Fox looks for one more
With the signing of power forward Demarshay Johnson, Nevada has one more scholarship to award for the upcoming season.
It would appear, judging from the names being bandied about in newspapers and on the internet, that coach Mark Fox, who guided the Pack to a WAC championship last season, is leaning toward a small forward for his last scholarship.
Mo Charlo, who blossomed in the last part of the season for the Pack, is the favorite to inherit Jermaine Washington’s position. Charlo is a slasher and good defender. He needs to be a better rebounder.
None of the other recruits, Richie Phillips or Jeremy Mayfield, appear to be small forward types. Fox said Thursday that the 6-7 220-pound Phillips is more of an inside player.
That leaves nobody besides Charlo at small forward, thus the need for another body at that position.
Freshman Lorenzo Wade, according to a recent report in a Northern Nevada newspaper, wants to leave Louisville. Wade, a 6-6 200-pounder, saw limited action with Louisville last season, averaging around 4 points a game. Wade prepped at Cheyenne High School in Las Vegas.
Denis Ikovlov, a 6-7 forward from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa, averaged 17 points a game. He has narrowed his choice between Nevada and UC Santa Barbara.
Kamar Burke is reportedly visiting the Nevada campus this weekend. The 6-7 Burke is from Toronto, Canada.
The most intriguing of the three is Wade, who played 35 games for Louisville this season. He is probably the most athletic of the trio, and shoots around 33 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
The downside is that Wade, under NCAA rules, would have to sit out a year if Nevada offers a scholarship and he comes immediately. He would still have three years of eligibility left. He could go to a JC and play next year, and then transfer if he was a qualifier out of high school. If that’s not the case he would be better off coming to Nevada immediately and practice with the team next year.
If Fox thinks he has enough talent to get by this season, I would sign Wade because Charlo is out of eligibility after next season and Nick Fazekas is likely to leave for the NBA.
The up side to either Burke or Ikovlov is that they would be eligible to play immediately. Ikolov has a nice shooting touch and averaged around 17 a game. Burke played in a weak league, so it’s uncertain as to how much he would help immediately.
One thing to remember if you are a Wolf Pack fan is that Mayfield isn’t eligible yet, which may be why Fox is still looking at so many people. He may be trying to hedge his bet so to speak.
Nevada is currently top-heavy at guard. The Pack has starters Ramon Sessions and Kyle Shiloh returning plus Seth Taylor, Curry Lynch, Marcelus Kemp and Lyndale Burleson.
Kemp tore his anterior cruciate ligament last summer and redshirted last year. He said he’s about 80 percent healthy. Burleson was declared ineligible by the NCAA. He can get the lost year back if he graduates in four years.
There aren’t enough minutes in a game to keep all six guards happy. Lynch didn’t play much last year, and will be resigned to the same fate again. Taylor played between 10 and 12 minutes a game last year at shooting guard, and you figure those minutes will go down this year. At 6-5 and 210 pounds, Kemp could play small forward against some teams, too.
Fox said last year that he likes to play two point guards at the same time because it’s harder for teams to press the Pack. Shiloh’s ballhandling skills and defensive abilities kept him in the starting lineup despite the fact he averaged only 5 points a game.
The current recruiting season runs until sometime next month. It will be interesting to see what Fox & Co. decide to do in the coming days.
Darrell Moody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (775) 881-1281