#132 Fresno State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Fresno State Bulldogs
2013-2014 Overall Rank: #132
Conference Rank: #7 Mountain West
Rodney Terry is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Fresno State program and he has been rewarded for his hard work. Terry just received an extension through the 2018-19 season after leading the Bulldogs to a 21-18 record and a spot in the CBI Finals last season. Known for his recruiting ability, Terry has brought in talented recruiting classes throughout his tenure and has expectations for the program on the rise. Terry returns a number of young players who have received quality minutes from the time they set foot on campus and they will look to help Fresno State move up in the MWC standings.
2013-14 Record: 21-18, 9-9
2013-14 Postseason: CBI (Lost to Siena in the finals)
Coach: Rodney Terry
Coach Record: 45-57 at Fresno State, 45-57 Overall


Who’s Out:
Fresno State has big shoes to fill with the loss of Tyler Johnson. Johnson stepped his game up to a new level last season as a senior and was the leader of the team. He averaged 15.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, which both were tops on the team, while shooting over 80 percent from the free throw line and 43 percent from behind the arc. Allen Huddleston joins Johnson on the list of departures. Huddleston was a key bench player as a senior, averaging 8.8 points per game while seeing action in 38 of the 39 contests. Fresno State lost two other players this offseason, as center Tyler Giddings and forward Broderick Newbill transferred. Giddings saw action in 28 games last season, averaging 1.9 points per contest, while Newbill played in just 10 games.


Who’s In:
Texas transfer Julian Lewis becomes eligible this season ad he should help offset the loss of Johnson. Lewis played two seasons with the Longhorns, averaging 9.5 points per game, starting 45 of the 65 games he played in. In addition to Lewis, the Bulldogs bring in a four man recruiting class to replace the departed players. Shooting guard Isaiah Bailey is the top signee. The 6-foot-5 guard out of Compton was a consensus three star recruit that should be an impact player in the backcourt. He will be joined by two more high school recruits in center Terrell Carter and forward Eugene Artison. Both players will look to help the Bulldogs improve their rebounding, as Fresno State was near the bottom of the Mountain West Conference in the category. Rounding out the group is Darnell Taylor, a former Boise State signee out of Saddleback Community College.


Who to Watch:
Fresno State’s sophomore class will make up a large majority of their team this season, as five players are back for their second season of eligibility. Paul Watson started all 39 games in his freshman season, averaging 10.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Forward Karachi Edo joined Watson in the rotation last season, appearing in all 39 games with eight starts, and averaged 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Both players were three star recruits and they are expected to increase their production in 2014-15. Guards Emmanuel Owootoah and Blake Williams will look to join them in the rotation this season after appearing in 29 and 13 games, respectively. Neither had much of an impact on the offensive end, but Owootoah has some upside, as he played in the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star game as a prep senior. Braeden Anderson is the fifth player and he could play a big role in the rotation. Anderson missed last season after a preseason car accident, but made seven starts, averaging 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2012-13.


Final Projection:
Fresno State has three returning upperclassmen on their roster and all three will be key to Fresno State’s success this season. Junior backcourt mates Cezar Guerrero and Marvell Harris will be the leaders on this year’s team. Guerrero ran the point for the Bulldogs last season, averaging 13.1 points per game while leading the team in assists, 3.5 per game, and free throw percentage, 87.5 percent. Harris played in an off guard role, ranking second on the team in scoring, 14.3 points per game, and rebounding, 5.3 per game. Alex Davis joins them as the lone scholarship senior on this year’s team, having averaged 5.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest in 2013-2014. How this season goes will likely depend on how the experienced members of the team do and, if these players can put up solid numbers again, Fresno State should be in good shape.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Cezar Guerrero, Junior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Julian Lewis, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Marvelle Harris, Junior, Guard, 14.3 points per game
Paul Watson, Sophomore, Forward, 10.0 points per game
Alex Davis, Senior, Forward, 5.8 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.7 (112th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.5 (191, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.8 (196, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (130, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (58, 3) 
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.7 (109, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.1 (59, 3)
Rebound Margin: -2.9 (288, 10)
Assists Per Game: 12.1 (220, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.1 (20, 4)