Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Senior night at the SMC and 5 straight?

Last home game for one of my favorite 'Dogs?
Ive enjoyed watching Q hes been a joy for 2 seasons

The Fresno State Bulldogs return home to the friendly confines of the Save Mart Center to face the Boise State Broncos Thursday night. In their first meeting on January 25th the Broncos came out on top 65-61, the Broncos put four players in double figures that night led by Coby Karl’s 21.

The Bulldogs coming in:

The Bulldogs come in on a four game win streak and they are playing much better basketball on the defensive end of the floor of late and seem to have come together as a unit. In the last outing in Las Cruces, the Bulldogs came away with a 60-58 victory.

The ‘Dogs played inspired Basketball on the defensive end which helped the lead for the games first 36 minutes and allowed them to hold off the late-charging Aggies. The Bulldogs had four players in double figures led by forward Dominic McGuire and guard Eddie Miller with 15. Kevin Bell distributed well and finished with 10 assists.

Guard Tyson Parker is out for the season with a broken arm, he suffered the injury in the victory over Louisiana Tech. His loss further depletes and already thin roster for the Bulldogs. Walk-on senior guard Ajay Riding will get an opportunity to shine in his final games of his career.

If Riding can play 10 minutes a game to spell both Eddie Miller and Kevin Bell, it will be a big boost because at this point Bell and Miller are both looking to play 40 minutes per game if Riding cannot perform.

Look for Riding to seize the moment and perform admirably, he has been a great teammate and tireless worker without much playing time at Fresno State.


The Broncos enter Thursdays contest after a 95-81 home loss to WAC-leading Nevada. Boise State played extremely well and Coby Karl and Matt Nelson both had 19 points and Reggie Larry chipped in 15. They shot the ball well going 27-57 from the field (47%) and 22-26 at the line (85%).

The issue for the Broncos was not the ability to score the basketball at a high rate or be efficient, the problem was they could not stop the Wolfpack. Not many teams have been able to slow the Pack down this year to the Broncos defense.

The Bronco average 76 points per game, shoot 47% from the field and 35% from three point range. They do have issues with ball security, they average 15.5 turnovers per game. Although they average 76 points per game, the Broncos are apt to give up points in bunches and will give up extended runs.

What to expect:

Look for the Bulldogs to be inspired as they return home to the SMC after a stellar road trip. If they cannot get motivated Thursday on Senior night I do not know what they can get up for. They have an outside chance of winning their final two WAC games and ending up in 2nd place.

If they continue to play and perform on the defensive end as they have recently, they should be successful and put themselves in a position to win. They also have the revenge factor with the Broncos due to the loss in Boise. There are just too many motivational factors to have a letdown.

The Broncos will come in upset minded and play loose, they have the weapons to score the ball and keep up with the Bulldogs, but will they be able to be consistent or overcome the defense they face?

MBs take:

The Bulldogs are on a roll but the last thing they need to let the 4 game winning streak due is give them a false sense of confidence. They need to continue to fight and scratch for every rebound and loose ball. Every victory from here on out will be due to effort and being able to overcome major adversity and grin it out.

Hopefully coach Steve Cleveland can insert senior guard Ajay Riding into the game and get him 10-12 minutes. They are going to need a contribution from him to succeed down the stretch in my opinion. Riding needs to spell Kevin Bell and Eddie Miller and provide solid defense and good decision making.

The keys to this game aren’t changing and are simple:

-Keep the Broncos off the offensive glass

-Continue to give the effort defensively and on the glass

-Control pace on the offensive end and show patience

-Attack the rim and finish

-Shoot at a higher percentage cause 35% from the field isn’t cutting it.

That being said, the Bulldogs win Thursday by 7 and keep the Broncos at arms length the entire way.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Audi A/S 5, Corvette "Blue Devil"

The A5.

The S5.

pics from AudiWorld
I am a pretty big fan of Audi when it comes to looks and performance. But when it comes to price, the skeptic in me shines to the surface. These new large coupes from Audi are very nice looking, inside and out, and will have pretty good power. But they will be overpriced, as most of what Audi has to offer is. And if you live in the flat lands, if you are going to drive overpriced German junk, you drive a BMW.
Not stock hood? What is that down below in the bottom opening?

Looks like GM has another test mule for its supercharged intercooled 600+hp SuperVette. The end all be all of performance cars for the cash. This "spy picture" comes from a worker for a transport company who was supposed to be loading this car up, but decided to take pictures. Apparently the car is headed to Germany, so that means it will be on the Nurburgring soon. More pictures available at Jalopnik.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Huge road victory puts streak at 4

NMSU tried hack a D-Mac and it didnt work

It was a huge road win for Coach Steve Cleveland and the Bulldogs last night, extending the win streak to 4 and finishing their last true road trip 2-0. After fouling and free throws, the Dogs led by 2 60-58 and NMSU had 10 seconds to make something happen. Great defense by the Bulldogs disallowed an attempt by Elijah Ingram, he passed to leading scorer Justin Hawkins and Hawkins desperation 3 would not fall.

This was a great job by FSU of overcoming adversity in a hostile environment and showing an ability to win a tough road game when not playing great offensive basketball. Snapping a teams 19 game home winning streak shows something about the growth of this team and their willingness to gut it out and play with maximum effort.

Lets talk negatives first:

-32% FG shooting on 19-59 total
-29% 3PT shooting on 9-31 total 3-15 2nd half
-Had issues switching and finding people on ball screens gave up 7 3s
-Were not getting the most favorable calls in the 2nd half
-Kevin Bell 1-10 from the field
-Hector Hernandez 0-5 in the 2nd half

Why they won the game:

-NMSU 0 2nd chance points
-16 more FG attempts than NMSU makes up for 32% shooting
-14 offensive rebounds gave the Dogs more possesions
-Kept the much larger Aggies off the glass only 7 off. rebounds total
-Only commited 7 turnovers on the road and made the Aggies work defensively
-Aggies committed 16 turnovers and were frustrated
-Kept NMSU at arms length the whole way lead for first 32 minutes
-Kevin Bell with 10 assists he played a great game distributed masterfully
-Eddie Miller hits five threes on 5-11 and is a threat all game long
-Hector Hernandez was hot in the 1st half played very well defensively and his effort was great
-Great game plan by the coaches they adjusted and got them to play well defensively
-The effort was special and they wanted it bad
-They made 9-10 from the free throw line down the stretch which was the reason they held off the Aggies. McGuire and Hosley were true leaders and knocked them down.

Lets talk individuals:

-Eddie Miller- I said he needed to score 12 or more points and he had 15, he was a threat the whole game and made shots in both halfs. He also helped on the glass and had a career high 6 boards. Nice effort E.

-Kevin Bell- Did not shoot well at all (1-10) but the one shot he made was really sweet. The scoring wasnt the thing here, he was the most important player on the floor because of his leadership, ability to break the press, and his distributing. They had him for 10 assists and I thought I counted 12-13 in my replay. Take a bow son, take a bow.

-Hector Hernandez- Great game. 11 first half points and got the offense going. Nice to see him do that in front of the 200 friends and family. He did not hit a shot in the 2nd half but he played much better defense, and he played inspired, full effort basketball that I have been asking for. Well done HH.

-Quinton Hosley- Steady. A few erratic offensive touches where he was unsure of whether to shoot or pass. Got on the glass and battled finished with 7 rebounds. Made 6-6 at the line which was huge. Scored points late on the line when the Dogs were in need. He also added three steals. Just do what you do Q.

-Dominic McGuire- Scored 15 points, steady effort and battled. He did not block the shots weve become accustomed to but that wasnt the point. He changed shots and had 7 rebounds. Had free throw issues early but hit all but one in the last two minutes, he was a leader. He also buried a deeep three right in front of the FSU bench to extend the 2nd half lead to 7. Keep it up Dom.

-Alex Blair- 17 minutes. Had two offensive rebounds and played hard. His dunk right before time expired at half was huge and pushed the lead to 31-23. Has had issues catching the ball and traveling inside of late and needs to work on that leadind up to the Boise State game. He made 1-2 at the line which is improvement. Love the effort keep bringing it.

-Cleveland and staff- The emphasis on defense is obvious, it has allowed them to both compete in and win games where the offense has been sluggish or they have shot below 35%. The emphasis on the defensive boards has been huge and is a key to the winning streak no doubt.

They have slowed the team down offensively and dictated tempo of late and limited the extent of opponents runs by running clock and avoiding high numbers of quick shots. They realize that as the season wears on it is the teams that can defend in the halfcourt and execute and score in the halfcourt are the teams that will have the most potential for success.


Box Score

Up Next:

The Bulldogs get a little break before they return to the SMC Thursday to face a Boise State team that defeated the Bulldogs in the 1st meeting this season. They have a few days to rest and regroup and work on some deficient areas on the offensive end. They will be practicing with a very positive tone because of the recent success.

The fans should show up to the SMC Thursday in larger numbers and show the team an appreciation for the road effort they put together. They should come out and play well, they need to avoid overconfidence and getting away from what has keyed there recent success.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Looking for 4 in a row in Las Cruces

Must keep Mr. Nelson off the offensive boards

The Fresno State Bulldogs will be in Las Cruces Saturday to play the New Mexico State Aggies. The Bulldogs enter off of Thursdays road victory over La. Tech 64-63, their 3rd consecutive victory. The Aggies defeated Utah State Thursday night 76-73. The Aggies are also looking to win their 20th straight game at home in the Pan-American Center.

The first meeting of the two teams on Feb 10th went the way of the Bulldogs 75-69, a game which the final score did not indicate the true margin. In that first meeting the Bulldogs outshot the Aggies 48-39% from the field and had 34 points in the paint to NMSUs 20.

The Aggies had 21 turnovers and the Bulldogs capitalized scoring 30 points off of them. Quinton Hosley lead the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Bell had his career-high 16 points to go with his 7 assists.

More on NMSU:

The Aggies are led by Junior guard Justin Hawkins who averages 16 points per game and adds 7 rebounds per game. Hawkins led the Aggies with 23 points in their victory over Utah State, forward Tyrone Nelson added 13 points and 8 rebounds.

NMSU was able to overcome Utah State star Jaycee Carroll’s 30 points, which came on 11-19 shooting. NMSU was able to outrebound USU 36-25 and shoot a blistering 56% from the field.

One issue was the Aggies turnover problems against Utah State. They turned it over 23 times and USU had 32 points off of those turnovers. The points in the paint edge went to NMSU to the tune of 36-26.

The Bulldogs coming in:

The Bulldogs grinded out and held off a pesky La. Tech team to squeak out a victory on Thursday, it was still a huge win based on their road woes in WAC play. Dominic McGuire led the way with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots. Kevin Bell added a career high 16 points.

The Bulldogs keys to victory was great half court defense and the ability to keep La. Tech off of the offensive glass. They were not able to get a solid effort off of the bench, a highlight in recent games. They may be without the services of backup guard Tyson Parker due to a hand injury.

Eddie Miller was a dismal 1-6 from the field and only scored 2 points a game removed from a career high 27 points. Another effort of that caliber and the Bulldogs cannot compete in Las Cruces.

It will take a great effort on the boards, improved three point shooting, and a huge effort from the forward tandem of McGuire and Hosley.

MBs take:

This is a winnable game although many wont agree, yes the Aggies have won 20 straight at home so why would FSU be the team to end the streak. The early going in this game will be key because although they are confident coming in a big run early by NMSU could break the Dogs.

The keys are as follows:

-No more than 10 turnovers

-No more that 10 offensive rebounds for NMSU

-Eddie Miller must score 12 or more points

-McGuire and Hosley must avoid foul trouble

-must shoot 40% from the field 35% from 3 and 70% from the line

-Must force 15+ turnovers from the Aggies

That being said I think the Dogs put up a good fight, but get overwhelmed down the stretch due to two of the above keys not being accomplished. They lose by 5 and fall back to .500 in the WAC.

Also if your up for a good laugh and some Theus arrogance then check out the NMSU link below:

Theus Quotes

GoBulldogs and NMSU preview:

Go Bulldogs


Thursday, February 22, 2007

'Dogs Make it 3 in a row

19 pts-13 rebs-and 6 blks for the single season record

The Fresno State Bulldogs were able to win their second WAC road game of the season when they were able to hold off the Lousiana Tech Bulldogs in Ruston Thursday. The Bulldogs were led by a huge effort by Junior Dominic McGuire who was able to pass former Bulldog star Melvin Ely for the single season blocks record. Ely had the previous record at 92 in 2000. McGuire swatted away six and now has 96 on the season with at least 4 games remaining.

How they were able to win:

The Bulldogs were able to win because of some great play by individuals in stretches, yet overcome some poor performances and mistake prone play. Lets review my primer for victory in the preview

-Shoot 40% from the field-shot 37.5% but had 7 second chance points. Barely enough but it worked.

-Shoot 70% from the line-shot 70.8% for the game and made key free throws down the stretch. Kevin Bell 6-6, McGuire 5-6, Hosley 4-8 but made the eventual game winner. Nice Effort.

-Hold La Tech to 10 or less offensive rebounds-They finished with 7 total and only 2 second chance points which was huge. Well Done.

-Do not have more than 10 turnovers-not even close, had 16 turnovers, 9 in the first half. The key though was they commited zero in the final 3 minutes. This wont work Saturday in Las Cruces.

-Share the basketball and show patience-Negative on the first one and check on the second. How do you score 64 points and only end up with 4 assists? That does not even seem possible but go back and watch the game and that was pretty accurate. On the second point the Bulldogs only forced about 5 to 7 shots the entire game and only 2 or 3 were early in the shot clock. When La Tech went on runs they were able to minimize them with patience on the offensive end.


-McGuire was a stud as previously mentioned. He blocked all 6 shots in the second half and was worth sooo much on the defensive end negating shot attempts and keeping La Tech off the offensive glass. It was a truly impressive performance and he is without a doubt the player of the game. Im calling him as WAC player of the week after a big game vs. NMSU Saturday.

-Kevin Bell tied his career high for the third time this season with 16. He was 0-4 from three but made 5-11 from two and more importantly 6-6 at the line. He should have had a handful more assists but Mr Blair needs to learn to have his hand above his waist in a position to catch a pass when players penetrate. Bell was a true floor leader tonight.

-Hector Hernandez played a great first half and was able to return to a form of himself from earlier in the season. He shot 3-8 from three which is an improvement, he also had 5 rebounds and made plays defensively. He was very active tonight and was able to have quality minutes and contribute well. Maybe Alex Blairs recent success has forced him to see the light and understand he has to be more than a stand up jumpshooter.

-Quinton Hosley had 12 points and 8 rebounds to go with one brutal and nasty spill trying to dunk in a Kevin Bell miss. It looked painful on TV and I was surprised he got up and shook it off so easily. He made 2-5 from three and was frustrated around the rim but had a putback and a couple free throws late that lead to the victory. Keep busting ass Q.

-The bench was not much to speak of. Alex Blair needs to make himself more accessible and not watch the play but cut to the rim and have the hands ready. Tyson Parker looked lost and was not willing to pull the trigger and the coaches got on him for it. Sean Taylor got bullied near the rim and didnt do much. Ajay Riding played well and I liked his effort and contributions and he did not turn the ball over which is key off the bench.

-Eddie Miller was a ghost and beholden to the law of averages coming off of his career high 27. Better figure it out by Sat. E Miller.

Bottom line was it was a road win and those are hard to come by for this team and I was happy with the effort. If they played with this effort and attitude at home they beat La Tech by 15.

Up Next:

The Bulldogs return to action and look for their 4th straight win Saturday at 6pm versus New Mexico State. The game will be televised locally on KFRE and Ralph Wood and the guy he calls "the coach" will make the call. He is a good old boy who calls the team "we" and "our guys". He is also more enamored with unsuccessful plays then with plays that are made it seems, he is just a special color guy and we here at Measure Buildup would love to do a podcast with "the coach".

I miss the old day of Physioc and Belluomni calling all the Bulldog TV games. Hard to believe they were the guys now that they have their Fox Sports Net deals. Oh the good old days of "he hits" and "how do you like it?"

On the road looking for a 3rd straight W

Looking to set the season record for Blocks Thursday

The Fresno State Bulldogs face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Thursday (5pm pacific) in a game that will decide which team can extend its winning streak to 3. FSU comes in with wins over New Mexico State and Sam Houston State while La Tech enters with victories over Idaho and Southeast Missouri State.

A look at La Tech:

Tech features two players scoring in double figures in guard Trey McDowell and forward Chad McKenzie at 13.4 and 13.2 points respectively, they are integral to the ultimate performance of their team. As those two play, so goes their team.

In the last meeting between the two teams the Bulldogs of Fresno State were able to get the best of visiting La Tech 70-64. FSU was able to outshoot La Tech from the field (45%-38%) from three (40%-25%) and from the line (74%-57%).

One area of success for La. Tech is their ability to crash the offensive boards with reckless abandon. There are always 4 players hitting the boards, with the 5th player willing to take risks in attacking the offensive glass.

The offensive rebounding is critical because of La. Techs inability to shoot a high percentage from the field. If they are only going to shoot 35-40% then they must increase shot attempts and possessions to make up for the lack of shooting prowess.

Lastly, Tech is opportunistic defensively and will force teams into turnovers. They favor a grind it out pace where they can exert themselves physically and outwork opponents on the glass.

A look at FSU:

The Bulldogs enter off of the big 78-60 victory over Sam Houston State. Guard Eddie Miller scored a career high 27 points and Quinton Hosley added a double-double. Bench production was also great scoring 22 points with Alex Blair scoring 8 and Tyson Parker scoring 12.

The only issue was forward Dominic McGuires early second half foul trouble. He cannot repeat those type of unwarranted, silly fouls in a road game. Coach Steve Cleveland needs 30 minutes of unhampered play by McGuire, who also is only 2 blocks shy of the single season school record.

One area of success recently has been the increase in field goal percentage. That number cannot dip much below 40% for the Bulldogs to remain successful. Eddie Miller must continue to shoot the ball well and must find quality shots early in the game.

Bench production is also key and contributions from Alex Blair, Sean Taylor, and Tyson Parker will be important. Each minute of quality play the three can provide puts the Bulldogs in a better position to come away from Ruston with their 3rd consecutive victory.

MBs Take:

I think this is one road game that the Dogs can win. The keys are simple:

-Shoot 40% or better from the field
-Shoot 70% or better from the line
-Hold La. Tech to 10 or less offensive rebounds
-Do not turn the ball over more than 10 times
-Share the basketball and show patience on the offensive end

In my opinion they will accomplish these goals or be darn near them. Dominic McGuire will break the record for blocks in a season, and the Bulldogs will win their third in a row by 4 points.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

'Dogs over Bearkats 78-60

Q played great, but the night belonged to E Miller

What went right for the Bulldogs:

-Got off to a good start- No they were not spectacular out of the gate, but there was not a 5 minute scoring drought or a deficit at the first tv timeout.

-Got Eddie Miller going early- In my game preview I spoke about getting Miller looks early so he is not lost in the fold. They found him on the right wing early and that helped set Miller up for a great night.

-Intimidated SHSU early- Most of the 7 blocked shots the Bulldogs had came fairly early in the contest and established dominance. This ealry success in negating the Bearkats inside led to them shooting fade-aways and off balance shots.

-Shared the Basketball- FSU finished with 22 assists Saturday and they moved the ball around well. Everyone got into the assist action and there was not any selfishness. The willingness to make the extra pass was great to see and I hope that trend continues.

-Shot the ball well!- A great shooting night and a continuing area of improvement for the Dogs. Shot 47.3% from the field as a team and 46.7% from the three. They finished at the rim, hit open jumpers and were deadly from three. Made 14 threes as a team.

-Bench production- Alex Blair and Tyson Parker were great sparks off the Bench. Blair was cutting to and getting around the basket and making himself available and he finished. Only bad play he made was missing the highlight dunk. Parker came in and was confident in shooting the three and helped moved the ball around the perimeter also. Both players were good on the defensive end, Blair 8 boards and Parker 3 blocks? Sean Taylor was nowhere to be found but that was a matchup issue mostly.

-Defensive intensity- Forced the Bearkats into difficult shots at times, stopped penetration and did not allow the guards to get to the rim much. Intimidated SHSU around the rim early. A lapse late in the first half and early in the second half led to open looks from three. Both NMSU and SHSU shot bad from the field for sure, but Id like to give credit to the defensive play and not just bad shooting.

What went wrong:

-McGuire in foul trouble- Two games in a row he gets two fouls in the first half and Cleveland sets him late in the first half to prevent the uneccessary 3rd. Two quick fouls to open the second half has McGuire watching for extended minutes from the bench. When he comes back he is out of sync, cold, and not effective on the offensive end. Needs to watch this in the upcoming games, 1 quick foul can snowball.

-Left Jeremy Thomas open- Thomas was the one Bearkat player that shot it well. He only played 16 minutes but scored 13 on 4-6 shooting from three. The Bulldogs cannot fall asleep and get crossed up on ball screens and baseline screens. Lack of communication led to open looks for Thomas. Every team will get looks, its just a matter of getting a hand and not leaving shooters uncontested.

-Free throw shooting- Finished 12-21 from the stripe. The 4-10 effort in the first half was the problem, it should have been a double digit lead if they had shot 70% in that half. This has cost the Bulldogs in close games and will thwart them down the stretch in coming games.

-Yielded too many offensive boards- Gave up 20 offensive boards to the Bearkats. Now the numbers were most likely going to be around 8-10 because of the low shooting percentage of the Bearkats but 20 is unacceptable. Part of this is due to the fact that McGuire sat with foul trouble, if he plays his normal minutes he gets 18 rebounds.

-Turnovers- Too may turnovers against a team that did not pressure the Bulldogs. I could live with 10 due to the fact that a handful were off of an extra pass that players did not handle. A little less carelessness goes a long way. Five more possessions in a game can make the difference.


-Eddie Miller- Lights out. He gets a career high 27 points. 7 of 10 from three is quite an accomplishment. He got it going early and often and his shooting stroke dictated the game from the onset. Also got out in transition and got a couple of dunks, cut backdoor and had a nice left handed reverse layup. Chipped in 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

-Quinton Hosley- Been playing great. Looks extra explosive and healthy. Favorite player to watch because of effort and toughness. Extremely efficient from the field again going 2-2 from the field and 2-3 from three. 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and one ridiculous block where he came from nowhere to pin the shot with both hands on the backboard on a Beartkat guard layup attempt.

-Dominic McGuire- Rebounded well as usual, finishing with 11 total in 24 minutes. Limited due to foul issues for the second straight game. Cannot pick up uneccessary fouls early in games. They dont seem like much at the time but before you know it the officials call a cheap and egregious over the back and an offensive foul when a defender flopped and McGuire has four. Did a nice job handling the ball in transition and finding shooters, he had his head up at all times which many guys his size dont do when they are handling it.

-Hector Hernandez- Did a better job on the boards. Showed a little fire and intensity on the defensive end and also had a steal. It was an improvement from the nothing efforts he had been giving. Hopefully this game was a stepping stone to more improved intensified play. Still shooting terribly he finished 2-12 from the field. If he does not pick it up defensively he will continue to see playing time decline because he is a negative on offense. With his inability to make shots, its better that he defers and lets Hosley and Miller get more attempts. Does it make sense that Hernandez shoots 12 shots in 22 minutes and Hosley shoots five shots in 28 minutes?

-Alex Blair- Another great effort by Blair. 8 points and 8 rebounds were critical. Not only the defensive rebounding is important but his post defense is key. Not trying to block as many shots now which is great, he forced SHSU players into tough shots and fade-aways. Holds his ground well in the post and does not get pushed around. Cuts to the basket in transition and gives Bell and others an option at the rim when penetrating. Whereas Hernandez runs to three and stands, Blairs cuts to the rim and shoots layups. Efficient at 4-5 shooting he should have been 5-5 since he missed the easiest of his attempts a highlight dunk(a blocking foul on SHSU nonetheless that went uncalled).

-Tyson Parker- In the preview I wondered if he could have another La Tech type effort. He did. He was a confident shooter and shot 3-4 from three and 3-4 from the line. He was willing to shoot with a hand in his face. He managed to block three shots by surprising shooters and sneaking behind penetrators. Boxed out against bigger players on the defensive end and rebounded well finishing with 5. Also had two steals and did a nice job on the defensive end.

-Kevin Bell- Great job distributing, he lead the team with 8 assists which should have been nine on the McGuire alley-oop. He set the table early with moving the ball and everyone followed with unselfishness. Handled the ball well and dribbled around and through double teams well. Did have 4 turnovers but the way the game was played and the amount of plays he made negated it. Did not shoot the ball well but did not force shots due to the tough shooting night. His selectiveness and willingness to defer were critical. He came in off a career high 18 points and followed it up with 3 which puts him at his season average for two games. Stats do prove true I guess?

Odds and Ends:

SHSU Coach Bob Marlin should have been given a technical foul in the first half. He was all over the officials and even went off on a member of the event staff at FSU. It makes sense to go off like that with your team shooting at a 25% clip in the first half.

The officiating stank but that is the norm at the SMC. Phantom charge calls, over the back when there is no contact and calling a foul on Hosley when Bearkat forward Ryan Bright stuck his face in front of Hosleys elbow. They let the game get out of hand a bit. At least it didnt get ugly although Q had one extremely hard foul as retaliation for a swipe in the face after a defensive board.

Cleveland showed some emotion after the 4th foul on Hosley, the way the lead was I think I would have went off on the officials and got a t if I was in his shoes but he showed that Clevelanesque restrain/nothing will ever phase me thing he has going.

Bearkat leading scorer Ryan Bright pump fakes like an 8th grader every time he gets the ball at three. He has no jab-step, pass fake, or suttle head fake. He looked like a little kid when he got the ball and did that overly fake head/pump fake, no one falls for garbage like that.

Up Next:

The Bulldogs return to action Thursday in Ruston to face the Lousisiana Tech Bulldogs, who have been playing much better of late. Game preview to come Tues/Wed.

Game Recap

Box Score

Notes and Quotes

Friday, February 16, 2007

FSU-SHSU Preview

Marlin and his brilliant half court sets may work in the Southland Conference but they are no match for Schroyer and his sideline screaming. Best of luck Bob, but Heath has had 6 days to review film on you and that is far too long for a brilliant tactician like him.

The Fresno State Bulldogs welcome in non-conference opponent Sam Houston State at 7pm Saturday at the Save Mart Center. The Bearkats of SHSU are from the Southland Conference; they currently are a 1/2 game out of first place with a 10-2 conference mark and have an overall record of 18-7. Entering Saturday, SHSU is 5-6 in road contests.

SHSU Coming In:

The Bearkats enter the contest Saturday off of a victory over Stephen F. Austin 63-51. Forward Ryan Bright led the way with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Seniors Aaron Wade and Jejaun Plair chipped in with 12 and 11 points respectively. The win by SHSU was their sixth in a row, and with that string of games the Bearkats will enter the SMC with confidence.

What to expect from SHSU:

The main factors that contribute to the Bearkats success is their ability to get out of the gates early and start well and that they have depth. They play 9 players 10 minutes or more per game. They do not have a single player in the top 15 in the Southland Conference in minutes per game. Also, this team has a willingness to share the ball and that is exhibited in their 19.8 assists per contest.

They are a balanced scoring team, but much like the Bulldogs rely heavily on the outside shot. In losses, the lack of a solid shooting percentage from both the field and from three has hampered the Bearkats success. Much like the Bulldogs they have shot a woeful 58% from the free throw line in losses, they enter shooting at a 64% clip from the line.

Look for the Bearkats to go to the bench early and often, it is a key to their success as the bench averages 29.1 ppg while the Bulldogs bench production is minimal, especially since Eddie Miller is in the starting lineup. SHSU has jumped out to early leads in all but four of their games this season so that is something to watch for based on FSUs recent struggles to find points early in games.

What to expect from the Bulldogs:

The Bulldogs enter the game Saturday with confidence after the 75-69 victory over New Mexico State. Although the Dogs were unable to score in the first five minutes, they were able to score 40 points in the final fifteen minutes of the first half. Quinton Hosley had a great outing and scored his 22 points efficiently and also added 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.

The Dogs should also enter fresh after getting 6 days off since the NMSU victory. They even got an extra shooting opportunity at the Save Mart Center Thursday due to Jamie Foxx snubbing Fresno on his tour. I salute Mr. Foxx for his commitment to Bulldogs Basketball and understanding they have had shooting woes at the SMC recently and letting them get some extra shots in.

Because of the lack of an inside presence by SHSU, look for Hosley and McGuire to be posted up early and often. As has been the case all season, the two forwards must be aggressive when attacking the rim and initiate contact and if they don’t score the basket they need to be shooting two free throws.

Kevin Bell was an excellent floor leader the last time out against NMSU and look for that trend to continue. He was a great distributor and his shot selection was superb on his way to scoring a career-high 18 points.

Bell’s defense on Bearkat point guard Jejaun Plair will be critical and something to key on when watching the game. Plair averages 5.8 assists per game for the Bearkats and is the catalyst for them offensively.

With the Bearkats going 9 or 10 deep, how will Coach Steve Cleveland respond with his own substitution decisions? His use of forward Alex Blair early against NMSU was critical to the team’s ultimate success. Will Blair have a role to play against the Bearkats or will he be lost in the shuffle? Will backup guard Tyson Parker return to the type of play he employed versus La. Tech?

MBs take:

The Bulldogs will finally open a home game with above average play. They have come out flat in 4 consecutive home games, luckily for them so did their opponents and they were able to stay in it. A 2-4 minute scoring drought to open the game cannot be had against SHSU because of their great play early in games.

I see Cleveland pounding Hosley and McGuire on the low block and in the double-hi set in the early going. SHSU is not a physical team on the interior and does not block shots. I also think it is critical to get Eddie Miller looks early from his home on the right wing. He needs confidence early so he does not slip into non-factor mode.

Maybe this is the game where Hector Hernandez can play with some fire and show everyone a new look. He has been mired in both a shooting and effort slump and he needs to find a way out bad-so why not against SHSU?

Defensively, the intensity and focus must be at a high, the Bearkats are an excellent passing team and find the open man. They are difficult enough to defend on one possession so the boards must be cleared by the Dogs. They must not fall asleep and do a good job of communicating, bumping cutters, and stopping penetration on the defensive end.

The way I see it is the new look Bulldogs (for two games at least) will play inspired ball and defeat the Bearkats by 7.

FSU-SHSU preview from

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Know your opponent: The Sam Houston State Bearkats

Leading scorer-Junior Ryan Bright at 14.8 ppg

The Fresno State Bulldogs have a non-conference game Saturday night at 7pm in the Save Mart Center in ESPNs bracketbusters (non-tv game). The Bulldogs were matched up with Sam Houston State. Here is some info on the opponent.

A little Bit about Sam Houston State:

The Sam Houston State Bearkats are members of the Southland Conference and currently reside in second place 1/2 game behind Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 10-2. Their conference losses have been against UT-Arlington and McNeese State.

Southland Conference

Coach Bio:

The Bearkats are coached by Bob Marlin. His record at SHSU is an overrall 138-93 in 8 seasons. He coached previously at Pensacola Junior College where he amassed a 123-35 record in 5 seasons. In 1993 he was named National Junior College Coach of the Year. Prior to the head job at Pensacola JC he was an assistant at Alabama, Marshall, and Louisiana-Monroe.

SHSU Coach Bob Marlin

Season to date:

Sam Houston State enters with an 18-7 record and an RPI of 97. In the Pomeroy Ranking they are rated at 138. The quality losses they have amassed are against the likes of Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, UCLA, and I will include Southern Miss which was on the road. Bad losses include the likes of UC Irvine, McNeese State, and UT-Arlington. Pomeroy predicts a 73-67 FSU victory. Three of SHSU victories were over non division-1 opponents.

Schedule, results, and predictions

Statistically speaking:

Three Bearkat players enter with double figure scoring averages. They are Forwards Ryan Bright (Junior) at 14.8 ppg and Aaron Wade (Senior) at 12.2 ppg. Guard Jejuan Plair (Senior) enters with a 10.8 ppg average.

Nine players play 10 or more minutes per game with no player averaging over 30 minutes per game. The Bearkats average 76.4 ppg and outscore their opponents at a 10.7 ppg clip. They shoot 46% from the field, 36% from the three, 64% from the line, and also average 8.3 made 3pt FGs per game . They enter with a +1.4 rebounding margin.

Of note is the fact that SHSU averages 19.8 assists per game, showing the teams willingness to share the ball and find open players. They also have issues with ball security shown in the 15 turnovers per game.

Season stats

Crowd control:

Lastly, I will point to the fact that the Bearkats have played in front of a total of 70,728 fans the entire season. That averages out to be 2,811 per game. Saturday nights game should a tough experience, although they have played down at Texas Tech, Gallagher-Iba Arena, and at Pauley Pavilion. Those were all double digit losses though.

Seems to me the Southland Conference draws smallish crowds comparable to some Valley High School Basketball leagues.

BMW Sportvan, Redesigned Mercedes G, The Demon

BMW is always trying to expand and develop products into the ever-changing automotive industry, and this looks like the next venture. Much like the Mercedes R class, this "Sportvan" looks more like a squating hatchback than a Van. This pictured version is based on the 5 series, but there are plans to also have a smaller cheaper version based on the 3 series. Because the X5 is also based on the 5 series chassis, we know this will be easy and cheap for them to do, of course that is when you factor in how much they will charge for something like this.
Picture from Motortrend.
The Mercedes GL has never been good looking, or made much sense. The "redesign" further proves this, by staying pretty much exactly the same everywhere but on the inside. You have seen them possibly driving around. Usually a woman is behind the wheel, someone who wanted a Hummer, but thought it wasn't high class enough for them and their bleach blonde hair, fake breasts, and their new Louis Vuitton handbag.
Picture from Jalopnik.
The Dodge Demon. Dodge tries to cut into the 2 seater open air market. They are aiming at the Mazda Miata market. The exterior design is a little odd, probably something you really need to see in person to pass final judgement on, as is any car this small in size. Interior looks nice, looks to have plenty of room, and easily as good as the other cars in the class. Hard to not look better than the boring and uninspired Miata, but it will be hard to look as good as the Saturn Sky does in person, especially if you have to look like a Dodge.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Statistical look at the 'Dogs in the WAC

Quinton Hosley throwdown courtesy of Kevin Bell

Since the team will be off this week and return to action on Saturday, I felt it was worth taking a look at what this team has been able to accomplish statistically thus far.

I will preface this post by stating that Im a stat guy, not in the Fantasy Sports kind of way but more in the was of seeing trends and gauging teams successes and failures through them. Here is my attempt to explain that.

Scoring Offense:

Fresno State is 5th at 71.2 ppg. New Mexico State is the leader at 80 ppg with Nevada just behind them at 77 ppg. I would have predicted this team would be right around 75 ppg during the conference schedule but that 42 point effort vs. Hawaii didnt help.

Scoring defense:

This is the stat that has to please Coach Cleveland. Leadind the WAC giving up 66.1 ppg through 12 games. This is an area that has been a focus for the staff this season and for the most part they have put themselves in a position to win games with their scoring defense.

Free throw percentage:

Currently fifth at 66% which is not good. For some teams this may be acceptable like New Mexico State due to their size and multiple post players getting to the line. The Bulldogs are a perimeter oriented team that should be shooting no less than 70% and probably in the 72-75% range. It has hurt them on multiple occasions this season.

Field Goal percentage:

The killer stat in my opinion. They are sixth at 41.5%. A lot of this can be attributed to a perimeter oriented team, but those that have watched every game would know that there have too many missed opportunities around the rim. After the top five teams in this category the number drops off dramatically and those under those five struggle at times. The Bulldogs have had too many sub 40% field goal games, and when that occurs it will always be difficult to win.

Field Goal percentage defense:

The saving grace. The Bulldogs may not be the best shooting team, but neither are the teams they face. Is this good defense or two teams clashing with anemic offense? In the last three home games, they have come out flat and primed to be decimated by the opposition. Thankfully opponents have been equally bad out of the gate and allowed FSU to stay in the game.

Three-point field goal percentage:

Sixth at 34.1%, a number that would be nice to see in the 36-38% range. A few atrocious shooting efforts helped push this number down. They have attempted 150 more 3s than anyone else in the conference.

Rebounding margin:

Another difficult stat to ovecome, average margin is -2.5 rebounds per game. The Nevada game was the killer being outebounded 51-25. Explained by the lack of post presence and inability to keep opponents off of the offensive glass.

Blocked shots:

Leading the conference at 6.64 per game. Mostly due to Dominic McGuires's 3.5 bpg. Speaks to the athleticism of the team when they can lead the conference in this category without true inside players garnering the numbers.

Assists per game:

A stat I would like to see the Dogs lead the WAC in. I like teams that share the ball, the success level rises as teams are willing to make the extra pass. Currently third at 14.5 per game. Not bad but this is one category I want more of.

Steals per game:

Here is one category one would think FSU would average more than 6 per game. Im guessing it is more the lack of real gambling that the defense does. I give them a pass here due to the fact that defense has been great for the most part.

Turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio:

Done a nice job and find themselves at second in both categories. Comparitive to their conference foes, not too bad of a job protecting the basketball. Like Ive said all year, Hosley and McGuire need to average only 4-5 turnovers per game combined, but that number has been far too high in a number of games.

3 point field goals made:

Not a surprise at all that they lead at 9.24 made 3s per game. This was what they needed to do to compete in the WAC. With the volume they shoot they are going to be in this range. A little higher percentage would put this team over 10 per game which would be big.


The only WAC team with a home average over 10K fans per game. Although that may be enough for top honors in the conference, with an arena like the Save Mart Center with a 15.5K capacity its not enough. If the program can make strides next season and improve then this number will climb considerably.


McGuire leads the conference in blocks per game because he is 6'8", has long arms, and he can elevate with anyone. He needs to be careful or he will be in foul trouble much like he was against NMSU.

Kevin Bell is leading the conference in assists at 5.16 per game. Its what you like to see out of your point guard obviously, but if his teammates could knock down a few more threes and finish a few more around the rim Bell could be at 7 per game.

Quinton Hosley at 4th in the WAC at 2.76 offensive rebounds per game. This stat shows the effort that Q plays with and just how hard he works. These arent those happen to fall into to your hands because your big rebounds-these are the fight, claw, and scratch your way to an offensive board.

Lastly, the Bulldogs feature three players in the top ten in minutes per game in the conference. This also may be a reason for some of the difficulties experienced at times this season. Other teams have great players but they have young talent to spell them. This team does not have that luxury and hopefully next season we can be begin to see a more versatile team that has multiple options.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

'Dogs with solid effort to defeat Aggies 75-69

-Player of the game Quinton Hosley-

The first 5 minutes:

After the opening tip and until Coach Steve Cleveland called a timeout at the 15:40 mark, things look bad for the third straight home game for the Bulldogs. After two games that featured awful starts, this one was similar yet the Dogs were able to compose themselves and climb back into it. Thank goodness the Aggies were shaky to start things also.

Player Breakdown:

-Quinton Hosley-

Player of the game with a huge night. Efficient in shooting the ball at 8-11 from the field and 6-8 from the line. He pounded the offensive glass and finished with 5 offensive rebounds. He ended up with 10 rebounds total to go with 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.

He was the heart and soul of the team tonight and was all over the floor. He played 4 inches taller than his 6'6" height. It was a pleasure to watch him fight and scrap for every rebound and loose ball. Great job Q.

-Kevin Bell-

Two great outings in a row for Bell against the top two teams in the WAC. Handled the pressure well all night (played all 40 minutes) and distributed 7 assists. Shot 5-7 from the field and was selective in shot attempts and chose to shoot at the right times.

Took it to the rim well and finished strong. Also must mention the outstanding job he did on the NMSU PGs he was matched up with. He was stifling at times and frustrated the Aggie guards and did not allow them to do what they wanted. Great game KB.

-Dominic McGuire-

A nice night for McGuire with 8 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 4 assists. Not a good job of decision making on the defensive end when he got himself in foul trouble early in the second half. He attempted to block two shots against Tyrone Nelson and Hatila Passos when he should have let them score.

He forced Cleveland to set him down for extended minutes and he got out of sync. It was a night that it worked out okay because of the huge effort from Hosley. Also having free throw issues in back to back games only shot 1-4 against the Aggies. One missed layup, but at least the number of them is falling. Solid effort Dom.

-Eddie Miller-

Miller found his shooting stroke again and he needed to in a bad way. He made a huge three that was the Bulldogs first points of the game out of a timeout when they were in desperate need. He finished with 14 points and shot 4-9 on threes.

He needed that kind of effort after two less than stellar efforts prior. Miller also helped keep the Aggies off the offensive glass with 4 rebounds and added two steals in a solid defensive effort. Welcome back E Miller.

-Alex Blair-

Alex Blair was a big surprise and he was brought in early and was a huge lift. Cleveland entered Blair into the fray after forward Hector Hernadez was obviously providing nothing for the Bulldogs. Blair responded immediately with inspired play on both ends of the floor.

He hit the offensive glass and had a putback. He cut to the rim in transition and Bell found him for a layup. He also played great on the defensive end and would not be pushed around by the taller Aggie post players. He was fiery and gave an effort that made Quinton Hosley proud. Big time showing Mr. Blair.

-Hector Hernandez-

This wasnt pretty and hasnt been for quite a few games now. Ill advised shots early in the shot clock, poor decision making, lack of effort on defensive end. Not allowing game to come to him. A one dimsional player that doesnt provide anything if he can shoot. 6'9" and no defensive rebounds in the last two games that he has played 50 minutes combined. I will commend him for sticking his nose in and taking two charges. How bout diving on floor sometime, it will do you a lot of good.

Coach Cleveland:

He has had back to back solid coaching efforts even though he only won the NMSU game. He put his team in great position to have success on the offensive end in both games. The difference was they finished around the rim versus the Aggies and failed to against the Wolfpack. Good utilization of the timeouts and also a great job substituting. The quick hook on Hernandez and the confidence in Alex Blair was a huge move that proved highly rewarding. Keep it up coach.

Odds and ends:

-The Bulldogs had 34 points in the paint to the Aggies 20. This was done against a frontline that had a huge size advantage. Nice job moving the ball around and flashing Hosley to the free throw line area. They also shared the ball well and finished strong at the rim.

-Had 8 steals and forced quite a few turnovers. Played inspired basketball on the defensive end. Although they gave up 17 offensive rebounds, the Aggies only finished with 15 second chance points.

-Capitalized off of NMSU turnovers to the tune of 30 points. Huge key to victory.

-Shot 47.4% from the field which was a huge climb from the mid 30s where they have been recently. Shot selection was much improved.

MBs key to the win:

What I think was the key to the game as much as anything was the overrall shot selection. Although they only finished 6-24 from the three, all but 2 or 3 of those shots were good. There was solid ball movement and the players were more than willing to make the extra pass to set up their teammates.

Also key along with the shot selection was the patience displayed on the offensive end. Very few quick shots in transition or force the issue plays that result in turnovers. Got the ball to the high post and kicked it out, swung the ball around the perimeter fast, and actually utilized some head fakes on three point attempts.

By running the shot clock into the low teens and high single digits, it forced NMSU to play 25-30 seconds of defense and allowed them to find higher percentage shots. When this is done it makes it much more difficult for teams to make a run. Usually the runs arent as big and the point differential is minimized. Instead of that 10-0 run in 1:10, you now have a 10-4 score over 2:10.

Up Next:

The Bulldogs will get some rest and get themselves a fair amount of practice time next week as they prepare for a game against Sam Houston State Saturday night at 7pm at the Save Mart Center. This matchup is a result of ESPNs Bracketbuster package but the FSU-SHSU game will not be one of the 16 televised games. Look for the game preview and overview of the Sam
Houston State Bearkats on Thursday.


FSU-NMSU Boxscore

Friday, February 09, 2007

Coach Fuller brings Deering High into the SMC

Tyron Nelson from inside and Julie Connor from outside
should be a dynamic duo for Deering errr NMSU?

My Post title and caption title are obviously a little joke on New Mexico State Coach Reggie Theus and his stint of 3 seasons(1995-98) on NBCs "Hang Time". Theus played coach Bill Fuller and led the boys basketball team at fictional Deering high in Indiana. The Tornadoes (sweet mascot for the upper midwest though) Boys team featured sweet shooting female guard Julie Connor who was not only dominant but apparently a 25 year old in a high school.

When Connor got the inside-outside game going with big man Teddy Broadis (Anthony Anderson) Coach Fuller could only sit back an marvel. Eventually Theus left the show and gave way to gridiron great Dick Butkus who played coach Mike Katowinski. The show lost its believabiltiy when the change was made in 98' and I lost interest. Katowinski taking over for Theus compares to whoever takes over for Lute Olson at Arizona.

They played on a court that was a bit undersized some would say, I would bet the dimensions would be about 45 by 30. I would guess it was an accurate depiction of high school ball in Indiana and I think I could have been a heck of a player for Deering given the shot.

If I could have knocked Danny Mellon out of his stating role I think I could have not only landed Julie Connor as a girlfriend, I would have bypassed her for head cheerleader Mary Joe Pemberton. She may have been that chick that was a bit off up top and waaay out there but you know she was as sweet in the sack as Connor's 14 foot 3 pointer from the wing.

Coming In:

The Fresno State Bulldogs will be hosting the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday night at the Save Mart Center. The Aggies enter after a road loss in Logan Utah to Utah State 75-63. The Bulldogs enter off of an 81-68 loss at home to the #11 ranked Nevada Wolfpack.

About New Mexico State:

New Mexico State comes in as a team with strengths which are precisely what Fresno State cannot handle: post play, depth, and aggressive on the offensive glass. They were defeated by a Utah State team that did a nice job of neutralizing their inside game, but it never hurts to have a guard like Jaycee Carroll score 44 points.

The Aggies were baited into taking a few too many perimeter shots and finished 7-23 from three. The Aggies shot the ball rather well at 46% from the field, but only made 10-18 from the line and had 13 turnovers.

Look for coach Reggie Theus to get his team back on track against the Bulldogs. Much like Nevada, the Aggies will realize they can get shots off any time they want against FSU but need not settle and instead dictate the tempo and pace of the game.

The Aggies are led in scoring by guard Justin Hawkins at 16.3 ppg, he has scored double figures in 18 games this season. The other three players averaging in double figures are guard Fred Peete, forward Tyrone Nelson, and center Hatila Passos. Each player is right at the 10 ppg mark. Nine players on the Aggie roster average 10 or more minutes per game.

As a team, New Mexico State averages 81 ppg, shoot 48% from the field, 38% from three, and 66% from the line. Their rebounding margin is a +3.7 difference. They average 14.5 assists per game and 16.5 turnovers.

An interesting stat is that the Aggies feature five players shooting over 50% from the field that are regular contributors.

The Bulldogs:

Although there was much improvement for the Bulldogs from the Hawaii to Nevada game in terms of shooting efficiency, they managed to shoot a woeful 10-25 from the free throw line. Couple the free throw shooting with 5 or 6 ill-advised shots early in the shot clock along with 22 offensive rebounds for the Wolfpack and one can understand how this loss occurred.

Another issue that surfaced was a lack of attentiveness to transition defense. The Bulldogs have done a very good job defensively in transition for the most part this season but were definitely exploited on multiple occasions.

Guard Eddie Miller and forward Hector Hernandez combined to shoot both a dismal and back-breaking 5-24 from the field.

What to expect:

Expect the Bulldogs to continue their home woes. They have issues in the opening minutes of both halves and have either put themselves in a hole or have not taken advantage of the road teams sluggish starts.

One area they can be successful is forcing turnovers, New Mexico State averages 16.5 per game. Limiting Aggie second chances is critical along with Hernandez having improved shot selection and playing with more effort.

Coach Cleveland’s team is as fragile as any right now and the Save Mart Center is a home court advantage only in theory at this point. Look for New Mexico State to come in and pound the ball inside early and take advantage of defensive lapses and miscues. An example would be forward Hector Hernandez trying to leak out into transition without closing and boxing out on shooters.

New Mexico State will look to continue their success forcing turnovers as they lead the WAC in steals at 7.6 per game. Also look for Theus to utilize his deep bench as usual and emphasize pounding the offensive glass, a place where Nevada flourished against the Bulldogs with 22 offensive rebounds.

The Bulldogs best chance is to not fall in love with the three point shot and continue to execute out of the double high post set with both forwards Quinton Hosley and Dominic McGuire. The only issue with that is if they draw fouls can they make free throws? If they are not confident at the line it will cut down on their aggressiveness going to the rim and they may fail to draw contact which is a recipe for disaster.

MBs Take:

This team is in shambles mentally and it has been an ongoing descent from good, to average, to mediocre in the shooting department. Reaching 40% field goals has been set as a huge success. The team shoots 75% on the road from the line and at home it seems to be about 7.5%. The Save Mart Center has been relegated to a neutral court and the Bulldogs seem to hate playing there.

It is a bad sign when your forwards are slashing and attacking at will and look to be unstoppable. Then, when they get fouled being aggressive attacking the rim and do not convert at the line they shy away from contact to avoid going back in their home Arena? That is sad and shows an utterly pathetic lack of confidence.

The Dogs will lose their third straight at home by 6 points unfortunately. If they have no confidence in themselves then what should I have in them?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

2nd Consecutive Home Blowout-Pathetic

An indicative photo of Hernandez's defensive effort

Why it happened:

Where to begin? There are many factors that came together to form the effort that resulted in a second consecutive home loss. We could talk about transition defense, we could speak on post defense, finishing at the rim, long scoring droughts to open both halves, not taking advantage of the opportunity when Nevada isnt making shots, not rebounding on either end of the floor, getting outrebounded 51-25, giving up 22 offensive rebounds, Hector Hernandez and his lack of effort all over the floor and his inopportune shots that stop scoring runs. Lastly, I could speak on the free throw shooting:

You know, the 10-25 effort from the charity stripe!

Since when do teams shoot 40% in home games but 75% on the road from the line. The Save Mart Center has been a road venue throughout the season for this team. In the preseason they played in an empty arena against below average teams. As they played more games the new players have gotten much worse shooting the ball in the alleged "friendly confines" of the SMC. The last two efforts have been what can be referred to as "rock bottom" for the Bulldogs. Although the shooting from the floor and three improved against the Wolfpack the free throw shooting was a joke.

Opportunities squandered:

The Bulldogs did what was necessary on offense to win this game. They were aggressive taking it to the rim and got to the line, which would normally be a great asset in a home game. Hosley and McGuire worked the double post well both flashing to the elbows and attacking down the lane line.

At halftime it seemed as though the players and fans were satisfied with only being down 2 to the Wolfpack, but my issue was that they should have been up 5-7 points. Nevada had difficulty scoring in the first half and had two semi droughts that the Dogs should have pounced upon. The free throw woes combined with 2 or 3 trips that ended in missed layups really hurt the Bulldogs by disallowing the halftime lead which was an absolute necessity.

When they made a great run and had the crowd into it after the back to back dunks by McGuire and Hosley, they were primed to take the lead. After a big defensive stop McGuire gets into transition and instead of attacking Fazekas tries the up and under reverse layup. It spun out and with that went hopes of a halftime lead.


Some have said that Hernandez has been the best player up until the halfway point in conference and to those folks may I ask what game you watch?

He is the player on the floor that gives the least effort. He only had 1 stretch of 45 seconds where he actually looked to be giving maximum effort, only because he made a shot prior. He killed them offensively with a 4-17 outing and took multiple forced and ill-advised threes. He had no defensive rebounds in 31 minutes of play. That, my friends, is pathetic at 6'9".

He did not work hard to get back in transition, watched Nevada players grab rebounds in front of him and put it back in. Whoever he was defending ended up making plays whether it was an open three, a put back, or a floater. Its hard to be a good player when you only do one thing, and what happens when that one thing is not working?

Other player evaluations:

I will say I was happy with point guard Kevin Bell's play. He was efficient on 4-7 shooting, had a nice drive and finish(missed the free throw obviously) but handed out 5 assists with only 1 turnover. He also had three steals and had them at times in the game where they needed someone to make a play. He did a nice job on Wolfpack guard Ramon Sessions. These are the kind of games that I look from from Kevin Bell and was really pleased with his performance.

Hosley played well and had a highlight dunk and pass in a 2 possesion span that showed the overrall potential he brings with him each outing. He played hard as usual, I was disappointed in the foul he picked up in the middle of the floor for no reason after the defense had made a big stop and were trying to cut into the lead.

Eddie Miller was obviously out of his league and Nevada did a great job on him throughout. He is not ready to assume a starting role and be asked to perform at a high level, but he must show improvement asap. This is also a good time for Miller to learn what he needs to work on to be a successful player by next season. He must add weight to his frame and work on his ball handling.


As far as the coaching goes I dont think it was the real issue but I do have my points of contention:

Not calling quick time outs at the beginning of each half was a mistake. Not utilizing the time outs to rest his players during periods of up and down play or full court pressure was also incorrect. Those were issues Cleveland needs to think about and resolve.

Allowing Hernandez to play too take them out of offensive flow and rythym. Hosley took two bad shots, 1 a three and 1 a midrange jumper which he was double teamed on. Miller took two fade away baseline jumpers that were ill-advised. McGuires reverse layup was a bad shot because he took the wrong approach. Hernandez took as many bad shots as those players combined. Quick transition threes, a fade away on Fazekas? Quick release threes contested by Fazekas running out full speed. Maybe a head fake Hector?

Lessening runs and chipping away at leads:

My problem with shots like stated prior are there was time on the shot clock and someone else could get a better look. Those type of shots can be had at any point in the game, why would you shoot them when Nevada is in the midst of a 10-0 run. If you are going to have a scoring drought, have one where you use up 25-30 seconds of the shot clock and get up a good shot. Do not jack up quick shots and then compound it by failing to get back on defense and allowing the layup or open three.

Not only have you shot the ball in the first 10 seconds of three straight possessions, but the opponent (Nevada) has gotten two open layups and an open three in 5-8 seconds of their possession.

Result: 8-0 run in less than a minute and now the Bulldogs are decimated and Nevada is smelling blood. The result of that is players compounding that run by trying to shoot their way back in it in three possessions. Leads are not overcome quickly, they are chipped away at with solid defense and not allowing offensive boards, also attacking the rim and taking good shots.

Leads may be built fast but they take time to erase. The key is patience.

Up Next:

Thats all I have for this debacle of a game and I will post the New Mexico State preview tommorow. This game does not look very winnable based on team confidence. Are we looking at 3 home conference losses in 1 season? Not what I thought coming in.

Check the Boxscore at your own peril!