Team preview: Fresno State

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 4:52 PM ET
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This wasn't what Ray Lopes had in mind.

The third-year Fresno State coach knew following in Jerry Tarkanian's footsteps was risky business. But he had no idea his otherwise successful rookie season would end with WAC commissioner Karl Benson saying Fresno State would be barred from postseason play because of a variety of violations.

Those transgressions from the Tarkanian era led the NCAA to place Fresno State on probation for four years. And that's only the beginning of this nightmare ride.

Several players from Lopes' first recruiting class, including talented point guard Terry Pettis, were eventually suspended from the team midway through last year's WAC campaign. Pettis had a couple of run-ins with the law, none more serious than being charged with murder and robbery last summer.