SU vs Fresno State Preview
Seattle U (8-12) vs Fresno State Bulldogs (7-10, 3-4 WAC)
SaveMart Center (Fresno, CA)
Monday January 24, 2011 8:00 pm
RADIO: 710 ESPN Seattle INTERNET AUDIO: seattleufan.com
Series- SU 2-1
Last Meeting- November 19, 2009- SU 85-84
Scouting Fresno State:
Fresno State has been riding the roller coaster this season. The Bulldogs stumbled out of the gates, dropping their first 5 of 6. They found their groove ripping off 6 wins in 7 games, but have since lost 4 in a row. They have struggled badly on the offensive end in recent games. They are averaging just 49.3 points per game in their last 3 while their shooting percentage continues to plummet. For the season they are shooting 40% from the field which is 304th in NCAA basketball. They only hit 27% from 3 (341st) and 58% from the free throw line (343). They have beaten three teams (Pepperdine, Louisiana Tech and San Jose State) that SU has lost to. They look much different that when Seattle saw them last year at the key. Paul George left early for the NBA and has become a nice spark off the bench for the Indiana Pacers. Three players transferred, including local product Mychael Ladd. Ladd left for Washington State. Fresno State only features one senior which is a primary reason for their up and down season so far.
The Ones to Watch:
Greg Smith- 6’10 250 SO C- 10.5 ppg 7 rbs
NBA scouts salivate over his size. Smith is raw but has all the tools to become a dominant big man. He has shown signs of developing a solid post-game. He needs to get stronger, improve his foot-work and develop into a more dominant presence on the defensive end. His numbers don’t jump off the page considering his size advantage night after night against WAC competition. The other big issue is that Fresno State does not do a good enough job of getting him the basketball. He should be their primary offensive weapon, but he can too easily be rendered a non-factor. In the Bulldogs last three games he has taken just 7,4 and 4 shots. That is not enough for a man of his talents. He originally signed with Arizona, but backed out due to the coaching staff uncertainty. The Fresno kid decided to stay home which was looked at as a major piece to the rebuilding process for Head Coach Steve Cleveland. He is not ready for the NBA, but he could jump any time given his tools.
Keys to the Game:
1- Good Start- 6-1 when leading at the half and 1-10 when trailing at the break.
2- Make Fresno State Chuck it from the Cheap Seats- Pack the paint to stop Smith and make a 27% three point shooting team beat them from the field.
3- Run Cervante Run- Burrell is back and he adds another dimention to a sometimes sluggish SU offense. He is averaging 19 points a game in his last two after suffering a few weeks with a leg injury.
Numbers to Know:
– 2-9- The road record, but 2-2 in the last 4.
– 1960- The first time these teams met. In Portland, OR Seattle University ran past Fresno State 104-73 behind Eddie Miles and Ernie Dunston. The team finished 18-8 and adnaced to the NCAA tournament.
– 43- The number of free-throws SU shot last game which was a season high by a margin of 9.
Tune in at 8:00 pm on 710 ESPN Seattle and the live blog will be cooking at seattleufan.com.