#81 Fresno State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Fresno State Bulldogs

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #81
Conference Rank: #6 Mountain West

Fresno State Team Page#81 Fresno State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Fresno State Basketball Tickets

Year two under Coach Rodney Terry did not go very well for Fresno State. The Bulldogs finished seventh in Mountain West play and won just 11 games. The good news is Fresno State is building a foundation for future success. In the difficult Mountain West, this is not a team that is ready to compete for a title, but they have the talent, and now the experience, to take a pretty big step up in their win total even if there is not much room to improve when it comes to the conference standings.

2012-13 Record: 11-19, 5-11
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: Rodney Terry
Coach Record: 24-39 at Fresno State, 24-39 overall

Who’s Out:
But Fresno State does lose some talent. Kevin Olekaibe opted to leave the program following a disappointing junior campaign. Last season Olekaibe averaged just 8.3 points per game. As a sophomore he scored 17.8 points per contest. He is obviously a great scorer, but the Bulldogs did find some other options last season and at least that is a good sign. However, the unexpected losses in the frontcourt are going to sting even more. The graduation of Kevin Foster, who averaged 8.6 points and a team high 6.3 rebounds, was going to force some new big men to step up their game. Now two of those promising big men, Jerry Brown and Robert Upshaw, are gone. Brown had plenty of starting experience and was solid on the glass. He may not have been able to emerge as the consistent interior scorer that the Bulldogs need, but now he certainly will not. Upshaw showed some flashes as a freshman. The seven-footer could block shots and hit the glass. When his offense came around, he would have been a decent all-around center. The backcourt does lose some more depth without Garrett Johnson and Aaron Anderson, but perimeter play is not going to be a problem for this team.

Who’s In:
The Bulldogs will need to rely on some freshmen for depth and a couple transfers for more than just depth. Cezar Guerrero spent one season at Oklahoma State where he earned a handful of starts. Guerrero is a good shooter and a decent ball handler who could step right into the starting point guard role. Alex Davis joins the Bulldogs from the junior college ranks. Davis is ideally a big 6-9, 205 pound small forward, but on this team he will have to spend most of his time at the four spot. Incoming freshman Karachi Edo will be asked to provide depth up front. Emmanuel Owootoah is a pure point guard unlike anybody else on the team, so getting a few minutes from him would be helpful. Walk-on Blake Williams will not have to do much this season, but the expectations are pretty high for Broderick Newbill and Paul Watson. Newbill, who redshirted last season, can provide more athleticism and rebounding to the wing.

Who to Watch:
Three talented and experienced guards are back to lead Fresno State. Tyler Johnson was the only Bulldog to average double figures in scoring in 2012-2013 and he could do it again. The tough 6-2 guard was regarded for his defense, but that toughness has allowed him to finish around the basket as well. Last season he developed a very consistent three-point shot and he turned into a dynamic scoring threat. His senior season should be his best yet. Allen Huddleston is another solid defender and a decent ballhandler. With Guerrero and Owootoah joining the squad, Huddlestone will be able to spend more time at his more natural shooting guard spot. Wherever they have to play, Johnson and Huddlestone are both emerging all-around guards who can play great defense and score in a variety of ways. Marvelle Harris showed plenty of promise during his freshman campaign, averaging 7.4 points, 1.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He may be relegated to the bench again this year unless Fresno State opts to play small, which is definitely a possibility. Harris may not be the best shooter around, yet he has a nice mid-range game and he can make things happen.

Final Projection:
The returning frontcourt consists of just Braeden Anderson and Tanner Giddings. The sophomore duo will have to see a huge increase in playing time. Anderson was available for just ten games last season, although he did start seven of those contests. Anderson is a decent rebounder, but he must be much more efficient when it comes to scoring. Giddings, at 6-11 and 226 pounds, is the big body on the team. He is surprisingly athletic for a player of his size and the Bulldogs have the players to get up and down the floor in a hurry when they want to. Fresno State can win games with their backcourt, but the frontcourt has to do something. If somebody emerges as a consistent scorer in the paint, the Bulldogs will surprise a lot of people. Yet, even a surprise will not get this group very close to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Cezar Guerrero, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Allen Huddlestone, Senior, Guard, 9.7 points per game
Tyler Johnson, Senior, Guard, 12.1 points per game
Braeden Anderson, Sophomore, Forward, 4.1 points per game
Tanner Giddings, Sophomore, Center, 2.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 59.9 (325th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.0 (43, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 39.0 (331, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.2 (98, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (171, 6)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (119, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.8 (257, 9)
Rebound Margin: -3.6 (293, 8)
Assists Per Game: 9.2 (341, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.6 (48, 4)

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#130 Paul Watson


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