RAINBOW WARRIOR BASKETBALL
COURTESY OF FRESNO STATE
Quinton Hosley's numbers are down this season, as Fresno State has tried to have a more balanced offense. CLICK FOR LARGE
Hosley in forecast for FSU
The Fresno State guard has "NBA talent" but could be a weatherman, too
While music and video games tend to occupy the free time of his peer group, Quinton Hosley's varied outside interests include studying how conditions outdoors can impact people's lives.
"The weather's always changing and it affects everyone -- it's something I picked up on," Hosley said. "I pretty much like severe weather. I know that's kinda weird, but that's something I look at."
HAWAII VS. FRESNO STATE
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
TV: KFVE, Ch. 5
Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: $26 (lower level, single seats only), $22 (upper, adult), $5 (upper, students), $3 (upper, UH students), $5 (Super Rooter/Manoa Maniacs).
Promotion: UH season-ticket holders have the opportunity to purchase two upper-level tickets for the price of one.
Once indoors, his array of skills on the basketball court have had a significant influence on the fortunes of the Fresno State basketball team.
With Hosley leading a group of returning starters, a return to prominence in the Western Athletic Conference was forecast for Fresno State this season. They've fulfilled those expectations so far, as the surging Bulldogs (13-2, 2-0 WAC) head into tonight's game against Hawaii (9-6, 0-2) at the Stan Sheriff Center.
After earning second-team All-WAC honors as a junior-college transfer last year, Hosley, a 6-foot-6
guard/forward, leads the Bulldogs in scoring (14.5 points per game) and steals (25) and ranks second in rebounding this season.
"He's an NBA talent," Hawaii coach Riley Wallace said in summing up the challenge the Rainbow Warriors will face tonight.
"He's got the full package. He puts the ball on the floor, he shoots it, he jumps, he'll board, and he's quick enough to play defense."
Hosley joined the Fresno State program last season as a transfer from Lamar (Colo.) Community College, where he was a first-team junior-college All-American. He promptly led the Bulldogs with 18.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and made a league-high 52 steals in his junior season.
Fresno State coach Steve Cleveland can also foresee Hosley getting a shot at extending his playing career beyond college ball.
"He's athletic enough and he's so dedicated he's going to get better as he goes," Cleveland said. "Definitely, I think he has aspirations of playing at the next level, I think a lot of these young men do."
Though Hosley continues to lead the Bulldogs in points, his numbers are down a bit in his senior year, due in part to the balance that has contributed to the Bulldogs' early success. Through 15 games, six different players have led the team in scoring, with four averaging double figures entering tonight's game.
"We've been very unselfish with the ball and that's one thing I'm real pleased with," Cleveland said. "We've got four or five guys with anywhere from 10 to 13 points a game, I think that's a lot better than having one or two guys score 20."
Cleveland's up-tempo system calls for much of the team's scoring to come from behind the 3-point line, and Hosley said a year of experience has helped a veteran Bulldogs team.
"It's been a whole lot better just being more comfortable in the system," Hosley said. "Our system is kind of like a Phoenix (Suns)-style system, get up and down the floor, look for a shot in the first 7 seconds and get out and run."
Along with the returnees, the Bulldogs were also bolstered by the addition of forward Dominic McGuire, who sat out last season as a transfer from California, to provide an inside presence that was missing from the Bulldogs' arsenal last season.
"Adding Dom has been a real bonus, he does a lot of different things," Cleveland said. "There's not a lot of nights he's our leading scorer, but he's rebounding, he's blocking shots he plays with a high level of energy and he's certainly a difference maker on this team from last year."
Another key difference is what awaits the Bulldogs at the end of the regular season. The school imposed a ban on postseason play last season due to violations committed by the previous coaching staff, and the prospect of playing in March this year has added to the Bulldogs' motivation.
"It's definitely a weight off our shoulders," Hosley said. "I look at it like last year was a head start for us. We already knew we couldn't play that year, we had to wait to the next year, so I just look at it like we got an early jump."
Said Cleveland: "There's an energy and a hope in the fact that we'll get the chance to play in the conference tournament. You work towards goals that every other team has in America, and we can have those goals now."