Fresno State freshman point guard Aaron Anderson has had a rough go the past two times out when matched against Nevada junior Deonte Burton and then Boise State sophomore Derrick Marks, and spent most of the second of those games on the bench.
Coach Rodney Terry sat his freshman point guard in the loss to the Broncos, instead playing junior transfer Allen Huddleston 28 minutes, the most he has been on the court since his last start, Dec. 15, in a loss to UC Irvine. Huddleston made the most of it, scoring a season-high 20 points (he had only 18 over the ‘Dogs past six games) with five assists and two steals.
He made good decisions with the ball, took good shots and ran the offense … things he struggled with when starting early in the year and off the bench the past few weeks.
But when the Bulldogs play Colorado State in the Mountain West Conference game on Saturday at the Save Mart Center, Anderson will be back in the starting lineup. Terry said he won’t change the rotation, but is likely to adjust the number of minutes played.
‘’Allen did a great job of stepping in,’’ Terry said. ‘’I had a great talk with him a couple days prior and just said, ‘Hey, we need to spell Aaron some minutes right now. He’s playing a lot of minutes and we need to cut his minutes back and we want you on the floor. You have to take on that responsibility. You took on that challenge early in the year and we need a backup point right now.’
‘’We don’t want to have to bottle up Tyler (Johnson) and take him away from what he needs to do for us, and he stepped in and did a great job. He was much more comfortable, wasn’t pressing or anything when he came in and did a great job. Allen had a better flow so we stayed in there with Allen.’’
Huddleston, who had played only five minutes in a loss to Nevada last Saturday and missed both shots that he took, including one from the 3-point line, appears to have found a better role. That could help the Bulldogs as they try to find some wins through the second half of the conference season – they are 7-11 and 1-4 in conference play.
‘’I think he has definitely bought into that and I think Allen, the past two or three weeks, I thought he’s really turned the corner with his role and what we’re asking him to do for us and it definitely paid off big for him the other night,’’ Terry said.