Fresno State’s Cullen Russo – coming off a career-high 23 points – was named the Mountain West Conference men’s basketball player of the week Monday for the first time.
The senior forward also had 10 rebounds for his sixth career double-double in Friday’s season-opening victory against Texas-San Antonio. He hit 6 of 10 shots and 10 of 12 free throws with two assists, two blocks and a steal.
Last season, Russo was an All-Mountain West honorable mention selection in his first season with the Bulldogs. He played in 34 games and started the last 15 to help them win the conference tournament title and secure their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2001. For the season, he averaged 7.8 points and 6.0 rebounds.
“I picked up my motor a lot. Last season, that was a big question, you know, ‘Where’s his motor? Where’s his motor?’ ” Russo said. “I feel like this year I’m trying to prove that that won’t be a question. We have a great team and we’re fun to be around.”
Fresno State (1-0) had won 10 of its last 11 games entering Monday night’s nonconference game against Prairie View A&M (0-1). The Bulldogs this week also host Lamar at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Cardinals are 1-0 entering a game Wednesday at Oregon State.