Bulldogs to open 2022 with Spartans


Fresno State (10-4) is set to make its return to MW play when the Bulldogs host San Jose State on Tuesday night.

Game 15: San Jose State (7-5, 0-0 MW) at Fresno State (10-4, 0-1 MW)

Jan. 11, 2022 • 7 p.m. PT • Fresno, Calif. • Save Mart Center

TV/ONLINE: Mountain West Network (Paul Loeffler & Marc Q. Jones)

RADIO: Bulldog Sports Network (BSN) (Paul Loeffler & Marc Q. Jones)

SERIES HISTORY: Fresno State leads 96-77 (overall) & 58-36 (in Fresno)

LAST MEETING: Fresno State 80, San Jose State 65 [1/10/21 • Save Mart Center]

NEXT UP: at UNLV (1/14); vs. Utah State (1/18); at Nevada (1/21); at New Mexico (1/25)

THE BREAKDOWN

Fresno State Athletics is celebrating its centennial year and the 2021-22 men's basketball season is the 100th season of competition in program history.

Fresno State head coach Justin Hutson is now in his fourth season back home in the San Joaquin Valley.

Fresno State (10-4) and San Jose State (7-5) will battle on Tuesday evening at the Save Mart Center.

As of Jan. 9, the Bulldogs are ranked third nationally in scoring defense (55.6 PPG).

OPENING TIP

The Fresno State men's basketball team hosts the San Jose State Spartans on Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT at the Save Mart Center on the Mountain West Network (online) and the Bulldog Sports Network (radio).

This MW home opener is the Bulldogs' 101st game with Justin Hutson as the program's 19th head coach.

Fresno State leads the MW and ranks third in the nation in scoring defense (55.6 ppg allowed).

Fresno State also leads the MW in rebounding defense (29.4/avg) and turnover margin (+3.36).

Fresno State enters 2022 on a seven-game home winning streak (7-0 at home this season).

ROBINSON'S PRODUCTION COMPARES TO THE BEST IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Through games played on Jan. 8, Fresno State junior forward Orlando Robinson was ranked sixth in KenPom's 2022 Player of the Year Standings with a 1.293 kPOY rating. The other nine players in the Top 10 play for teams in the Big Ten and SEC, and the WCC's Gonzaga.

With 977 career points, Orlando Robinson (18.7 ppg/8.0 rpg) enters the game ranked 37th on the Bulldogs' all-time scoring list - 23 points away from becoming the 34th player in program history to score 1,000 points.

Fresno State junior forward Orlando Robinson has never been shy about his ambitions and goals. And before the start of the 2021-22 season, Robinson shared that one of those is to earn Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors. While his offensive games continues to shine, Robinson has also elevated his defensive production. Robinson, a Las Vegas native, is a 2021-22 preseason All-MW selection and earned 2020-21 second-team All-MW and NABC All-District honors, along with 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-District and MW Scholar Athlete honors.

NOTHING BUT NET

Through games played on Jan. 8, Fresno State was No. 60 in the NCAA's NET rankings.

Fresno State has been as high as No. 50 this season in the NET (through games played on Dec. 27).

Fresno State checked in at No. 93 in the NCAA's first NET rankings release of the 2021-22 season on Dec. 5.

Six Mountain West teams are currently in the Top 64 of the NCAA's NET rankings (five in Top 60).

The NCAA's NET rankings assist the NCAA Tournament selection committee seed and select at-large bids.

FRESNO STATE CONTENDING IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST

Since joining the Mountain West in 2012, Fresno State has won the 2016 conference tournament championship and finished as high as second in the regular season. The Bulldogs have finished no lower than seventh in league play in its first nine seasons in the Mountain West, which includes four top four finishes in the past six seasons. In those last six MW campaigns, the 'Dogs won an average of 10.8 MW contests per year -- twice going 13-5 against MW opponents, including Hutson's first season at Fresno State during the 2018-19 season. Fresno State averaged nearly 10 conference victories per season in Hutson's first three seasons as the Bulldogs' head coach.

BULLDOGS TO HOST SPARTANS IN MOUNTAIN WEST OPENER

Fresno State leads the all-time series with San Jose State, 96-77 (overall), which includes a 58-36 record against the Spartans in Fresno (16-1 at the Save Mart Center - the lone loss coming in overtime in 2009).

Fresno State has won the last eight meetings between the programs (6-0 in Hutson's tenure).

Last season, Fresno State swept the series in Fresno in January with a pair of 15-point home victories.

Since joining the conference in 2012, Fresno State is 3-6 in MW home openers.

This is the second time in Hutson's tenure that Fresno State has started its MW home slate by hosting SJSU.

TRENDING

Fresno State is 9-1 when Jordan Campbell has scored at least 10 points in that game (nine straight wins).

Fresno State has held four teams this season to 20 points or less in the first half (FPU, USD, CSUN, WSU).

Fresno State has forced 67 first-half turnovers in its last seven games (averaging 9.6/game in that stretch).

Fresno State has attempted an average of 20.7 free throws (15.2 FTM/GM, 142-186 FT, .763) in non-road games versus 8.0 free throw attempts (5.2 FTM/GM, 26-40 FT, .650) in true road games.

HOLLAND GROWING INTO EVEN BIGGER ROLE

Fresno State junior Anthony Holland leads the Bulldogs in 3-point field goal percentage (15-34, 44.1%).

Fresno State junior Anthony Holland leads the Bulldogs in assist-to-turnover ratio (16-4, 4.00 A-TO).

Fresno State is 12-2 when Holland scores nine or more points (13-3 when he scores eight or more points).

Holland was unavailable for the Bulldogs' Dec. 28 MW opener at Boise State (health & safety protocols).

In the 2021 MW Tournament, Holland played 78 of the possible 80 minutes with six assists and just one turnover. Holland also recorded a double-double (15 points/10 rebounds) in a first round win over UNM.

BRINGING THE HEAT ON DEFENSE

Fresno State head coach Justin Hutson has been known throughout his career as a great defensive coach. In his first season at Fresno State (2018-19), the Bulldogs ranked 24th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (225-735, 30.6 percent). This season, Hutson and the 'Dogs have dialed up the intensity again and ranked third in the nation in scoring defense (55.6 points allowed per game) and 41st in field goal percentage defense (274-696, 39.4 percent) through games played on Dec. 29.

In the month of December, Fresno State's tenacious defense limited opponents to 52.9 points per game with a 38.0 field goal percentage defense (149-392 FG), which includes a 27.3 3-point field goal percentage defense (45-165 3FG), and forced an average of 13.5 turnovers per game (eight games played in December).


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