Wolf Pack road trip, Part Two
BY DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
Taking an inexperienced basketball team on a coast-to-coast road trip to start the season isn't ideal as Nevada found out firsthand Sunday afternoon in Florida.
The 63-60 loss to Central Florida of Conference USA was the first time that Nevada had lost a season-opener in five years.
Nevada, which will have logged 5,800 miles after its first road trip of the season, is back on the West Coast tonight to face UC Irvine (7:35 p.m./630 AM) at the Anaheim Convention Center. Nevada hasn't gone 0-2 since the 1993-94 season when the Pack lost to Rice and Baylor to start the season.
"We made a lot of mental (and physical) mistakes that we have to correct," Nevada coach Mark Fox said. "We have to identify them and hopefully correct them. They were from inexperience, and you can put that in bold print. It was not making the right read and not making the right decision."
Nevada turned the ball over 18 times which led to 18 points and yielded 19 offensive rebounds, leading to 19 second-chance points. In a three-point game, that's tremendous. Nevada was outrebounded 40-39. A year ago, Nevada was 5-2 in games where it was outrebounded.
Normally when you hold a team to 63 points and less than 40 percent from the field, you're going to be satisfied. That wasn't the case.
"I didn't think it was very good," Fox said.
Fox said he hadn't seen much tape on Irvine, but noted that all-Big West forward Patrick Sanders, who scored 12 points and pulled down nine rebounds in a win over Loyola last weekend, returns.
"We have to get ready quickly," Fox said.
Irvine coach Pat Douglass was hoping Nevada was coming to town with a win under its belt.
"They are going to come with a lot more p- - - and vinegar than normal," Douglas said of the Pack. "I saw their exhibition game on film, and I'm supposed to get another tape. I haven't seen any tape with (Marcelus) Kemp in it. Kemp is an established player who can go inside or out.
"Obviously they're pretty much trying to run the same system. (JaVale) McGee didn't get as many touches as he did in the exhibition game. His potential is unlimited. As he develops physically, he is going to be a heck of a player."
Many coaches worry about their teams more than the opposition, but not Douglass.
"They go 6-9 (Demarshay Johnson) and 6-11 (McGee) up front, so I have to be concerned about them a little bit," Douglass said.
The Nevada duo will be a handful for Irvine's trio of Patrick Sanders, 6-7 Adam Rodenberg and 6-8 Kevin Bland. Bland and Rodenberg are junior college transfers.
"We have to do a better job on the boards," Douglass said. "Nevada can really control the boards (because of their length). We have to find a way to board. Hopefully we can shoot the 3-ball a little better (1-for-11 against Loyola)."
• Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281