Hall has first practice since concussion
RENO — Freshman swingman Josh Hall, who has been out of action with a concussion since the second half of the San Jose State game, participated in his first full-team practice, albeit in a non-contact situation, on Monday afternoon.
Nevada coach Eric Musselman said Hall passed the concussion protocol, and had an individual workout on Sunday in preparation for Wednesday’s home game against Air Force.
Musselman expects Hall to resume full duties today. His return gives Nevada eight scholarship players on its current roster. Hall, in 13 games (7 starts) is averaging 2.6 points and 1.2 rebounds a game.
“It’s great to have him out here,” Musselman told reporters at his weekly press briefing. “His shoulder is still sore.”
Musselman said he didn’t know if or how much weight Hall had lost while he was inactive. The coach said he would have a better idea after practices Monday and today.
The Nevada coach said the Hall wouldn’t start, and might not even play Wednesday.
“It will be on a need basis,” Musselman said. “He might not play until Saturday or the mid-week game next week.”
Even then, Musselman gave no indication Hall would return to the starting line-up anytime soon. Musselman originally gave the starting nod to Hall after Elijah Foster was suspended because he wanted D.J. Fenner to give the team some offensive firepower off the bench.
“Right now, we’re in a rhythm,” Musselman said. “I think guys feel good about their roles.”
Translation? The team is winning, and you don’t mess with things when the team is on a roll.
Nevada, 15-3, is ranked 29th in the country with 7 votes, and Musselman was asked if being in the Top 25 was a team goal.
“No, to be honest,” Musselman said. “Our guys have done an incredible job and surpassed a lot of our expectations from when we took the job. We have to keep taking it one day at a time. We can’t look forward and we can’t look behind.
“We do know we are creeping up on the national radar. Our job is to keep playing it one game at a time, and it’s the job of our athletic program to keep people informed of where we are in the scheme of things.”
No doubt the wild 25-point comeback victory at The Pit against New Mexico may have helped Nevada pick up a few more votes in the last couple of weeks.
With Nevada having won 10 of its last 11 games and Boise State losing last week, the Wolf Pack is the lone Mountain West squad in Joe Lunardi’s weekly ESPN Bracketology report.
Lunardi has the Pack in the Southern Region as a No. 12 seed playing No. 5 Oregon in a first-round game at the Kings’ new arena in downtown Sacramento.
Granted there’s a ton of basketball left to be played, but if the Pack does get in, it would be nice for local fans to have a short drive over the hill to see the tournament.
The two West Coast sites for first and second-round games are Sacramento and Salt Lake.