Fresno State

Fresno State coach Cleveland faults Sims, but vows support

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Coach Steve Cleveland said Rekalin Sims used "poor judgment" the weekend of Nov. 11, when the former Fresno State men's basketball player was arrested in connection with an alleged robbery.

But, the Bulldogs coach added, "young people are going to make mistakes."

Fresno State lost 69-50 at Arizona on Sunday, its first game since the athletic department dismissed Sims on Thursday for violating undisclosed student-athlete rules of conduct.

On Dec. 6, a judge dismissed two felony robbery charges against Sims, although he remains under investigation by the Fresno County District Attorney's Office.

Cleveland said Sims told him he will graduate at Fresno State after the spring semester -- he needs four classes to graduate.

"We will do everything we can to support him academically and also with future opportunities to play basketball after college," Cleveland said.

Taylor a hit

Senior Shawn Taylor earned accolades from Cleveland after scoring four points and blocking two shots Sunday.

The nonconference game marked Taylor's first start of the season. He also had one rebound in 30 minutes.

"He played relaxed out there. He played composed," Cleveland said.

Senior Kevin Bell agreed.

"He's definitely improving every game," Bell said. "He's going to have to be that defensive dominance we're looking for in the post."

Taylor replaced Alex Blair in the lineup, who has struggled shooting. Blair came off the bench and had no points and two rebounds in 9 minutes.

He wasn't too impressed with his effort.

"I could have done better," Blair said. "I've got more in me."

Also ...

* Arizona enjoyed a 16-5 advantage on second-chance points, although the Wildcats only outrebounded Fresno State 10-8 on offensive rebounds.

* Fresno State attempted a season-low three free throws. Arizona shot 10.

* The Bulldogs are 0-3 when scoring less than 70 points.