Thursday, January 31, 2008

A near impossible task

As usual, its on your shoulder KB

The Fresno State Bulldogs will take on the Nevada Wolfpack Thursday night at 7pm at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno. Nevada brings a 12-7 record into the contest while the Bulldogs enter with a 10-11 overall record. The Wolfpack have won the last 3 matchups between the two schools. Nevada has won 31 of its last 34 games at home.

The Wolfpack entering:

Nevada last played on Saturday where they were in Ruston to defeat Louisiana Tech 83-70. Senior David Ellis had a career high 14 points on 7-7 shooting. The Pack were able to hit a season high 61% from the field while holding Tech to 38% field goal shooting. Sophmore JaVale McGee had 12 points along with freshman Armon Johnson. Standout Marcellus Kemp added 11.

Key Wolfpack stats:

-Marcellus Kemp (18.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 34% 3pt fgs, 86.5% fts)
-JaVale McGee (12.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 52% field goals, 58 blocks)
-Armon Johnson (12.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3 apg)
-Brandon Field (12.2 ppg, 38% 3pt fgs, 84% fts)
-74 points per game
-47.4% field goal shooting
-71% free throw shooting
-+4.1 rebounding
--2.5 turnover margin

The Bulldogs entering:

The Dogs enter on the heels of a very difficult home loss Monday night at the hands of Boise State in overtime, 90-89. Reggie Larry led the Broncos with 27 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 steals. The Broncos were able to shoot a blistering 50% from the field. Tyler Tiedemann had 23 and Matt Nelson added 15. The Bulldogs trailed by 7 points late in regulation, but Eddie Miller and Hector Hernandez were able to make difficult 3s and the Dogs forced overtime.

Leading the way for the Bulldog was Eddie Miller with a career high 30 points on 11-12 from the line. Senior point guard Kevin Bell had 26 points and 8 assists while fellow Senior Hector Hernandez 16 points and 9 rebounds.

Alex Blair had maybe his best game of the season finishing with 8 points and 12 rebounds on 4-5 shooting. Freshman Brandon Webster was able to log 16 minutes and he contributed 4 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

What to look for:

Its difficult to say, will the Bulldogs still be dwelling on the missed opportunity at home? Will they be prepared for the onslaught the Pack will throw at them? As with all games from here on out it will take major efforts from guards Kevin Bell and Eddie Miller. Hernandez will need another solid effort, but there must be contributions from the bench and from the other starters. The Dogs need all the help they can get scoring to stay in the game versus Nevada.
MBs take:
Dogs did themselves a hole early, fight back, but there isnt enough firepower to avoid losing 4 straight to Nevada.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dogs host high scoring Broncos at SMC

Put your heads together to stop the Bronco juggernaut

The Fresno State Bulldogs will host the Boise State Broncos Monday night at the Save Mart Center. The Broncos come in with a 14-5 overrall record and are 2nd in the WAC at 5-2 while the Bulldogs are 10-10 overrall and 3-3 in the WAC. The Broncos will bring their high scoring attack that averages 83 points per game into the Save Mart Center looking to finish the first half of WAC play 6-2.

The Broncos coming in:

The Broncos were on the island on Saturday where they took care of the Warriors 95-80. Senior guard Matt Bauscher scored 21 points, while Matt Nelson had 21 points and 12 boards. The Broncos hit 14 of 22 from three point range to keep the game out of reach for Hawaii. The Broncos led by 25 at halftime 47-22.

Key Bronco Stats:

-Reggie Larry (18.3 pts, 9.1 rebs)
-Matt Nelson (15.9 pts, 8 rebs, 66% fgs)
-52% field goals (leads nation)
-83 points per game (11th nation)
-8.4 3 point field goals per game
-40.4% 3 point field goal %
-18.2 assists per game (18th nation)

The Dogs entering:

The Bulldogs were able to avenge their loss in San Jose with a win over the Spartans Saturday night 75-58. Senior guards Eddie Miller and Kevin Bell combined for 42 points, with Miller hitting 7 threes on his way to tying his career high of 27 points. Bell added 15 points and 8 assists.

Freshman Ned Golubovic set his career high with 14 points and also added 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Golubovic has averaged 9.3 points per game, hit 55% from the field, and 44% from three in WAC play. His minutes have steadily increased as has his contributions as the season has gone on. Consider that Golubovic was a redshirt candidate to start the season.

Key Bulldog stats:

-169 made 3 point field goals on the season
-lead the WAC in defense at 66.3 points per game
-lead the WAC in turnover margin at +2.80
-Eddie Miller 3.4 made 3 points field goals per contest
-Dogs at a -5.6 rebounding margin
-68 points per game
-69.4 % free throws
-33.5% 3 point field goal percentage
-Kevin Bell (17.1 ppg, 6 assists, 3 rebs)

MBs Take:

This will be tough for a Bulldogs team that gets dominated inside and gets beaten up on the offensive glass by everyone. Add to the fact that the Broncos can knock down the three and we have ourselves some issues.

Dogs play inspired at home but lose 85-80.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dogs looking for a win vs. SJSU

Time to get back on track E Miller, five 3s at minimum!

The Fresno State Bulldogs return home Saturday night to take on rival San Jose State, the game will begin a home stand that will have 4 of the next 5 WAC games being played at the Save Mart Center. In the first meeting of the 2 teams this season the Spartans edged the Dogs in San Jose 69-65.

The Bulldogs football team will be honored at halftime with both players and coaches will be in attendance to be recognized for the 9-4 campaign that was capped off with a Humanitarian Bowl victory over Georgia Tech.

In the first meeting between the two teams SJSU was lead by Jamon Hill and his career high 14 points. The Spartans were able to keep the Dogs behind throughout the second half and the Dogs were not able to hit from three point range finishing 5-27.

The Spartans will also be without the services of guard Justin Graham for the rest of the season with an elbow injury.

The Spartans coming in:

The Spartans enter with a 9-9 record (2-4 conference) which is already 4 more wins than they were able to amass last season. Last outing the Spartans were beat in Moscow by Idaho 74-63. Idaho guard Mike Hall set a school record by making 9 three pointers. After SJSU was able to cut the lead to 4, Hall was able to knock out the Spartans by sinking back to back threes.

SJSU Players to watch for:

-Dashawn Wright (10.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 43.8% 3pt)
-Tim Pierce (10.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 79.4% fts
-CJ Webster (10.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 47.6% fgs)
-Chris Oakes (9.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 54.4% fgs)

The Bulldogs coming in:

Fresno State enters after back to back losses on the road, the last being a 75-62 loss to Hawaii in Honolulu. Kevin Bell led the way with 21 points and 5 assists, and Ned Golubovic had a career high 13 points and added 5 rebounds. It was another very tough shooting night for Eddie Miller, he finished 0-5 from three. For the Dogs to get back in the win column they will need Eddie Miller to get back to his normal.

The starters will be forced to log big minutes the rest of the season, its how they can handle that adversity that will make the difference in the duration of the season. Can the Dogs find any consistency on the defensive end out of their post players? The Spartans were able to score many easy buckets around the rim in the first meeting which has to be minimized this time around.

The best thing the Dogs have going for them is the homecourt which is undoubtedly worth 10-12 points a game as has been the case over the first half of last season and the duration of this season.

MBs take:

Dogs win, they are at home.

Highlight of the night=announcing the football team at halftime. Only 7 months till UCLA

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A consistent roster please! (FSU-SJSU preview)

Are we all up on our classwork this semester?

FSU heads to San Jose to begin road swing:

The Fresno State Bulldogs will play rival San Jose State Thursday night and avoid losing back to back games in San Jose for the first time in 17 years. This will be the first game of the two game road swing. On Saturday, the Dogs will be in Hawaii to take on the Warriors. At the end of the road trip the Bulldogs will have begun WAC play with four of their first five on the road.

Also, the Dogs were dealt another blow to an already difficult season when sophomore guard Bryan Harvey became academically ineligible for the spring semester. Harvey was averaging 10.6 points per game, and although he never became a consistent offensive force, he had been a big help on the boards and stepped up his game on defense. He joins Rekalin Sims and Dwight O’ Neil as would-be starters missing parts or all of the season.

The Dogs coming in:

The Bulldogs enter the SJSU game off of a 69-53 home victory over Idaho. Eddie Miller matched a career high with 27 points, including 7 three pointers. Kevin Bell added 17 points and 7 assists, continuing his stellar season. The Dogs only turned the ball over a season low 4 times. That ties them for the lowest in school history.

Ned Golubovic had 8 points, making three of the last four games in which he has scored 8 points, including 3 WAC games in a row. The victory came despite the fact that Idaho was able to corral 16 offensive rebounds to the Dogs 7.

Getting to know San Jose State:

The Spartan are maybe the most improved team in the WAC, although Idaho has made major strides, the Spartan cemented themselves on January 10 with a home victory over Nevada, their first in 7 years. Guard Justin Graham is the Spartans leading scorer at 12.7 points per, unfortunately he went down with an elbow injury that will keep him out the rest of the season.

The Spartans are led by former Porterville JC head Coach George Nessman who is in his third season in San Jose. Nessman has done a very nice job mixing D1 transfers, JC transfers, and overlooked High School talent.

What to looks for:

This will be a very difficult game for the Dogs, San Jose will be confident as they split the series last season, and they have defeated Nevada at home this season. With the loss of Harvey on top of the already thin bench and difficult matchup and personnel issues, the Dogs have a tough road ahead in WAC play. The difficulty begins Thursday against SJSU.

MBs Take:

No, Harvey, a thinner bench, on the road against a team that beat Nevada, I say Dogs win 73-71.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dogs' host Vandals in epic battle at SMC

You still on the team? Lets get it going if you are.

FSU-Idaho Preview:

The Fresno State Bulldogs will try to get back on the right foot in WAC play tonight at the Save Mart Center as they host an improved Idaho squad that comes in at 4-10. The 8-8 Bulldogs will try to begin the WAC season protecting their homecourt which is of the utmost importance. The Dogs swept the Vandals last season and lead the overall series 5-2.

The Vandals coming in:

The Vandals were able to snap a 13 game WAC losing streak at home a week ago in Moscow 85-78 over La Tech that moved them to 1-2 in conference. Mike Hall and Jordan Brooks led the Vandals with 21 points apiece. Brooks added 10 rebounds and also posted an 11-14 from the free throw line. Clyde Johnson added a career high 19 points in his first career start.

On the season Jordan Brooks is the only double figure scorer at 11.2 points per contest. Michael Crowell comes in right under that at 9.8 points per. The Vandals feature a roster breakdown of 3 seniors, 9 juniors, no sophmores, and 2 freshman.

Vandal Team Stats:

-43.1% from the field
-36.2% from three
-60% free throws
-31.7 rebounds per game -2.6
-assist/turnover ration of 0.7
-7.3 steals per game

The Bulldogs prior:

The Bulldogs come into Saturday’s game off of a disappointing Tuesday night loss at the hands of a very good Saint Mary’s team. The Dogs squandered guard Bryan Harvey’s best effort in a Bulldog uniform, he had 20 points on 6-10 three-point shooting and added 5 rebounds. Kevin Bell added 14 points and 8 assists and Eddie Miller had 12 although he couldn’t find it from three point range going 0-6.

The Dogs were able to ride Harvey’s three point shooting to cut the deficit to 6 at the under 8 media timeout. Saint Marys answered out of the timeout with back to back threes by Ian O’ Leary and Patrick Mills and a Diamon Simpson layup to balloon the lead up to 14 in less than a minute. That stretch proved to be the difference. The Bulldogs had used a lot of energy to cut into the lead and did not have enough in the tank to do it twice.

What to expect:

Expect an Improved Vandal squad with experience to come in with confidence after taking care of La Tech at home. They will play with energy and if the Bulldogs are not over Tuesdays loss they may find themselves in a fight with Idaho. They cannot let them hang around too long as the Vandals will have their confidence grow with each minute.

The Dogs will look for more transition baskets and slashing by Kevin Bell as he was held in check by the Gaels on Tuesday. Eddie Miller will look to return to his 3 point shooting ways, and everyone is hoping that Bryan Harvey will play more like he did against Saint Mary’s than he has all season.

MBs Take:

Dogs win by 12 as they make 10 threes as a team, 77-65.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

#24 Saint Mary's rolls into the SMC

Need you back at form-5 threes would help alot

Dogs vs. #24 Saint Marys at SMC

The Fresno State Bulldogs return home Tuesday to the friendly confines of the Save Mart Center to take on the #24 ranked Saint Marys Gaels. This is the first nationally ranked team to appear in Fresno this season. The Gaels have had a very successful non-conference run going 12-2 while defeating the likes of Oregon, San Diego State, Seton Hall, and Tulane. Their two losses came against Southern Illinois and #14 Texas.

The Bulldogs enter off of a split on the two game road swing to open conference play, winning in Ruston over Louisiana Tech but coming up short in Las Cruces versus the Aggies of New Mexico State. The last meeting between the Dogs and Gaels was 2002, which the Bulldogs won 67-65.

The Gaels entering:

The Gaels will come into Tuesdays matchup after a tough loss at #14 Texas 81-62. They were the first team to catch the Longhorns at full strength as Texas welcomed freshman Gary Johnson to the lineup after he missed the first 13 games. The Gaels were led by Omar Samhan who finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Patty Mills had 12 and Diamond Simpson 11. Simpson was named WCC player of the month in which he averaged a double-double at 12 points and 10.1 rebounds.

Who to watch for on Saint Marys:

-Freshman guard Patty Mills (15.9 pts, 3.9 assts, 2.3 rpg, 20 stls, 82.5% fts)
-Sophmore Center Omar Samhan (12.2 pts, 7.1 rpg, 22 blks, 54.5% fgs)
-Junior Guard Diamon Simpson (12.1 pts, 9.4 rpg, 28 blks, 55.1% fgs)
-Senior Guard Todd Golden (6.1 ppg, 2.6 apg, 2.2 rpg, 92.3% fts)

Key Gael Stats:

-78 points per game +12 per over opponent
-46.5% field goals
-7.9 made three point field goals per
-38.2 rebounds per game +2.2 rebounding margin
-14.8 assists per game a/t ratio at 1
-6.8 steals per game

The Bulldogs coming in:

State comes back home after Saturdays loss to the New Mexico State Aggies. The game in Las Cruces was a great opportunity to get a leg up on the conference and come out of the first week 2-0 with both wins coming on the road. The Bulldogs led by 10 early at 15-5, but a scoring drought and defensive lapses put them down at the half 38-28.

They were then able to fight there way back into the game behind Kevin Bell and cut the lead to 59-57 with 6 minutes to go. Bryan Harveys three to take the lead was off, and the Aggies answered quickly with three consecutive three pointers by NMSU guard Jonathan Gibson in 2 minutes. The game was opened up from there and the Aggies cruised to a 77-67 victory.

Kevin Bell led the way with 19 points, Eddie Miller chipped in 11, and Hector Hernandez added 10. Miller and fellow guard Bryan Harvey combined for 6-26 from the field which prove to be the difference, a few more jumpers made buy that tandem and the Dogs steal one on the road. Off the bench, Ned Golubovic had 8 points and 7 rebounds in 26 minutes, but he fouled out with a minute remaining.

What to expect:

Expect a very skilled Saint Marys club to jump out early if the Dogs aren’t ready to play. Both teams enter off of losses so it remains to see what kind of factor that will play. The Bulldogs will need to feed off the energy of the crowd and Eddie Miller and Bryan Harvey to improve their shooting efforts from the NMSU game to compete with the Gaels.

It will be tough going versus a very good Saint Marys team Tuesday night. If a focused and energetic Dogs team shows up they have an opportunity to pick up their best non-conference win for the season.

MBs take:

The Bulldogs show up and play better than expected, but I have a hard time seeing them handle Freshman guard Patty Mills and the size and versatility of Diamon Simpson. It will take and improved shooting effort from the guards and a Pacific like effort from Kevin Bell to knock off the #24 Gaels. At the final buzzer, it Gaels 74 and the Dogs 68.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Lookin for a leg up in Las Cruces

Maybe a chance if this guy comes back Saturday

‘Dogs try to set the tone vs. Aggies:

The Fresno State Bulldogs traveled from Ruston to Las Cruces for a Saturday night WAC matchup with defending champion New Mexico State. Tip is set for 6pm Pacific and the game will be televised on the CW59, with Ralph Wood on play by play and the “Coach” Bob Dunawald with analysis. This is an important game for both teams as the Aggies (7-9) must defend their home court and the Dogs (8-6) are looking to steal one away from Fresno.

New Mexico

The Aggies come into Saturdays game with a Wednesday night victory over the University of Idaho in Moscow. NMSU never trailed in the second half but the Vandals were able to knot the game at 61 all with 9 minutes to go. From there the Aggies grinded it out and finished off Idaho 78-68.

Justin Hawkins led the way for the Aggies with 18 points and 8 rebounds, and Jonathan Gibson added 16 points and 5 rebounds. During the final minute NMSU shot 7 of 8 from the free throw line. The Aggies finished the contest with 5 players in double figures.

On the season, senior Justin Hawkins leads the way for NMSU at 18.5 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per contest. Next up in the scoring department are sophomore guard Jonathan Gibson at 12.7 points per game and senior guard Fred Peete at 12.1 per.

Key Aggie Stats:

-WAC leading 39.2 rebounds per game
-lead WAC at +6.1 rebounding margin
-WAC leading 13.9 offensive rebounds per game
-3.9 blocks per game
-shoot 48.3% from the field
-34.6% 3 point shooting
-62.3% free throw shooting
-280 turnovers to 212 assists on the season
-average 76.6 points per game (opponents 72.2)

The Bulldogs entering:

Fresno State comes into Saturdays contest versus the Aggies following a WAC opening road victory at Louisiana Tech 61-44. Senior guard Eddie Miller led the way with 17 points on 5-10 3 point shooting. Senior point guard Kevin Bell added 13 points and 6 assists. The Dogs shot 43.6% from the field while holding Tech to an abysmal 26.3% shooting. One issue was unforced errors, the Bulldogs finished with 15 turnovers which cant be matched on Saturday if they expect to leave Las Cruces with a win.

Bulldog stats and facts:

-The Bulldogs have won 5 straight WAC road games dating back to last season.
-Over the last four games have held opponents to a 49 point per game average
-WAC leading 121 made three point field goals
-shooting 35.8% from three
-Eddie Miller leads WAC with 3.43 made 3 point field goals per contest.
-Dogs rebounding at -4 per game margin.
-shoot 69.4% from the free throw line

MBs take:

This is a serious challenge for the Bulldogs and I don’t see them walking out with a victory from the Pan-Am Center Saturday. The offensive rebounding of the Aggies will be extremely difficult to negate, the Dogs may give up too much on the interior to overcome it even with 10 made threes.

The Dogs come back home after a 67-59 loss.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

WAC play opens, unfortunately, on the road...

Your final WAC season. Make it count!

Dogs hit the road to open WAC play:

Fresno State travels to Ruston Louisiana to open WAC play against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Tip is set for 5pm Pacific and the game will be televised locally on CW59. The Bulldogs will follow up Thursday’s game with a game in Las Cruces Saturday night versus New Mexico State.

Fresno State entering:

The Bulldogs come into WAC play on the heels of a loss at Stanford 55-48. The Cardinal proved too much on the inside with their size and physical play for the Bulldogs to compete with for the entire 40 minutes. Another large first half scoring drought was a major factor in the Dogs undoing at Maples Pavilion also. Kevin Bell led the way with 16 points and 4 assists while Eddie Miller chipped in 10.

This WAC opener provides an opportunity to get off to a great start in WAC play, first getting a win but more importantly a road victory which is paramount in the conference race.

The WAC race is wide open and the out of conference records indicate there are 5 teams that could win the conference and that wouldn’t be much of a surprise. The WAC is wide open this season and because of early draft entries plus all league players exhausting eligibility it has quickly become what appears to be a conference of parity.

Louisiana Tech coming in:

The Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech come into Thursdays contest off of a 73-63 home victory over McNeese State. That victory broke an 8 game losing streak and provides some momentum leading up to the matchup with FSU. Tech was led by Dwayne Lathan’s 19 points and Kyle Gibson’s 18.

On the season La Tech only has 2 players averaging double figures in Gibson at 13.7 and JC Clark at 10.3. Tech is a team that has glaring issues that have been exposed this season. They manage to shoot 38.5% clip from the field while opponents have shot a blistering 46.1%. They only score 56.2 points per game while yielding 68.5 to opponents. They are also outrebounded by 7 per game and have only handed out 99 assists on the season as a team, which results in an abysmal assist to turnover ratio.

What to expect:

If history is any indication, this game will be close no matter what the records or stats say. Fresno State, although improved last season, have not been good on the road in the WAC over the last few seasons. No matter the opponent, the Dogs have struggled. They score less and shoot worse when they venture from the friendly confines of the Save Mart Center.

Can Steve Cleveland and his staff get this team to show up on the road? Can they instill some confidence in an erratic and seemingly fragile team? As usual, it will be up to Senior Guard Kevin Bell to both direct his team and add scoring punch.

Unfortunately, Bell has been thrust into the role of a scoring point guard this season which may hurt other areas of his game. His defensive effort will be crucial also as his quickness and intensity on that end of the floor could disrupt a Tech offense that comes in with enough issues already.

MBs take:

The Dogs look shoddy. Why? The game is not in Fresno, this is a bad road team against anyone in Division 1 and for that matter Division 1 transition team, hell Division 2 teams at that. They win this game, don’t tell me how, can you say nailbiter? The Dogs win, 64-60.