Pack notebook: It wasn’t Miller time
Appeal Sports Writer
FRESNO, Calif. – Eddie Miller is one of the most dangerous long-distance shooters in the Western Athletic Conference.
With his quicker-than-normal release, Miller entered Saturday’s game with a 41.8 shooting percentage on his 261 3-point attempts.
Brandon Fields and Lyndale Burleson put the clamps on him, holding the Fresno State sharpshooter to 11 points in the Wolf Pack’s 76-63 win Saturday night at the Save Mart Center.
The 11 points was Miller’s third-lowest total at home this season. He was 4-for-13 from the field, including 1-for-8 from beyond the arc.
“Brandon Fields’ defense and Lyndale (Burleson) did a terrific job,” Nevada coach Mark Fox said. “That was really a key for us.
“You can’t give him a shot, he’s just too good.”
KEMP IS NO. 2
Senior Marcelus Kemp moved into second place on Nevada’s all-time scoring list.
Kemp’s 25 points gave him 1,884 for his career, seven ahead of Edgar Jones. Kemp still trails Nick Fazekas, who finished his Nevada career with 2,464.
Kemp remains fourth in fields goals made. He has 659, 15 shy of passing Alex Boyd for third place.
Freshman Armon Johnson had a tough game against the Bulldogs, scoring just five points and grabbing three rebounds.
He appeared to be at odds with the officials several different times. At one point in the second half, he was called for his third foul and his body language showed he was upset with the call.
While he displayed his displeasure, Fox was trying to get his attention to return to the bench. Fox talked to his freshman for several moments before huddling with his coaching staff.
Fox held him on the bench for a six-minute stretch in the second half.
“He just got frustrated,” Fox said. “He’s still a young guy.”
BELL PRAISES PACK
Fresno State senior guard Kevin Bell had a rough night, going 5-for-20 from the floor, though he still managed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“I missed about 80 lay-ups; missed a lot of shots I normally make,” said Bell. “That’s a pretty good team (Nevada). They’ve won the title four or five times. They are a high-scoring group.”
The conference tournament begins Tuesday night (6:30 p.m.) with a play-in game between eighth-place San Jose State, 4-12, against ninth-place Louisiana Tech, 3-13.
Boise State, the No. 4 seed, plays Hawaii, the No. 5 seed at 11 a.m. on Thursday followed by Utah State against the Tech-San Jose State winner at 1:30 p.m. Nevada plays Fresno State at 5 p.m. and New Mexico State battles Idaho at 7:30 p.m.
The quarterfinals and semifinals will be shown on ESPN Fullcourt on a pay-per-view basis. The tournament can also be seen on WAC.tv.com for $7.95 per game.
Compared to last season when Fresno State went 22-10 and lost in the first round of the NIT to Georgia, this year was a big disappointment.
Fresno State went 13-18 overall and 5-11 in conference.
It was a team that was destroyed by off-court problems and injuries.
Center Rekalin Sims was dismissed from school after being arrested. He was not charged, but was booted off the team because he violated the school’s code of conduct.
Bryan Harvey, a transfer from Louisville, was declared academically ineligible at the semester break.
Then Dwight O’Neil broke his wrist and missed at least half the season, though he has returned.
Add those three losses up and you have a tough season.
“It’s going to take time,” coach Steve Cleveland said. “If we didn’t have the issues we had, we had a chance to win 19 or 20 games.
“It’s going to take time (to turn things around).”
Cleveland said he couldn’t recruit freshmen because of the NCAA problems, so he turned toward junior college players and four-year transfers.
Fresno State will be off probation in January, 2010.