April 16, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. --- With just over a month since the Fresno State men's basketball team ended the 2012-13 season, the Bulldogs have already begun their offseason work to prepare for the 2013-14 season.
Here is a quick offseason update on the team:
The Bulldogs held their annual Time Out Club year-end banquet at Belmont Country Club on Monday Night.
The evening featured head coach Rodney Terry and his staff presenting awards to players, and comments from Fresno State President Dr. John D. Welty and Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh about their excitement in where the program is heading with the foundation in place for the future.
2012-13 Fresno State Men's Basketball Awards
Most Improved: Tanner Giddings
Playmaker Award: Marvelle Harris
Outstanding Service: Allen Huddleston
Outstanding Student-Athlete: Braeden Anderson
Top Free Throw Shooter: Kevin Olekaibe
Bulldog Award: Brad Ely
Four-Year Achievement & Commitment Award: Garrett Johnson
Outstanding Rebounder: Kevin Foster
Outstanding Defender: Jerry Brown III
Most Valuable Player: Tyler Johnson
Bulldogs' junior guard Kevin Olekaibe has informed Fresno State head men's basketball coach Rodney Terry that he has decided to transfer and intends to play his senior collegiate basketball season at another Division I institution.
"First of all, I want to thank the fans," Olekaibe said. "Since I've been here everyone has given me support. This decision was a hard one, but I've got the support of my coaches and teammates as I do what I have to in order to expand my game - playing with the ball more, developing my skills as a point guard, distributing the ball and not just being one-dimensional. One of the main reasons that I had to make this tough decision is so that I can be closer to home and be with my family more. I've appreciated the time that I have spent in Fresno. It has been a good three years and I'm totally grateful for the experiences that I have had."
Olekaibe, who is originally from Las Vegas, finished his Fresno State career with 1,169 points in 92 games (12.7 points per game) to rank No. 20 in school history for most points scored. He led the team in scoring as a freshman and sophomore, but dropped to fourth on the squad as junior.
After a breakout sophomore season when Olekaibe averaged 17.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists per game while playing a conference-high 36.5 minutes per game, he battled through an offseason arm injury and struggled to put up similar numbers as his playing time dipped to an average of 25.6 minutes per game and recorded 250 points for a clip of 8.3 points per contest.
During the 2011-12 season, Olekaibe earned second-team all-conference and NABC All-District 6 honors as his 17.8 points per game ranked sixth among NCAA Division I sophomore guards in scoring average and 47th for all D-I scorers.
"My staff and I have enjoyed coaching Kevin Olekaibe over the past two seasons," Terry said. "We wish him nothing, but success in pursing both academic and athletic goals he has set for himself during his senior year. Kevin is a young man with great character and we support him and his family moving forward."
With the graduation of four seniors and the departure of Olekaibe and reserve guard Aaron Anderson (also transferring for family reasons), Fresno State will return six players (Tyler Johnson, Braeden Anderson, Tanner Giddings, Allen Huddleston, Marvelle Harris and Robert Upshaw) that contributed on the floor last season when the Bulldogs begin the 2013-14 season this coming fall.
Terry has already signed Alex Davis, Karachi (Soma) Edo and Paul Watson to National Letters of Intent to play for the 'Dogs next season.
Edo recently competed in the 2013 American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Championships, where he finished seventh in the first round. Edo was the only MW-bound student-athlete to participate in the contest. The program was taped at Long Forum on the campus of Greater Atlanta Christian School on April 5 and was featured nationally on April 6 on CBS. The event will be re-broadcast on CBS Sports Network over the coming months.
In addition to Davis, Edo, and Watson, at least one other freshman is expected to sign a NLI during the spring signing period that starts Wednesday. The soon-to-be freshmen will join redshirt sophomore point guard Cezar Guerrero (who sat out last year as a transfer from Oklahoma State), redshirt freshman wing Broderick Newbill, and redshirt walk-on freshman guard Blake Williams, as new additions to Terry's arsenal for the 2013-14 season. This will leave one open scholarship that Terry would like to use for a Division I transfer, who would need to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA guidelines and begin playing for Fresno State in 2014-15, or for the best player available.
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