Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Here we have it. I saw the commercial a few days ago while watching an NBA game.
Something that immediately struck me as odd was the fact that out of these 10 NBA "superstars," 3 of them were on the red hot Phoenix Suns.
Although the Suns lost, one can only hypothesize that because they have 30% of the second coming, it would only make sense for them to win the NBA Championship.
Tony Parker is present, I am surprised Nike didn't have a pop up when you passed by his intimidating figure that showed a picture of Eva Longoria. I don't really consider Parker to be such a superstar, but apparently Nike ran some polls, and decided that he has star power, or maybe they were just looking for someone closer to the Pacific.
It seems that there are 5 West Coast Players(amare, nash, matrix, kobe, and the aforementioned parker), and 5 East Coast Players(rasheed, lebron, chris paul, paul pierce, jermaine o'neal). Close enough atleast.
So thank you Nike, I no longer need to watch NBA basketball, unless it is the Suns.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The Fresno State Bulldogs will be hosting the Hawaii Warriors Thursday night at 7pm at the
The Warriors placed three players in double digit scoring: Guard Matt Gibson led the way with 20 points, followed by guards Bobby Nash and Matt Lojeski with 15 and 11 points respectively.
What to look for from
The Warriors definitely frustrated the Bulldogs in their first matchup of the season. They were able to run an effective zone and limit the penetration of Quinton Hosley and Dominic McGuire.
The two combined for a paltry 4-20 from the field and this game began the 5 game trend where the Bulldogs had issues finishing around the rim.
What to expect from the Bulldogs:
Coleman returns to action on Thursday night but will do so coming off of the bench as Eddie Miller has assumed the starting role. The question is how will Coleman respond to the recent issues. Will he improve on his 32% from the field and 25% from three?
Look for the Bulldogs to continue their success in the La. Tech game with Hosley and McGuire going to the rim strong and finishing. Look for Eddie Miller to find his home on the right wing where he is comfortable. If
There are two things that the Bulldogs have in their favor coming into the matchup with
In the end the Bulldogs will overcome the Warriors and win by 5.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
There were two main reasons why the Bulldogs were able to get the job done Saturday night and hold off Louisiana Tech. (1) They shot greater than 40% from the field for the first time in 5 games and (2) they also finished around the rim at a high percentage. Although they did not do a good job on the defensive boards down the stretch they kept the visiting Bulldogs of La. Tech off the boards.
Credit must also be given to Coach Steve Cleveland for playing his bench early. Ultimately, Junior guard Tyson Parker played a total of 24 minutes which is his season high and he also played the final 7 minutes which was pressure packed and hanging in the balance.
Parker played admirably, and his team needed him to perform at his highest level. He scored 9 points on 3-7 shooting, 2 of his shots being 3s, another on a great drive down the left lane line in which he scored against a much taller Tech post player. On 2 of those misses Parker was able to follow his own shot and get the offensive rebound. On top of his scoring, Parker dished out 3 assists and kept the offense moving against the Tech zone. He also made a critical defensive play in which he stopped a penetrating guard and knocked the ball off of the penetrators leg out of bounds which was a huge stop.
Other key contributions:
-Guard Eddie Miller had two points at the half. He finished with 17 on 5-10 three point shooting. He found a home on the right wing where he was able to bury 5 3s from. He was also able to put it on the deck once and take a pull up jumper at the free throw line. That move is one that Miller needs to continue to utilize.
-Forward Quinton Hosley showed a versatile inside-out attack going 3-5 from three and also getting to the rim and drawing fouls, finishing 8-10 at the line. It was big for Hosley because he had issues finishing around the rim and he may have found his answer. If you arent going to make the shot, get fouled trying. Initiating contact is something I have been asking for during WAC play from both him and McGuire.
-Forward Dominic McGuire was able to join Hosley in finishing near the rim. He was 5-7 from the field and also knocked down a 3 which kept Tech honest. He only took 1 bad shot that was fading away and he went ahead and banked it in for good measure.
-Hector Hernandez did not shoot the 3 well for the second game in a row, but he was 3-4 inside of the arc. Its nice to see him be able to do something other that shoot the three. If he can combine the two look out.
-This was definately a good shooting game, and they were in desperate need of it. They finished 45% from the field, 40% from three, and 75% from the line. Well done guys.
-Held Tech guard Trey McDowell to 13 points on 6-18 shooting, he came in averaging 20 ppg in WAC play.
-After allowing 13 first half points to La. Tech Forward Chad McKenzie, they held him to 2 second half points. That was a key in coming out with the victory.
-16 assist on 22 baskets for the team tells me there was better ball movement and less stagnant play overrall. I like it.
What went wrong:
-You dont win many games when you give up 14 offensive offensive rebounds and you only collect 4. Also being outrebounded 41-33 is not a good stat, especially at home.
-Letting a reserve score 14 points in 20 minutes of play when he comes in averaging 4 ppg is never a good thing. Almost every outing Fresno State has 1 player light them up for near season or career high.
-15 turnovers is still much too high for my liking or Coach Cleveland. They were not pressured full court last night and played quite a bit against a zone. That tells me there is no reason for that many givaways. Dominic McGuire has 13 turnovers in the last two games and he and Hosley need to cut down on unforced errors. They need to combine for a maximum of 4 to 5 turnovers per game.
-They only mustered up two second chance points off of 4 offensive rebounds. To be successful they need 8-10 second chance points per game. Although the front line is not full of size or imposing, a little hustle and grit would go a long way in reaching those type of 2nd chance point totals.
The 'Dogs play next at home against Hawaii on Thursday night. The Hawaii game will mark the return of guard Javance Coleman after his two game suspension. If Coleman can come back refocused and with an improved attitude he could be quite a boost for his team. Now that guard Tyson Parker has shown he can handle the duties of playing the point in pressure situations against athletic teams, that becomes an added bonus for the Bulldogs.
Look for the Fresno State-Hawaii preview Tuesday.
Fresno State 70 Louisiana Tech 64
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Coach Steve Cleveland and his Fresno State Bulldogs return home Saturday night for a matchup with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
Their shooting woes continued and they have now reached five straight games in which they have shot less than 40% from the field. They also committed 15 turnovers and shot 7-14 from the line, the type of numbers that will not win many games.
La Tech coming in:
Louisiana Tech is coming into this game after an 83-67 defeat at the hands of
As soon as the second half had begun, Louisiana Tech ceased being a formidable opponent and the Wolfpack jumped out to a double digit lead. It was all but over early in that second half. The Bulldogs were led by Senior forward Chad McKenzie who scored 19 points and Senior guard Trey McDowell who had 17 pts and 4 assists.
McDowell has been one of the best players in the WAC since conference play has started, he is pouring in 19 ppg in his 7 outings which is up from his season average of 12.6. Tech also has the second, third, and forth ranked players in steals in WAC play.
What to look for:
-Will they be able to reach the elusive 40% from the field?
-Will they get to the line and will they convert?
-Can they finally convert layups from point blank range?
-Is there a potential for this team to find a midrange game?
-Can they play above the level of the competition on both sides of the ball?
-Will they avoid long scoring droughts exacerbated by quick shots?
Lets hope there are more than a few resounding yes’ to these critical questions.
The Bulldogs of Fresno State will bounce back in this one, look for Hector Hernandez and Eddie Miller improve on their horrible outside shooting dislplay in Boise. If a few more threes drop in and the team as a whole can make 60-70% of their layups then they will win this game. They also need to get to that 40% field goal level very badly.
Hosley, McGuire, and Co. win this one by 8.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The Fresno State Bulldogs are set to square off Thursday night against the Boise State Broncos at Taco Bell Arena. Both teams enter at 3-3 in the WAC, and both off of home victories with the Broncos being the more impressive of the two over
With leading scorer Senior Koby Karl held to just 4 points, freshman guard Anthony Thomas was able to score 21 points, a career high. He came in averaging 3.8 ppg while Karl is averaging a team leading 15.4 ppg. Also coming up big was junior forward Matt Nelson who scored 25 points and collected 10 rebounds. He was also 1 turnover shy of an unorthodox triple double.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are coming into the game on the heels of a rather lackluster performance Monday night at the
Senior guard Javance Coleman is immersed in a horrific shooting slump, he finished 0-9 from the field against the Spartans. Look for guard Eddie Miller to continue to cut into Coleman’s minutes if he continues to shoot poorly. The turnover issue reared its head again Monday with the ‘Dogs committing 15 after only 5 on the road in
More on the Broncos:
If there is one thing that has definitely plagued the Broncos it has been their inability to win close games. They are 1-6 in games decided by 5 points or less. They have also failed to hold onto leads in their 3 league defeats. They squandered a 13 point lead with 5:30 left at
Key Bronco stats:
-Average 75.2 ppg while giving up 70
-Come in shooting 47% from the field, 35% from three
-Averaging 16.6 turnovers per game
-While they have outscored their first half opponents by over 100 points on the season, they have been outscored by them in the second half.
-Junior Tyler Tiedeman has started 13 of 17 games but only averages 16 minutes per start
Unfortunately this team has given no reason for me to be confident in their ability to win on the road. They are having a tough time finishing some very easy shots which does not bode well. After the progress they made in Reno, I was praising them and they followed that up with an uninspiring home win versus SJSU.
They can win if they get their FG percentage into the low to mid 40s. 10 or fewer turnovers and 35% three point shooting are important also. Boise State will need to be close to their season average in turnovers and Matt Nelson and Koby Karl cannot both score 25. If the Bulldogs can hang around maybe the Broncos will let their past history of losing down the stretch haunt them.
Ultimately 'Dogs lose by 5.
The upcoming football season for the Fighting Irish should be an interesting one. We have a few men leaving the football program this last year. Brady Quinn graduated, Darius Walker leaves early (junior) and Jeff Samardzija decide to take the Cubs offer 5 years 10 million. Was it a good or bad decision?
In my opinion the football field is where he should of ended up on. Baseball is a great sport but makeing catches on a football field over Champ Bailey in the corner of the end zone looks even better. He saw the money and they say he is a top recruit in baseball. Hopefully there is somewhere in his contract that would allow him to get out if he wants. Oh I forgot the 10 million is guarenteed over 5 years. Not bad its all guaranteed. Every penny of that contract he has to live up to, well done Jeffrey.
Coach Weis did have nine football players file papers with the university to be eligle for a fifth year. They are:Tom Zbikowski 6'0 215 saftey, Travis Thomas 6'0 215 Linebacker / Running Back, John Carlson TE 6'6 250 , John Sullivan OL 6'4 290, and Trevor Laws DL 6'1 283. These players next year must be the leaders of this program. Notre Dame is in the process of regrouping. We have a new quarterback next year and everyone is saying that Jimmy Clausen will be the starter.
With new quarterback coach Ron Powlus hopefully things will turn out good. Coach Weis has also made some chages on his staff for next season. Rick Minter and Pete Vaas' contracts were not renewed and Corwin Brown and Ron Powlus were hired. Corwin Brown will lead the way for the defensive and Powlus will hopefully turn Clausen into a great player.
I know that last season was a dissapointing one for the Fighting Irish. With the loss to Michigan, USC and LSU in the Sugar Bowl, Notre Dame must regroup during the off season and turn things around. We want to be in the number 1 team in the country but we have to go through Michigan, USC, Florida, and maybe Ohio State.
A couple of thoughts here before I go:
Notre Dames GPA as a team 3.041. We will have a few players in the draft. Maybe even a top five pick. Finally, MB we are going to see them play either agianst USC, UCLA or Stanford. I forgot one more thing were going to the big game next year be prepared Irish Fans.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I have couple of things I wanted to throw up here that I thought would be a worthwhile read for some pertaining to the team. The first is of a link I was given to an evaluation of Forward Dominic McGuire by Jonathan Givony. I must say that I really do agree with this assesment and I would probably write much of the same. Here are some key excerpts:
The Positive:It sounds like Coach Cleveland has landed himself another player for the 07'-08' season that already includes Louisville transfer Brian Harvey and Kentucky tranfer Rekalin Sims. I guess he will now be adding 6'7" guard Kevin Galloway to the mix.
"He's the most talented wing player on the West Coast besides Chase Budinger"
"emerging skill set that draws comparisons to a young Joe Johnson at Arkansas"
"He is silky smooth, showing outstanding fluidity, excellent body control and the explosiveness to get into the lane"The Negative:
"Not a great finisher around the basket, lacking a bit of strength and craft in terms of using the glass"
"Has the tendency to settle for off balance jump shots when he'd be much better taking the ball strong to the hoop"
"Up and down numbers and rumble of off the court issues when at Cal"
Draft express on Dominic McGuire
Galloway attended Sacramento High School where he led the team in virtually every category possible. He was the number 88 prospect overrall according to Scout.com. He was recruited by Tim Floyd and he signed and attended USC.
He was receiving a sufficient amount of playing time while USC awaited the return of standout Guard Gabriel Pruitt from academic ineligibility. When Pruitt returned and Daniel Hackett began to cut into more of his minutes, Galloway made the decision to transfer.
Hopefully he will be able to contribute next season for the Bulldogs, although he will not be eligible until December but I hope he will be able to take over some of the ball handling at times from Kevin Bell to give teams another look.
LA Times on Galloway
There will be more thoughts on this to come as well as a preview for the next game @ Boise State on Thursday.
Forgot to mention:
The victory over SJSU on Monday night 67-64. Not a great showing at all, would have been down 37-30 at the half if not for a Kevin Bell desperation three. Guard Javance Coleman shot 0-9 from the field and 7 of those misses were from three.
I was right to state that they would turn the ball over more and shoot worse from the line at home versus the Spartans than they did against Nevada. Eddie Miller dropped in 4 threes and McGuire had 13 rebounds and 5 blocks to go with 15 points. Center Sean Taylor came off the bench to score 4 points and block 3 shots.
It took and Eddie Miller block on Spartin center Menelik Barbary late to hold on for a victory. After the block Kevin Bell was fouled and missed his front end of the one and one, fortunately McGuire was able to come down with the offensive rebound and he was fouled and made both of his free throws. Not a well played game at all and it does not bode well as the team heads to Boise to play a surprising Bronco squad.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
The Bears could possibly bring a super bowl victory to Chicago, but there going to have to go through the Colts if they want that ring. In my opinion I do believe that the Bears will probably win this game due to their amazing defense. Yes I said it their defense not there offense. Sorry but Rex the "Sex Cannon" Grossman has been gettin pretty lucky these last few weeks. They said tonight that Sexy Rexy's percentage of accuracy is in the low 40% range. I just think that the Chicago Bears defense will show up for this game like they've been doing all year long.
We can thank the Bears defense in the second half. They held "Alleged America's team" the New Orlean Saints to zero points for the second half. Nice job. A little letter to Mr. Bush if you ever point your finger again at anyone on the Bears defense I hope they send you a ring in the mail thanking you for having a such great second half. Take that finger and stick it up ur ASS. Go Bears win the WAC, or whatever it is your trying to win in that Bowl coming up.
How the Bulldogs defeat the Spartans:
Its a home game at the SMC, they have lost three straight on the road, and they lost to the Spartans a short time ago which tells me the Bulldogs will beat the Spartans by 8-10 points. They will jack up 28-32 threes and make 10-12, but will find a way to shoot worse from two than three. They will also shoot worse from the line and turn it over more than they did on the road at Nevada.
This is how it is with this team, never dull yet always perplexing.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
This game started well for the Bulldogs considering their recent track record in the games first 5 minutes. What became one of the key issues in the game was when Nevada came out and missed their first 6 shots the Dogs needed to run out to a 6-8 point lead. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs did not shoot well in the early going but did hold the lead for the first 8 minutes. It was the type of game that had one feeling that if the Wolfpack took the lead at any point they would not hand it back over at all.
Why it ended in a loss:
-They give up a career high 18 points to Dennis Ikovlev on 6-11 shooting. What is with this team and their ability to give up season and career highs to teams' 5th or 6th offensive options? Its not as though the guy went out and made 9 layups, he played well and did not look like a 6ppg guy.
-You do not win too many games when your opponent shoots 31-64 from the field(48%), 11-25 from three(44%), and 12-16 from the line(75%).
-Point guard Kevin Bell once again shot too many jumshots in the early going, very reminiscent of the Idaho game to open WAC play. He finished 2-8 from the field in the first half. He needs to shoot 8 shots total in the game, with a maximum of 4 of those shots coming from three.
-Dominic McGuire and Quinton Hosley are having real issues finishing around the rim. At one point in the game, Hosley had missed 5 0f 6 shots at the rim. McGuire has been scouted well and teams are pushing and redirecting him when he attacks the rim.
-McGuire doesnt draw the amount of fouls he should because he is not initiating the contact. He is trying to jump around and make a tough shot instead of taking it right to the defender. He did finish with 19 points though but he needed to have 25 for this team to win tonight
-The Wolfpack may have started the game missing consecutive shots but they did not have an extended scoring drought once they gained the lead from the Bulldogs. When it looked as though they may have issues scoring the ball Kemp, Fazekas, and Sessions got the job done.
-Guards Kevin Bell and Javance Coleman combine to shoot 2-12 from 3. Take them out of the team 3 point shooting and the Dogs are 8-22, which is 36%. What if Coleman and Bell just shot 1-3 each and the other 6 shots were attacking the rim or other players? Makes you wonder doesnt it.
What was done right:
-The Bulldogs only turned the ball over 5 times the entire game. This was a very positive sign considering that they were on the road against the WACs best. If they could do this more often, it could make up for their low shooting percentages at times. Valuing possesions if big, and this was why they were able to shoot 5 more shots from the field than the Wolfpack.
-10 offensive rebounds were very improtant and helped them keep in the game. Isnt it interesting that against a team like Nevada they are able to get on the offensive glass but when they play a weaker opponent they cant collect any offensive boards? It may have to do with shot selection.
-Sean Taylor and Eddie Miller off the bench. Taylor came in and played 14 minutes and had 2 scores, 2 offensive rebounds, and did not turn the ball over and did not make any big defensive mistakes. Mill was able to come in and give them double figures off the bench, he finished with 10. He also played well defensively and he managed to block two shots.
-5 players scoring in double figures does not lose too many games. It is the type of balanced attack that is needed if there isnt a player that is going to score 25 points.
-The Bulldogs had 19 assists and all five of the starters shared the ball. The assist to turnover ratio was an awesome 19 to 5. Now if they could have knocked down a few more shots it would have been a whole different game.
-Although Dominic McGuire did not play a great game he was able to shake off the past to that were just plain bad and put together a nice effort on the road.
-They were able to get to the line on the road and they shot 13-16 from the charity stripe. Shooting well from there kept them in it without a doubt.
The good news is that they played pretty well on the road and did many of the necessary things to win against most teams. The problem was it wasnt enough and all that matters is that they are tripping home from Reno with a loss.
The Bulldogs ran into a buzzsaw in Reno Thursday, a team returning their star who scored 20 and had 10 rebounds. They also had their star guard score 22 on top of that and those are not the reason for the loss, I expected those numbers to be put up. Ikovlev averaging 6 ppg scoring 18 is the real issue here, and if the Bulldogs finish 2 or 3 more shots at the rim and hit a couple of those crucial 3s in the second half I would be typing about a victory right now.
ESPN Box Score
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Coach Steve Cleveland and the Bulldogs were able to begin WAC play with home victories over Idaho and Utah State. Unfortunately, the home stand lasted only two games and now the Dogs are playing the third of the three game road swing Thursday against WAC leader and #15 ranked Nevada Wolfpack.
The Bulldogs enter this game with consecutive losses at Hawaii and San Jose State, the most perplexing coming Saturday in San Jose 64-61 to the Spartans. Forward Dominic McGuire has had a difficult two game stretch in which he has shot a combined 3-16 from the floor and not been able to produce to his previous standards.
The Dogs have also had major issues protecting the basketball and averaged 14.5 turnovers in the two losses. Look for McGuire to get back to his slashing and attacking ways against a Wolfpack front line that will be minus leader Nick Fazekas.
Nevada enter Thursdays contest with victories on the road against both San State and an overtime victory over Hawaii. They have been led by Junior guard Marcellus Kemp who was named WAC player of the week for a 3 game stretch in which he averaged 23.7 pts. 5.3 rebs and 2.3 assts per game. The Dogs must be aware of Kemps location on the court because of his ability to both slash to the rim but also shoot the three at a 42% clip.
One area of weakness for the Bulldogs to exploit will be both McGuire and Hosley posting up and getting to the rim. They have had much difficulty finishing on the inside of late, but look for both to bounce back with solid efforts. San Jose State and Hawaii both had post players score over 20 on the Wolfpack.
Nevada guards Ramon Sessions and Kyle Shiloh of Garces High (Bakersfield) have been playing well of late and will prove to be a difficult cover for guards Kevin Bell and Javance Coleman. The key to the Bulldogs success will be keeping themselves out of double digit turnovers against Nevada, and Bell must improve his assist to turnover ratio on the road.
The keys to a victory Thursday for the Bulldogs begins with the improvement of their Field Goal Percentage inside of the three point line and finishing much better around the rim. They have been attacking the rim but shying away from the contact, causing them to shoot wild and off balance shots.
Guard Eddie Miller needs to continue his scoring production off the bench (9.1 ppg) to keep them in the game against the Wolfpack. The Dogs must avoid another disaster similar to in San Jose where they yielded 28 points in the paint and far too many second chance points. They will also need to force some turnovers on the defensive end; Nevada comes in averaging 13.5 turnovers per game.
This will be a most difficult task for the Bulldogs, but they can do a lot towards building their confidence and proving to themselves they can overcome adversity in hostile environments on the road if they can sneak out of Reno with a big conference victory.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
The two defining stats of Saturdays game come down to the Bulldogs and their 16 turnovers compared to a turnover plagued Spartans squad that only coughed up 6. Point guard Kevin Bell had 7 turnovers himself and McGuire followed up that Bell's stellar showing with 5 of his own. D-Mac as he is known to Bulldog fans has taken a free fall from his consistent play and is having a difficult time playing on the road, he did manage 5 blocks though. The second key stat was San Jose States 28 points in the paint, 18 of which came in the second half, to the Dogs 10 points in the paint.
The Dogs did correct their early game woes in this game, jumping out to an 8-0 lead and definately getting the job done in the opening minutes. They quickly allowed the Spartans back in it, and did not have a solid start to the second half. The first five minutes of either half are critical to this team, and they only got one out of two right on Saturday. It should be pointed out that although SJSU looks like the worst team in the WAC by their record, they will surprise some people since they have starting guard Spencer Carlton back. That is little consolation for FSU though.
I have nothing else to post here, Iam rather disappointed in this team as many are. Can Coach Steve Cleveland find a way to get his team to compete on the road? Can he get this team to cover the defensive boards? Can they cut down on unforced errors? Will Dominic McGuire find his way?
It should be no big deal to get this thing turned around on Thursday when they play in Reno against a Nevada team which brings their Top 25 ranking and 16-1 record into the matchup against a free-falling Bulldog squad whose confidence has to be waning.
Dogs fall to Spartans
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Thankfully all of these allegations by Bonds have been cleared up and although he never has denied the positive test for amphetamines, he states that Sweeney was not the source of the substance. Its good to know that Barry Axelrod, Sweeney's agent, is very pleased that Bonds has cleared this little incident up because Mr. Axelrods pleasure takes a front seat to the actual player that was accused of drugging Barry up.
So I think the lesson to be learned in this whole incident is that if you are on the Giants active roster next season you keep your locker as far away from Bonds as you possible can. Although, I though Barry had a seperate room to dress in with the recliner, flat screens, physical therapist, etc?
SF Chronicle Blog
Bonds Clears Sweeney
Friday, January 12, 2007
Hawaii postgame analysis:
The Bulldogs continued their road woes Thursday night in Hawaii dropping their first WAC game 83-66 to the Warriors. The Bulldogs started the game extremly slow and Coach Steve Cleveland was forced to call and early time out when they trailed 6-0. Early missed layups ended up being the key in this game with 5 missed layups being added up in the games first 6 minutes. Those missed opportunities put the Dogs in a hole and gave much needed confidence to the Hawaii shooters. Dominic McGuire had one of his worst outings of the season thus far and finished with only 9 pts on 1 of 8 shooting and had 4 turnovers. Hawaii finished shooting 50% from the field for the game and placed 6 players in double figures led by reserve guard Dominic Waters and his 15 point effort. Equally important was the Warriors finishing with a season low 11 turnovers, and their ability to outrebound the Bulldogs 26-9 in the first half, a half in which the Bulldogs shot a dismal 9 for 30 from the field. To sum this game up it was nearly a mirror image of the UC Santa Barbara game played earlier in the season, a game in which the Bulldogs got down early and lost 70-42. Coach Steve Cleveland had better find a way to get things done on the road because as things set right now there arent any teams you can beat on the road with efforts like the Dogs have had.
Important Spartan Stats:
-Shooting 38.5% from the field and 30% from three
-Shooting 62% from the Free throw line
-Averaging 11 assists and 16.6 turnovers per game
-They are averaging 38.5 rpg and giving up the same
-F Devonte Thomas has averaged 11.2 pts and 6.6 rpg in last 5 games
Keys for the Bulldogs:
Forwards Dominic McGuire and Quinton Hosley need to get back to their attacking and finishing ways after a dismal combined effort of 21 points on 4-20 shooting with 6 turnovers against
The Dogs must also finish around the rim at a much higher rate, early missed layups against the Warriors loomed large as the game wore on. Guard Eddie Miller chipped in 13 points off the bench Thursday, hopefully his confidence continues and leads to a solid effort on Saturday. Look for the Bulldogs to bounce back in a must win road game, a game they play with a chip on their shoulder in and turn up the defensive intensity in.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The Bulldogs have a road date Thursday in Honolulu to take on Hawaii, gametime will be 9pm. The Dogs will be facing their 2nd consecutive WAC opponent coming off of a loss, this being a Warriors squad that has lost there first 2 WAC contests away from the friendly confines of the Stan Sheriff Center where they have a 7-1 record at this season. Hawaii has defeated the Bulldogs 5 out of the last 6 at home and will look to add to that in a key conference matchup. The Bulldogs are coming off of a 79-70 victory over Utah State in which they played a spectacular 1st half but did not impress in the 2nd. This will be the first opportunity for Coach Steve Cleveland and the Dogs to show just how much this team has grown since their early season struggles on the road.
A look at Hawaii:
Hawaii is led by 6'6" Senior guard Matt Lojeski, who comes in averaging 18 ppg and has scored 20 or more 7 times this season. The versatile Lojeski (5.4 rpg, 4.8 apg. on top of the 18 ppg) will be joined in the backcourt by Junior Matt Gibson. The Warriors have had trouble with athletic teams this season and Coach Riley Wallace utilized a 1-2-2 zone to counteract the athleticism in Las Cruces against New Mexico State. It was successful for Wallace and the Warriors, just not enough to come away with a road victory. Look for Hawaii to go to the 1-2-2 at times to try and disrupt the Bulldogs and to take away the driving abilities of Forwards Quinton Hosley and Dominic McGuire. The Warriors used that same zone in last years matchup versus the Bulldogs in which they came out victorious 73-65. Hawaii will also look to push the ball in transition to try and take advantage of the Bulldogs when they take quick shots. They will look to not only drive it to the rim but also take early looks from 3 in transition.
Just as Utah State came into SMC, the Bulldogs will be facing a desperate Hawaii team that does not want to start 2007 WAC play 0-3 (Their last being 2001) in Coach Riley Wallace's final season. The Dogs have not fared well on the road to this point in the season, but much has changed since the last road trip, and lets hope the changes are evident Thursday night. Officiating will be crucial, especially in the first 5 minutes of the contest because of FSUs thin bench.
F Dominic McGuire will have to be selective of the shots he chooses to attempt to block in the early going, having him sit on the bench and watch will bolster the Warriors chances immensly. The Bulldogs must also avoid long scoring droughts in which they either turn the ball over or feature 3 points shots exclusively. Some of those droughts have been overcome thus far in the season, mostly due to being at home and opponents not taking advantage by having poor shot selection. Cleveland must call a timeout very quickly if Hawaii makes a 6 to 8 point run.
If the Bulldogs shoot the three well, yet do not fall in love with it, and add to that a low turnover total, they will be fine in their first WAC road contest. Problems will arise if they have more than 10 turnovers and attempt more than 25-28 threes. Guard Javance Coleman has put 3 solid efforts in a row together at home, now is a chance for him to extend that in a hostile environment. The Dogs need both Quinton Hosley and Dominic McGuire to attack the rim and get the line where the team must shoot 70% or better from. That tandem also need to continue their combined 20 rpg efforts and limit the Warriors 2nd chances. They will also need help from Eddie Miller off the bench not only defensively but hopefully he can add 6-10 points to the mix.
Many companies you have heard of, and some you haven't, have used this venue in Las Vegas to reveal some really neat stuff.
For instance : Samsung has released a gajillion new Televisions. I am not exaggerating. From the new Slim DLP (it's the mirrors) to the 50,000:1 contrast ratio LCD, they have every area covered. No wonder they are #1 right now in the LCD market, they don't stop releasing them! I have one, and you can't do any better than a Samsung(or a Sony, since they are made in the same factory). They also had Digital cameras, and many other odds and ends. But perhaps the biggest release was the Samsung The Simpsons: The Movie cellphone.
Motorola's big release was the MotoRizr Z6 Slider Cell Phone. It finally features an upgraded Operating System, and is actually different from the Razr you bought because everyone else was. They also released a Motorola Q Pro, which is made for the more business minded individual.
Speaking of Toshiba, they released an HD-DVD burner, that has a burn speed of 1:1... Who is going to buy this exactly?
Sony showed a wonderful 70 inch LCD, with the not-so-wonderful price tag of $33,000. That's not a typo. It looks nice and all, but I think I will wait for the open-box special at Best Buy.
Lastly, I would like to show you this:
Now Apple, apparently, is a small upstart company. I haven't heard much about them, but they just dropped this huge bombshell. What kind of name is Apple anyway? Well with some more products like this, and some wacky advertising campaigns, they just might make it!
Cingular only. 4GB-$499 / 8GB-$599.... WITH A CONTRACT. So don't even think about buying it if your contract isn't up. But maybe it will be worth it, because I heard this phone will do it all, I mean its like those stupid easy buttons in phone form. I am sure it will be a huge success, be hugely popular, I will be skipping it, thanks.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The Lexus IS-F. Not really feeling this, a bit too smooth of lines. Should be a nice car though, but with the CTS-V having HP numbers of 500+, the approx. 400hp IS-F will probably be lacking when price tag is taken into consideration.
This Beauty, the Holden Commodore SS, has all but been confirmed to come over from Australia as a Pontiac. They are shooting for the Mid-$20k's. Hopefully they don't hurt this car's looks by slapping a Pontiac nose on it.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
15 pts-7 assts-1 to-2 rebs-2 stls
The lead ballooned to 20 in the second half, but Utah State charged back behind 15 of reserve forward Chaz Spicers career high 20 points. Carroll was also able to get himself to the free throw line thanks to the officials calling it tightly on the Dogs defensively, yet allowing Carroll to push and grab to get himself open looks. The lead eventually shrunk to 5, but following a turnover by Quinton Hosley the defense was able to force an Aggie 5 second violation. The Bulldogs were then able to hit 2-4 from the line, then McGuire came up with a steal, found Hosley and he was able to finish with his left after being fouled. Hosley hit the free throw and pushed the lead to 78-68, and 23 seconds later the final score was 79-70, a big home win for the Bulldogs.
-Kevin Bell matched a career high with 15 pts and added 7 assists with only one turnover
-4 players scored in double figures for the 13th time in 15 games
-Shot 50% from the floor for the game
-Defense added 10 blocks and 10 steals
-Junior forward Dominic McGuire continued his stellar play with 19 pts 10 rebs and 4 blks
-Senior guard Javance Coleman found his way back into the starting lineup and responded with 16 points. This is Colemans third solid outing in a row coming out of a horrific slump.
-FSU had 27 points off turnover to USUs 9
-15-25 from the free throw line is a point of concern, 60% will not get it done and will end up costing this team a WAC game. Needs to be around 75-78% considering the shooting abilities of the lineups they put on the floor.
The Bulldogs are heading into their first WAC road games of the season and need to take two out of three to keep a leg up on the conference challengers. First up is a Thursday night game on the islands against a struggling Hawaii squad. Hawaii will come into this game angry and the Bulldogs are going to face a team that needs a win. I hate to sound trite hear but to me the biggest factors in this game will be the officiating and how well Hawaii is able to shoot the 3 in their friendly confines. With 5 staters playing over 30 minutes a game, the Dogs cannot afford to lose one of their big-guns to foul trouble in a hostile environment. The lingering question for this team is how will they play on the road, because their previous efforts leave me wondering and definately worried.
After the Hawaii game, the Bulldogs travel back to the mainland to San Jose to face a Spartan team that should not be the most difficult to overcome. The Thursday following figures to be the most difficult road task the Dogs will face this season when they travel to Reno to face Nevada. The Wolfpack and all-everything seems like hes been there for 6 years center Nick Fazekas are the obvious favorite to march through the WAC and win the conference again. I wont comment on this game at all at this point because it is more important to focus on getting out of Hawaii with a crucial road win and following it up by taking care of business in San Jose to set up the showdown with the Wolfpack.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Lets begin with Boise:
I will start by stating I totally respect the Broncos each season, but as a Bulldog fan I really cant stand them. My reason for the prior statement is probably coming from the fact that they have won 6 of the last 7 versus FSU, broke the Dogs hearts back in 01', win the WAC every year, and did exactly what coach Pat Hill told Bulldog fans he set out to do only 7 years removed from Division 1-AA. They are the Bulldogs most staunch conference rival but Boise State has owned Fresno since they became WAC members. I know, I know, but the Dogs will beat the Broncos in the 07' home date.
The Broncos were able to run the table in the regular season, blowing out Oregon State in an early season home contest, and was able to hold off gunslinger Colt Brennan and Hawaii. Their biggest test was in San Jose where they have always had problems for some reason, but they were able to get the job done. Thanks to the added fifth BCS game, the Broncos were able to get the bid and were matched up against an Oklahoma team that was getting their featured runner back from injury in Adrian Peterson. Many claimed that because of the shenanigans that took place in Eugene Oregon earlier this season, that the Sooners were among the top 5 in the nation and were as good as anyone. My perspective was that because of the running prowess of the Sooners that it was going to be a tough task for the team from Idaho.
The game was special as everyone has stated and weighed in with. It provided everything that College Football fans wish for. There was storied program in Oklahoma, an upstart non BCS conference school in Boise State, and a great stage for a masterpiece to play out on in the Fiesta Bowl on New Years Day. There was the early lead by the Broncos that shocked many, then the subsequent comeback led by Paul Thompson who was able to shake off the early game woes.
The game is tied when the Sooners have to attempt three 2 point conversions just to even up the score at 28-28. You then have a much maligned QB in Jared Zabransky throwing a deflating an epically egregious pick-six. Follow that up with that very player in Zabransky able to construct a TD scoring drive in 1 minute to redeem himself, highlighted by the gutsy hook and ladder (lateral) play that you could not draw up any better. Adrian Peterson opens overtime waltzing into the endzone from 25 yards leaving the viewer to wonder how come the Sooners didnt run outside of the tackles like that the entire game? Boise then has a 4th and 2 and chooses to put their Senior QB in motion and let the backup RB Vinny Peretta throw the TD pass to TE Derek Schoumann. He has to make the throw on the run to a moving target in Schoumann that has a defender covering him and Peretta just got it done. Then Boise State coach Chris Peterson just decides what the heck lets run the statue of liberty play for the 2 pointer and the win.
One could seemingly write a novel on the occurances of this game, I watched it as many Bulldog fans did with bittersweet thoughts on the outcome, thinking like Coach Pat Hill has told the fan base often "Why not us?". Well the us was a State, just Boise rather than Fresno. It was a great thing for the WAC and the exposure was welcomed, followed by obvious bragging rights over the MWC. It was great to see a team able to execute so well when the stakes were at their highest, coupled with the kind of playcalling and guts people love to see. You leave a game like that and wonder why dont coaches throw it all on the line, make tough calls and run more trickery? Fact is most coaches at all levels play it too close to the vest.
-YouTube game highlights-
-A nice read on the games potential impact-
Notre Dame exposed yet again:
Once again the Fighting Irish find themselves in a better Bowl game than they deserve to be in and once again it showed. All week the Notre Dame players said they were tired of being disrepected and just couldnt seem to figure out why nobody likes them. There was even an ESPN article about it. Well LSU showed the College Football landscape yet again that Charlie Weiss and Brady Quinn's hype train can only go so far. Embarrased yet again on a big stage by a Bayou Bengal team that just imposed its will upon the Golden Domers from the first quarter and the duration of the game. One of my favorite moments was at halftime when Notre Dame alum Tim Brown said that although LSU was leading 21-14 at the half it felt like Notre Dame was up and was dominating the game. This is exactly why former players should stay away from the Booth or halftime sets when their school is involved.
Brady Quinns career ends without him truly winning or playing exceptional in a big game. The BCS games have got progressively worse with each game, which means that by Monday the BCS titlt game may not even be worth watching, yet I will tune in. Hopefully this loss can get people to see through the Fighting Irish and their smoke and mirrors, beat no one, lose the big games, get invited to a BCS game, and proceed to stink it up mode of operation. They have lost their last 9 Bowl games by an average of 18 points. Im sick of it and so is everyone else.
Marshawn Lynch declares for the Draft:
Cal Junior RB and PAC-10 Offensive player of the year Marshawn Lynch has decided to forego his Senior season and head to the NFL. I must say I have enjoyed watching him play and not only marveled at his athleticism but also his toughness and his LT-esque abilities. He dealt with injuries over this season and overcame them to put together a superb season. Not to worry Bear fan, RB Justin Forsett is a capable guy to take the reins and take over where Lynch left off. Also, one of Lynch's favorite players is Forsett(Click on the below link and read for proof) and hopefully coach Tedford can get an early jump on Marshawns 13 year old brother who is a Pop Warner standout in Oakland.
-Meet Marshawn Lynch-
Idaho Thursday, then USU Saturday:
Fresno State hosts the University of Idaho on Thursday to open WAC play, followed by a big home date with the Utah State Aggies on Saturday. Idaho comes in with a dismal 2-10 record. The Bulldogs should have no problem taking care of the Vandals, especially in the friendly confines of the Save Mart Center. Saturday marks the first key WAC game, not that they are all key, but the Bulldogs have little room for error and need to defend the homecourt above all. They were able to go 9-0 at home last year in WAC play, and need to be no worse than 8-1 this year. The Nevada home game will be tough but if they shoot well, then the game is winnable. The Aggies come in with an 11-4 record and dont have any truly impressive wins, but they will be a tough foe and will be led by sharpshooting Junior guard Jaycee Carroll. Lets hope that Guard Javance Coleman's slump ended with his solid outing vs. USD and Dominic McGuire and Quinton Hosley continue their dominance on the boards. Also, kudos to Forward Dominic McGuire who was named WAC player of the week for the second time this season and has been great thus far. Do you think him winning the award had anything to do with his 14 pt-14 reb-10 blk-4 asst-and 2 stl effort against the University of San Diego? Naw, I didnt think so either.
-McGuire named WAC player of the week-