Gaucho Hoops take:
Preseason 1st Team All-WAC pick Greg Smith is the lone returning starter from last season. Thge 6'10" sophomore center was last season's WAC Freshman of the Year. He's a strong finisher inside and can also step out and hit the mid-range jumper. The other returning starter, 6'2" junior point guard Steven Shepp, is academically ineligible for Fresno State's first eight games and won't be available in Saturday's game against UCSB.
However, Shepp's replacement, 6'4" juco transfer Tim Steed, is a strong presence at the point guard position. FSU now has depth in the perimeter with transfers Bennie Rhodes and Jonathan Wills, freshmen Kevin Olekaibe and Tyler Johnson, and returnee Garrett Johnson.
Joining Smith in the frontcourt will be returnees Jerry Brown and Nedeljko Golubovic, along with newcomers Bracken Funk and John Ryan. While the Bulldogs will miss Paul George, the #10 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, head coach Steve Cleveland believes the new influx of talent will provide enough depth to make up for the attrition.
The Gauchos pulled off a 64 - 60 win in an ESPN BracketBuster game at Fresno State's Save Mart Center last season largely behind Greg Somogyi's record-breaking eight blocked shots.