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Fox puts media members through basketball workout

Darrell Moody

They came in all shapes and sizes. Some short and some tall. Some slim and some not-so slim. Some in great shape and some woefully out of shape.

Twelve hearty souls showed up at Lawlor Events Center Monday afternoon for Mark Fox’s first-ever Media Madness.

Fox, the highly successful men’s basketball coach, and assistant coaches David Carter, Doug Novsek and Kwanza Johnson put the 12 journalists through a 90-minute workout, similar to what he puts his Wolf Pack players through on a daily basis. The workout was full of fundamentals and fun.

“It was something our staff really enjoyed,” Fox said. “I think somebody back East was doing the same thing in December. Hopefully everybody enjoyed it. It’s something good for our media.

“There are so many intricate things that are part of the game. Today they (the media) had a chance to see some of them.”

One of the media participants, Channel 8’s Josh Little, the station’s weekend anchor, said he enjoyed himself.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “They (the Wolf Pack) should sign me up. I didn’t realize how much work goes into perfecting all the little nuances.”

A DIFFERENT HAWAII

Greg McMackin, Hawaii’s first-year coach, said that he wanted to run the ball more this season and not rely totally on the run and shoot.

That’s happened, but not totally the way he expected. Quarterback Inoke Funaki, who was one of the back-ups when the season started, has given the Warriors’ offense a new dimension.

“We did want to run the ball more,” McMackin said. “We feel we have pretty good running backs (Daniel Libre, Leon Wright Jackson and Kealoha Pilares). Now, the running game is a bit better because we can run the option.

“Funaki isn’t a true run and shoot quarterback. He was an option quarterback in high school, and with him we can do a few more things in addition to the run and shoot. He’s throwing with more velocity. It’s important he gets reps in game situations. The more he plays the better he gets.

CHANGES COMING AT TECH?

It’s apparent that Louisiana Tech needs to make a change at quarterback after another disappointing outing by Taylor Bennett, who was 11-for-29 for 152 yards in the Bulldogs’ loss to Hawaii.

Bennett is completing ust 39 percent of his passes this season. Tech was in Hawaii territory eight times last weekend and managed just 14 points.

“Our passing games still continues to struggle,” Tech coach Derek Dooley said. “We are discussing that (change at QB). At this point, I’m not ready to answer anything. Certainly we’re looking at our options.”

Russ Jenkins went 4-for-9 in a relief role last weekend, and he would be the logical guy to take over if a change is made.

CLUTCH PLAYS BY IU

It’s been a tough season forthe Idaho Vandals, but they showed signs of life against Fresno State despite a 45-32 loss.

The Vandals were 11-for-17 on third-down conversions against the Bulldogs, who had been near the top of the conference in that category up until last weekend.

Coach Robb Akey attributed it to better execution in terms of pass protection as quarterback Nathan Enderle was able to stay upright.

“Idaho did a great job on third down to keep the ball,” FSU coach Pat Hill said. “Their quarterback had a very accurate day.”

Enderle was 22-for-39 for 237 yards and three scores, two of those going to Preston Davis.

“He showed up more,” Akey said. “I’m most pleased at the way he’s managed the game at the line of scrimmage. He did throw the ball accurately.”

POW HONOREES

New Mexico State quarterback Chase Holbrook, who torched Nevada for 409 yards last week in a 48-45 victory, was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Week.

“I thought he played magnificent,” NMSU coach Hal Mumme said. Mumme also praised the efforts of running back Marquell Colston and wide receivers A.J. Harris and Chris Williams both had nice games.

San Jose State linebacker Duke Ihenacho won the honor on the defensive side of the ball after intercepting two passes and returning one of them for a score in the 30-7 victory over Utah State. He has four interceptions, which ties him for the national lead.

Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman kicked a 32-yard field goal and converted three extra points in the Broncos’ win over Southern Mississippi.

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281