Wednesday, January 17, 2018

CSF vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs Cal State Fullerton Preview
Wednesday, January 17, 2017, 7:00pm PST

UCSB, now just 1-2 in the Big West return home to take on first place, undefeated in conference play,  CSF Titans.  In the preseason media poll, UCSB was picked 6th and Fullerton 3rd.    Of note, the Fullerton team is already in Santa Barbara, leaving nothing to risk in terms of the transportation issues the area is facing.

By the Numbers                                                              
OOC Record, all games 11-5 12-5
BWC Record 4-0 1-2
Home/away vs D1 4-4 (away) 4-0 (home)
National Team Rankings
DC2              163 112
RPI 109 106
RPI SOS 227 268
Pomeroy              170 118
Massey 166 100
Preseason Poll Pick 5th 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)    
Offense 159 57
Defense 177 230
Scoring 75.0 77.9
PPG Allowed 71.8 71.4
Best win: Utah Valley (home, 88 DC2)
Worst Loss: Cal (away, 236 DC2)
Trend:  Have won 4 straight to open Big West play including on the road over preseason favorite UCI and at home over defending BW Champ Davis.

Shared Opponents:  Fullerton opened the season with a 42 point loss to USC, defeated Sac State @ home by 16 and won 101-97 in OT on the road over Cal Poly.
Head Coach:
Dedrique Taylor is in his 5th season at the helm of the Titans and has an overall record of 57-84 and a 23-44 record in the Big West.  Last year was his first with a winning record and he took the Titans to the CIT where they lost in the first round.  Despite his poor record he has recruited well with both current players Khalil Ahmad and Jackson Rowe having earned freshman of the year awards.
The first place Titans are a very young team with only one senior on the roster.  Not only are they in first place now, they are the likely preseason favorite for next season.
Guard Kyle Allman 6’3” 175 lbs, Junior.   An All BW candidate, Allman is having a stellar season, leading the Titans in scoring with 17.8 ppg and in minutes played, 32.3. His ability to get into the paint and draw fouls makes him the type of player that can really hurt UCSB.  He attempts nearly 8 fts per game.  He is second on the team in assists and is second in three pointers made and pulls down nearly four boards per game.
Guard Khalil Ahmad  6’4”, 185 lb, Junior,  Former BW Freshman of the Year is 2nd in scoring with 16 ppg leads the team in three pointers made, attempting 6 per game. He is good in getting to the line with 4 attempts per game.  He is second in minutes played, 30.1 mpg, pulls down 3.6 boards per game however he turns the ball over a lot, 2.4 per game.
Guard Jamal Smith  6’3”, 165lb RS Sophomore has started 15 games averaging 24 mpg and is likely in there for his defense.
Forward Jackson Rowe  6’7”, 210lb, Sophomore  Preseason All Big West.  Leads team in rebounding with 6.5 boards per game and adds nearly a block a game.  Easily the best three point shooting threat on the team, making an astounding 60% of them, 17/28.  He is third in scoring with 12.9 ppg. He is the Titan’s Leland King and that ought to be a battle between those two.
Forward Arkim Roberson  6’9”, 230 lb, Senior.  The lone Senior on the roster is an efficient big man, with a 65%  shooting percentage while pulling down 4.9 boards per game in only 17 minutes of play.

Key Reserves:
Guard Austen Awoskia   6’3”, 195 lb.  Sophomore The well built guard plays starter minutes with 24 mpg and leads the team in assists.  Is fourth in scoring with 7.9 ppg and is a terrible three point shooter, 2/15 for the year.
Forward Davon Clare  6’5”, 205 lb Sophomore.  Averages 17 mpg and pulls down 3 boards while scoring about 5ppg.
Forward Dominik Heinzl  6’7”, 200 lb Junior out of the Czech Republic has played in 14 games is averaging about 10 mpg.

View from a Titan Fan:
Titan Central has put together an excellent preview of this game: ... -113742538

Match-up & prediction:
Fullerton is stacked with the type of guards that have caused UCSB so much trouble the past few games; Allman, Ahmad and Awosika will each likely be able to easily break down the Gaucho defense and create scoring opportunities. On the other hand, Fullerton’s defense has not really been much better than UCSB’s  in terms of points allowed and this ought to be an exciting, high scoring affair.  UCSB’s Canty is superior to Fullerton’s Roberson and King is even more prolific than Rowe so the Gauchos have a bit of an edge in the front court.  
It’s tempting to look at the trend lines and favor Fullerton in this one but with the Gaucho’s two BW losses coming at a total of only minus two and having won all of their home games fairly comfortably, I think they stop the bleeding and pull this one out. 
UCSB 93 CSF 90

Fullerton Fun Facts:   The Titans have gone the deepest in the NCAAs out of all the current BW schools lodging two wins and progressing to the Elite 8 in 1978.  Making this all the more impressive, this was only their fourth season at the D1 level.  One of the all-time NBA defensive players and, many say, dirtiest players, Bruce Bowen graduated from Fullerton in 1993.  CSUF is the largest of the CA state schools and was established in 1957.

Official Site:
Hey Guys! ... URT-103523
How to Watch:

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