Fazekas says he’ll play against UNLV | NevadaAppeal.com

Fazekas says he’ll play against UNLV

RENO – Sporting a padded sports vest under his practice jersey, Nevada senior forward Nick Fazekas said he would be ready for Saturday’s game (8:05 p.m.) against in-state rival UNLV.

That’s good news for 19th-ranked Nevada, which is 7-0 for the first time since the 1951-52 season.

Fazekas suffered a rib injury early in the second half of last Sunday’s 77-71 win over Cal. He continued to play the remainder of the game, but you could tell he was in some pain, and he had trouble getting his hands up, which affected his rebounding and shooting noticeably.

“I feel good,” Fazekas said prior to Thursday’s practice. “It was a physically tough game against Cal. I got hit hard. I had a rib injury, but I’m back and ready to go.

“I’m close to 100 percent now, and I should be 100 percent by Saturday. I’m not going to be gun shy. It hasn’t bothered me since last night (Wednesday).”

The Pack had Monday and Tuesday off, and Fazekas was cleared for practice today by Dr. Jim Pappas and trainer Shelly Germann. Fazekas was finally able to sleep pain free the last couple of nights.

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Fazekas is enjoying a monster season, averaging 22.6 points and 13.7 rebounds per game. Fazekas is second in the WAC in scoring behind Jaycee Carroll of Utah State, and his 13.7 rebounds leads the conference and the nation. His 60.8 field goal percentage also leads the WAC.

The game was announced as a sellout on Wednesday, marking the third time in two years that Nevada has sold out a game. The Pack sold out last year’s games against Georgia and Hawai’i.

It’s the start of a three-game homestand, the longest of the season of the season for the Wolf Pack, who have won their last 12 games at Lawlor. They are 48-5 at Lawlor since the start of the 2003-04 season.

“It speaks well for the community,” Nevada coach Mark Fox said. “They want to see a good basketball game. It should be a fun atmosphere.”

Fazekas said that there has been a lot of talk on campus about the undefeated record and national recognition. The All-American forward said many of his fellow students have been asking for tickets to Saturday’s sold-out game.

“They (the students) know we have them,” said Fazekas. Each player gets a limited number of complimentary tickets for each game.