January 15, 2009

Titan Men Finally Home to Host UC Davis

Jan. 15, 2009

Fullerton, Calif. -

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


UPCOMING:
Thur., Jan. 15 -- UC Davis, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 17 -- Pacific, Titan Gym (4,000), 8:05 p.m. -- ESPN2 TV
Wed., Jan. 21 -- at Cal State Northridge, The Matadome (1,600), 7:05 p.m.

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (8-8, 2-2) play only their sixth home game (4-1 to date) of the season Thursday night, hosting an improved UC Davis (6-10, 1-2) team before hosting Pacific in an ESPN2 telecast on Saturday. Fullerton is riding the momentum of a 2-game win streak -- a pair of 4-point road wins at Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara -- that saw Josh Akognon's scoring figures return to normal after a 2-game slide.

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. Mike Martinez will call the Davis game.

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
G 1 Josh Akognon* 6-1 Sr. 24.0 3.3r Averaged 27.5 points last week to earn third Big West Player of Week Award
G 22 Jacques Streeter 6-0 Fr. 10.6 4.1a Last 5 games averaging 16.6 points, making 16 of 29 3-pointers
F 42 Papa Guisse 6-8 Jr. 4.4 5.3r Second in Big West with 1.75 blocked shots per game
F 24 Gerard Anderson 6-6 Jr. 10.0 6.3r Missed almost two full games with ankle injury in first minute vs. CMU
G 0 Aaron Thompson 6-4 Jr. 8.7 3.9r Averaging 10.5 points in Big West games, two as a starter
OFF THE BENCH:
G 11 Marcio Lassiter* 6-2 Sr. 9.4 2.6r Nice road trip off bench with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 turnovers
F 43 Ray Miller 6-8 Jr. 4.5 3.3r Leads team with .638 field-goal percentage; blocked 3 shots vs. UCI
F 21 Chris Rhymes 6-4 Jr. 4.3 1.8r Scored 10 pts. in first half vs. Charlotte on 4-for-4 shooting; 2 of 2 3's at SLO
G 14 Ameer Shamsud-din 6-2 Fr. 0.9 1.2a Scored first points on Mainland with deuce vs. CSU Bakersfield
C 55 Adam Thomas 7-2 Jr. 1.0 0.8r 4 points on 2-for-2 shooting at Montana State
F 5 Regan Andersen 6-7 Jr. 1.3 1.5r Well-traveled Milwaukee native; walk-on transfer from Oxnard College
G 44 Kwasi Mensah 6-3 Fr. 0.0 0.0a Walk-on from Rancho Cucamonga HS
*letters earned
EASY FOR ME TO SAY: Josh ah-KOY-uhn &\#149; POP gee-SAY &\#149; Ameer shahm-suh-DEEN &\#149; zyah-KEESE Streeter &\#149; KWAH-zee Mensah &\#149; REE-guhn Andersen

SERIES HISTORY: The Titans are 8-1 all-time vs. Davis including 7-1 in the Bob Burton Era and 4-0 in Titan Gym. The lone Aggies' win came on March 3, 2007, at Davis, 77-68, in the regular season finale.

ABOUT THE AGGIES: A veteran lineup was bolstered by the notable addition of Notre Dame transfer Joe Harden, a 6-foot-8 guard who leads the team in scoring at 15.0 ppg and rebund at 7.4 rpg. Senior guard Vince Oliver averages 13.0 points and Mark Payne, last year's Big Wes freshman of the year, averages 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists. The Aggies shoot 82 percent from the free-throw line.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 100-68 in his sixth year at Cal State Fullerton and career. At .595, Burton is the winningest coach in Titan history. Alex Omalev, who passed away on Nov. 10 at the age of 88, has the most total victories (139-176) followed by George McQuarn (122-117). Bobby Dye is second in winning percentage at .583 (109-78). Burton is 7-1 vs. UC Davis and Coach Gary Stewart, 4-0 in Titan Gym.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: Under Bob Burton, the Titans are 52-19 (.732) in Historic Titan Gym including 4-1 this season. Fullerton's all-time Div. I Titan Gym record is 277-153 (.644). Fullerton also is 1-8 in regular season home games at the Anaheim Convention Center.

NERVOUS TIME: Fullerton's last three games have gone down to the last possession of regulation. The Titans missed a couple of shots at the regulation buzzer at UC Irvine, survived two misses in the final nine seconds at Cal Poly and created a turnover with nine seconds left at UCSB. Marcio Lassiter clinched each win with a pair of free throws -- with 0.2 seconds at Cal Poly and 4.1 seconds at UCSB.

SLOW STARTS: After a series of non-conference games with very poor starts to the second half, the Titans are now struggling after the opening tip-off in Big West play... At both Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, the Titans fell behind, 9-0, to start the game... And at home vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 29, they found themselves in a 10-0 hole... At UCI they got off to an early 6-2 lead but then fell behind, 15-10.

NOTEWORTHY TRIP: Fullerton's sweep of the Central Coast trip to SLO and Santa Barbara was only its second in the 13 years Cal Poly has been in the Big West. There also have been eight splits and three 0-2's. And the 62-58 win at UCSB was noteworthy since it was the lowest scoring victory in the Bob Burton Era as well as Fullerton's first this season after trailing at the half (now 1-6).

LOSING BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: Not surprisingly, given the heights on the roster and the quality of the competition, rebounding has been a problem for the Titans in 2008-09, particularly at the defensive end... Although outrebounded by only about 4.7 per game, the Titans have had some glaring disparities and have given up 15.3 offensive rebounds per game... Three of the four worst rebounding disparities of the Bob Burton Era have occurred this season -- minus 29 (56 vs. 27) at LSU, minus 22 (54 vs. 32) vs. Saint Mary's and minus 18 (37 vs. 19) in a win at home over Montana State... the other game in that neighborhood was minus 23 (50 vs. 27) vs. Wisconsin in last year's NCAA Tournament... Saint Mary's grabbed 26 offensive rebounds and both LSU and Central Michigan got 20... only one other team (Cal State Northridge with 21 on Feb. 10, 2007) has collected 20 or more offensive rebounds against a Burton team at CSF.

BIG WEST LEADERS thru Jan. 11: At the midway points of the regular season, the Titans are a team hard to pigeonhole, at least statistically. They are in the middle of the pack in most Big West Conference team categories. They lead only in scoring offense (75.9 ppg) and 3-point field goals per game and are last only in scoring defense (75.1 ppg). They are next to last in rebounding margin yet lead in blocked shots. Individually, Josh Akognon dominates the scoring stats, leading in points per game, 3-point field goals per game, free-throw percentage and minutes played. Jacques Streeter is second in 3-point field goal percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio and third in assists; Gerard Anderson is second in steals and Papa Guisse is second in blocked shots.