|KO, Upshaw Sit Out Hoops Night|
Kevin "KO" Olekaibe and Robert Upshaw
Fresno State's Basketball teams held their Red & White Hoops Night on Tuesday night. It was the first glimpse at the nine newcomers to the men's team. Fresno State Head Coach Rodney Terry discussed Tuesday's event and the new-look Bulldogs…
The Fresno State Red & White Hoops Night was highlighted by co-3-point champions Garrett Johnson and Kevin Foster, and Jerry Brown's high flying dunk to win the dunk competition. Nine new players were in attendance for the event.
"Tonight is really a night for the fans," said Terry. "It's an opportunity for them to meet a lot of new faces, and we've got a lot of new guys."
Coach Terry's class of seven freshmen was introduced to the public for the first time Tuesday. All save for center Robert Upshaw, who is out with injury, participated in the event. Terry expects the recruiting class to have an impact, but also some growing pains.
"Those guys will be a work in progress all year long," said Terry. "Learning to compete at this level, how hard it is day in and day out. There'll be some guys I think that can make an impact for us this year. But they'll grow right in front of our eyes all year long.
"Right now our returning guys are a little bit ahead of our young guys because they've had a chance to go through it and compete at a high level and understand what Bulldog basketball is built on."
Coach Terry will turn to his seven upperclassmen to help bring the freshmen class along.
"I've really challenged our older guys to bring our young guys up to speed," Terry said. "Take those guys under their wings and really show them how hard they have to compete on every single play. Knowing that if you take a play off you will get exposed at this level. We're only going to be as good our young guys. So our older guys understand the importance and the urgency of bringing them up to speed."
"Over the next week and a half we have a chance to really improve as a team…just learning to compete at this level."
Coach Terry fielded a roster of 15 players on Tuesday. Of the 15, Cezar Guerrero will sit out due to transfer rules. Braeden Anderson will become eligible after the fall semester. Coach Terry was happy at the sight of a full bench, compared to last season's team that played just seven players on several occasions.
"It's a really exciting deal," Terry said. "It really helps from a standpoint that we can really hold our guys accountable for playing the way we want to play on every play."
Returning leading scorer Kevin Olekaibe was the only player that did not dress Tuesday. He continues to nurse an injury that has limited his role in practice. He and Upshaw are out indefinitely per Terry.
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