Friday, December 28, 2007

'Dogs face uphill battle at Maples v. Stanford

Its all on you KB, we need 20 and 7 outta you

Dogs head to Palo Alto to face No. 22 Stanford:

The Bulldogs will head up to the Bay area to play the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion at 2pm Saturday. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net with Ted Robinson as the play by play and former Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery with analysis. Both the Cardinal and Bulldogs have been off since Saturday, December 22nd, with each team coming away with key non-conference wins.

This will be the ninth meeting in the two schools history, their last meeting was an action packed, heartbraeaking game in Fresno which the Bulldogs dropped 69-67, this will be the Dogs first trip to play the Cardinal in Palo Alto since 1954.

The Cardinal Coming in:

Stanford enters off of last Saturdays victory over Texas Tech 62-61, their sixth straight win. After the Red-Raiders used a 21-6 run to close the 1st half to lead 33-26, Sophmore Center Brooke Lopez, in only his 2nd game of the season, led the way in the 2nd half scoring 17 of his team-high 19 points. Joining Lopez in double figure scoring was guard Anthony Goods with 10 and fellow post player and brother Robin with 10.

The Cardinal come into the contest with a 10-1 record, their best start since 2003-04, and they also enter with a 7-0 home record. Key wins for Stanford are over UCSB, Colorado, Santa Clara, Northwestern, and Texas Tech. The lone loss was an early season road game at Siena, a 69-57 defeat.

The Cardinal feature 4 players in double figure scoring, led by newly reinstated Brook Lopez (19.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.5 blks), guard Anthony Goods (12.5 ppg, 3 apg, 41.3% 3pt), Robin Lopez (10.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 30 blks), and Lawrence Hill (10.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg).

Key Cardinal team stats:

-76.8 points per game (56.8 opp)
-49.5 Field goal % (38.8% opp)
-40.2 3pt % (33% opp)
-239 Free Throw attempts (181 opp)
-+ 12.5 rebounding margin
-16.3 assist per game to 13.5 turnovers
-4.8 steals per game (6.5 opp)
-4.7 blocks per game
-Outscored opponents by 137 in the 1st half

The Bulldogs coming in:

Fresno State enters the matchup with Stanford off of what was their most complete performance of the season at home against the University of Pacific, a 75-58 victory. Besides the opening 4 minute stretch of the 2nd half, the Bulldogs outplayed the Tigers and showed that there is potential for this team to win big games. The Bulldogs were led by Senior all-everything point guard Kevin Bell who finished with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.

Also contributing with solid games were Hector Hernandez with 10 points and 4 rebounds, and guard Eddie Miller who finished with 15 points on 5-9 three point shooting. Miller leads the WAC in made 3 point field goals with 4 per game. Tyson Parker also played a key role off the bench with 4 points and 4 assists.

As a team the Bulldogs shot a blistering 51.1% from the field, 39% from three, and 78% from the charity stripe. There were only 9 turnovers for the Bulldogs while they were able to force 7 steals and hand out 15 assists as a team.

On the season Kevin Bell leads the way averaging 17.5 points per contest while Eddie Miller comes in at 13.5 points per. The most troublesome season stat that has plagued the Bulldogs all season, and will continue to, is a -5.2 rebounding margin per outing. This is where the Bulldogs must make some improvement but will also have to shoot very well from three to overcome these deficiencies. Against a team like Stanford, the status quo in this area will net you a double digit loss without a doubt.

What to expect:

A loss, but hopefully a close one under double digits and some positives to build on heading out on their first WAC road swing of the season. Getting off to a good start in Ruston and Las Cruces to open WAC play will be crucial for the Bulldogs, and how they play Saturday against the Cardinal may dictate some of that. The Bulldogs will get pounded on the glass, it will take a great shooting effort from the guards, and some semblance of solid contribution off the bench.

MBs Take:

I really don’t know what to expect here, but I do see the Dogs dropping this one in Palo Alto. Bell and Miller keep it close but the size of the Twins and the pounding of the offensive glass takes its toll and the Dogs lose 71-63.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fresno State at Arizona Preview

You want to win at Arizona? Can you make 10 threes?

The Fresno State Bulldogs travel to Tucson to take on the #21 Ranked Arizona Wildcats on Sunday at noon in the McKale Center. Arizona enters the contest at 6-2 coming off of a victory over Illinois 78-72 in overtime. The Bulldogs are coming off of a loss in Las Vegas at the hands of UNLV 84-71. Fresno State leads the overall series 3-2 with the last game a victory in Tucson

in 1980.

Arizona will be without legendary Coach Lute Olson for the remainder of the season, the decision was made final on December 7th. Taking over the Head Coaching duties for Olson will be Kevin O’Neill. O’Neill had previous Coaching stints at Marquette, Tennessee, and Northwestern.

Where the Bulldogs stand:

Coach Steve Cleveland brings his team into this difficult contest with Arizona with many unanswered questions and have been plagued by deficiencies. The biggest issue that has hampered the Dogs all season has been getting off to slow starts and falling behind early. From the second game of the season this has been the trend in nearly every outing. The most glaring was against UNLV where they were effectivelty out of the game in the first 10 minutes.

To have a chance of even being in the game with a much more talented Wildcat squad the early going will be of the utmost importance, Cleveland must have an extremely quick timeout call if even the slightest Arizona run is made. Kevin Bell will need to control the game in the early going by slowing tempo, penetrating, and getting teammates open looks in the. Turnovers plagued the Dogs in the first half in Vegas and must be kept to a minimum Sunday.

It will also take a very good shooting effort to stick around with U of A. Guards Eddie Miller and Bryan Harvey will have to have the stroke going from three. It will take a huge effort by the entire lineup, including the guards, to keep Arizona off of the offensive glass. Controlling Arizona Center Jordan Hill will be difficult but it will have to be done by committee.

A look at Arizona:

The Wildcats come in with the momentum of a big overtime victory over Illinois. The Wildcats were led by Jordan Hill (23 pts, 14 rebs, 3 blks) and Jerryd Bayless (20 pts, 6 assts, 6-6 fts). Both players came up with huge efforts and played their best late in regulation and into overtime. Hill’s performance earned him Pac-10 player of the week honors.

The Wildcats feature 3 players that are posting double figures in scoring, led by guard Jerryd Bayless (19.9 ppg, 4.9 apg), forward Chase Budinger (17.1 ppg, 5 rebs) and forward Jordan Hill (12.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg). Following closely and a key contributor is senior wing Jawann McClellan (9.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg).

Key Wildcat Stats:

-50.6% from the field
-39.8% from three
-77.1% from the line
-Outrebounding opponents by 3 per game
-Averaging 18 assists and 14 turnovers per game
-Scoring 79.5 points per game while giving up 68.8

MBs take:

The Dogs are reeling, I predicted a 12 point loss at UNLV and was pretty close, but the game was never in question. I dont think this one will be either without a poor shooting Wildcat team and a extremely hot Bulldog squad. Neither is likely to occur.

Dogs lose 85-70.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2009 Cars That Can't Seem To Stay Hidden

Hmmmmm.... looks like this picture of the 2009 Dodge Ram is real, but where have I seen this before? ohhhhh... right..
I realize that you can't change too much from model to model in the truck business as not to offend customers, but I didn't think you went backwards in time when designing new models.
and there is the '09 CTS-v caught and posted on Edmunds. The car overall looks good, but the rear end has some weird looking angles at times. Side view is beautiful.

Go Take a look of the rest of the photos.

Big things are expected for both of these vehicles from both of their respected manufacturers. With gas prices not declining, will this new Ram appeal? What is this CTS-v going to cost? Many questions, and many more auto shows in a matter of a month.

Friday, December 07, 2007

FSU vs. UNLV (Yes, they are an actual D1 team!)

Yes, our leading scorer is under six foot, problem?

We must first thank the baseline official for not watching Tyson Parker jump from 6 inches out of bounds to save the ball to Bryan Harvey who thankfully forced overtime with the desperatation three. Without his lack of attention we would be face with writing to you about the most embarrasing loss in school history. As the old saying goes, Id rather be lucky....

FSU vs. UNLV Preview:

The Fresno State Bulldogs will hit the road to face their toughest opponent of the season thus far, UNLV, at the Orleans Arena Saturday night at 7pm. This is the first meeting between the Bulldogs and Runnin Rebels since 1998 when UNLV defeated the Dogs 77-67 in a WAC tournament semifinal game. This game will also be televised locally on CW59 pregame at 6:30.

UNLV Coming in:

The Rebels enter off a road victory in Flagstaff, Arizona over the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona 83-74. They had 4 players score in double figures, but the key to their victory was their ability to get to the free throw line 32 times and make 27 of the attempts. Junior guards Wink Adams (16 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast, 2 stls) and Curtis Terry (16 pts, 8 rebs, 6 ast) led the way. Terry is the brother of Dallas Maverick guard and former Arizona standout Jason Terry.

On the season individually the Rebels have three double figure scorers (Terry 13.6, Adams 13.3, and Darger 12.5). Terry leads the team in assists at just under 4 per game, Darger leads the team in rebounds at 6.3 per game, while Terry and Adams share the team lead with 11 steals.

UNLV Team Stats (opponents):

-74.1 points per game (66.1)
-42.3% field goals (41.7%)
-31.9% 3 point field goals (28.1%)
-7.6 3 point field goals/game (5.4)
-72% free throws (65.8%)
-35.4 rebounds per game (39.5)
-13.5 assists per game (12.5)
-12.1 turnovers per game (16.5)
-8.9 steals per game (4.9)
-3.1 blocks per game (1.9)

Coming in:

The Bulldogs come in to Saturdays matchup narrowly escaping what may have been one of the worst losses in program history against Cal-State Monterey Bay. It took a desperation 3 from Bryan Harvey to force overtime after a controversial save by Tyson Parker in which he was clearly out of bounds. The Bulldogs eventually prevailed 85-80 in overtime. They were led by Kevin Bell’s 24 points and 5 assists, Bell battled cramps in the second half and overtime.

Hector Hernandez had a much improved shooting touch going 4-7 from three on the way to an 18 point, 9 rebound effort. Bryan Harvey had a very nice game scoring 19, collecting 9 rebounds which was key, and added 4 blocks. Most importantly he forced overtime with the deep three. Not to be forgotten, guard Tyson Parker turned in an all around game scoring 4 point, had 5 rebounds, and led the team with 7 assists. He distributed very well after Coach Cleveland moved him to the free throw line area in the halfcourt offensive sets to allow him to be a facilitator.

What to expect:

The Bulldogs have what seems like everything going against them-a road game, a very good opponent, an embarrassing near loss prior at home, and a lack of confidence coming in. The only question is how will they respond to this tough test? How can the Bulldogs leave Vegas with a win? It will take the starters staying out of foul trouble and keeping the Rebels off the line, they must compete on the boards, and they will have to come up with 10+ made threes. Lastly, as always on the road against an opportunistic team, they must value the basketball and keep turnovers down.

MBs take:

Well, since I predicted a 23 point victory against the Otters and was not even close, I see the Dogs waltzing into Orleans Arena and losing to the Rebels by 12. Why or how, Im unsure but they had to escape a D2 team at home so how can I give them a chance against a top 40 D1 team?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

FSU vs. Cal State Whaaa? Monterey Bay?

Yes Greg, we played and beat the mighty Otters!

FSU vs. CSU Monterey Bay Preview

The Fresno State Bulldogs will host the California State University Monterey Bay Otters Wednesday night at the Save Mart Center at 7pm. The Bulldogs come in not having played a game since November 27th, a 74-64 victory at Winston-Salem State, led by Eddie Miller’s 25 points in front of friends and family that bussed down from Maryland. That was the second part of a two game road trip, the Dogs fell to Sam Houston State in the first game 68-57.

The Bulldogs will play at home Wednesday night and then travel to Las Vegas to play UNLV at the Orleans Arena Saturday at 7pm.

CSUMB enters the game off of a road loss at Cal-Poly Pomona 77-66. The Bulldogs and Otters do have a common opponent this season in Western Washington. The Bulldogs defeated WW on Nov. 4th at the Save Mart Center 97-67 on a 61 point second half effort. CSUMB played Western Washington twice, losing at home 82-77 and in Bellingham 87-75.

Scouting CSUMB:

The Otters will come in very undersized, their tallest player being Jacob Kernodle at 6’7, the next players down in size are 6’4. Its looks as though Ryan McBride, who was scoring 12.7 ppg is no longer with the Otters. The others scoring in double figures are Augie Johnston (16.3 ppg) and D’Shon Cannon (15.7 ppg) and Joe Mitchell (13.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg). An interesting note is that 6’4 junior guard Jose Sanchez who is averaging 8.1 ppg listed his last school attended as Fresno State.

Some team stats of note for the Otters:
-Averaging 70.4 ppg while yielding 76.4
-Shooting 46% Fgs, 34% from three, and 79% from the line on 112 attempts
-Getting outrebounded by around 1 per game=
-12 assists per game, but 15 turnovers per

For the Bulldogs:

The Bulldogs continue to be led by senior Point Guard Kevin Bell with his 17.4 ppg and his just over 6 assists per game. There are 4 players posting double figure scoring that are available, though Dwight O’ Neil was averaging 13.5 ppg before his wrist injury.

Hector Hernandez has had difficulty in the early season shooting the Basketball but still is at 10.3 ppg and a team leading 7.9 rpg. Hernandez is the player that needs to make strides and improve his play over the next few weeks. He is critical to the Bulldogs success.

This game should not be a contest that is ever in doubt. What this matchup does is allows the Bulldogs to work on sets offensively, get some confidence shooting the basketball, and utilize this as an opportunity to go into the UNLV game with a clear idea of that they want to do. It wont be a physically demanding game so they will be fresh for Saturday, a game that will be extremely difficult.

MBs Take:

Yes this game has everything-a D2 opponent, a fellow CSU school, a rare opponent mascot (Otter, would a Bulldog beat an otter in a fight? Furthermore, can otters come on land and compete physically?), and a team with no player over 6'7.

This is quite the matchup (not so much) but what really matters is no getting decimated and embarrased in Vegas Saturday.

Through extrapolation, I say the Dogs win this by 23 points.