Fresno State will be without Deshon Taylor on Monday when it takes on Prairie View A&M at Save Mart Center, the sophomore combo guard out for a still-to-be-determined length of time with a lower leg injury suffered in the Bulldogs’ opener.
Taylor, who will have an MRI before the game, went down in the second half of a 69-66 victory over Texas-San Antonio, landing awkwardly after contesting a shot.
“There was not a lot of contact there, but sometimes there’s not a lot of contact,” coach Rodney Terry said. “He went up and kind of fell into the offensive player a little bit and the contact, it was just those two.
Fresno State had 14 steals in its season-opening victory over Texas-San Antonio, led by guards Jaron Hopkins and Deshon Taylor. Hopkins had five of the Bulldogs’ steals and Taylor had four.
“At this point, we don’t fully know (how long he will be out), but our training staff feels like we have a pretty good handle on it, that it’s not anything that’s going to knock him our for the season or anything like that. We don’t foresee that.”
Taylor played a productive 25 minutes in the Bulldogs’ opening win, scoring six points with four rebounds, four steals and one assist, and the ability to play both guard spots behind starters Jaron Hopkins and Jahmel Taylor is a key piece.
Fresno State (1-0) will have four days between games against Prairie View A&M and on Saturday against Lamar.
With Taylor out, Terry said he would likely get freshmen Darryl McDowell-White and Ryan Beddeo some minutes against the Panthers, who opened their season with a 78-58 loss at Oregon State and are on a three-game West Coast road trip.
McDowell-White played two minutes against Texas-San Antonio.
At this point, we don’t fully know (how long he will be out), but our training staff feels like we have a pretty good handle on it, that it’s not anything that’s going to knock him our for the season or anything like that. We don’t foresee that.
Fresno State coach Rodney Terry
“We’ve got some other young guys that would like to get an opportunity and a taste of it,” Terry said. “Ryan will get a chance – he’s moving better. Darryl has really good instincts on things. They’re just young players, but they’ll maybe get a chance to get some valuable experience against an athletic, high-effort type team.”
Helping hand – The Bulldogs, like a few college football teams, are taking advantage of an exception to NCAA practice rules and using a former player in practice.
Kevin Foster, who was part of Terry’s first recruiting class and averaged 8.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Bulldogs in 2012 and ’13, has lent a larger, more physical body to their practices a couple of times over the past week.
He has been playing in South America and in the NBA D-League.
9 Consecutive wins by the Bulldogs at the Save Mart Center
“He approached us about playing on our scout team or practice with us because he’s trying to stay in shape – he’s getting ready to go back and start playing here shortly,” Terry said. “He gives us a physical body that can rebound and shoot the basketball, and he’s a pretty good player. He has learned the game and learned to play hard consistently. He’s really good for Bryson (Williams) and those guys to go against.”
Et cetera – Fresno State will unveil its Mountain West Conference championship banner on Monday in a pre-game ceremony. The Bulldogs have won 23 conference championships and five conference tournament titles; this is their first in the Mountain West.
▪ The Panthers hit 21 of 64 shots (32.8 percent) in their opening loss at Oregon State including 5 of 21 (23.8 percent) at the 3-point line.
They also were outrebounded 48-33, notable in that rebounding will be a point of emphasis for the Bulldogs. Fresno State was a minus-25 (55-30) in its opening victory over Texas-San Antonio at the Save Mart Center.
▪ The Bulldogs got some physical rebounding work in on Saturday with the players who did not log a lot of minutes against Texas-San Antonio and the players who did play against the Roadrunners got to watch that whole thing again on video.
“I think we got the message across,” Terry said. “We’ve had some physical practices to this point right now, we just weren’t very physical the other night in that ball game.”
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M AT FRESNO STATE
- Monday: 7 p.m. at Save Mart Center (15,596)
- Records: Bulldogs 1-0; Panthers 0-1
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network (themw.com)/KFIG (AM 940), KGST (AM 1600)