New recruits make debut for Nevada
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Nevada’s newest recruits made their debut in front of the home fans Tuesday night, and the results were mixed.
The quintet of Richie Phillips, Brandon Fields, JaVale McGee, Matt LaGrone and Tyrone Hanson combined for 21 points, 19 rebounds, nine turnovers, two assists and two blocks (both by McGee). The group shot 33 percent from the field, but only shot 50 percent from the foul line.
Fields may have had the best game with seven points and three rebounds in 17 minutes. Hanson finished with eight points, but was 1-for-5 from the floor.
McGee struggled, going scoreless and fouling out in his 13-minute stint. He needlessly goaltended a shot, and was called for basket interference when he tried to jam home a missed shot.
“I saw a lot of good things,” Nevada coach Mark Fox said after the Pack’s 93-77 exhibition win over Chico State at Lawlor Events Center. “I thought it was good for them to play with people in the stands.
“It depends on the day (who is more game ready). Tonight it was Brandon Fields. Freshmen are inconsistent.”
Nick Fazekas harkened back to his first game when he scored only two points and had one rebound as a freshman against Vermont. He certainly knows what McGee went through.
“You tell him to hang in there,” Fazekas said. “It’s tough. He was in the same positiion I was. You have to adjust to the game. You have to play every single play and you can’t take any plays off. The game is so much quicker.”
And hopefully Nevada’s youngsters will build on this performance.
Ex-Manogue star Frank Igbekoyi returned to his hometown and scored 16 points in 23 minutes against the Pack.
The first half was one he’d rather forget, however. The 6-8 redshirt freshman went 1-for-5, as Fazekas blocked four of his field goal attempts.
Igbekoyi went 4-for-7 from the floor in the final 20 minutes, and had a lot of success against Nevada’s other post players.
Hanson was one of the last freshmen to enter the game, and not long after that, most of his jersey hung over his shorts.
That prompted Fox to tell him to tuck in his shirt. Hanson tucked it in a little ways, but the entire back wasn’t tucked in. That illicited another comment by Fox.
Nevada shot 54.5 for the game and enjoyed a 49-28 edge on the boards against the undersized Wildcats. Fazekas led all rebounders with 10 … Fox said he was happy with his team’s 23 assists and not so pleased with its 19 turnovers … Nevada’s biggest lead was 30, 86-56, with 5:44 left. Chico State’s biggest lead was six points with 18:36 left in the first half … Burleson had a solid floor game with only one turnover in 18 minutes. Fox said he is pushing starter Ramon Sessions for playing time.