SAN JOSE, Calif. - For the first time in 114 games, Nevada won't have 6-foot-11 forward Nick Fazekas at its disposal.
Fazekas, who suffered a severely sprained left ankle Monday night against Boise State, will miss tonight's game against San Jose State (7:05 p.m.) at The Event Center.
Nevada coach Mark Fox, whose team is on a seven-game winning streak, said Monday that Fazekas wouldn't play tonight. Fox doesn't know who will start in Fazekas' place, and he's not even certain when Fazekas will play again.
"We could go some different ways," Fox said. "If we play small, I could go with Lyndale Burleson or Brandon Fields."
If he decides to go big, he could go with 7-foot David Ellis, 6-11 JaVale McGee or 6-8 Matt LaGrone.
San Jose State will start 6-10 230-pound Menelik Barbary in the post, and he has some nice offensive moves and his averaging nearly 11 a game. Kerry Woodlridge, a 6-9 transfer from Minnesota and 6-8 Lance Holloway give the Spartans length off the bench. Wooldridge has been hampered by a tendon problem in his ankle. The Spartans' 6-7 forward Tim Pierce (sporained ankle) isn't expected to play.
"It (the starting lineup) all depends on who George (Nessman, SJSU coach) decides to start," Fox said. "They're having some injury problems. They played four guards the other night against New Mexico State."
Carlton Spencer is averaging nearly 16 a game and hitting 39 percent of his 3-point attempts, and Jamon Hall, who has started all 14 games this year is averaging 9.1. Spencer scored 15 in the first meeting against Nevada last season.
The Spartans only lost by six to New Mexico State in Las Cruces last Saturday, and that is one of the toughest places to play in the WAC.
Nevada has played well without Fazekas in two of the past three games. He missed the final 5:15 against Gonzaga after fouling out, and he missed the last 21 minutes against Boise State, but because of the play of Ellis, Kyle Shiloh, Ramon Sessions and Marcelus Kemp, Nevada was able to pull out the win.
It's Nevada's perimeter players - Shiloh, Sessions and Kemp - that concern Nessman. Even without Fazekas, he knows Nevada is capable of putting points on the board.
"They don't present a lot of holes," Nessman said when asked how you attack Nevada. "Nevada is solid across the board. They aren't a team that is going to make a lot of mistakes with the ball.
"Kemp, Shiloh and Sessions are real solid. They can step up in big situations. If you are in the top 20, you are not a one-man team."
Kemp is coming off a 27-point effort against BSU and Sessions added 22. Shiloh got hot down the stretch and scored seven of his 12 points in the final three minutes. Without question, that trio will have to shoulder the offensive load without Fazekas in the lineup.
"Marcelus is playing well," Fox said. "He's playing consistently and scoring the ball consistently. I think he can be a better player; a more complete better, and we'll push him.
"Ramon is playing very well. He's playing aggressively and has his confidence back. Obviously he's worked hard on his shot, and his numbers are up. Kyle doesn't put up huge numbers, and what he does doesn't show up in the boxscore. Where you see the effect, you would have to check the other team's boxscore."
Fox also pointed out that this is only the fourth home game of the year for San Jose State, which really makes its record deceiving. The Spartans have played the seventh-toughest schedule in the nation, according to the Sagarin rankings. SJSU acquitted itself well in a 70-51 road loss at Duke.
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NEVADA (14-1, 2-0) AT SAN JOSE STATE (1-13, 0-2)
When: Tonight, 7:05 p.m.
Where: The Event Center
TV: www,wactv.com (pay-per-view)
Radio: ESPN Radio 630 AM, pre-game at 6:40 p.m.
Probable starters: NEVADA - F David Ellis (2.5, 1.9) or Lyndale Burleson (1.8, 1.0) and Denis Ikovlev (5.6, 3.9); G Marcelus Kemp (18.8, 3.8), Ramon Sessions (13.3, 4.3), Kyle Shiloh (8.5, 3.1). SJSU - F Devonte Thomas (6.5, 4.5); C Menelik Barbary (10.9, 6.2); G Carlton Spencer (15.8, 3.3), Kevin Buggs (3.8, 2.1), Jamon Hill (9.1, 3.3).
Prediction: Nevada 59, SJSU 55