Allen Huddleston went from the starting point guard and playing 29.8 minutes per game, tied for most on the team, to playing only 14 minutes in a loss at UCLA when splitting time at the two.
Now that freshman Aaron Anderson has taken over at the point the role for Huddleston is different, but not necessarily diminished. He still is the Fresno State Bulldogs’ leading scorer and at 11.1 points per game the only one on the team with double-digits to the left of the decimal point.
‘’I think it gives us another added dimension in terms of you’ve got another guy that can score the basketball. Allen scored the ball pretty effectively from the point and now sliding him off the ball a little bit more and playing off the ball, he’ll still be asked to score the ball, take open shots, and score for us,’’ Coach Rodney Terry said. ‘’I think he’ll still play significant minutes. I said to him, he’ll still play close to starter minutes without having to run the point all the time. He’ll still play some point for us, he just won’t do it exclusively for us anymore.’’
The move off the ball should also help Huddleston on the defensive end – he won’t be matched up with the opponent’s point any more. But playing off the ball Huddleston and Kevin Olekaibe are very similar and Olekaibe, who has struggled with his shot coming back from an elbow injury, is the leading returning scorer from a year ago.
Terry will have some interesting decisions to make game to game, with freshman Marvelle Harris coming off a career-high 19 points in that loss at UCLA and Tyler Johnson also in the mix at the two and three.
Against the Bruins, Olekaibe played 19 minutes and hit four of nine shots (44.4 percent) in scoring 10 points, his best game by shooting percentage since making five of 10 in a Nov. 19 win at Cal Poly. Harris played 26 off the bench.
‘’I don’t think you can have enough guys that can score the ball, whether he’s coming off the bench of in your starting lineup, you want guys that can put the ball in the cup,’’ Terry said.