On the Super Bowl Sunday party prowl

Will your party look like this?

Are you throwing the most off-the-hook Super Bowl party in the Fresno area?

If so, I want to hear from you.

Now I’m not talkin’ about a quaint gathering of 49ers fans featuring seven-layer-dips with chips in a football helmet and Super Bowl pool squares pinned to the wall for Sunday’s big game between the 49ers and Ravens.

Super-size and then quadruple that. A party on steroids.

If you think you’re throwing the Super Bowl party to end all parties, email me and tell me all about it. I want to know every last crazy, rabid-fan detail you have planned.

Email me at nickg@fresnobee.com, and don’t forget to leave your name and a contact number.

Now I won’t be able to respond to everyone, but I’ll get back to those who do the best job selling me that they are throwing Fresno’s most off-the-hook party.

Selma announces 2013 Hall of Fame class

Joey Xavier, playing for Fresno State, scurries back to first base on a pickoff attempt by San Diego State in this undated Bee file photo. The former Selma High star played for the Bulldogs from 1982-85.

Lloyd Allen (baseball), Joey Xavier (baseball/football), Anthony Mosely (football/track and field), Gary Quintana (wrestling) and Selma High’s undefeated 1964 football team will be inducted into the Selma Athletic Hall of Fame on April 4.

Allen went on to play professional baseball for the California Angels, while Xavier, Mosley and Quintana all starred at Fresno State. The 1964 football team, coached by Bob Patterson, outscored opponents 278-82.

The induction banquet will be held at Selma’s Spike N Rail restaurant.

Details: (559) 891-2237.

New uniforms for Fresno State football?

Fresno State is considering going with an old-school look and change up its football uniforms.

It wouldn’t be a permanent switch, and talks of introducing new uniforms are still preliminary.

An alternate all-white helmet

An alternate all-white helmet that Fresno State is expected to introduce for the 2013 season.

But coach Tim DeRuyter and a few of Fresno State’s athletic staff are exploring a few helmet, jersey and pants combinations that would be used on special occasions.

Like maybe for a whiteout, or a redout. Or perhaps a blackout?

Among the looks Fresno State is considering is an all-white helmet with the Bulldogs logo. Another look is an all-red helmet with the word “Bulldogs” written in cursive, the logo the Bulldogs wore during the late ’90s and earlier.

Fresno State just went through a major uniform change during the summer of 2011, so the school isn’t about to get rid of the current look. The biggest change during that uniform overhaul was the introduction of a blue stripe down the red helmet.

Some fans — and players — were disappointed back then when Fresno State wasn’t able to introduce an all-black uniform. After all, even Spiderman occasionally broke out his all-black costume (after he found the alien suit).

More than likely, though, Fresno State will stick to its traditional colors of red and white and sometimes blue.

Fresno State’s previous look (on the left) before the most recent new look (right) was unveiled prior to the 2011 season.

Again, the new look/looks — if they come to fruition — will be used as alternate jerseys and only come out for special events, so I’ve been told.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To this point, the Bulldogs are not on the rebound

Fresno State’s Robert Upshaw, right, snags a rebound away from UC Irvine’s Conor Clifford, left, and Adam Folker during their game at the Save Mart Center Saturday, December 15, 2012. (CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE)

The first step will be to get Air Force to miss a few shots, which will not be easy for the Fresno State Bulldogs because it hasn’t been easy for any team that has matched up against the Falcons. They are leading the Mountain West Conference and ranked 17th in the nation in field goal percentage, have three starters hitting better than 51 percent of their shots.

After that, they can think about rebounding the basketball better and turning around a season-long soft spot that has cost them opportunities to win some basketball games.

The Bulldogs are last in the conference and 310th of 345 in the nation in rebounding margin at minus-4.8 per game, have been out-rebounded in 12 of their 17 games against Division I opponents and by 10 or more rebounds in eight of those games including a minus-19 in losses to UC Irvine (49-30) and Colorado State (40-21).

Like most things with this young group, which includes 7-foot freshman Robert Upshaw and 6-foot-10 freshman Tanner Giddings, it is a learning experience. Minutes on the court count.

‘’That’s something that, again, through experience, through guys getting stronger, we’ll be better in the future for,’’ Coach Rodney Terry said. ‘’Our young guys have learned to do a pretty good job on the first block out, but, I mean, there could be two, three opportunities on one possession to hold that block out.

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Clovis North QB Rossi lands Cal-Hi Sports All-State overall 1st team

Clovis North quarterback Christian Rossi, left, passes downfield in the third quarter in a game against Central High Thursday night at Buchanan’s Veteran’s Memorial Stadium October 18, 2012 in Clovis. (ERIC PAUL ZAMORA/THE FRESNO BEE)

Clovis North senior quarterback Christian Rossi has made Cal-Hi Sports All-State overall first team — the only Central Section representative making the elite group.

The 34th annual, 30-player team is Cal-Hi’s highest level of recognition for football.

Rossi, after leading the Broncos to the section Division II title as a junior, guided them to a 12-2 record, a D-I championship and into the Southern California Regionals last season.

Making Cal-Hi’s 30-member second team as a multi-purpose player was Clovis senior running back/linebacker Adrian Salas.

And making the 60-player third team as defensive backs were seniors Jason Black of Clovis and Johnny Johnson of Central. Liberty-Bakersfield offensive lineman Cole Mazza also made it.

Cal-Hi Sports, which has already released its Small Schools and All-Sophomores All-State teams, also named its Medium Schools team Tuesday.

The Central Section was represented by five players: Mission Oak tight end Kevin Palma, Dinuba quarterback Marcus McMaryion, Kingsburg defensive lineman Ryan Steele, Garces offensive lineman Keoni Taylor and Ridgeview quarterback Kamari Cotton-Moya.

Answers at the point guard position for Fresno State are a matter of adjustment

Fresno State’s Allen Huddleston looks for a shot against Colorado’s defenders Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2012 in Fresno, Calif. (GARY KAZANJIAN/THE FRESNO BEE)

Who starts? That’s the coach’s decision, and Allen Huddleston, the Fresno State starting point guard turned backup, just wants to go play some basketball.

But the past two games, when asked to spell freshman Aaron Anderson, who has started at the point since the Bulldogs’ Dec. 22 game at UCLA, Huddleston has played the majority of the minutes and played the point closer to how Coach Rodney Terry was hoping he would at the start of the season.

‘’I’m getting back to what I feel comfortable with and I’ve fortunately been able to knock down some shots,’’ said Huddleston, who had played primarily as a two after losing his spot as the starting point guard. ‘’It’s all getting used to it. I took a year off (sitting out as a transfer from Pacific) so the beginning part of the season it was a little difficult getting back in the flow of things, but I think now I feel pretty comfortable with the ball in my hands, making decisions and shooting the basketball.’’

In 27 minutes in a loss at Boise State, the 6-foot-2 junior scored a season-high 20 points with five assists, three rebounds, two steals and three turnovers.

And in 28 minutes in a loss to Colorado State, he put up 15 points with one assist, two rebound, two steals and two turnovers.

Anderson played 18 minutes in the two games and did not score (he attempted only two shots) with no assists, one rebound, two steals and five turnovers.

Fresno State’s Aaron Anderson shoots while defended by Nevada’s Marquez Coleman in second-half action on Jan. 19, 2013. (MARK CROSSE/THE FRESNO BEE)

The Bulldogs, who play at Air Force on Wednesday in the Mountain West Conference game, did not close against Boise State or Colorado State even though they had a 64-61 lead with 2:55 to go against the Broncos and were within 50-45 with 10:13 to play against the Rams. They had opportunities with Huddleston on the floor.

But Anderson is likely to again be in the starting lineup against the Falcons, a team that has four seniors in the starting lineup.

‘’He’s battling through it and, again, it’s just a typical freshman,’’ Terry said. ‘’Freshmen are like roller coaster rides. One night they might be great, the next night they might not be. They might not make the solid plays one night, the next night they might. You just sometimes really don’t know what you’re going to get consistently from young guys. Even some of the best players in the country as freshmen, they go up and down sometimes. They’re not consistent every time.

‘’We’re going through some growing pains with that, but that’s typical. Until he gets that back in terms of really executing the fundamentals of the game, just initiating our offense and getting us in whatever we’re doing, he’ll get back to being a solid player. And then it is same thing on the defensive end, you just have to follow who you’re guarding personnel wise and understand what’s expected of you, even if you switch off on another guy at some point on the possession, you’ve got to know the scouting report and how we’re playing guys. All those things, just being solid and having a great understanding and being focused helps you get some of those things done.’’

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China Peak hosts Super Bowl shindig

A snowboarder kicks loose snow from his board as he rides up Chair 6 at China Peak.

Kickoff for Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens isn’t until 3:30 p.m.

That means skiers and snowboarders have most of the day to get their runs in.

The folks at China Peak are well aware of this, and the Huntington Lake resort unveiled a special promotion with 49ers fans in mind.

If the 49ers exit the Superdome hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, Sunday’s lift ticket will also be valid for any Sunday throughout the rest of the season. (Feb. 17 is excluded.)

In addition, season pass-holders get happy hour prices ($2 off drinks) at all four of China Peak’s bars.

Conditions at China Peak are pretty good right snow. A surprise storm Sunday afternoon dropped 3 to 5 inches in addition to the 3 to 5 inches that fell early Sunday morning.

Baseball events dot Fresno calendar next week

Ryan Vogelsong pitched for the 2001 Fresno Grizzlies, going 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 starts. He also started the 2011 season with the Triple-A club before getting called up to the Giants and in 2012 started on Opening Day for the team while on a rehab assignment.

Spring training is right around the corner and Fresno also is gearing up for the start of the baseball season.

Next week, the Giants’ World Champions Trophy Tour comes to the Valley with several stops — notably Chuckchansi Park in Fresno on Feb. 5 from 6-8 p.m. The tour and both the 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies also will be at the Porterville College Gymnasium on Feb. 4 from 5-7 p.m., at the Reedley Community Center on Feb. 6 from 2-4 p.m. and in Sanger, at a site still to be determined, from 6-8 p.m. The tour also will make several other Valley stops, including Merced (Feb. 11), Los Banos (Feb. 12), Modesto (Feb. 19) and Atwater (Feb. 20).

Also next week, the Fresno Grizzlies host the 52nd Anniversary Hot Stove on Feb. 7 at the New Exhibit Hall Convention Center in downtown Fresno. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Guest speakers include team alum and current Giants star Ryan Vogelsong and Tigers star Doug Fister, the Merced native and former Fresno State star who pitched in the World Series this past fall against the Giants.

On Feb. 8, Fister will be inducted into the Fresno State Wall of Fame during the Dugout Club‘s Double Play Dinner at Clovis Veterans Memorial Hall as part of the baseball program’s alumni weekend that includes a golf tournament earlier in the day Feb. 8 and the annual alumni baseball game at Beiden Field at 2 p.m. Feb. 9.

Some season openers of note: The Bulldogs baseball team on Feb. 15-17 against UC Santa Barbara; the Bulldogs softball team hosts the Fresno State Kick-Off on Feb. 8-10 at Bulldog Diamond. The Fresno Pacific baseball home opener is Feb. 8 vs. Cal State Stanislaus. In the JC world, the Fresno City baseball team opens Friday at Sac City.

Once again, the Bulldogs are on wrong side of a foul issue

Fresno State head basketball coach Rodney Terry, right, reacts after a call against Fresno State at the Save Mart Center Saturday night, January 26, 2013 in Fresno, Calif. (ERIC PAUL ZAMORA/THE FRESNO BEE)

For a second consecutive game on their home court, the Fresno State Bulldogs dropped a game with a significant disparity in free throws attempted and made.

On Saturday, in a 74-63 loss to Colorado State at the Save Mart Center, the Rams went to the line 34 times and made 29 of them while the Bulldogs got to the line 20 times and made 17. Before that, Nevada went to the line 37 times and made 30 in its 68-61 victory over the ‘Dogs, while Fresno State took only 21 free throws and made just 12.

That’s a minus-14, and a minus-16.

Coach Rodney Terry likes the aggressiveness at the defensive end, but many have been bad fouls coming late in the shot clock or well away from the basket.

‘’We’re an aggressive defensive team,’’ Terry said. ‘’Our team plays extremely hard on the defensive end with a lot of effort. But channeling that effort and emotion a lot of times, we haven’t done so well over the last three or four games in bailing guys out and putting them at the free throw line has cost us games because teams have made their free throws, gotten there, and  done a good job at the line.

‘’We talked about playing hard, staying in front of the basketball and making guys make contested shots without fouling. It’s just an area that we have to continue to improve to try to get better. We can’t let guys at the end of the shot clock, foul them and put them at the free throw line.’’

Fresno State adds three commitments to its football recruiting class

The national letter of intent signing day is rapidly approaching — it is Feb. 6 — and the Fresno State Bulldogs continue to add some nice pieces to a recruiting class that is expected to be between 25 and 28 players by the time they are done.

Two more players made oral commitments this weekend and there was a second last week, in addition to wide out Da’mari Scott (6-foot, 190 pounds) from Cathedral High in Los Angeles.

The Bulldogs also received a commitment last week from tight end Jerin McClendon (6-7, 265) from Phoenix College in Arizona, who played his high school football in Florida.

And, this weekend, they received commitments from offensive tackle Kolby Drew (6-6, 280) from Palomar College and running back Dontel James (6-1, 205) from Summit High in Fontana.