Sessions is healthy again for Nevada
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Ramon Sessions’ hip is finally healthy. That is bad news for opponents on Nevada’s basketball schedule.
Sessions, who doled out a season-best seven assists in Tuesday’s 56-46 win over Norfolk State, is looking forward to having another strong outing when the 20th-ranked Pack, 9-1, host University of Louisiana-Lafayette, 3-6, tonight (7:05 p.m.) at Lawlor Events Center.
“He really played well,” Nevada coach Mark Fox said. “He played better last game than he has played in a while. He’s healthy finally and starting to get back to his old form.”
Sessions’ hip, which forced him to miss a couple of games entirely, also cut down the minutes he played when he was on the floor. Lyndale Burleson and Kyle Shiloh filled in admirably, but there is a noticeable difference when he isn’t running the show.
“Lyndale isn’t as experienced as he (Sessions) is,” Fox said. “Sessions is probably a little more aggressive than Kyle is. Either way, it gives us balance.”
Sessions, who is shy during media gatherings, was pretty quiet after the win over Norfolk State.
“I was just trying to do my role as point guard of this team,” said Sessions, the WAC Freshman of the Year, after averaging 9 points and 5.3 assists per game.
Sessions and his Pack teammates will have their hands full tonight against the Ragin’ Cajuns, who have won three of their last five games after starting the season 0-4. Fox expects to see a lot of defensive pressure,
“They are extremely talented,” Fox said. “They are athletic and quick. I’m sure they will get after us. This will be the most athletic team we’ve played (this year).”
Translated, that means ULL defenders will try to get out in the passing lanes and pressure the ball.
Fox is especially impressed with 6-5 guard Dwayne Mitchell, who averages 19.4 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Mitchell has been ULL’s most consistent player thus far, and no doubt Fox will probably start the game with either Mo Charlo or Shiloh on Mitchell. Center Michael Southall is averaging 13 points and 3 blocks per game.
“Mitchell has been an All-America-type player for us,” said ULL head coach Robert Lee. “He has done everything he can do to give us a chance to win games.
“We’ve been inconsistent on the perimeter (overall). I was expecting Ed Turner (10.3 points per game) to get quality double-figure scoring numbers. He’s just been inconsistent, not able to put together good back-to-back games.”
Lee admitted that the offense has improved a bit since his club upset UTEP in El Paso, which snapped the season-opening four-game skid.
ULL comes into the game without 6-10 Chris Cameron, who dislocated his right shoulder against LSU. He didn’t play in the game against McNeese State, and may be replaced by 6-7 swingman Lucian Pesoli.
Lee intimated that he may go with a four-guard lineup in an effort to get a much more up-tempo game against the Wolf Pack, though he concedes Nevada has the ability to play many different styles.
“They are the most complete team we’ve faced this year,” Lee said. “They don’t get any better than (Nick) Fazekas inside. He’s one of the best players we’ll see this year.”