Fresno State to open season without starting point guard

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With four starters returning from a team that won 21 games and reached the championship series of the CBI, Fresno State is expected to be a contender in a Mountain West race seen by many to have seven teams capable of winning the league. One of those starters is junior guard Cezar Guerrero, who averaged 13.1 points and 3.5 assists per game in 2013-14.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs Guerrero won’t be available when they open their season at Pepperdine Friday night, as the NCAA has declared him ineligible “for not meeting continuing eligibility standards” according to Robert Kuwada of the Fresno Bee. The Fresno State basketball program released a short statement on the situation via its Twitter account.

“Cezar Guerrero ruled ineligible by NCAA for not meeting the continuing eligibility standards & will not play during appeal process,” the program stated via Twitter. “Cezar continues to practice with the team and is in good academic standing with the university.”

How long this process carries on for remains to be seen, and as noted above the school is appealing the NCAA’s decision.

On the court Fresno State does take a hit with this loss, and they’ll need their other options to step forward while Guerrero sits. Marvelle Harris finished the 2013-14 season second on the team in assists, and sophomore Emmanuel Owootoah saw some time (9.8 ppg) as a reserve during his freshman year.

Fresno State also has 6-foot-3 combo guard Darnell Taylor, a transfer from Saddleback (California) College who averaged 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in 2012-13. Taylor sat out last season to focus on his academics, ultimately landing at Fresno State.