Aug 13, 2020

Miller and Bell leading ’Dogs

Senior guard Eddie Miller leads the conference in 3-point field goals made, averaging 3.47 3-pointers per game. Miller and the Bulldogs will take on the San Jose State  Spartans tonight at 7 p.m. in San Jose.
Juan Villa / The Collegian

The Fresno State men’s basketball team is off to a 2-1 start in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play, after a non-conference schedule that had its ups and downs.

The ’Dogs had a surprise loss to new Division I team Cal State Bakersfield. The team also lost to powerhouses St. Mary’s, Arizona, Stanford and UNLV.

“Fact is that many of those games we did not win,” coach Steve Cleveland said. “But we were competitive. I think if we did take anything, it’s the confidence that we’re going to continue to get better.”

Despite the losses at the beginning of the season, the ‘Dogs were able to pull a victory against Big West foe University of Pacific. Entering league play, the team has a winning record attributed to big play from various players.

“At any given time Tyson [Parker], Bryan Harvey, Hector [Hernandez], or Ned [Golubovic] step up and make big shots and do whatever it takes for us to win a game,” senior guard Eddie Miller said. “Along with them making big plays like they always do we’ll be fine.”

Miller has done his fair share of stepping up as well. Miller currently leads the WAC in 3-point field goals made with 3.47 3-pointers per game.

Senior guard Kevin Bell has stepped up also. Bell leads the team in scoring with 17.1 points a game, is second in the WAC with six assists per game and leads the conference in minutes played per game averaging, 36.9.

“The bottom line is he has to be on the floor, he is our most valuable player,” Cleveland said. “He just makes things happen.”

“It’s my last year so anytime I can play a lot of minutes at the Save Mart Center or anywhere in my last year is a wonderful feeling,” Bell said. “I enjoy playing all these minutes and I’m going to keep playing.”

Though players have expressed that things are going well, Bell said they still haven’t completely meshed yet.

“We haven’t even talked about Hector [Hernandez] yet, and once Hector gets going we will really be a dominant force,” Bell said. “We’re headed on the right path, but we still have a lot of work to do if we want to take the WAC because there are a lot of good teams in it.”

“If we expect to win there we’re going to have to play well,” Cleveland said. “I think there are two or three teams in the league that have established themselves as having the most talent, depth, and experience, and we’re not one of those teams. But it doesn’t mean we can’t compete with those teams, it doesn’t mean we can’t beat those teams.”

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