Friday, February 22, 2019

CSUF vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs Cal State Fullerton, Game 2
Saturday, February 23, 2019, 7 PM PST
Overview:  Gauchos, tied for 3rd in the Big West two games behind second place Cal State Fullerton host the streaking Titans Saturday night. When the teams played back in January, UCSB was all alone in first place and the Titans were 6-12 overall.  Since, the Gauchos dropped all the way down to 5th place and CSF has only lost once, a close one to first place UCI.

 By the Numbers                                                             
 Quadrant 4 Game
CSF Logo.png
UCSB logo small.png
Record 13-13 18-8
Home/Away (D1) 4-9 (A) 9-2 (H)
Big West Conference 9-3 7-5
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 165 155
NET 164 154
SOS (NET) 141 287
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 271 138
Defense 93 207
Scoring 73.3  /  72.4 73.3  /  68.2
FG% 46.1  /  47.1 45.5  /  42.4
3 Pt Makes pg 5.7  /  4.9 6.3  /  6.2
3Pt % 32.1  /  33.0 33.3  /  31.2
FT Makes pg 14.8  /  16.5 15.4  /  14.2
FT% 70.3  /  70.7 71.3   /  71.4
PPG Allowed 70.5  /  67.7 65.0  /  65.8
FG % Defense 42  /  42 42.1  /  45.6
3Pt % Defense 31  /  30.3  29.2  /  30.6
Rebounding Margin  +1.5  /  +1.7 +6.7  /  +3.0
Turnovers 13.5  /  13.1 11  /  10.7
Best win (NET):  vs. UCSB (154)
Worst Loss (NET):  vs. Sacramento State (270)
Trend:  The Titans have won 4 straight and 8 of 9, their only loss in the stretch on the road by 7 to frontrunner UCI.

CSF-UCSB History
This will be the 88th meeting between the schools with the Gauchos holding a 47-40 advantage.  Game One in Fullerton was a laugher with the Titans prevailing by 21.  The Titans negated Amadou Sow, holing him to 4 points. Heidegger, coming off the bench was scoreless on 6 fg attempts, 5 from deep, with no FT attempts.  All BW guards Kyle Allman and Khalil Ahmad torched the Gauchos for 21 & 19 respectively.  Jackson Rowe pulled down 12 boards, scored 12 and dished 4 assists. The Titans shot 55% and made 13-14 FT attempts.  The Gauchos made just 12-22 FTs.  Fullerton is not a good three point shooting team, their guards were able to penetrate the Gaucho defense at will and scored most of their points in the paint. 

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 80-102 and a 39-53 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, 5.2 rpg, 4.2 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 has caught fire from deep, now shooting 40%.
Guard Kyle Allman #0  6’4” 182 lbs, Senior. 18.0 ppg on 39% from 3, 3.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 2.5 TOs per game, 6 FT attempts per game.  34 mpg.  2018 All Big West First Teamer and BWT MVP Allman is again having a productive season, leading the Titans in scoring, three pointers, minutes played, and getting to the FT line. 
Guard Khalil Ahmad #14   6’3”, 209 lb, Senior, 17.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 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 over four attempts per game.  Leads the team with steals, 1.8 pg but coughs it up a lot, 2.2 TOs per game, 0.5 ATO ratio.
Forward Jackson Rowe  #34   6’7”, 210lb, Junior  11.2 ppg, 32% from deep, 8.0 rpg, 30 mpg  Preseason All Big West.  Leads team in rebounding and averages a block a game
Forward Johnny Wang  #33   6’9”, 245lb, Sophomore  3.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg.   Has been starting but playing just 15 mpg.  6 pts on 3-5 vs. UCSB in 23 minutes in the first game.  More importantly, his defense was very good.
Key Reserves
Guard Jamal Smith  #1  6’3”, 165lb RS Junior 3.1 ppg, 19 mpg.
Forward Davon Clare  #5  6’5”, 220 lb Junior.  Averages 16 mpg and pulls down 3.3 boards while scoring 3.0 ppg.
Forward Dominik Heinzl  #21  6’7”, 239  Senior  2.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 10 mpg, 6 pts & 4 boards in 16m vs UCSB, first game
Guard Wayne Arnold  #2  6’4”, 170 lb. Freshman 3.5 ppg, 12 mpg  Terrible 3pt shooting %
View from a Titan Fan:
Match-up overview:
The Titans are on quite the streak winning 8 of 9 including their 21 point blow out win over UCSB.   The Gauchos had no answers on defense and could not stop their speedy guards & wings.  When UCSB had the ball, Fullerton was able to effectively defend Sow despite having an unheralded post in Johnny Wang.  This was the worst match-up for UCSB so far in conference.  Max is healthier now and should be better on defense than he was in the first game.  Pasternack was able to scheme an effective defense to slow down the Titans last year, we’ll see what he has in store this time around.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Gaucho inside game:  Sow was shut down but Idehen had a good game.  Sow has been improving and I doubt he puts up only 4 this time around. 
·       Massive improvement in the defense.  Was probably the worst defense the Gauchos had in conference play.  If similar, UCSB loses.  Sekou may be a good asset on defense for UCSB in this game.
·       Offensive spacing & movement without turnovers.  UCSB ball movement & passing was terrific vs. Hawaii and it was getting the team open lanes and looks from the perimeter.  Fullerton’s defense is excellent, rating 93 in Pomeroy so this may not come as easy but if they can wear out the Titan starters, CSF has a big production drop-off from them.

Prediction:  Gauchos improve but, like we are for Hawaii, this matchup is a tough one for UCSB.  CSF 75  UCSB 70

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