As the regular season winds down, college basketball conference tournaments are on the horizon, and ESPN's Joe Lunardi is casting his bracket predictions for the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. Check out how your Dogs faired against his bracket forecasts Brigham Young University, Utah State and Colorado State.
Fresno State kicked off its 2010-11 season with one of the biggest road games in recent history, as the Dogs ventured to Provo, Utah to face a No. 24 BYU in a sold-out battle and homecoming for head coach Steve Cleveland, who resurrected the BYU program in his tenure with the Cougars, 1997-2005.
The recent meeting between the Dogs and then ranked No. 24 Cougars began as a competitive game early for the visiting Bulldogs, who entered the game with an aggressive defensive game plan, but surged too late in the game that led to an 83-56 victory for BYU. BYU currently holds a 26-2 record overall, and is 12-1 in the Mountain West Conference. Lunardi predicts BYU to be a second seed in the tournament, and will meet with the 15th seed Long Beach State in the Western Region (Anaheim, Calif.)
The Bulldogs hosted BYU one year prior at the Save Mart Center for the first time since the Cougars left the WAC.
In their fourth WAC game of 2011, Fresno State hosted Utah State at the Save Mart Center in a hard, physical battle that ended in a 52-39 Aggie victory. The Dogs held Utah State to its second lowest scoring outing of the season (52 points), but took their eighth consecutive loss against the three-time defending WAC Champion.
Utah State is expected to be the No. 8 seeded opponent against a No. 9 seeded UCLA in the Southeast Region (New Orleans, La.) The Aggies currently lead the Western Athletic Conference 12-1 and with a 25-3 record overall.
Colorado State, who is projected to play a "play-in" game against an also No. 12 seeded Richmond for a spot in the round of 64, is currently fourth in the Mountain West Conference with an 8-5 record, 18-9 overall.
The Dogs met with the Rams this season in Fort Collins in a game that became the Bulldogs' best offensive outing of the season. With a strong offense in Garrett Johnson, and strong efforts from Greg Smith and Tim Steed, but despite efforts, fell 87-74 on the road.
Don't miss your Bulldogs in WAC tournament action in Las Vegas beginning March 9, 2011.
On Saturday night, we need you in the Save Mart Center when your Bulldogs host Louisiana Tech at 8 p.m. on national television.
There will be fun for the whole family and our area code - 5-5-9 - will mean that all tickets cost $5, everyone gets $5 in Bulldog Bucks and $9 food deals will be offered all night long!
To honor our university's celebration of its' first 100 years, this is our team's Centennial Night and all Fresno State staff and faculty are invited to attend the game for free.
When you come out in force and wear your Bulldog red, you can help give us the surge of energy to defend our home court.
Free t-shirts, pom poms and mystery cards will be given away while supplies last.
For our students -- one lucky student will win an iPad, one lucky organization will win an HD Bulldog TV and there will be a student tailgate one hour before tipoff. It's also Greek night - so to our fraternity and sorority members, we thank you for your support!
This is a game you won't want to miss! Grab your family and friends and let's provide a fun and exciting environment to show the nation the power of the Red Wave.
It will be a night full of great entertainment and I want you to be part of it!
You can help us fill the Save Mart Center and beat Louisiana Tech!
Steve Cleveland Fresno State Head Men's Basketball Coach
For Saturday night's nationally-televised showdown with Louisiana
Tech, Fresno State is turning to its area code (559) for a major
Here is the scoop:
• $5 Tickets all night long • $5 Bulldog Shop Bucks will be given away at the entrance • $9 Meal Deals all night long (includes these packages):
• Burger, fries and soda • Hot dog, nachos and soda • Hot dog, popcorn and soda
deal is even better for any Fresno State staff or faculty member as
admission is free while admission is always free to men's basketball
games for Fresno State students. It's also the men's basketball
season's designated "Greek Night" and "Centennial Celebration."
You also need to know that:
• It's Red Cross "Save a Family" night. The Save a Family Relief Fund supports local relief efforts of the American Red Cross Central Valley. •
Hall of Fame athletes will be signing autographs on the upper
concourse promoting The Fresno Athletic Hall Of Fame 50th Anniversary
Commemorative Edition book.
And here are some more giveaways:
• 2,000 TEXACO shirt giveaway to the first fans in attendance • 2,000 red pom poms to the next fans in attendance • 5,000 Sport Chalet mystery cards ranging from $5-$100 to first fans in attendance
You won't want to miss the action! Tip off is set for 8 p.m.
When the Indiana Pacers drafted Paul George tenth overall in 2010 he not only became the 21st Fresno State Bulldog selected in an NBA Draft but also the highest selected of the five Dogs to go in the first round. George joined Melvin Ely and Dominic McGuire as the only former Bulldogs currently in the NBA.
Fresno State is tied with Arkansas, Cincinnati, DePaul, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Purdue, and Texas A&M as schools with three former players in the NBA. Here is a look at what George, Ely and McGuire have been up to so far this season.
Paul George, a native of Palmdale, Calif., caught the eye of Indiana Pacers' general manager Larry Bird and head coach Jim O'Brien this summer during workouts.
"Everybody said he can play, and it was very apparent when I watched tape and we had him in here. He's a guy that is the type of athlete with size and scoring ability inside and outside that I think is very key in this league," O'Brien told WTHR of Indianapolis this past June.
George played in eight contests so far this season and averaged 16.5 minutes of court time. Amongst rookies, George ranks 12th in scoring (4.5 ppg), 13th in rebounds (2.5 rpg) and tenth in assists (1.6 apg). His best game came against the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 5 when he scored 10 points on 4-9 from the field and 2-5 from behind the arc and grabbed three rebounds.
Paul wears the number 24 on his Pacers jersey after being nicknamed "2much4u" during his youth.
Melvin Ely, the 12th overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2002 draft, is currently in his first season with the Denver Nuggets and eighth overall in the league. The 6-10 center was a member of the championship winning San Antonio Spurs in 2007 but did not play during the finals.
Ely averaged three points and four rebounds per game in eight contests for the Nuggets. Melvin's teammates love his tough defense and hustle on the court.
This season's best performance for Ely came on Nov. 20 when he racked up nine points on 4-4 shooting and hauled in six rebounds helping the Nuggets take down the New Jersey Nets, 107-103.
Dominic McGuire, a second-round pick by the Washington Wizards in 2007, earned time in only five games so far this year for the Charlotte Bobcats because he missed six weeks due to a stress fracture of his left shin.
Bobcats' head coach Larry Brown appreciates the defense and energy McGuire brings to the team. The 6-9 small forward had a break out game against the Milwaukee Bucks last week going five for six from the field and three for four from the free-throw line for a total of 12 points. McGuire also secured a career-high 15 rebounds, four of which were offensive rebounds, and blocked two shots.
Former Bulldog Renaldo Major, a forward in the NBA Developmental League, shines for the Dakota Wizards, an affiliate of the Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies. Major averages 22 points and four rebounds through five games this season.
Here is a list of former Bulldogs playing throughout the world:
With an early 1-1 record, seven newcomers and only three returners expected to play in tonight's game oceanside at UC Santa Barbara, the waters could get choppy really quick or the Bulldogs could find some calm waters to make a statement during the first past of this season.
Before this morning's shootaround in the Thunderdome, which is outfitted with a truly unique and rustic flavor highlighted by a wood ceiling and cross beams in the rafters, the Dogs' head coach Steve Cleveland took a moment to reflect for some inspiration.
The concept is simple: when the times get tough, the steady handed show their maturity with composure to maneuver through any turbulence or adversity.
Over the past six years, Cleveland's program is one of the examples that it requires resolve to turn the corner from challenges of the past and move forward into the present and future.
To take that step, Fresno State must now find consistent success on the floor. Their academic turnaround is the nation's best, the sanctions are gone and the necessary talent is in uniform. With unquestioned passion and a surge inserted into the Bulldogs' energy level, Cleveland is back into prime form. He is the first to admit that he loves coaching day-to-day now more than he ever has in his over 30 years of winning championships at the college, junior college and high school levels. He can just feel the potential to deliver a winner for his hometown and Bulldog community.
The Dogs face a stretch of playing four of the next five games on the road. The page may not turn over the next few weeks, but each of these experiences will be critical when conference play starts Dec. 29 in the Save Mart Center when WAC rival San Jose State visits town.
But for now, the comforts of home are a distant memory. The ride will be long and there will be speed bumps along the way. However, with conviction and desire, the Bulldogs have shown they can find their way by fastening their seat belts and displaying poise under pressure.
Note: You can listen to Fresno State's men's basketball road game at UCSB on KMJ 580 AM or online at www.gobulldogs.com/allaccess (a subscription is required). Live stats are available for free through Gametracker at www.gobulldogs.com.
The Fresno State men's basketball team is looking forward to playing in the friendly confines of the Save Mart Center this Wednesday night against the NAIA's Vanguard Lions. The home opener is exactly what the Bulldogs need after last Friday's 83-56 season opening loss to BYU in front of 22,700 raucous Cougar fans all dressed in white.
Fresno State has been dominant in home openers, especially in recent years. The Bulldogs are 65-19 in the history of the program and an impressive 5-0 in head coach Steve Cleveland's era. The average margin of victory has been 12.8 points in those five games. The Dogs have not lost the first game of the season on their home court since 1999 when they came up short to Pepperdine, 70-68.
Home Opener Results: Cleveland Era
Last season the Bulldogs opened up at home against San Francisco State and held off the Gators for a 65-59 win. Center Greg Smith made his presence known in his collegiate debut by recording a double-double. Smith scored 17 points on six for six from the field, grabbed 10 rebounds, four of which were offensive boards, and blocked five shots.
Six new faces saw playing time for the Bulldogs in their season opener at No. 24 BYU: junior guard Jonathan Wills, junior guard Tim Steed, junior guard Bennie Rhodes, freshman guard Tyler Johnson, freshman guard Kevin Olekaibe and freshman forward Bracken Funk. Senior forward Ned Golubovic led the team in points (12), three-point field-goals (two) and rebounds (eight).
This will be the first time Fresno State and Vanguard have faced each other. The Lions are 1-1 on the season with a 73-69 victory over Montana State Northern and an 85-49 loss to Westminster of Utah. Senior forward Alex Chapman, a transfer from the University of Nebraska, is the Lion's leading scorer and rebounder averaging 18 points and seven boards per game.
Former Bulldog Taylor Kelly, a sophomore guard from Bakersfield, Calif., is making his first appearance in Fresno since transferring to Vanguard this past year.
"Taylor has a great work ethic, attitude and is an outstanding student in the classroom," Coach Cleveland said of Kelly. "I enjoyed coaching him every day and know he will be successful on and off the floor."
The game will be played this Wednesday, Nov. 17 in the Save Mart Center. It is the second leg of a double-header tipped off by the women's basketball team taking on Cal Poly. The slated start time is 8 p.m. but is subject to change depending on when the women finish.
Fans who bring a canned food item for the Bulldog Pantry before the end of the first half of the women's game will receive free admission to the doubleheader. After halftime of the women's game, a canned food item will get fans half off their ticket for the remainder of the night.
When you hear the words "brain" and "brawn" used in the same sentence, it usually refers to having one over the other. Well, the 2010-11 Fresno State men's basketball team is fortunate to feature those qualities this year in the form of both senior forward Nedeljko Golubovic and sophomore center Greg Smith as the headlining returning players from last year's team.
Golubovic, a psychology major from Pljevlja, Serbia, is the epitome of "brain" both on and off the court. His detail-oriented and intelligent style of play contributed to his rise as a leader on the team, which culminated in him being named the team's sole captain this year, having shared that duty last season.
Golubovic has demonstrated in the classroom what it means to be a student-athlete, and his accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. His accolades include three-time Academic All-WAC (2008, 2009 & 2010), two-time CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII (2009 & 2010), four-time President's List (Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, & Spring 2010), and 2009-10 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court. Golubovic's 3.86 grade point average put him in the top 5 GPAs for 2009-10 All-District honorees in the University Division.
"Ned personifies what we want in a student-athlete," head coach Steve Cleveland said of his team captain. "He has made a commitment to academics and athletics. He provides a great influence for our younger players and represents our program, institution and community well. He had a tough year due to injuries, but he is healthy and we expect a good senior year from him."
Smith, a 6'10", 250 lbs. center from Fresno, Calif., is looking to improve on his dominate freshman season. Last year, he asserted his force in the low post by finishing third in the WAC and 12th nationally in field goal percentage (148-257, 57.6%), eighth in the WAC in blocked shots (40) and blocked shots per game (1.21), and ninth in the WAC in offensive rebounds (76) and offensive rebounds per game (2.3). Smith scored at least 20 points in three games, reached double-digits in 20 contests, and recorded a total of four double-doubles.
Those impressive numbers are the reason why he was honored by the WAC head coaches as the second WAC Freshman of the Year in program history and earned a spot on the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Freshman All-American Team. This year, Smith has been named first-team Preseason All-WAC by the conference coaches and Preseason All-WAC by the media and Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
"Greg is a strong athletic low post player," Cleveland said. "He has great hands and a high basketball IQ. He's an impact player who can change the game at both ends." The Bulldogs and Sunbirds Will Collide in Exhibition Doubleheader Come see Golubovic and Smith complement each other on the court along with the rest of the 2010-11 Bulldogs men's basketball team.
Both the men's and women's teams will be in action Nov. 6 when they take on Fresno Pacific in an exhibition doubleheader at the Save Mart Center. The women's game starts at 6 p.m. and will be followed by the men's contest.
almost that time of year again for the Save Mart Center to fill with passionate
basketball fans. The men's basketball
team starts their regular season campaign during Fresno State's Centennial academic
year on Wednesday, Nov. 17 against Vanguard at 8 p.m.
have been working hard all summer in the weight room and the gym.They are more than ready to tip off at home in
front of all their fans.
season the 'Dogs recorded a 12-5 record during their home games, which tied for
the second most wins in the arena's history.They are 77-38 overall in games played at the Save Mart Center.The team is ready to continue to their
impressive winning record at home and encourage all Bulldog fans to get their season
tickets early and get ready to fill the seats with Bulldog Spirit.
Bulldog's home court is located on the South East corner of campus and can hold
as many as 15,596 fans.
season the men's basketball team is scheduled for 16 home games.Seven of those contests will be Bulldog
doubleheaders and will fill the Save Mart Center with double the action.This means that the men's and women's
basketball team will be playing home games on the same night at the Save Mart
Center.On these nights, the women's
team will tip off at 6 p.m. and the men's game will start around 8 p.m.
Steve Cleveland is returning for his sixth season with the Bulldogs this
year.In Cleveland's second year with
Fresno State he led the 'Dogs to a 22-10 record which was the most wins for the
Bulldogs since the 1995-96 season.
to the court this season are fan favorites: senior Nedeljko Golubovic, junior
Steven Shepp and sophomores Jerry Brown Garrett Johnson and 2010 WAC Freshman
of the Year Greg Smith.
Jonathan Wills, who joined the team last season, but had to redshirt as a
transfer from New Mexico, will compete for immediate playing time in his first
season on the floor and sophomore Justin Johnson is working to return from a
who will be wearing the Bulldog uniform this season are: Bracken Funk, Tyler
Johnson, Kevin Olekaibe, John Ryan, and Tim Steed.Two more additions have joined the team and
will be announced in the near future.
season, Smith scored 230 points at home, just 20 less than new NBA draft star
Paul George tallied in his final year as a Bulldog in 2009-10.Smith practiced hard all summer and expects
to be bigger and better this year.
Bulldogs have a great mix of veterans and fresh faces on the team with the
potential to make a huge statement this year.The hard work during the end of summer training camp and fall sessions
have led to high anticipation for the home opening game night.
basketball team is ready to shine this year at each one of their 16 home games
and you do not want to miss out on any of the action.Season tickets are available through the
Bulldog Foundation by calling 559-278-7160.
Steve Cleveland returned to his hometown of Fresno, Calif. in 2005 to resurrect the Bulldog men's basketball program. Fresno State is an institution that serves as the pride of the San Joaquin Valley and Cleveland's leadership ability has helped deliver a culture committed to academic excellence and compliance with the talent for lasting success on the hardwood.
When the 'Dogs tip off the 2010-11 season in sixty days at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, it will mark the sixth season and Day 2,043 of the Cleveland Era. The evening will serve as a launching pad for the next stage of the "Built to Last" philosophy developed by Cleveland with a focus on securing a solid foundation for the present and future.
The incredible journey of the past five seasons has featured significant accomplishments, including these five key highlights:
• Cleveland directed the nation's largest Academic Progress Rate (APR) improvement and lifted the Bulldogs to a score of 928 in this spring's release of 2008-09 figures and the graduation of a program-record number of student-athletes over a one year period from 2008 to 2009.
• Two Bulldogs (Paul George and Dominic McGuire) were picked in the NBA Draft. George became the highest selection in program history when the Indiana Pacers used the No. 10 overall pick in this past June's draft on the entertaining and talented small forward from Palmdale, Calif. The Washington Wizards drafted McGuire in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft.
• The classroom performance of Nedeljko Golubovic, a psychology major, was recognized twice as a prestigious CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree.
To achieve these
objectives, Steve developed a philosophy that each step he took would be a
building block for the program to be primed for the present and future.
He calls it
"Built to Last," based on the book by James Collins and Jerry I. Porras.This approach is rooted in the central
concept that we each have the ability to leave our society a better place.
As the Cleveland
Era enters its sixth season for the Bulldogs, the culture of the basketball
program has been significantly resurrected.
His basketball program achieved the nation's largest Academic
Progress Rate (APR) improvement, recorded the graduation of the most student-athletes in
the program's history, returned all scholarships
and practice time, and cultivated the first Academic All-District
honoree (two-time winner Nedeljko Golubovic).
By Stephen Trembley / Fresno State Athletics Communications
State takes pride in its long history of the NBA success that defines tradition
of Bulldog Basketball.As a
perennial producer of top level professional basketball talent, the Bulldogs'
program has developed 21
future NBA draft picks since 1958.
George, after being selected 10th overall tonight by the Indiana Pacers, is now highest Bulldog ever selected and the fifth 'Dog to be picked in the first round of an NBA
is the full list of Bulldogs drafted by NBA teams:
Los Angeles Lakers
Stephen Trembley is
a staff member for Fresno State Athletics Communications.He can be reached at email@example.com.
By Stephen Trembley / Fresno State Athletics Communications
Paul George has been dreaming of this moment since he
first picked up a basketball.When his
name was called earlier tonight as the 10th pick in tonight's 2010 NBA Draft, the beginning of the next stage of his life officially
The journey to arrive at this opportunity began in
Palmdale, Calif. where Paul learned the game by tapping into his natural talent
and unmatched drive to compete at the highest level.
As a spring signee in April 2008, the Bulldogs' head
coach Steve Cleveland knew he had secured a gem.
"Paul is versatile and very long," Cleveland
said at the time of George's signing to an Athletic Aid Agreement. "He has
the ability to play multiple positions. He can rebound and shoot the three. He
has a huge upside because of his length and size."
By Jerry Brown III / Fresno State Men's Basketball
After my first year of college basketball, I have
realized that success at this level takes more than just pure athletic ability.
In order to reach your full potential as a Division 1
athlete at Fresno State, a student-athlete has to be committed in the classroom
and also on the court.As a new Bulldog,
I had to learn how to balance competing with my talented teammates for playing
time and staying dedicated in the classroom.I found myself on several different occasions barely getting the job
done on both ends, athletically and academically, but as my school year
progressed, I found myself getting used to balancing the two. I feel like
I ended up in great standing on the court, and most importantly, in the
talked with the Bucks about his expectations for the 2010 NBA Draft, the
process of working out for different teams, the type of player he will
be and more...
On how he
would compare his workout with the Bucks to the one he had with the
was a lot tougher. It was a lot more transition type of stuff, but it
similar as far as competition. We competed pretty hard and had some
decent players at both ends so it was kind of the same in a way.
he would bring to the Bucks... "Just
another guard that can kind of handle some pressure and take it off of
Jennings a little bit in the backcourt. Just be another shooter and get
defend. I think I can bring a lot to the Bucks."