Fouls plaguing Wolf Pack’s Dario Hunt
For the Nevada Appeal
RENO – Dario Hunt has no explanation as to why foul trouble always seems to find him.
“I really don’t know,” the Nevada Wolf Pack sophomore said this week. “All I can do is just keep playing.”
That is precisely the problem for the 6-foot-8, 230-pound center. Foul trouble – he leads the team with 67 infractions this year – is keeping him off the court.
A perfect example of that was the Pack’s recently-completed two-game road trip to Boise State on Jan. 20 and Fresno State on Jan. 23. Foul trouble (four in each game) limited Hunt to just 39 minutes combined in the two games.
“When Dario is on the floor our team is totally different,” coach David Carter said this week as he prepared his Wolf Pack (12-8, 4-3) to face Hawaii (9-12, 2-6) tonight (7:05 p.m.) at Lawlor Events Center in a Western Athletic Conference game.
The Wolf Pack clearly needs the athletic Hunt on the floor. When Hunt is out with foul trouble (like the final 17:33 of the first half against Fresno), the Pack can’t match up with more athletic, active big men. Freshman Greg Smith torched the Pack for 25 points (nine in the final 17:33 of the first half with Hunt on the bench) in Fresno’s 87-77 victory.
“When he’s out, it changes our team,” Carter said.
Nobody feels worse about it than Hunt.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Hunt, who averages the fewest minutes (26.5) of any Pack starter. “Sitting on the bench and not being able to go out there is hard, especially when you have to sit the entire first half. But there’s not much I can do about it.”
“It is tough for a young man like that to sit out,” Carter said.
Hunt picked up his first foul against Fresno just 15 seconds into the game. “He was out of position,” Carter said. “That’s usually what happens when he gets into trouble. He’s out of position and then he has to react late to the ball.”
Hunt, who has fouled out of a team-high three games this year and has picked up four fouls eight other times, has averaged one foul every 7.9 minutes. Last year as a freshman he averaged one foul every 5.6 minutes.
So there has been some improvement.