Bulldogs lose to Nevada, but Upshaw takes a step forward

Robert Upshaw never got off the bench the last time Fresno State played a basketball game, the 7-foot center getting zero minutes in that victory over Wyoming.

The freshman had yet to really exert himself, at either end of the floor. A knee injury suffered before the season had set him back, costing strength, conditioning and a comfort level with the concepts on offense and defense.

But Coach Rodney Terry was looking for more, and got some on Saturday in a 68-61 loss to Nevada at the Save Mart Center.

Upshaw entered with 12:53 remaining in the first half and ended up playing 18 minutes. He missed all three of his shots, getting all four of his points at the free throw line. But he was much more of a presence at the defensive end, grabbing five rebounds and blocking five shots.

Numbers aside, he was much more aggressive than he has been.

‘’I thought Robert was very aggressive,’’ Terry said. ‘’He gave us a shot blocker inside there, gave us someone in there that, we knew around the basket their big guys really struggle scoring over high hands and finishing in there and stuff, and he did a really good job coming in and being an intimidating force back in the back for us.’’