Nevada star Nick Fazekas is clearly the best player in the Western Athletic Conference. Boise State's Coby Karl certainly has the league's most famous father.
The two players meet for the first time since their memorable matchup last season when the No. 21 Wolf Pack (13-1, 1-0) look to continue their best start in 55 years in a home meeting with the Broncos (7-5, 1-0) on Monday night.
Fazekas is a two-time player of the year in the WAC, and in prime position to make it three straight. The senior forward, who nearly left school after last season for the NBA, leads the conference with 20.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game for a Nevada team that has gotten off to its best start since it went 14-0 to begin 1951-52.
Karl is certainly familiar with the NBA as the son of Denver Nuggets coach George Karl. The senior guard was named to the preseason All-WAC team along with Fazekas.
The best game of Karl's career came in an 82-79 loss to Nevada on Jan. 26, the last meeting between the teams. He scored a career-high 32 points, the most by a Boise State player since C.J. Williams had 32 against Idaho State in November 2002.
Fazekas, though, had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wolf Pack to the win. Kyle Shiloh added the final four points of the game and finished with 20 for Nevada.
The victory was Nevada's fifth in the last six meetings with Boise State. Fazekas has averaged 21.0 points and 9.3 rebounds in those contests.
Karl has seen his scoring average dip this season to 14.8 points after he averaged a team-high 17.2 last season. He's second on the team behind Matt Nelson's 15.0 points per game.
Karl, however, has been more efficient offensively this season, shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from 3-point range - both career highs.
Nevada is in the midst of a difficult stretch in which it plays four games in eight days. The Wolf Pack beat Idaho 81-55 in their WAC opener Saturday and have road games later this week against San Jose State and Hawaii.
Marcelus Kemp scored 22 points and Fazekas added 19 on 7-of-8 shooting as the Wolf Pack built an 18-point lead at halftime and were never threatened.
"I thought we came out and played fairly sharp in the first half," Nevada coach Mark Fox said. "We were able to build a lead and get some young guys some experience."
The Wolf Pack have won 24 of 26 home games since a 73-72 loss to Boise State on March 10, 2005 in which Karl scored a team-high 18 points.
Boise State has won five of its last six overall after taking its WAC opener 77-66 over Utah State on Thursday. Nelson led four Broncos in double figures with 18 points.