Nevada Wolf Pack basketball: Players are angry entering final week | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Wolf Pack basketball: Players are angry entering final week

JOE SANTORO
For the Nevada Appeal

RENO – The Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball team is finally getting angry.

“They’ve been a little chirpy,” coach David Carter said this week. “They’re more intense. They know they didn’t play well last week.”

Carter, whose Wolf Pack lost a pair of crucial Western Athletic Conference games at home last Thursday (67-59 to Idaho) and Saturday (72-66 to Boise State), is happy to see his young Wolf Pack dial up the intensity level this week.

“When they chirp at one another and throw elbows, that’s something that is good,” Carter said. “I don’t mind that. As long as they are practicing hard and don’t try to hurt their teammates, I don’t mind it at all.”

The losses to Idaho and Boise State, it seems, have given the Pack a new sense of urgency.

“It’s definitely disappointing,” junior forward Olek Czyz said. “We need everyone to bring the same energy.”

“We came out flat,” junior center Dario Hunt said after the loss to Boise State. “Bad game.”

Hunt promised a more intense Pack this week.

“We just have to come out and practice hard this week,” he said. “That’s all you can really do.”

Carter, it seems, is just happy to see some fight in his young Wolf Pack. The Pack will close out its regular season with games Thursday at Louisiana Tech and Saturday at New Mexico State before heading to the WAC tournament March 9-12 in Las Vegas.

“We obviously didn’t play our best games last week,” said Carter, whose Wolf Pack is 11-17 this year and 7-7 in the WAC.  “They (the players) are responding to a bad weekend. That’s good to see.”

The Wolf Pack finds itself in a seven-team race for positioning in next week’s WAC Tournament. There are five teams all within one loss of each other in league play: Boise State (9-6), New Mexico State (8-6), Idaho (8-7), Hawaii (7-7) and the Wolf Pack (7-7). San Jose State (5-9) and Fresno State (5-9) are also jockeying for position.

The only team that knows its WAC Tournament seed right now is Utah State, which has clinched the top seed at 13-1 with two games to play. The top two seeds get a bye into the tournament semifinals. The third and fourth seeds get a bye into the quarterfinals and seeds five through eight must win four games in four days to win the tournament.