Preseason events coming up, starting with the Red/White Scrimmage next week.
Oct. 25, 2005
FRESNO, Calif. -
Fresno State Basketball Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
Red/White Scrimmage Next Week
The Fresno State men and women's basketball teams will be on display for the public to see at the annual Red/White Scrimmage, which takes place on Wed., Nov. 2, 5:30 p.m., at the Save Mart Center. Admission is free while event parking is $4. Both teams will participate in an hour-long autograph session on the arena concourse. Team introductions will begin at 7 p.m., with men's basketball head coach Steve Cleveland and women's basketball head coach Adrian Wiggins addressing the crowd. The first hour will feature a number of promotions geared toward fans, in addition to a co-ed 2-ball competition and dunk contest. At approximately 8 p.m., the women's squad will take the court for its scrimmage followed by the men's team. The Save Mart Center box office will also be open selling season and single-game tickets.
Tip Off Dinner Set
The 25th Annual Tip-Off Dinner is set for Mon., Nov. 7, at the New Exhibit Hall at the Fresno Convention Center. There will be a no-host social with live jazz, a silent auction and an autograph area for the players at 5:30 p.m. With dinner served at 7:00 p.m., there will be a live auction to follow. In addition, former Bulldog head men's basketball coach Boyd Grant will be the featured guest speaker. Cost is $50 for Time Out Club members and $55 for non-members. For more information, contact Donna Gilley at (559) 259-1767.
Booster Bus Trips
Five Bulldog basketball booster road trips have been set for the upcoming season: Cal Poly (Nov. 23), San Diego (Dec. 10), Pacific (Dec. 17), San Jose State (Feb. 23) and Nevada (March 4). All reservations and inquiries can be made at Time Out Club Luncheons or at home games by contacting Tim Schiller at (559) 225-3164.
NCAA Basketball Experimental Rules
The NCAA will continue to study new dimensions for the 3-point line, a wider lane and a restricted-area arc during certified men's tournaments this season. In men's basketball, the lane would be widened by a foot. The arc will be drawn 3 feet from the center of the basket, a foot farther than last season, and the 3-point line will be 20 feet, 9 inches -- a foot longer than the current 3-point line. The experimental rules could help determine whether permanent rules changes will be implemented in future seasons.
Season Tickets Currently on Sale
New season tickets for the general public are currently on sale for $196 (upper bowl) and can be purchased by contacting the Bulldog Ticket Office at (559) 278-3647. Season tickets will be available on-line (www.gobulldogs.com) starting Oct. 18. For Personal Seat Licenses (PSL), the general public may contact The Bulldog Foundation at (559) 278-7160. In addition, group tickets (10 or more people) will be available by phoning (559) 278-DOGS. Still further, party suite rentals at the Save Mart Center will be available by phoning the Bulldog Ticket Office at (559) 278-DOGS.
TV Schedule Announced for 2005-06
The 2005-06 Fresno State basketball television schedule has been released and 12 games will be broadcast live on KFRE (WB 59) and ESPN, collectively. Bulldog Sports Network (BSN), which is a production of Bulldog Sports Properties, is making its debut this year with nine televised basketball games on KFRE. The BSN telecast will showcase new special effects, graphics and special student-athlete biographies throughout the season. Fresno State will have a national audience on ESPN's "Big Monday" on Feb. 27, 2006 when the Bulldogs host Western Athletic Conference opponent Boise State. In addition, Fresno State will be shown regionally on SportsWest for two games on KFRE when the `Dogs entertain WAC nemesis Nevada on Jan. 18, 2006 before traveling to Boise State on Feb. 4. Still further, the 2006 WAC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament, which will be held in Reno, Nev., will be broadcast as well. SportsWest will televise the quarterfinals and semifinals while the title game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
WAC Preseason Polls Has `Dogs Among Top Five
The Western Athletic Conference announced its men's basketball preseason polls on Wed., Oct. 12, and Fresno State was picked to finish among the top five in both the coaches' and media preseason polls. In the coaches' poll, the Bulldogs were tabbed fifth and received 38 points. Nevada was picked to win the WAC as the Wolf Pack received eight first place votes for 64 total points. UN posted a 25-7 overall record and went 16-2 in league play as the Wolf Pack advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Hawai'i, which received the other first-place vote, and WAC newcomer Utah State, which advanced to the NCAA's a year ago, tied for second with 50 points. Louisiana Tech received 45 points to finish fourth. Rounding out the WAC coaches' preseason poll was Boise State (6th, 30 pts.), San Jose State (7th, 18 pts.), New Mexico State (8th, 17 pts.) and Idaho (9th, 12 pts.). In the media poll, the Bulldogs were picked third as they received 139 points. Nevada was the unanimous selection as it received all 22 first-place votes for 198 points. Utah State was next with 161 points. Rounding out the media poll was Hawai'i (4th, 136 pts.), Louisiana Tech (5th, 132 pts.), Boise State (6th, 87 pts.), New Mexico State (7th, 61 pts.), Idaho (8th, 40 pts.) and San Jose State (9th, 36 pts.).
Coleman Named to Preseason All-WAC Teams
After being named to the 2005 WAC All-Newcomer team, junior Ja'Vance Coleman (Fresno, Calif.) gets his first preseason All-WAC nod when he was selected to both the coaches and media preseason All-WAC Teams. On the coaches' preseason 10-member team, Coleman was a first team pick and one of four guards selected overall. On the media's preseason team, he was one of five players named. Nevada's Nick Fazekas, a junior forward, was the player of the year choice by both the coaches and media.
Cleveland Named New Head Coach
On April 9, Steve Cleveland became the 17th head coach of the Fresno State men's basketball program. Taking over for Ray Lopes, Cleveland came from BYU where he built the Cougar program into a Mountain West Conference power. In his eight years, Cleveland guided BYU to a 138-108 record, five consecutive postseason appearances (three NCAA, two NIT) and four 20-win seasons. The Fresno, Calif. native was the 2003 MWC Coach of the Year as he guided BYU to three MWC championship titles (two regular-season and one tournament). Cleveland, who has no seniors on this year's squad as 2005-06 marks the 83rd season of Fresno State basketball, is 12 victories shy of collecting his 150th career win on the Division I level.
Bulldogs Top Draw in the WAC and Among Top 25 in Nation
Fresno State ranked as the WAC's top attendance leader and 23rd nationally in 2004-05. The Bulldogs averaged 11,835 as they also led the conference in total attendance (189,368) and posted a WAC-best single-date attendance mark of 13,250 versus then No. 25 Nevada on Feb. 26, 2005. The home finale against the Wolf Pack saw the first nationally-ranked team to play at the Save Mart Center.
In the Final 2004-05 NCAA Statistics
In the final 2004-05 NCAA statistical rankings, Fresno State finished among the top 100 schools in four different categories: field goal percentage (68th, 41.5), three-pointers per game (76th, 7.2), assists (82nd, 14.9) and blocks (83rd, 4.0). Individually, Coleman finished 50th in the nation for three-pointers per game (2.7).
Coleman and Morris in the School Annals
After one year of play, Coleman and sophomore guard Donovan Morris (San Bernardino, Calif.) already rank in Fresno State's single-season annals. Coleman is fourth in three-point attempts (246) and ninth in three-pointers made (82). Morris ranks seventh in three-point field goal percentage after hitting 42.5 percent last season (62-146).
Fresno State returns five letterwinners, including two starters from 16-14 squad that finished fourth in the league standings and advanced to the 2005 WAC semifinals. In addition to Coleman, sophomore guard Kevin Bell (Los Angeles, Calif.) is back as he started 17 games in a row for the Bulldogs. In the WAC he finished fifth in assist/turnover ratio (2.8) per game. Also back for the `Dogs is sophomore forward Hector Hernandez (Chihuahua, Mexico) and sophomore guards Morris and Dwight O'Neil (Fresno, Calif.). Hernandez, who played in all 30 games last year, came off the bench and scored in double-figures twice while shooting 31.9 percent beyond the arc. Morris, who started 24 of the 29 games played, returns as one of the league's best outside shooters. Scoring in double figures in his last eight games, he made 42.5 percent of his three-pointers overall and 45.8 in league games. O'Neil, who also played in all 30 games with seven starts, played a key role down the stretch for the Bulldogs. Starting four of the last eight games, he played at least 15 minutes in the final 10 games and made 35.0 percent of his three-point attempts as a freshman.
Two Bulldogs Sitting Out as Division I Transfers
Junior guard Justin Loewe (Caldwell, Texas) and junior guard/forward Dominic McGuire (San Diego, Calif.) will not suit up in 2005-06 as both are Division I transfers. Loewe, who is 6-4 and 190 pounds, transferred from Texas A&M where he played in 19 games and averaged 2.8 minutes per game last year for the Aggies who went 21-10 and advanced to the NIT quarterfinals. McGuire, who is 6-8 and 210 pounds, is a transfer from California. Playing two years for the Golden Bears, he started 23 games out of 28 played last season. McGuire averaged 7.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and shared team-high honors in blocks per game (1.1). Averaging 24.6 minutes of play, he totaled 11 double-figure games for a team that went 13-6 overall. As a freshman, he played in 26 games and averaged 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
New York, New York
For the second time in Bulldogs' basketball history, Fresno State boasts an East-West connection with not one but two New Yorkers playing on the same team in the same season in freshman James Tchana (Long Island) and junior college transfer Quinton Hosley (Harlem). The first time that two New Yorkers played together at the same time was the 1997-98 season (Larry Abney from Nyack and Rafer Alston from Queens) and the `Dogs went 21-13 and advanced to the NIT Semifinals. Both Tchana and Hosley are the seventh and eighth New Yorkers to play at Fresno State.
Junior college transfer Renato Cesar (Arizona Western College) is a native of São Bernardo, Brazil. He is the second Brazilian and 12th international Bulldog to play for Fresno State. Tchana was born in Cameroon, Africa, but emigrated to the United States as a sophomore in high school.
Hurricane Katrina Hits Home
Former Bulldogs Kendric Brooks (1996-97) and Charlie Williams (1987-88) are from New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina leashed its fury this past summer. Donations can be made through the Red Cross at 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or visiting www.redcross.org.
WAC Announces TV Schedule
The WAC has a multi-year contract with ESPN for coverage of WAC football and basketball. SportsWest also will carry several games this season. Twelve games plus the Bracket Buster and WAC Tournament are scheduled as part of the WAC packages for 2005-06, with others still under consideration.
In the Preseason Basketball Polls
In two preseason publications, the WAC was broken down on how schools will do this season. Nevada and Utah State were picked to finish 1-2, respectively, by both Athlon and Lindy's. Fresno State was picked sixth by Athlon and fifth by Lindy's. In addition, both publications selected its preseason teams and Coleman was honored by both magazines. In addition, ESPN.com showcased its preseason writer's poll last week and the Bulldogs have two Top 25 preseason teams on their slate in No. 22 Iowa State and No. 24 Nevada.
Fresno State to Make Fourth Straight Bracket Buster Appearance
For the fourth year in a row, the WAC has partnered with ESPN and several other top college basketball conferences for Bracket Buster Saturday, a one-day men's basketball event matching potential NCAA tournament hopefuls against each other. All nine WAC teams will be involved in this year's event to be held on Feb. 18, 2006. The match-ups will be determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences on Sun., Jan. 29. For the fourth straight year the Bracket Buster field has expanded after originally starting out as an 18-team field in 2003 before growing to 46 and then to 64 last year. Bracket Buster Saturday is currently set up to showcase 11 nationally televised games, including five on ESPNU. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televised the remaining six contests. All teams playing home games will play a "return" game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the following season. The 2006 field boasts teams that have made a combined 31 appearances in the NCAA Tournament the last two years, including a pair of Sweet 16 programs in Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2005) and Nevada (2004). In the 2005 NCAA Tournament, 18 schools earned a berth, which was the most since 2001 when Fresno State was one of 17 programs that played in the postseason. Fresno State is making its fourth consecutive appearance and will be on the road this season. The Bulldogs will look to break a three-game losing streak in Bracket Buster play. Fresno State has dropped its first three contests: at No. 17 Creighton (67-66, 2003), East Tennessee State (66-62, 2004), and Buffalo (52-49, 2005).
2005-06 Schedule Overview
With seven schools advancing to postseason play, including four that qualified for the NCAA Tournament, Fresno State has 28 games on the docket for the 2005-06 season. While 14 home games are on tap, adding to the attraction of the home schedule will be Fresno State's appearance on ESPN's "Big Monday" versus Boise State on Feb. 27. The Bulldogs' notable non-conference slate includes 2005 NCAA Tournament participants Iowa State (Dec. 3) and Pacific (Dec. 17). Both programs advanced to the NCAA Second Round and the Tigers earned a final No. 22 ranking in the AP Poll.
The `Dogs open their home schedule against Oregon State on Nov. 26. Fresno State then travels to Buffalo four days later before hosting San Francisco nearly a month later -- all three teams participated in the 2005 National Invitation Tournament. Rounding out its non-conference ledger will be contests against CS Northridge (Dec. 7), University of San Diego (Dec. 10), Norfolk State (Dec. 19), UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 23), Iona (Jan. 3) and a Bracket Buster game on Feb. 18.
The WAC season gets underway in early January. Playing two of their first four conference games at the Save Mart Center, the Bulldogs open league play against 2005 NCAA participants Utah State (Jan. 7) and Nevada (Jan. 18).
In addition, nine of the Bulldogs' home games will take place from mid-December until the end of January. In this 12-game stretch, Fresno State will entertain Norfolk State, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco (Dec. 29), Iona (Jan. 3), Utah State, Nevada, New Mexico State (Jan. 26), Louisiana Tech (Jan. 28) and Idaho (Jan. 30). In Fresno State's basketball history, the Bulldogs will be playing Iona for the first time as well as playing three of its five oldest opponents in Pacific, San Jose State and UC Santa Barbara.
The `Dogs also begin the year by playing six of their first seven games away from home. The Bulldogs have two exhibition games at the Save Mart Center with Masters College (Nov. 9) and Fresno Pacific (Nov. 15). The Bulldogs' regular-season tips off at Cal Poly, making it the second time in three years that Fresno State opens on the road.
Former Bulldog Selected to NBA Development League
Recently signed by the NBA Development League, former Bulldog stand out Mustafa Al-Sayyad (Khartoum, Sudan) will look to be drafted next month. Al-Sayyad wrapped up his Bulldog career by being a Second Team All-WAC selection and leading the WAC in blocked shots (2.36) in his final season. In the school record books, he ranks second in blocks (140), fifth in field goal percentage (292-510, .572) and 48th in career points (745). Al-Sayyad owns Fresno State's and the Save Mart Center's single-game record for rejections with 11 (vs. Buffalo, Feb. 19, 2005). In a season he had the sixth-best field goal percentage (.578, 130-225) and the seventh-most blocks (70) his senior year.
Three Former Bulldogs Active in the NBA
Former Bulldogs Rafer Alston (Houston), Melvin Ely (Charlotte) and Hiram Fuller (Washington) are the three current active players in the NBA for Fresno State. Alston was a second round draft pick by Milwaukee in 1998. Ely was the Bulldogs's highest draft selection as he was chosen 12th by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2002. After playing for Atlanta last year, Fuller is in his NBA season. In the front office, former Bulldog All-American Rod Higgins is in his second year as general manager of the Golden State Warriors. On the side lines, former Bulldog assistant coach Ron Adams is in his second season as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls.
Fresno State Wraps Up 2004-05 Season at WAC Tournament
Fresno State entered the 2005 WAC Basketball Tournament as the No. 4 seed with a 15-13 overall record after going 9-9 in league play. The Bulldogs captured their first WAC tournament win since 2002 when they defeated No. 5 seed Louisiana Tech, 84-81 (OT), in the quarterfinal round. Ironically, the victory over Louisiana Tech at the WAC tournament was Fresno State's last WAC tournament win. The victory also propelled Fresno State in the WAC semifinals for the first time since 2002. The `Dogs, however, dropped an 86-85 decision to No. 8 seed Boise State as the Broncos made the game-winning free throws with 8.7 second left on the clock. The win by Boise State made it the first time in WAC Tournament history that a No. 8 seed advanced to the championship game. The `Dogs finished the year at 16-14 and are 7-11 all-time in the WAC Tourney.