Friday, January 9, 2009

It's on to Fresno Saturday night

There's a we-should-be-winning-now sentiment prevailing in certain elements of Fresno State basketball fan-dom however unrealistic such a feeling is. The Bulldogs are under-manned at this point and lacking in both experience and in 'bigs' who can match up with T-Rexes of other WAC teams. Coach Steve Cleveland has done an admirable job considering the scholarship limitations he has faced due to the recruiting decisions of his predecessors. The Bulldogs get a youthful shot in the arm next season with a load of high schoolers coming in, including a true and talented center. This season is best viewed as one in which the current 'kids' get their D-1 baptisms by fire, prepared to return as a group ready to be a factor in the WAC come 2009-2010.

Schedule To Date

11/14/08 Sacramento State W, 77-65
11/17/08 @ Saint Mary's L, 99-85
11/22/08 @ San Diego State L, 80-56
11/25/08 Seattle University W, 79-58
11/30/08 Oregon State L, 62-54
12/03/08 UNLV L, 82-76
12/06/08 @ Pacific W, 66-64
12/10/08 Cal State Bakersfield W, 66-51
12/14/08 Montana L, 69-65
12/18/08 Northern Colorado W, 70-65
12/20/08 USC Upstate W, 72-47
12/22/08 Creighton (Las Vegas) L, 84-65
12/23/08 Saint Louis (Las Vegas) L, 56-52
12/29/08 @ Cal Poly W, 90-87 (OT)
01/03/09 New Mexico State L, 79-66

The Fresno State Starting Five

Nedeljko Golubovic 6-8 230 - He is averaging 7.6 ppg. and 4.7 rebounds contest. His shooting percentage is down a bit from last season and he's settled in as the fifth shooting option on the team. It appears he would be more comfortable swinging between the corner spot and possibly a little time at the wing but Fresno needs him inside as often as possible. The arrival of 6-10 prepster Greg Smith will bring a wide smile to Golubovic.

Sylvester Seay 6-9 215 - An Arizona State transfer, he's another guy who can and likes to play both out and in the paint but his duties this season by necessity have generally put him closer to the basket. He's at 13.1 ppg. and 4.9 rpg. and he's the top Bulldog shotblocker with 25 rejections.

Paul George 6-7 185 - Santa Clara had him originally via a verbal but then Pepperdine got him to sign. Ultimately, he landed in Fresno after a coaching change in Malibu.and he's thrown down big time in his first D-1 season -- so much so that he's easily a candidate for All-WAC honors if he keeps up his pre-conference production. He leads the WAC in three-point shooting (31-64), leads the team in scoring at 15.3 ppg., in rebounding with 7.1 caroms a contest and in steal swith 23. His height makes him an ideal wing -- tall enough to get good looks and quick enough to dribble-drive. There's NBA written all over this kid with continued development.

Dwight O'Neil 6-3 190 - The lone Bulldog senior, he's at 12.7 ppg. and 4.9 boards each time out and he leads the squad with 80 assists. His shooting has been less than desired -- 41% and 29% respectively -- but he's still a dangerous scorer and has taken a great deal of pressure off his freshman point teammate.

Bryce Cartwright
5-11 160 - He's contributed more than expected, shooting fairly well but more so in compiling a 41-26 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The Bulldog Bench

Mychal Ladd 6-5 175 - Take him in any athletic competition as he is a primo athlete. Ladd is scoring 9.5 ppg. and nabbing 3.5 rpg. while shooting 51% from the floor. At 89%, he is also the best free throw shooter on the team.

Brian Seals
6-8 215 - Defense and rebounding is what you get from him and curiously his rebounding ratio is even up -- 23 offensive and 23 defensive.

Brandon Webster - "If" is a famous poem by Rudyard Kipling and these two letters also apply to Webster who is a 6-10, 270 sophomore big body who seemingly could/should be a force in the middle but is playing just eight minutes a game. His has been a golden opportunity since a true center was desperately needed this season but progress has been, shall we say, slow.

As A Team

The Bulldogs are shooting 45% as a team to 42% for opponents

It's 35% to 34% from three-point range, with Fresno State having fired up 30 more attempts. FSU is second in the league in 3's with 7.3 a contest.

Points per game is even at 69

*** Rebounding is close to even at 35

*** FSU is a minus 40 in turnovers, 237 to 197

Cleveland's squad is down 27 in steals

Fresno leads the WAC in blocked shots with 4.73 a game.

The Bulldog Roster (by position, alphabetically)

Jordan Ambers G 5-11 175 junior
Bryce Cartwright G 5-11 160 freshman
Paul George G 6-7 185 freshman
Myles Green G 5-10 180 sophomore
Taylor Kelly G 6-3 200 freshman
Mychal Ladd G 6-5 175 freshman
Dwight O'Neil G 6-3 190 senior
Brandon Sperling G 6-4 180 freshman

Nedeljko Golubovic F 6-8 230sophomore
Justin Johnson F 6-7 185 freshman
Brian Seals F 6-8 215 junior
Sylvester Seay F 6-9 215 junior

Brandon Webster C 6-10 275 sophomore

What Else

Here is what took place in Fresno State's opener against New Mexico State:

Freshman guard Paul George opened his first Western Athletic Conference game with his fifth career double-double as the Bulldogs' comeback bid against New Mexico State fell short, 79-66, on Saturday night in the Save Mart Center.

George led Fresno State (7-8, 0-1) with 15 points and 11 rebounds as he shot 50% from the field (7-14). Junior forward Sylvester Seay also reached double figures with 13 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Senior guard Dwight O'Neil and freshman reserve guard Mychal Ladd each added nine points during the league contest...

...The Aggies led by as many as 19 points in the first half after going on an early 14-0 scoring run and built a 40-22 halftime advantage . In the second half, Fresno State trimmed the 18-point halftime deficit to 42-35 by driving to the basket and playing with a greater intensity.

"In the second half, we were much more aggressive and got ourselves back in the game," head coach Steve Cleveland said. "We played much more competitively in the last 20 minutes, but we need to get better...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As for Webster progress continues to be slow due to Coaches lack of working with true big. Cleve views size as a handicap, Webster only get a chance to play when other are in foul trouble, I feel he has shown he can hang if given a chance and he did that in Vegas. "If" given a chance he can answer the challenge