Men's Basketball Opens With Home Exhibition, Trip to Stanford

THIS WEEK...
Cal State Los Angeles at Cal State Fullerton
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 | 7 p.m.
Fullerton, Calif.
Titan Gym (4,000)
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio

Cal State Fullerton at Stanford
Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 | 8:30 p.m.
Palo Alto, Calif.
Maples Pavilion (7,233)
TV: Pac-12 Network
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio

TIP OFF: The 53rd season of varsity basketball at Cal State Fullerton opens this week as the 2012-13 Titans tip-off with an exhibition against Cal State Los Angeles on Wednesday night (Nov. 3) at 7 p.m. inside TItan Gym. Admission is free to the event, which will be the only regular season tune-up for Fullerton prior to the Titans officially starting the campaign on Nov. 12 with a televised game (Pac-12 Network) at Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. Tip-off against the Cardinal is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

IN THE POLLS: Stanford is receiving two votes in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 and seven votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans' athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans).

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats will be available for both of this week's contests against Cal State Los Angeles and Stanford. Please visit the men's basketball schedule page to access the links.

STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH'S MOUTH: Fans can preview the 2012-13 men's basketball season as the Cal State Fullerton sports information staff sat down with Interim Head Coach Andy Newman to talk about the upcoming campaign. View the video, shot in stunning HD by Matt Brown, on Cal State Fullerton's Official YouTube page at www.YouTube.com/CSFAthletics.

SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES: Cal State Los Angeles returns four letter winners off last season's squad that finished 17-10 overall and 13-9 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association... the Golden Eagles fell to Cal State Northridge on Sunday (Nov. 4) in their first exhibition of the season, 72-61... junior guard Quinton Watkins, a second-team All-CCAA honoree, returns after leading the team in scoring (11.7 ppg) while shooting just under 39 percent from the field... CSULA lost four of its top five scorers from a season ago... junior Trevor Wiseman, a transfer from Hawaii, averaged 6.2 ppg and 4.5 rpg as a sophomore... Head Coach Stephen Thompson is in his eighth season at the helm, posting a 95-97 (.495) record.

SCOUTING THE CARDINAL: Stanford is coming off a 26-11 season that saw the Cardinal claim the Postseason NIT championship with five consecutive wins over Cleveland State, Illinois State, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Minnestoa to close out the season... Stanford finished seventh in the Pac-12 with a 10-8 record last season, falling to rival California in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament after an opening round victory over Arizona State... the Cardinal were 17-3 at Maples Pavilion last season, winning their last four home contests... Stanford defeated UNC Pembroke, 85-71, in an exhibition on Nov. 4 and officially open the season on Nov. 9 against San Francisco on the road before welcoming the Titans for its home opener on the Pac-12 Network... the Cardinal are picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 this season... sophomore Chasson Randle -- the team's leading scorer as a freshman -- returns for his second season after averaging 13.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting .439 from the field and .438 from three-point range...  junior guard Aaron Bright, who averaged 11.7 ppg and 3.68 apg last season, was named the NIT's Most Outstanding Player, averaging 16.8 ppg and 4.2 apg while shooting .641 from the field... Stanford returns three starters and 13 letter winners from last season's squad... Head Coach Johnny Dawkins is in his fifth season at the helm, posting a 75-59 overall record in his previous four years, after spending 11 years at perennial power Duke -- the last eight as the program's Associate Head Coach -- helping the Blue Devils to a 330-60 overall record.

HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH STANFORD: Monday's meeting with the Cardinal will be the first in the history of the two programs.

CONFERENCE CALL: The Titans are 7-33 against the current Pac-12 alignment: 1-4 vs. Arizona, 0-2 vs. Arizona State, 0-1 vs. California, 0-1 vs. Colorado, 0-3 vs. Oregon, 1-1 vs. Oregon State, 1-9 vs. UCLA, 0-3 vs. USC, 3-9 vs. Utah, and 1-0 vs. Washington... Fullerton is 2-2 over the past three seasons against the Pac-12, posting wins at Utah (81-50) on Dec. 7, 2011, and at UCLA (68-65 in 2 OT) on Nov. 16, 2009.

FOR OPENERS: Cal State Fullerton is 22-30 (.423) in season openers dating back to the 1960-61 season and is just 5-5 in its last 10.

HI, MOM!: The Titans will invade the airwaves (or fiber optic cables) on at least seven occassions in 2012-13, playing twice on the newly launched Pac-12 Network at Stanford (Nov. 12) and at Washington (Dec. 2), featured on the ESPN family of networks in their games against UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 29 - ESPNU) and at Long Beach State (Feb. 13 - ESPNU), as well as three more contests on Fox Sports PrimeTicket against Hawaii (Feb. 2), at UC Riverside (Feb. 9), and at UC Irvine (Feb. 16. There are four more possibilites for TV exposure: the first coming in the ESPN Bracketbuster game on Feb. 23 and a possible road contest at The Thunderdome against the Gauchos on March 7 as one of ESPN's "wild card" games as well as possible contests against UC Davis (March 2) and at Cal Poly (March 9) on Fox Sports West.

INTERIM HEAD COACH ANDY NEWMAN: The curtain rises on the Andy Newman Era at Cal State Fullerton as the former Titans' Assistant and Associate Head Coach moves over one chair on the bench to guide Fullerton into the 2012-13 season. During Newman's tenure, the Titans are a combined 155-122 (.560) overall and 79-65 (.549) in the Big West Conference -- including five, top-three finishes in the standings since he arrived in 2003-04.

TITANS PICKED SECOND IN BIG WEST RACE; SEELEY, VAUGHN HONORED: Led by preseason All-Big West Conference picks D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn, the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team was picked to finish second in the Big West Conference in 2012-13 as selected by the media and released by the league office on Oct. 25. The Titans received six first-place votes and 164 points overall to stand behind defending conference champion Long Beach State, which garnered 13 first-place votes and 194 points overall. UC Irvine (one first-place vote) was third with 153 points, league newcomer Hawaii was tabbed fourth with 132 points, while UC Santa Barbara rounds out the top five at 129 points. Fullerton is the only school to return a pair of All-Big West performers in Seeley and Vaughn, who each earned preseason all-conference recognition from the media panel. Seeley, a first-team All-Big West selection and the league's Newcomer of the Year in 2011-12, averaged 17.3 ppg to stand fourth in the conference and ranked eighth in the league with 66 three-pointers made. Vaughn was a second-team selection as a junior after averaging 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and a league-best 3.7 assists per game. He ranked sixth in scoring, fifth in field goal percentage (.458), and 10th in three-pointers made per game (1.9 pg).

YEAGER SHINES IN ANNUAL SCRIMMAGE: Cal State Fullerton senior forward Sammy Yeager finished with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including a quartet of three-pointers, and highlighted a group of four Titans in double figures on Oct. 27 in the team's 11th Annual Blue-White Scrimmage at Titan Gym.

Yeager, who finished with 17 points in last year's scrimmage before sitting out all of the 2011-12 season after transferring from TCU, added four rebounds, three assists, and four steals over the three, eight-minute periods played in front of approximately 100 supporters on Saturday. He finished 7-for-10 in the final two "games", hitting all four of his three-point attempts in the middle contest to finish with 12 of his team's 18 points.

Senior D.J. Seeley finished with 16 points on 6-of-9 from the field, senior Kwame Vaughn added 15 points and four assists, including 9-of-10 from the free throw line, and junior newcomer "Deuce" Johnson made 6-of-7 from the floor to finish with 12 points while adding three boards. Junior transfer Steven McClellan (Louisiana-Monroe) led all Titans with six rebounds -- three of those on the offensive end -- while Vaughn, sophomore transfer James Douglas (Northern Arizona), and Alex Harris all finished with four assists.

As a group, Fullerton shot just over 52 percent from the field (37-for-71) and hit 9-of-27 (.333) from three-point range while shooting just over 73 percent (19-of-26) from the stripe. Despite lineup adjustments from period-to-period, the "Blue" Team won two of the three games by the scores of 21-13 in the first and 19-13 in the third contest while the middle game finished tied at 18.

HAPPY HOMECOMING: When the Titans hit the floor at Maples Pavilion on Nov. 12 for their season opener, it will be a homecoming of sorts for a few Titans as seniors Kwame Vaughn (Oakland), D.J. Seeley (Stockton), and Alex Harris (Richmond) return to Northern California. Vaughn and Seeley will be close to their old stomping grounds after spending the first two years of their collegiate careers at the University of San Francisco and California, respectively.

SEELEY VERSUS STANFORD: While at Cal, senior D.J. Seeley appeared in three of the Golden Bears' four contests against conference rival Stanford, scoring a total of two points, grabbing four rebounds, dishing out three assists in a total of 13 minutes. In his only appearance in Maples Pavilion, he grabbed one rebound and had one assist in three minutes as a freshman on Jan. 17, 2009, in a 75-69 loss to the Cardinal.

"HELLO, MY NAME IS...": Introductions may be in order for the Fullerton faithful as the Titans return just two starters and five players overall to a roster bolstered by three eligible Division I transfers (one of whom will be eligibile beginning at the end of the fall semester), a pair of junior college transfers, and one freshman.

NUMBERS ARE FUN: Fullerton's 21-win campaign in 2011-12 marked the sixth time in the last nine years that the Titans have finished with a winning record and only the seventh time in the 52-year history of the program that Fullerton has won at least 20 games. Last season marked the fourth time in eight years that the Titans won at least 20 games and only the fifth time in the school's Division I history that they finished either first or second in the conference standings.

HEY MR. D.J.: The honors begin to roll in for Fullerton senior D.J. Seeley, who has been selected by Lindy's Magazine as the preseason pick for Big West Conference Player of the Year in 2012-13. Seeley, a first-team All-Big West selection as a junior last season, lit up the scoreboards to the tune of 17.3 points per game (1st on the team, 4th in the Big West) and a .434 three-point percentage (4th in the conference).

HE'S HERE TO HELP: The only Titan to start all 31 games a season ago, senior Kwame Vaughn is a giver as evidenced by his Big West Conference-best 3.74 assists per game en route to second-team all-conference honors. Vaughn, who also led the league in free throw percentage (.847), finished second on the team -- and sixth in the Big West -- in scoring (15.6 ppg) and was a star in the classroom, earning Dean's List honors in the Spring of 2011 and 2011-12 Big West All-Academic Team laurels.

DIVISION I TRANSFERS: Once they step on the court for the Titans in 2012-13, Sammy Yeager,  Alex Harris, and Darius Nelson will become the 39th, 40th, and 41st Division I transfers to the Cal State Fullerton program in its Division I history dating back to 1975. In that same time frame, only seven players have left the Titans for other Division I programs.

PACK YOUR BAGS: Aside from a pair of exhibition contests to start the season, Cal State Fullerton will play only one regular season contest within the friendly confines of Titan Gym in the month of November and just four of its first 11 at home before the start of Big West Conference play on Dec. 29 against UC Santa Barbara. This after a season that saw the Titans finish 13-1 on their home floor in 2011-12 while entering this season with a 12-game home winning streak dating back to a 73-66 loss to CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 26, 2011.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE: Cal State Fullerton's 13 wins at Titan Gym last season were the most since the 1982-83 Titans finished a perfect 13-0 on their home floor while the 13-1 record extended a streak of 10 seasons with a non-losing record at home dating back to the 2002-03 campaign. Fullerton, which had .500 seasons of 6-6 in 2002-03 and 2008-09 at Titan Gym in that stretch, hasn't had a losing campaign at home since finishing 4-9 in 2001-02 and is 88-41 (.682) during its current run.

MORE WINNING AT HOME: Fullerton went unbeaten at home in conference play at 8-0 for the first time since the 1982-83 season -- a campaign that also included a win over top-ranked UNLV.

OFF-ENSE... CLAP, CLAP... OFF-ENSE... CLAP, CLAP: Led by the scoring prowess of Seeley and Vaughn, the Titans will look to duplicate their offensive exploits from a season ago when Fullerton stood atop the Big West statistical leaders in scoring offense (78.0 ppg), field goal percentage (.472), and three-point percentage (.404).

WELCOME TO THE CLUB: The Big West Conference landscape will look a little different in 2012-13 with the addition of the University of Hawaii to the fold after spending the last 32 years as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (the women's teams were a member of the Big West from 1984-96). The view will shift a bit more next season when long-time member Pacific leaves for the West Coast Conference and San Diego State and Boise State return in 2013-14. The Aztecs were members of the Big West Conference from 1969-78 while the Broncos were members of the league from 1996-2001.