Name: California State University, Fresno
Yeah, “Fresno State” is probably better: You’re not going to hear me argue with you.
Location: Fresno, California
Enrollment: 24,136, with 21,453 undergraduates
This was a disappointment: I found this list of TOP TEN THINGS THAT MAKE FRESNO STATE UNIQUE and, uh, well, there’s not really anything on there that’s not that unique.
Why “Bulldogs?” Well, that’s actually a fun story that appears to be a bit of random chance. From FSU’s athletics website:
Late in their initial 1921 season, student body president Warren Moody and friends were continually greeted outside the main campus building by a white bulldog. The dog adopted the group and they decided to make him the mascot. Arids Walker made the motion to adopt "Bulldogs" as the official nickname in a student body meeting. It was on November 21, 1921, that the Morning Republican first referred to Fresno State as the "Bulldogs".
Well, it’s not beer, but: As part of the 1,100 acre farm on campus, Fresno State has vineyards, and in fact, a commercial winery. No joke: Students make wine on campus and get class credit for this. And win awards, too.
Notable Alumni: actor Robert Beltran, most famous for his role as Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager; Rick Husband, astronaut who died as mission commander when Columbia disintegrated upon reentry in 2003; 1991 National League MVP Terry Pendelton; actress Emily Kuroda, most famous for her role as Lane’s mom on Gilmore Girls; Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer; football coach Lane Kiffin; Paul George of the Indiana Pacers; Jerry Tarkanian, legendary college basketball coach with Long Beach State, UNLV, and Fresno State; and Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., the voice of Alvin, Simon, and Dave on the classic Alvin & The Chipmunks cartoon, and son of the creator of Alvin & The Chipmunks.
Last Season: 25-10, although only 23-10 against Division 1 teams. They went 13-5 in the Mountain West, which was good enough for second place. They ended up winning the MWC tournament, earning a #14 seed in the NCAA tournament and losing to Utah in the first round.
This Season: 5-2, including a win over non-D1 foe Menlo. They have a road win over Oregon State, but a road loss to Cal State Bakersfield and a home loss to Prairie View A&M.
Final 2015-16 KenPom Ranking: #108
Current KenPom Ranking: #158
Points: Paul Watson & Jaron Hopkins, 14.4 ppg
Rebounds: Paul Watson, 6.4 rpg
Assists: Jaron Hopkins, 2.7 apg
Big Man? Kind of? Junior Terrell Carter is 6’10”, 290 lb., but he only averages 17 minutes a game and has lower defensive rebound rates than both Hopkins and Watson. Senior Cullen Russo (6’9”, 235 lb.) is a little bit better on the defensive glass and a little bit worse on the offensive glass than Carter, at least in terms of rates. He averages about 30 minutes a game, scoring 10 ppg and grabbing 5.6 rebounds, too. Freshman Bryson Williams (6’8”, 225 lb.) has started each of their last six games, but is only averaging 16 minutes a game.
Shooters? Jahmel Taylor gets “DO NOT LEAVE” status, shooting 52% from the arc and attempting six treys a game. Paul Watson isn’t that far behind him, averaging nearly five long range attempts per game and shooting 39%. No one else is worthy of pre-game attention.
Head Coach: Rodney Terry, in his sixth season at Fresno State and overall. He has a record of 90-85 overall, with a 40-44 mark in Mountain West play.
Assistant Coach: Ok, there’s three of them, but you don’t care about the other two because BOOM: JERRY WAINWRIGHT IS BACK IN THE BC!