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Seniors to be honored for Nevada

DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer

RENO – Nevada closes the regular season tonight (7 p.m.) against Fresno State, and the team will honor its three seniors – Mo Charlo, Seth Taylor and Chad Bell prior to tip-off.

Taylor, who will graduate in May with a degree in business, actually has one more year of eligibility. Should he decide to return, Nevada coach Mark Fox already has said he would be honored again.

“I put a lot of thought into this last semester and right now,” Taylor said Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve talked about it with my family. I’ve talked about it with coach Fox. I’m going to get recognized on Senior Night, which doesn’t mean I’m done next year.

“More than likely that’s the action that’s going to take place. I’ll be a college graduate. I’ll start doing job interviews and see what I can find.”

It’s been a tough season for Taylor, who came to Nevada as a walk-on out of Colleyville Heritage High in Colleyville, Texas. After playing 32 games last year and averaging 2.5 points a game, his role has been greatly reduced because both Marcelus Kemp and Lyndale Burleson, each of whom redshirted last year, are back in the program. He’s played in just 13 games this season with a 1.6 average.

He’s handled it like the class young man that he is, never pouting and never causing problems.

“Seth has been fantastic about it,” Fox said. “He has been the ultimate team player, and not just this year. He’s been terrific about it.”

Taylor came to Nevada as a preferred walk-on out of Grapevine, Texas. He redshirted his first season (2002-03) and played in only 13 games (2003-04) and averaged 1.0 points per contest when Nevada went to the Sweet 16.

“This has been the greatest four years of my life,” Taylor said. “I came here as a walk-on. I didn’t expect to get anything. Anything I got I’m grateful for.”

Taylor said he has many highlights, including being part of three straight championship teams. He also remembered a conference game when he scored the 100th Nevada point in a 101-76 win over Rice during the 2003-04 season.

Bell was heavily recruited out of Westchester High in Southern California. He helped lead Westchester to No. 3 in the country his senior season. As a junior, he averaged 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots per game.

“It means a lot,” Bell said when asked about Senior Night. “It’s the last home game, and it will be an emotional night for us. We have to take care of business.”

Bell backed up Kevinn Pinkney and Nick Fazekas last season, and he’s been in a backup role the latter part of the season.

Bell was recruited by former coach Trent Johnson, but opted to play at New Mexico instead for Fran Fraschilla. Bell started 13 games for the Lobos, averaging 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds. Fraschilla left after the season, and Bell’s numbers went down to 1.5 points and 1.6 rebounds.

“He’s a great young man,” Fox said. “He’s a team-first guy. He’s been a real workhorse and a winner.”

As Fox is quick to point out, Bell does a lot of dirty work that often goes unnoticed. Bell averaged 2.8 points and rebounds a game this year, but points aren’t what Bell is all about.

“The untrained eye doesn’t appreciate what he does for us,” Fox said. “He knows what he does (is important). He understands what he is. He’s made significant contributions.”

Charlo, who is averaging 10.5 points and 5.4 rebounds a contest, came to Nevada as a much-heralded junior college star from Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Calif. Charlo started slow, but played well late in the season and at the NCAAs, and averaged 9.4 a game.

“He’s a beautiful kid,” Fox said. “He has been great for us. He’s pretty complete. He can score off the dribble, can shoot the 3 and he rebounds. He can defend and he’s a good passer. He’s had some big rebounding games for us this year. That might be the biggest area of improvement.”

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