Meet the Bulldog: Deon Stroud

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In Deon Stroud's two seasons at Memorial, he helped lead the Panthers to a 51-13 record. He played alongside Jalen Green, who is a potential No.1 overall draft pick this year.

"Deon was a sophomore Jalen's freshman year and we've had some really good teams here, but that was probably the most athletic team we had," says Brad Eoznovsky. "The work ethic that Jalen brought, Deon saw that and it propelled him to work hard in the gym and just improved his game so much."

After finishing his high school career at Trinity Prep in Las Vegas, the sophomore guard played for UTEP last season.

Catch up on all the week's Fresno State sports news on "Bulldog Breakdown" every Sunday at 5 pm on ABC30.

"Fresno State's always been home," Stroud said. "I kind of wanted to go to Fresno State out of high school but certain circumstances didn't allow me to. After I put my name in the portal, I just felt like I could focus more here and get to where I need to be."

Where he hopes to be one day is the NBA. He's looked up to former Bulldog Paul George.

"I kind of looked up to his career here, two years here then into the league," Stroud said. "I try to model my game after him, too."

Through nine games this season, he's averaging 13 points per game and has compiled 30 rebounds and 8 steals.

"I would say at UTEP, I was young-minded," he said. "Just thought about scoring and making a spectacular play. I think now, my head in games is strictly to get the win. Getting buckets, passing the ball to my teammates and getting steals."

Deon says that the team has adopted a defensive mentality and that has helped contribute to their successes so far.

"He's shown that he can score the basketball even when the lights are on," says Fresno State Basketball Head Coach Justin Hutson. "I'm excited about him, the sky's the limit for him. The more he continues to defend and rebound the basketball the more, he'll stay out on the floor."

The Bulldogs are still navigating a season during a pandemic but are trying to make the most of every opportunity they get to play together.

"Just play your hardest every time you get on the floor because you never know, it could be your last," Stroud said. "Just staying level handed and playing for each other. At first, we were kind of iffy, figuring out each other tendencies, but I think we're getting the hang of it now."

Catch up on all the week's Fresno State sports news on "Bulldog Breakdown" every Sunday at 5 pm on ABC30.
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