3-Game Homestand Begins with CSUN

Jan. 3, 2007

Fullerton, Calif. -

UPCOMING:
Thur., Jan. 4 -- vs. Cal State Northridge, Titan Gym, 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 6 -- vs. Pacific, Titan Gym, 6:05 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 13 -- vs. UC Riverside, Titan Gym, 6:05 p.m.

IN A NUTSHELL: Cal State Fullerton (10-3, 1-1) tries to extend its recent home-court success -- 6-0 this year, 10-0 going back to last season -- into Big West Conference play, where the Titans were only 2-5 in Titan Gym last season. The Titans are ranked No. 21 in the current Mid-Major Top 25 Poll conducted by College Insider.com. The Titans' 10-3 start is their best since the 1990-91 team opened 10-3 before losing its next two games.

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AUDIO: All Titan games can be heard live on the internet on computers with sound cards. Listeners may access the CSF Athletics home page at www.fullertontitans.com and follow the links. Justin Alderson will be the announcer for the Cal State Northridge and Pacific games.

VIDEO: All Titan home games and road Big West Conference games are available via videostreaming on a subscription basis. Details are available on the Big West website at www.bigwest.org.

PROBABLE STARTERS:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg r/apg Quick Notes
C 5 Justin Burns** 6-7 Sr. 12.1 6.8r Scored in double figures in each of last four games
F 2 Scott Cutley 6-5 Jr. 15.9 9.0r Averaging more rebounds than official conference leader
G 3 Bobby Brown*** 6-2 Sr. 21.1 5.1a In Big West top five in scoring, FG%, FT%, 3pt FGs & %, assists and steals
G 22 Ray Reed 5-11 Jr. 11.3 4.2a Leading Big West Conference in steals (2.77); 18 for 28 FGs last 5 games
G 0 Frank Robinson* 6-4 Jr. 11.6 5.2r Between 4 and 7 rebounds in every game this season

OFF THE BENCH:
G 54 Marcus Crenshaw 5-10 So. 11.5 2.5a 14 for 26 3-point FGs over last four games
F 21 Kenneth Alexander 6-6 Jr. 4.4 3.8r Got first start vs. Bethune-Cookman; 6 rebounds in solid 25 minutes at UCLA
F 43 Chris Minardo 6-10 So. 5.1 2.5r Had 5 points, 4 rebounds in 11 quality minutes at Pepperdine
C 42 Andrew Green 6-6 Jr. 4.7 3.4r Leads team in rebounds per minutes played
F 34 Marcus Morgan 6-5 Jr. 2.9 3.1r Started first three games; sidelined by knee problem for three games
*letters earned

SERIES HISTORIES: The Titans lead the all-time series with Cal State Northridge, 28-23, thanks to a 5-game winning streak over the past two seasons. The Titans trail in the all-time series with Pacific, 41-29, and have lost six in a row, 14 of the last 15 and 19 of the past 21. Pacific has won seven in a row in Titan Gym by an average of 5 points including one overtime game.

ABOUT THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge (6-6, 0-1) has lost five of seven since opening 4-1. The Matadors are led in scoring by Jonathan Heard (15.3 ppg) and Calvin Chitwood (14.3 ppg). Center Thomas Shewmake is the leading rebounder at 6.1 per game.

ABOUT THE TIGERS: Pacific (4-9, 1-0) snapped a 6-game losing streak to beat Cal State Northridge in its Big West Conference opener. Anthony Brown is the Tigers' leading scorer (15.2 ppg) and rebounder (7.8 rpg) while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 75 percent at the foul line. Steffan Johnson averages 11.4 ppg and C. J. Morgan is at 9.4.

ABOUT THE TITANS: The Titans are trying to post their third consecutive winning season, something that hasn't been done in Fullerton since Coach George McQuarn posted four winning records between 1981-82 and 1984-85. They got off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 1989-90 and their 10-2 start was the best since 1983-84. The Titans feature three returning "regulars" in seniors Bobby Brown at point guard and Justin Burns at center and junior guard Frank Robinson, who was the Big West Conference's "sixth-man" of the year in 2005-06. Four-year transfers Scott Cutley and Marcus Crenshaw from Kent State and Ray Reed from Georgetown have made an immediate impact along with community college transfers Kenneth Alexander and Marcus Morgan from West Valley, Andrew Green from College of the Sequoias and Chris Minardo from Citrus College. Six different players (Minardo, Reed, Crenshaw, Cutley, Brown and Burns) led or shared the lead in scoring in the first six games, but Brown has been the co-leader or leader in six of the last eight.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 58-44 in his fourth year at Cal State Fullerton and career, having coached game No. 100 vs. San Jose State on Dec. 23. At .569, Burton has the second best winning percentage of any Titans' head coach, trailing only Bobby Dye (109-78, .583). The recent 5-game winning streak matched a similar one in 2004-05 for the best of the Burton Era. He is 6-2 vs. Cal State Northridge and 0-6 vs. Pacific.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: Under Coach Bob Burton, the Titans are 31-13 (.698) in Titan Gym and have a 10-game winning streak alive including 6-0 this season.

NEW FRILLS: Not coincidental to the recent home success, a squad of cheerleaders was added to the home court ambience for last season. Along with a flag carrier and a new student band, they join the entertainment package headed by the six-time national champion dance team.

ON THE ROAD: Under Bob Burton, the Titans have made dramatic strides as a road team. In the past two seasons plus this year to date they are 24-20 away from Titan Gym. In the previous 10 seasons the combined road record was 30-115. Burton's total CSF road record is 27-31.

CHALK TALK: Assistant Coach Andy Newman will hold a free pre-game reception and "chalk talk" for the Titan Athletics Club on Saturday at 4 p.m. prior to the 6:05 p.m. game with Pacific. The location is the recreations room at University Village, across from campus on north side of Yorba Linda Blvd.

LIVING RIGHT: Twice this season the Titans have survived 3-point field goal tries by opponents at the buzzer that would have turned CSF victories into defeat. And both times it was the opponent's leading scorer -- Ross Mouton at Louisiana-Lafayette and Marvin Lea at Pepperdine -- taking the shot. Ironically, in both games, the Titans led by 18 in the first half -- 29-11 at ULaLa and 30-12 at Pepperdine.

OUT OF THE BLOCKS: With the exception of two times, the Titans have jumped out to first-half double-digit leads in every other game, to wit: 14-2 at 15:24 vs. Cal Maritime; 24-12 at 10:10 vs. Hope; 17-7 at 15:19 at Lafayette; 33-23 at 9:26 at Eastern Washington; 14-3 at 14:43 vs. UTSA; 14-4 at 15:18 at UCLA; 13-2 at 15:42 at Pepperdine; 14-2 at 15:53 vs. Bethune Cookman, 24-14 at 7:41 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette; 16-6 at 12:06 vs. San Jose State and 41-31 at 6:22 at Cal Poly. Interestingly, in the two slow starts -- at UTSA and at UCSB -- they fell behind by as many as 17 points in the first half but rallied to at least get even in the second half.

Bobby Brown: Senior point guard Bobby Brown is the focal point of the Cal State Fullerton program. An unheralded product of Westchester High School in Los Angeles, he has developed into one of the nation's finest players and an All-America candidate. He tested the NBA draft waters last summer but opted to return for his senior year. He has been nominated for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard and is on CollegeInsider.com's pre-season Mid-Major All-American team. He has made numerous pre-season All-Big West Conference teams and is projected as player of the year by many. Last year he was first-team All-Big West and second-team All-NABC District.

He needs 251 more points this season to become the Titans' all-time leading scorer, surpassing All-American, Olympic gold medalist and 6-year NBA veteran Leon Wood. At Pepperdine he passed Greg Bunch and Chris Dade to move into the No. 4 spot on the list and went to No. 3 ahead of Ike Harmon (at 1,557) during the second Louisiana-Lafayette game. Brown was selected Big West Conference player of the week after his 47-point game against Bethune-Cookman, the second highest scoring total in Big West history behind 53 by Raymond Lewis of Cal State L.A. on Feb. 23, 1973, vs. Long Beach State. The 46-year-old school record was 45 points by Jon Brettman vs. Luke Air Force Base on Dec. 12, 1960. The old school Div. I record was 38 by Richard Morton on Jan. 7, 1988, vs. UC Irvine. Eleven 3-point field goals broke the CSF mark of 10 by Ryan Dillon (Jan. 31, 2001, vs. Boise State) and tied the Big West record of Chris Brown of UC Irvine on Mar. 13, 1994, vs. New Mexico State. Brown had 12 points in first 4:07 and 17 (of team's first 19) in first 7:11.

AND MORE: Brown begins the week among the Big West leaders in every category except rebounding. He is No. 1 in assists (5.1 apg), No. 1 in 3-point field goals (3.6 per game), No. 2 in scoring (21.1), No. 2 in steals (2.0 per game), No. 2 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.55), No. 3 in minutes played (33.7 per game), No. 4 in 3-point field goal percentage (.468) and No. 5 in free-throw (.794) and field goal percentage (.532).

Frank Robinson: The junior swingman was the key Titan off the bench last year when he was selected the "sixth man" of the year in the Big West Conference. He became a starter for the final three weeks of the season and played to an all-conference level, averaging 16.6 points over the last seven games capped by a 25-point, 12-rebound effort in defeat to Long Beach State in the semifinals of the post-season tournament. Overall, he averaged 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds and was No. 3 in the conference in 3-point field goal accuracy at .445 (49 of 110). This year he scored 16 points in each of his first two games but has hit a shooting slump from long range, making only 10 of 39 3-point tries over the past 8 games. He had a career-high 7 assists vs. Bethune Cookman.

Justin Burns: Senior center has bounced back from a scoreless game vs. Bethune-Cookman to score in double figures in each of the past four games. He won Big West Conference Player of the Week honors in November when he posted a pair of double-doubles in victories at Texas-San Antonio and Louisiana-Lafayette. He had a career second-best of 21 points vs. Texas-San Antonio. With three double-doubles this season, he has moved into the Titans' career Top 12 list with 8. He begins the week No. 4 in rebounding in the Big West.

Scott Cutley: Junior forward is playing with a splint on his left hand to protect a fracture to his thumb suffered in practice prior to the Bethune-Cookman game, which he missed. With the splint he has 60 points and 35 rebounds in the last 4 games. He broke in with a bang, scoring 31 points with 11 rebounds in his Titan debut at Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 24. It was only the 62nd 30-point game by a Titan at the Div. I level. He scored the game-tying buckets in the final minute of both regulation and overtime. He leads the Big West Conference in double-doubles with four despite playing in only nine games, which leaves him shy of qualifying (75% of team's games) for the lead in scoring (would rank No. 4) and rebounding (would rank No. 1).

RAY REED: Georgetown transfer Ray Reed leads the Titans and the Big West Conference in steals (2.77 ) through the first 13 games and is No. 3 in assists (4.23). He was in double figures in scoring in each of the first five games but then went five games in single digits until a 15-point effort vs. San Jose State. He made only 1 of 11 field goals at Pepperdine but since then is 18-for-28 (.643) including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. He just missed a triple-double against Hope International when he had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. He has attempted at least one free throw in every game except at UCLA.

Marcus Crenshaw: He started the first three games and averaged 18 points. Playing considerably less minutes, he has averaged 9.6 points in the last 10 games. He is second on the team with 34 3-point field goals and ranks No. 3 in the Big West (2.62 per game). He is on pace to make 75 in a 29-game schedule which would be the third-best single-season total in CSF history. His total of 32 assists is No. 3 on the team.

CONNECTING FROM LONG DISTANCE: The Titans were on a 3-point shooting spree in their recent 5-game winning streak. They combined to make 58 of 120 tries (.483) by making double digit treys in each game topped by a school-record equalling 14 (in 28 tries) at Cal Poly on Dec. 28. But at UC Santa Barbara they made only 2 of their first 17 and finished 5 of 20.

WESTCHESTER CONNECTION: Westchester High School, one of California's most successful prep basketball programs in recent times, leaves a lot of flavor on the Titans' roster. Current players Bobby Brown, Scott Cutley and Jarrel Lake all played there while Titan Assistant Coach Marlon Morton was on the WHS staff. Last year's team had two more former Comets in Jerard Moret (who transferred to West L.A. College) and John Clemmons (eligibility expired).

ONLY ONE NEW STOP: Lafayette, Louisiana, with its Cajundome was the only stop on the Titans' basketball itinerary this year where the Titans have not previously competed. (Pending the ESPNU Bracket Buster assignmnet on Feb. 17). Conversely, three new opponents visited Titan Gym -- California Maritime, Bethune-Cookman and Louisiana-Lafayette.

SURVEY SAYS: Cal State Fullerton was a consensus third-place prediction at the annual Big West Conference Basketball Media Day on Oct. 25. Both the media and coaches polls had Fullerton behind Pacific and Long Beach State.

MID-MAJOR POLL: Cal State Fullerton is No. 21 in the current Mid-Major Poll conducted by College Insider.com.

Record Points Previous

1. Butler (30) 13-1 774 1
2. Southern Illinois (1) 10-2 689 5
3. Winthrop 10-3 689 6
4. Wichita State 9-3 662 2
5. Northern Iowa 11-2 640 8
6. Gonzaga 9-5 626 4
7. Drexel 9-2 608 7
8. Missouri State 10-3 546 3
9. Davidson 12-3 456 9
10. Marist 10-3 424 10
11. Western Kentucky 11-4 407 12
12. Creighton 7-4 379 15
13. Akron 8-3 373 14
14. Old Dominion 8-4 372 11
15. Appalachian State 11-3 333 24
16. Loyola-Chicago 9-5 262 13
17. Hofstra 8-4 246 23
18. VCU 9-3 202 16
19. Santa Clara 10-5 173 17
20. North Texas 11-3 158 21
21. Cal State Fullerton 10-3 143 18
22. San Diego 9-5 126 19
23. Bradley 10-4 124 20
24. Ohio 9-3 94 NR
25. Army 10-4 77 NR

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: UC Santa Barbara 69, Evansville 66, North Dakota State 52, Southeastern Louisiana 51, Indiana State 46, Drake 35, Sam Houston State 21, Long Beach State 19, Robert Morris 13, Liberty 12, Southern Utah 12, Oral Roberts 11, Utah Valley State 11, Belmont 9, Texas A&M Corpus Christi 9, Illinois State 8, Lipscomb 8, Holy Cross 7, Kent State 7, Portland State 6, Princeton 6, George Mason 4, Buffalo 3, UNC Greensboro 3, Albany 2, Bucknell 2.

VOTING PANEL: Mike Adras (Northern Arizona), Randy Bennett (St. Mary's), Will Brown (Albany), Dave Calloway (Monmouth), Kermit Davis (Middle Tennessee), Bruiser Flint (Drexel), James Fox (Davidson), Steve Hawkins (Western Michigan), Brad Holland (San Diego), Joe Jones (Columbia), Rob Judson (Northern Illinois), Billy Kennedy (Murray State), Tod Kowalczyk (UW-Green Bay), Jim Larranaga (George Mason), Jim Les (Bradley), Mike Lonergan (Vermont), Bob Marlin (Sam Houston State), Gregg Marshall (Winthrop), Steve Merfeld (Evansville), Porter Moser (Illinois State), Jimmy Patsos (Loyola MD), Tom Pecora (Hofstra), Vann Pettaway (Alabama A&M), Larry Reynolds (Long Beach State), Sam Scuilli (Santa Clara), John Shulman (Chattanooga), Mark Slonaker (Mercer), Scott Sutton (Oral Roberts), Bob Thomason (Pacific), James Wilhelmi (Howard), Ralph Willard (Holy Cross).

NOTE: The Mid-Major Poll is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Sun Belt, West Coast.

Loyola (MD) head coach Jimmy Patsos is the chairman of the Top 25 voting panel for the 2006-07 season.

The CollegeInsider.Com Mid-Major Top 25 is now in its eighth season of existence.