Wednesday, January 24, 2018

UCSB vs. CSF Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB at Cal State Fullerton Preview
Thursday, January 25, 2018, 7:00pm PST

UCSB, 3-2 and 4th place in the Big West get an early rematch with Fullerton which find themselves tied for second after consecutive conference losses to the Gauchos and Long Beach.  UCSB and Cal State Fullerton have played 85 times in a series that dates to 1976. The Gauchos hold a 46-39 all-time advantage, including an 83-64 win at the Thunderdome on Jan. 17. The Titans won both meetings between the schools last season, winning 65-54 in Fullerton and 79-53 at the Thunderdome.

By the Numbers                                                              
OOC Record, all games 11-7 14-5
BWC Record 4-2 2-2
Home/away vs D1 5-1 (home) 4-5 (away)
National Team Rankings

Composite (DC2, RPI, Pomeroy,
Massey, Sagarin)
166 107
DC2 181 101
RPI 131 103
Pomeroy 174 98
Massey 151 100
Sagarin 193 133
RPI SOS 225 279
Preseason Poll Pick 5th 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)

Offense 156 43
Defense 203 230
Scoring 74.3 77.9
PPG Allowed 71.8 71.4
Best win: Utah Valley (home, 98 DC2)
Worst Loss: Cal (away, 247 DC2)
Trend:  After winning 4 straight to open Big West play which vaulted the Titans into first place, Fullerton has been soundly defeated in consecutive road games including a loss to Long Beach State.  They now are in a tie for second in the BW. 
Head Coach:
Dedrique Taylor is in his 5th season at the helm of the Titans and has an overall record of 57-86 and a 23-46 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.  The future is looking bright. 
Guard Kyle Allman 6’3” 175 lbs, Junior.   An All BW candidate, Allman is having a stellar season, leading the Titans in scoring with 17.3 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 16.2 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 6.4 boards per game and adds nearly a block a game.  Easily the best three point shooting threat on the team, making an impressive 56% of them, 17/30.  He is third in scoring with 12.7 ppg.
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 4.7 boards per game in only 16 minutes of play.

Key Reserves:
Guard Austen Awoskia   6’3”, 195 lb.  Sophomore The well built guard plays starter minutes with 25 mpg and leads the team in assists.  Is fourth in scoring with 7.3 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 3 ppg.
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: ... -114137263

Last Meeting:  A week ago UCSB defeated Fullerton in Santa Barbara by 19, 83-64.  The Gauchos never trailed and jumped to an early 8-1 lead.   Marcus Jackson had his best offensive game with 19 points and 5 assists and the Gaucho defense stepped up to hold the second best offense in the conference to 10 points below their average.  The Gauchos packed in their defense a bit to cut off driving lanes, daring the Titans to shoot from outside.  That they did, with the Titans making 7-15 but it was not enough to cause serious damage.  The Gaucho starting bigs did a tremendous job on Fullerton’s bigs, holding Rowe and Roberson to a combined 11 points while scoring 27 plus the team outrebounded the Titans 29-27.    All three Gaucho guards hit double digits in scoring with Max and Marcus going for 24 & 19, respectively.  Not to be overlooked, Christian Terrell had 5 assists and 4 boards in just 10m of play, leaving early due to his hip injury.

Match-up & prediction:
UCSB’s defense has come around with two consecutive strong performances where it has held a team well below its scoring average. Their success for this game and for the season is to maintain this level of commitment to defense.
Although much credit has to be given to UCSB, it is also fair to say that Fullerton may have been a little overconfident coming into the game and came out flat.  See UCSB vs. Poly.  I expect a stronger effort from the Titans this time around and think Jackson & Heidegger will be hard pressed to repeat their offensive success.  Home court advantage usually means better FG% too.
Keys to a Gaucho win:
1.    Commitment to defense
2.    Maintain their season-long terrific ball-control.  UCSB is #18 in the country for fewest TOs, I expect that CSF may try to better utilize their guard speed to disrupt the Gaucho backcourt this time around.
3.    Work it through the post. Canty and King are superior to Roberson and Rowe.  Get some buckets in the paint early, force the Titan guards to double team them and open things up for our guards.
Again, the Gauchos should expect a better effort and higher shooting percentage from the Titans this time around and our players better be prepared to match that.  Game is more competitive but I still give the advantage to UCSB. 
UCSB 78  CSF 73

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

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