FULLERTON, Calif. – The reigning Big West Tournament Champion Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team kicks off the 2018-19 season at Arizona State on Tuesday for a 5 p.m. PT matchup that will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network. CSF then returns to Titan Gym to host West Coast Baptist on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT for the home-opener.
FROM THE TIP
• Cal State Fullerton opens up the season against a Pac-12 foe for the second straight year. The Titans head to Arizona State for a 5 p.m. PT matchup at Wells Fargo Arena on Tuesday. It is the sixth time in the last seven years that CSF has opened up the season on the road. The Titans then return to Titan Gym to face West Coast Baptist at 2 p.m. PT on Nov. 10 for the home opener.
• Junior guard Kyle Allman, Jr., led the Big West in scoring at 19.5 points per game overall for the 2017-18 campaign. In just BWC play, he led the way at 21.6 ppg. Allman shot 48.9 percent from the field, the No. 1 mark in the league (per NCAA). Along with his scoring, Allman was second on the team in assists at 2.4 per game (75 total) and was second on the team in steals with 36 (1.1 per game). Allman scored 20+ points 17 times last season and 30+ points on four occasions. The Brooklyn native has scored in double figures in 32 of the last 37 games dating back to the 16-17 season.
• Senior guard Khalil Ahmad was second on the squad and sixth in the Big West in scoring at 15.1 points per game. He made the most three-point field goals on the squad at 57. He made four or more three-point field goals in eight games this season. Ahmad shot 82.9% percent from the free-throw line last year which was the No. 5 mark in the BWC (per NCAA).
• Ahmad became the 24th Titan in program history to score 1,000 points in a career after scoring 31 at UC Davis (Feb. 10, 2018). He has totaled 1,149 points in his career, the 17th-best mark in the program and just six points behind Bruce Bowen at No. 16. Allman joined him in the 1K Club on Feb. 28 when he scored 23 points at CSUN (Feb. 16, 2018). He sits 1,102 points for his career.
• Junior forward Jackson Rowe was third in the conference in field goal percentage (per Big West) at 58.1(136-234). Rowe averaged 12.1 points per game, third on the team behind Allman and Ahmad. He led the team and was fifth in the league in rebounding, hauling in 6.7 per contest. For the 17-18 year, he shot 41.1 percent (24-58) from beyond the arc. Rowe recorded four double-doubles during the season and was flirting with a triple-double against CSUN (Feb. 17, 2018) when he had 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He also led the team in blocked shots with 30 on the season.
LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN...AND EIGHT
Each of the three times the Titans have qualified for the NCAA Tournament it has been in seasons that end in 7-8. CSF went to the "Elite Eight" in 1977-78, played in the first round in 2007-08 as well as 2017-18. In both 2007-08 and 2017-18, CSF played UC Irvine in the Big West Tournament final and earned victories on both occasions.
2018 BIG WEST TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
The Titans won the league tournament for the third time in program history. In the quarterfinal round, the No. 4 seeded CSF defeated Long Beach State by a score of 76-74 with the Titans getting a defensive stop on the final possession to secure the win. In the semifinal matchup against No. 1 seed UC Davis, the Titans came back from a 13-point deficit in the second half to beat the Aggies 55-52. After two nail biters, CSF cruised to a 71-55 victory over UC Irvine in the final, leading for over 36 minutes of the game and played what head coach Dedrique Taylor called, the team's best game of the year. The trio of Allman, Ahmad and Rowe combined to score 145 of the 202 points CSF scored in those three games.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 AT ARIZONA STATE || 5 PM PT
Series Record: 0-2
Home Record: 0-0
Away Record: 0-2
Neutral Record: 0-0
Current Streak: L2
First Meeting: 3/18/83 at ASU, L, 83-87
Last Meeting: 11/24/03 at ASU L, 76-83
ARIZONA STATE NOTES
The Sun Devils also went 20-12 last year and were 8-12 in Pac-12 Conference action. ASU lost in the round of 68 of the NCAA Tournament to Syracuse by a score of 60-56.
ASU reached No. 3 in the Associated Press poll last year in late December, matching the best ranking in school history. It was the last undefeated team in the nation when it took to the floor until Arizona handed them their first loss on Dec. 30.
Bobby Hurley's team averaged 116.7 points per 100 possessions last year, the No. 18 mark in the country. However, the team lost their three leading scorers in Tra Holder, Shannon Evans and Kodi Justice. Sophomore Remy Martin is the reigning Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year and averaged 9.6 points, had 94 assists and was 71-of-94 (.755) from the free throw line in 23.8 minutes per game.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 VS. WEST COAST BAPTIST || 2 PM PT
Series Record: 0-0
Home Record: 0-0
Away Record: 0-0
Neutral Record: 0-0
Current Streak: N/A
First Meeting: N/A
Last Meeting: N/A
WEST COAST BAPTIST NOTES
It is the first-ever matchup between the two programs. West Coast Baptist plays in the National Christian College Athletic Association and went 3-21 in 2017-18 and are 0-1 to start this year.
SET THE TABLE
For CSF, junior guard Austen Awosika was fourth on the team in scoring last year (7.2 ppg), fourth on the team in rebounding (3.6 rpg) and led the squad in assists at 2.7 per game. He hauled in at least three rebounds in 23 of 32 games this season. He assisted on a team-high 18.3% of his teammates field goals while on the court. Awosika also had a team-high +109 plus-minus rating, meaning CSF has out-scored the opponent by 109 points this season with him on the floor. Per 40 minutes, he has a rating of +5.08.
UPDATING THE RECORD BOOKS
Last season, Allman had his name etched into the Cal State Fullerton record book after The Wooden Legacy over Thanksgiving weekend. Allman poured in a-then career-high 34 points against Georgia (Nov. 23), one of the best scoring performances in program history. He then had the fifth-best scoring performance in CSF history on Jan. 27 at Hawai'i when he scored 40 points on 16-19 shooting.
Rowe tied a 37-year old school record for the best field goal percentage in a single game, as he shot 10-10 from the field against Harvard (11/26/17) for a career-high 25 points.
Ahmad had one of the best scoring performances as well, tying Allman with 34 points of his own against Utah Valley (Dec. 9) with a career-high six threes made. He also recorded the third-best performance in program history from the free-throw line in a single game. He shot 100% from the stripe on 14 attempts at Utah Valley on Dec. 30.
ONLY TWO NEW FACES
The Titans just two newcomers to the squad this season in freshman guard Wayne Arnold and forward Amel Kuljuhovic. Arnold prepped at Dominguez High School in Compton while Kuljuhovic is a transfer from Lake Land College. Arnold is a high-level shooter while Kuljuhovic has the size to work down low but can also stretch the defense with his jump shot.
BIG WEST FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR HISTORY
Senior guard Khalil Ahmad and junior forward Jackson Rowe are two of the last three Big West Freshman of the Year honorees. Ahmad put together one of the best freshman campaigns in program history during the 2015-16 season. He holds the freshman school records in points (429), scoring average (14.3), field goals made (138) and free throws made, attempted and percentage (112-144, .778).
Rowe claimed the award in 2016-17 by scoring 10.4 points per game (No. 4 in CSF freshman history) and 7.2 rebounds per game (No. 2 in CSF freshman history). Rowe also shot 55.2 percent from the field on the year, the second-best mark in school history for freshmen.
AROUND THE WORLD
The Titans have four student-athletes on the team from outside the United States. Junior Jackson Rowe is a native of Toronto, Ontario in Canada. Senior Dominik Heinzl is from Uzov, Czech Republic, redshirt freshman Gaber Ozegovic hails from Kranj, Slovenia and sophomore Johnny Wang is a native of Beijing, China. Not only international but the Titans are spread out among the country, with student-athletes from Iowa, New York, Texas and Minneosta.
SUPPORT THE TITANS!
Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting FullertonTitans.com/Tickets. The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.
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