The University of Nevada men's basketball team will begin practice on Friday in preparation for the 2011-12 season. Third-year head coach David Carter returns all five starters and 11 letterwinners from a young squad that posted a 13-19 record a year ago and went 8-8 in Western Athletic Conference play.
Nevada hosts Chico State on Nov. 8 in an exhibition contest and the regular season gets underway at home versus Missouri State on Nov. 11. The Wolf Pack will play 17 regular season home games at Lawlor Events Center this season.
Heading the list of returning veterans is senior Dario Hunt who earned second-team All-WAC honors last season and was named to the WAC Defensive team for the second in year in a row. The 6-8 forward led the conference in rebounding grabbing 9.7 per game and averaged 12.4 points per contest.
Point guard Deonte Burton returns for his sophomore year after earning WAC Freshman of the Year honors a year ago, was selected to the WAC Newcomer team and was also named to the WAC Honorable Mention squad as a freshman. Burton averaged 13.7 points and a team-high 3.5 assists per game.
Senior forward Olek Czyz joined Burton on the WAC Newcomer team and averaged 12.3 points and was second on the team in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The 6-7, Czyz started 21 of 23 games after becoming eligible after sitting out a year under NCAA rules after transferring from Duke.
The fifth returning starter is 6-8 guard Jerry Evans, Jr. who played in 31 games and started 20. Evans averaged 4.9 points and was third on the team grabbing 3.5 rebounds per game.
Junior guard Patrick Nyeko is back for his third season at Nevada and was named the team's sixth man after playing in 26 games a year ago. Devonte Elliott, Kevin Panzer, Jordan Burris and Jordan Finn return for their sophomore seasons. The 6-10 Elliott saw action in all 32 games last season. Panzer a 6-9 forward earned 10 starts and played in all 32 games as a freshman. A 6-7 guard Burris started six games and played in 30 a year ago. Finn saw action at both point and shooting guard as a freshman starting three games and appearing in 27. Junior guard Keith Fuetsch is back after playing in five games off the bench his sophomore year.
The lone newcomer on the 12 man roster is Richard Bell. The 6-9 freshman is from West Sussex, England and played at Worthing College Academy of Sports.
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