Tuesday, January 22, 2019

UCSB vs. CSUF Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Cal State Fullerton, Game 1
Thursday, January 24, 2019, 7 PM PST
Overview:  The first place Gauchos, at 3-0 the only undefeated team in the Big West, travel south to Fullerton to take on the 2-2 Titans who are tied with CSUN  for 5th. Both teams are coming off of road victories, UCSB handling UC Davis by 11 and Fullerton knocking off Long Beach by 2.

By the Numbers                                                     
CSF Logo.png
UCSB logo small.png
Record 6-12 14-3
Home/Away (D1) 2-2 (H) 3-3 (A)
Big West Conference 2-2 3-0
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 201 129
NET 202 137
SOS (ESPN BPI) 48 348
CBS Preseason Rank 220 288
SI Preseason Rank 118 185
Preseason Poll Pick 2nd 4th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 277 93
Defense 124 212
Scoring 72.8 76.2
FG% 45.3 47.5
3Pt % 31.4 35.2
FT% 69.1 70.8
PPG Allowed 67.4 63.4
FG % Defense 42.7 39.8
3Pt % Defense 32.5 28.9
Rebounding Margin  +.1 +9
Best win (NET):  vs. Long Beach (196)
Worst Loss (NET):  vs. Sacramento State (282)

CSF-UCSB History
This will be the 87th meeting between the schools with the Gauchos holding a 47-39 advantage.  The series started in 1976 after Fullerton moved up to D1 and the Titans won the first 6 meetings, the Gauchos notching their first victory in 1979.  The Titans equaled this streak from 1982-1985.  The Gauchos longest win streak in the series is 8 games, from 1999 to 2003.  UCSB swept the series last season and has won two straight vs. the Titans.
Head Coach:  Dedrique Taylor is in his 6th season at the helm of the Titans coming off his most successful season by far in winning the BW tournament and taking Fullerton to the NCAAs. This was his second consecutive year with a winning record after an initial three losing seasons. He has an overall record of 73-101 and a 32-52 record in the Big West.  Current players Khalil Ahmad and Jackson Rowe have both earned freshman of the year awards under his watch.

The Titans return nearly everyone from their BWT champion team a year ago and start four upperclassman and one sophomore. Their primary reserves are two juniors and a freshman.  Four starters average 8.8 ppg or more and the rest of the team average under 4pts each.

Probable Starters
Guard Austen Awoskia  #10   6’3”, 193 lb.  Junior  8.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.8 apg, 31 mpg, 1.4 spg.  The well-built guard leads the team in assists and is second in rebounding. He is fourth in scoring and is a terrible three point shooter.
Guard Kyle Allman #0  6’4” 182 lbs, Senior. 18.5 ppg on 40% from 3, 2.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 6 FT attempts per game.  35 mpg.  2018 All Big West First Teamer and BWT MVP Allman is again having a productive season, leading the Titans in scoring, minutes played, and getting to the FT line.    Guard Khalil Ahmad #14   6’3”, 209 lb, Senior, 17.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 31 mpg  2018 All BW 2nd Teamer, former BW Freshman of the Year is 2nd in scoring and three pointers made, 32% clip. He is good in getting to the line with 3.6 attempts per game.  He is second in minutes played, 30.1 mpg, pulls down 3.9 boards per game. Leads the team with steals, 1.8 pg but coughs it up a lot, 2.5 TOs per game, 0.5 ATO ratio.
Forward Jackson Rowe  #34   6’7”, 210lb, Junior  16.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 32 mpg  Preseason All Big West.  Leads team in rebounding 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 Johnny Wang  #33   6’9”, 245lb, Sophomore  3.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg.   Has been starting but playing just 16 mpg
Key Reserves
Forward Davon Clare  #5  6’5”, 220 lb Junior.  Averages 16 mpg and pulls down 3.5 boards while scoring 3.2 ppg.
Guard Jamal Smith  #1  6’3”, 165lb RS Junior 3.7 ppg, starter minutes at 21 mpg.
Guard Wayne Arnold  #2  6’4”, 170 lb. Freshman 3.3 ppg, 12 mpg  Terrible 3pt shooting %
View from a Titan Fan:
Titan Central normally provides excellent pre-game write-ups but it looks like they stopped doing them after preseason for some reason.  Oh well, a link to their site just in case they add one before the game:
https://247sports.com/college/cal-state ... 373/Feeds/
Match-up overview:
The Titans played a challenging preseason schedule, toughest in the conference and will have faced off against three of the top 4 teams coming into conference play after their game with the Gauchos. They had been up by 14 on the road against Washington and are certainly better than their record might suggest.  Dedrique Taylor had the program on a nice trajectory up until this season but the Titans have taken a step back and the team seems to have lost chemistry and energy.  They were awful against UCI, scoring only 12 points in the first half but seemed to have righted the ship and earned a hard fought win on the road over Long Beach their last time out.  Despite the uneven season so far, Fullerton has three elite players in Rowe, Allman and Ahmad plus an emerging talent in Awoshika. Like CSUN, Fullerton has the talent to beat any team in the Big West but are held back by a lack of a front court and depth. 

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Gaucho inside game:  Sow’s speed and athleticism plus depth with Idehen & Ami vs. Wang & Rowe in the post. Rowe is a terrific player but Fullerton does not have good front-court talent beyond him.  Pound it inside and make Fullerton collapse their defense.  Should open things up for our guards.
·       Good rotations on defense.  Fullerton’s guards are terrific and Gaucho help defense must be on point.  Ramsey is key to disrupting their flow. 
·       Blackmon vs. Rowe.  Blackmon has been one of SB's best defenders, this will be one of his biggest challenges in conference play. 
·       Max integration project, continued. I think his defense showed some improvement vs. Davis, he was working hard on that end.  This fan has complete faith that he and the coaches are moving this in the right direction and we will be seeing the Max of last season before too long. 

Prediction:  Fullerton may lead this early and into the second half but Gaucho depth & balance should prevail over 40 minutes.  Gauchos 74 Titans 67

Official Site:    http://www.fullertontitans.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
Hey Guys!:  https://247sports.com/college/cal-state ... RT-103523/
How to Watch:  http://bigwest.sidearmstreaming.com/watch/?Live=1724

Big West Three-Man Weave Pre-Season Preview Link:
https://www.three-man-weave.com/3mw/big ... eview-2019

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