "We have the Kansas (vs. Nevada) tape. I'll sell him (Fox) some."

Barnes was asked how much the tapes cost?

"It depends on which ones you want," Barnes responded with a laugh.

Fox, who coached at Kansas State for several years, may be forced to either fork out some bucks or hope the coaches at K-State would be willing to help him out. Fox said they do have a few television tapes of the Longhorns.

It may be coach-speak, but Barnes seems to have a healthy respect for the Wolf Pack.

"They have five guys back (Kevinn Pinkney, Seth Taylor, Nick Fazekas, Kyle Shiloh and Jermaine Washington) from their Sweet 16 team," Barnes said. "They are one of the hottest teams in the country. They won 10 straight before their conference tournament.

"I like the consistency they've shown. I'm impressed with (Ramon) Sessions their point guard. He has a good assist to turnover ratio. I like their team. They aren't going to be wide-eyed coming into the NCAA Tournament."

The Texas coach also was impressed with 6-foot-11 Nick Fazekas, who despite growing up in Colorado, didn't get any interest from Big 12 schools.

"You look at his consistency," Barnes said. "He is a double-double (almost) every night. What coach wouldn't want that.

"He was able to go where he could play right away, and nothing takes the place of playing time. We haven't recruited Colorado much. He does a lot of different things. I think he's improved over a year ago."

Barnes, whose team was beaten in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament by Colorado, said he won't tinker much with the Longhorns' routine preparing for tournament.

Barnes said that means no extra time on the floor. It's been a long season, and he said it's important to keep his team fresh over the next few days. He's hoping the extra rest created by the upset loss to Colorado will help the team.

"I hope so," he said. "I've tried more than any year to rest guys because of different injuries," he said. "Now we have to get back into it; get ready to play again.

"It's important to keep that (NCAA streak) going. It speaks volumes for the program."

n Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or call 881-1281.

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