Burleson ruled ineligible
RENO – The University of Nevada basketball team will have to forge ahead without freshman guard Lyndale Burleson.
The talented 6-3 freshman, who was expected to share the point guard spot with fellow freshman Ramon Sessions this season, was ruled ineligible by the NCAA earlier this week.
Burleson, whose older brother Nate was a standout wide receiver for the Wolf Pack football team, is considered a partial qualifier because of the NCAA’s decision. If he graduates in four years, he can earn this year’s eligibility back.
“The decision has been made, and I rather not talk about it,” Burleson said before Thursday’s practice at Old Virginia Street Gym. “I have to move on. I’m helping the team, and that’s all that matters.”
First-year head coach Mark Fox was disappointed in the decision, and he fully expects Burleson to stay at Nevada since he still has his scholarship and is able to practice with the team every day.
“We were disappointed in the news,” Fox said. “H’s a talented player that would have helped the team (this year). He’ll have to wait until next year. He can use this year to get better technically.
“He was disappointed. Nobody wants to be in that situation. He loves to play the game.”
Burleson admitted that it will be tough watching from the sidelines.
“It will be pretty hard watching the guys win or lose (and not being able to be part of that),” he told reporters. “I was aware (of the problem). I just have to move on.”
It’s another blow to Nevada’s already thin backcourt. Sophomore shooting guard Marcelus Kemp tore an ACL earlier this year before official practice started, and then freshman Kevyn Green decided to leave school.
The injuries, defection and the Burleson decision left the shooting guard role to Kyle Shiloh and Mo Charlo, and neither have been effective scorers through four games.
“It’s another obstacle to overcome,” senior co-captain Kevinn Pinkney said. “People leaving and injuries; we’ll be all right. It will bring us closer together.”
Notes: The Wolf Pack, who host in-state rival UNLV Saturday at 8:05 p.m., will also practice today in the Virginia Street Gym because mid-year graduation is scheduled for Lawlor Events Center, thus the arena isn’t available… Garry Hill-Thomas, this year’s graduate assistant, and Sean Paul, last year’s back-up center, will particpate in graduation ceremonies this weekend.
Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or 881-1281.