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Bighorns did not disappoint

BY DARRELL MOODY

Nevada Appeal Sports Writer

It was nice to see such a great turnout for the expansion Reno Bighorns’ first-ever NBA Developmental League game last weekend.

The crowd was within a few hundred of a sellout, and they were definitely behind their new team.

The biggest cheers during player introductions were for hometown heroes Kyle Shiloh and Garry Hill-Thomas, both members of Nevada’s Sweet 16 team in 2003-04.

Shiloh and Hill-Thomas are both averaging 6.5 minutes per contest through the first two games. Shiloh, who played nine minutes off the bench in the home opener against Bakersfield, is adjusting to life on the bench.

“This is the first time (except for my first year at Nevada) that I haven’t been a starter,” Shiloh said last weekend.

Shiloh has Russell Robinson ahead of him, so breaking into the starting lineup could be tough. Shiloh will give the Bighorns exactly what he gave Nevada ” solid defense, a good mid-range game and good ballhandling skills.

The Bighorns are in the midst of a long road trip, but will return home again on Dec. 12.

It was entertaining basketball, and I know that I will go several times as a fan this season. It’s also good, affordable fun for a family.

– Besides the small financial gain the Nevada football team will enjoy by going to a bowl game this season, the Pack’s recruiting efforts are bound to be helped immensely.

The Wolf Pack has gotten more athletic in the past five years, and if you’ve seen them on the field or on TV you would know that. Playing in bowl games helps you attract better players.

There are several Nevada players who easily could be playing for BCS schools. One of the first names that comes to mind is defensive ends Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped. Both sophomores, it will be fun to see them terrorize opposing offenses for the next couple of years.

It’s hard to believe that a guy like center Dom Green couldn’t play in the Pac-10. He may be a bit undersized, but his versatility really stands out as well as his technique and strength.

– Am I the only one who thinks that Nevada and UNLV should be playing home and home every year in basketball?

It’s a win-win for both schools. Not only do you fill an opening on your schedule ” and Nevada has had a hard time doing that ” but you have two big crowds which means more money for each school.

– I’m still amazed at the amount of talk that surrounds Boise State and a possible move to the Mountain West Conference. I think it would be a bad move for both the MWC and Boise State.

The Broncos may dominate the Western Athletic Conference in football, but they would be in a constant battle with BYU, Utah and TCU in football. Returning to a BCS game as a member of the Mountain West might only be a dream.

Boise State is just starting softball this year and has no baseball program, opting to have wrestling instead. Basketball would be tougher for both the men and women in the MWC.

The only advantage for Boise State would be geography. No more trips to Louisiana Tech or Hawaii. It certainly would be easier on the university’s checkbook.

I would think Fresno State would be much more attractive of a candidate.

– I’m not sure if anybody else at least recently has broached this subject, so let me throw it out there.

What about Mark Fox to the University of Arizona next year?

Arizona said it’s looking for a coach who has accomplished something. Well Fox has won or shared four straight Western Athletic Conference regular-season titles and taken the Pack to the postseason four straight years.

According to a report on ESPN.com, Arizona officials have had to use third parties to gauge interest from their candidate pool. Since the season has already started, they are trying to keep the search very secret.

I’ve had my differences with him, but the man can flat out coach, and he has recruited the makings of a good team. This year’s squad may not reach the postseason, but it will be a force in the next two or three years.

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or (775) 881-1281