Home, Sweet Home! Titans Host San Diego Christian for Home Opener
TIP OFF: Coming off a successful three games in three days trip to Reno over the weekend, the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team (2-2 overall) finally opens the home portion of its regular season this week by "giving thanks" with a single game at Titan Gym against NAIA San Diego Christian College on Friday (Nov. 23) at 7:05 p.m.
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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.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, Cal State Fullerton's home games, as well as selected road contests, can be heard live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran Cal State Fullerton play-by-play man Mike Martinez will have the call from Titan Gym this weekend.
SCOUTING THE HAWKS: A member of the NAIA's Golden State Athletic Conference, San Diego Christian enters the season with a 1-2 record and has already faced three other Division I teams in exhibitions this season: UC Riverside (L, 83-72), San Diego (L, 91-58), and San Diego State (L, 91-57)... in games that have counted toward their record, the Hawks have defeated Claremont-Mudd (89-81) and fallen to Simpson College (95-89) and Redlands (85-84)... San Diego Christian will also hold exhibitions against Southern Utah, UC Irvine, Fresno State, UC Santa Barbara, and Cal State Northridge... the Hawks lost four starters and their top two scorers from a season ago when they finished 8-17 overall and 4-14 in the GSAC... sophomore guard Raphael Rodriguez leads a quartet of Hawks in scoring at 17.7 ppg, shooting 53 percent from the field and 47 percent from three-point range... junior guard Kwaminique Brandon (13.7 ppg), senior forward Kevin Dawson (13.3 ppg, .600 FG%, 6.3 rpg), and junior wing Andy Saharan (13.3 ppg) are also averaging double figures in points.
HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH SAN DIEGO CHRISTIAN: Friday night will mark the inaugural meeting with the Hawks in the history of the two programs.
TITANS INK THREE IN EARLY PERIOD: Cal State Fullerton Interim Head Coach Andy Newman announced Tuesday that junior college guard Kerry Carter, along with high school forwards Daniel Young and Chaunce Hill, have signed to continue their academic and athletic careers at Cal State Fullerton.
Carter, a 6-foot-2 guard from West Covina, Calif., and Citrus College, Young, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Valley HS in Las Vegas, and Hill, a 6-foot-6 power forward from Fairfax HS in Los Angeles, will augment the Titans' roster beginning with the 2013-14 season.
For more information, please visit the complete signing announcement at: http://www.fullertontitans.com/sports/m-baskbl/2012-13/releases/20121120eyhxn1
FOR OPENERS (THE HOME VERSION): Fullerton has won its last eight consecutive home openers, last starting the home portion of its schedule with a loss on Nov. 29, 2003, when the Titans fell to Sacramento State, 78-71, in overtime.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING!!: Fullerton enters Friday's night's contest against San Diego Christian having won its last 12 consecutive home games dating back to a 73-66 loss to CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 26 last season. The Titans are the only team in the Big West Conference to have not yet played a home game this season.
BUT ON THE FLIP SIDE...: With their loss at Nevada this past weekend, the Titans have lost their last four true road games dating to a one-point win at Pacific (69-68) on Feb. 23, 2012. Last season, Fullerton was just 7-7 in true road games and 1-2 on a neutral floor.
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.
REAL STEAL: The Titans' 20 steals against Southern Utah were the most by a Big West Conference school this season and the most for a member of the league since Cal State Northridge finished with 24 swipes against Redlands on Nov. 15, 2006. Of those 20 steals against the Thunderbirds, senior D.J. Seeley finished with nearly a third of the team's total as his career-high seven steals were just two shy of the school's single game record set by Cedric Ceballos against San Jose State on Jan. 19, 1989.
STOP! THIEF!: Seeley's seven steals gave him 10 overall on the season, one of only four players in the league entering the week in double digits in the category, and a share of the conference lead with UC Davis' Corey Hawkins at 2.50 steals per game. Seeley led the Titans (and ranked fourth overall) with 45 steals while standing third at 1.45 spg in 2011-12. Also among the Big West's best thieves? Alex Harris ranked tied for fifth at 1.75 spg along with teammate Jared Brandon while Kwame Vaughn is tied for ninth (1.50 spg).
ALRIGHT, YOU'VE MADE YOUR POINT: Cal State Fullerton's 112 points in a 43-point win over Southern Utah on Saturday (Nov. 17) is tied for the sixth-highest point total in school history and the most for the Titans since they put up 118 points against Redlands just over a year ago to the day on Nov. 11, 2011. The total finished shy of the school record, however, of 128 points set against Chapman on Jan. 8, 1972, and improved Fullerton to 52-1 all-time when scoring at least 100 points.
I "SEE"-LEY YOUR 30 POINTS AND RAISE YOU TWO MORE: Speaking of points, senior D.J. Seeley matched his career high with 32 in the game against the Thunderbirds -- the second time he has reached the 30-point plateau in his Titans' career and the first since he set the bar with 32 points at Loyola Marymount on March 14 last season. It was Seeley's 14th game of 20-or-more points, his 29th double-digit scoring performance of his Fullerton career (35 games), and his 10th consecutive game with double-digit points dating back to last year.
SWEET SCORING TRIO: As goes Kwame Vaughn, D.J. Seeley, and Sammy Yeager... so go the Titans. Fullerton's "Big Three" enter the week ranked second, third, and fourth in the Big West Conference, respectively, in scoring with Vaughn and his 20.0 points per contest standing behind only UC Davis' Corey Hawkins (21.5 ppg in two games) to start the year. Vaughn, Seeley, and Yeager have reached double figures in all four of the Titans' contests this season and have accounted for nearly 65 percent of the team's 350 points (226 points combined) through four games thus far.
LIVE BY THE THREE...: Fullerton's sharpshooters have been on target to start the 2012-13 season, leading the Big West Conference in the early-going by hitting half their shots (40-of-80) from beyond the arc -- almost as well as the Titans are shooting from the floor overall, hitting 52.8% from the field to also lead the league. Fullerton's 40 trey's made are 15 better than second-place UC Irvine (25) while the Titans feature a quartet of shooters among the top 15 in three-point percentage: Sammy Yeager (6th - .611), Kwame Vaughn (9th - .533), Alex Harris (10th - .529), and D.J. Seeley (13th - .412).
OR YOUR POINTS ARE FREEEEEEEEEE!: There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there are such things as free points, and the Titans have been adept at grabbing them from the free throw line this season, ranking second in the Big West entering the week overall (.796) -- mere percentage points behind league-leading Cal State Northridge (.797) -- and featuring five players among the top 15 free throw shooters in the conference: Yeager (7th - .900), Vaughn (t9th - .857), Seeley (12th - .852), Deuce Johnson (13th - .833), and Jared Brandon (15th - .800).