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Nevada signs Hanson

DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer

RENO – Nevada basketball coach Mark Fox was looking for somebody to replace talented and athletic Mo Charlo, and he went all the way to the East Coast to find his man.

Fox announced Wednesday that 6-6 Tyrone Hanson from Bridgport Academy in North Bridgport, Maine, had sent his signed national letter of intent to school officials.

Hanson averaged 15 points and six rebounds a game this year, leading Bridgton Academy to the New England Prep Class A state title.

He becomes Nevada’s fourth recruit, following in the footsteps of forwards Matt Lagrone, JaVale McGee and guard Brandon Fields. Hanson chose Nevada over George Mason, Miami (Fla.), Providence, Rhode Island, St. John’s and Washington.

Hanson attended St. Mary’s High School in New York and was originally signed by Monmouth. However, he didn’t qualify and ended up going to Bridgport. During his senior season, St. Mary’s was ranked first and second in the nation.

“We are very excited to have Tyrone join the Wolf Pack family,” Fox said in a telephone interview. “Tyrone is a talented offensive player. We are excited about his length, athleticism and character.

“We had signed a couple of front line players (Lagrone and McGee), and we have Richie Phillips (non-qualifier). We needed somebody to replace Mo Charlo.”

Hanson will join Denis Ikovlev at small forward. Fox has said several times that Marcelus Kemp and Kyle Shiloh could both play there if needed.

At 6-6 and 190, Hanson is a skinnier version of Charlo, who wowed Lawlor Event Center fans with his high-flying, athletic dunks.

“I wouldn’t say he’s smaller than Mo,” Fox said. “He’s probably the same length. He’s a good offensive player. He’s a good shooter. He knows how to put the ball in the basket.

“He has small forward size with a good shooting stroke. We haven’t had a guy like him that’s played for us.”

Hanson once knocked down 11 3-pointers in a 50-point blowout win over Exeter Academy this season, and another 3-point shooter to complement Kemp and Shiloh is certainly welcomed by the coaching staff, especially if Nick Fazekas doesn’t return.

Hanson hit back-to-back 3-pointers en route to a 14-point effort in Bridgton’s 69-67 win over Worcester Academy in the New England. In the finals, he knocked down a couple of more 3-pointers in Bridgton’s 79-62 win over Winchendon School.

Hanson was the 21st-ranked prep school player in the nation, according to Hoop Scoop.

How much Hanson plays is up to Hanson, according to Fox.

“I’m not scared to play freshmen,” Fox said. “He’s going to have to earn it.

“We played Ramon Sessions two years ago. Kirk Snyder played as a freshman. So did Garry Hill-Thomas. Some freshmen are going to have to step up and be ready to play.”

The addition of Hanson leaves Fox with no more scholarships to offer, pending Nick Fazekas’ decision on whether to go pro or not. Fazekas recently declared for the NBA Draft, but because he hasn’t hired an agent, he could withdraw his name within a week of the draft in June.

Fox admitted that it has affected recruiting, but it’s something he knew would happen sooner or later.

“I told Nick to take all the time he needs to make the right choice,” Fox said. “He deserves that. He’s earned that.”

Fox said it’s a real possibility that the scholarship could go unused because Fazekas won’t make a final decision until June, and players that are available now may not be available then.

Nevada’s recruiting is getting better. Nevada was in the running for several other top-notch players during the process, according to HoopMasters.com.

Small forward Lucas Hargrove narrowed his list to Nevada and Auburn, and chose the latter. Eric Platt, a 6-5 shooting guard from Kelly Walsh in Wyoming, opted to stay home and play at the University of Wyoming. Two big men – 6-11 Gjio Bain and 6-10 Jerome Habel – also chose different schools.

Bain chose Southern Mississippi over Nevada, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pitt, UNLV, USC and Wyoming. Habel, according to the Web-site, was being looked at by Nevada, Cincinnati and Arizona among others. He opted for San Diego State.