February 28, 2012

Titans Risk Home Mark

Feb. 28, 2012

Fullerton, Calif. -

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UPCOMING:
Wed., Feb. 29 -- Cal State Northridge, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 3 -- Long Beach State, Titan Gym (4,000), 4:05 p.m. - FS West TV
Thur., Mar. 8 -- at Big West Conference Tournament, Honda Center, tba

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (19-8, 10-4) host Cal State Northridge (7-20, 3-12) and Long Beach State (21-7, 14-0) in the final week of the regular season. They are locked into either second or third place in the Big West Conference standings but have several things to play for: only the fifth Div. I season with a conference finish as high as second place; only the seventh 20-win season in program history; a season sweep of CSUN, which has a 4-game winning streak in Titan Gym; an unbeaten home conference record and possibly a chance to ruin the perfect Big West season of rival Long Beach.

WINNING SEASON: Fullerton has clinched its sixth winning season in the 9-yeear Bob Burton Era and the sixth in the last 19 seasons. Fullerton has won 19 games in a season for only the eighth time in school history (52nd season), the fourth time by Burton teams.

AUDIO: Most Titan games can be heard live on the internet. Listeners may access the CSF Athletics home page at www.fullertontitans.com and follow the links. Mike Martinez and Kevin Barbarino will call this week's games.

VIDEO: All Big West games can be viewed on computers via BigWest subscription TV.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg a/rpg Quick Notes
G 5 Kwame Vaughn 6-3 Jr. 15.4 3.9a Transfer from USF; BWC player of last week after 37-point game vs. UCSB
G 13 Isiah Umipig* 6-1 So. 13.9 2.7r Leads Big West in 3-point baskets per game at 2.78 per game
G 11 D. J. Seeley 6-4 Jr. 16.3 5.4r Transfer from Cal; 3-for-15 at arc last two weeks, dropping from .465 to .434
F 15 Orane Chin** 6-7 Sr. 10.1 5.0r Transfer from South Florida; 50-for-82 FGs (.610) over last 11 games
F 21 Omondi Amoke 6-7 Sr. 11.6 8.5r Transfer from Cal; only 1 rebound but 6 blocked shots at UC Davis
OFF THE BENCH:
F 0 Andre Hardy* 6-6 Sr. 4.9 4.5r Transfer from ORU; has missed last 8 games due to family issues; in classes
G 3 Perry Webster* 6-1 Sr. 3.5 3.2a Season-high 12 points at UC Davis Saturday; 11-for-16 treys over last 8 games
G 10 Cameron Glover 6-0 Jr. 1.0 0.7r Transfer from Mt. San Jacinto JC
C 12 John Underwood 6-9 Jr. 1.1 1.5r Transfer from Missouri has started 3 games
G 14 Orlando Brown* 6-2 Sr. 2.0 1.1r Hit clutch trey to stop 7-0 UCI run in second half on Jan. 21
C 24 Bernard Webb 6-9 Jr. 2.0 0.6r Transfer from Salt Lake City CC played in only 7 games due to a broken foot
G 32 Chris Collins 6-4 RFr. 1.7 1.0r Sat out true freshman season last year
C 33 Sedric Martin* 6-6 Sr. 2.8 1.7r Last 5 games averaging 7.2 points and 3.6 rebounds
G 44 Jordan Knox 6-0 Jr. 0.0 0.6r Transfer from Las Positas JC in Livermore, Calif. *letters earned

HOW YOU SAY IT: OHR-uhn Chin &\#149; igh-ZAY-uh YOO-muh-pig &\#149; kwah-MAY Vaughn &\#149; oh-MAHN-dee ah-MOHK-ee

LAST GAMES: The Titans played a pair of similar games last week at Pacific and UC Davis. They led for only 13 seconds, fortunately the final 13 in Stockton, where Isiah Umipig hit a 3-pointer for a 69-68 win. At Davis, Umipig's attempt at a tying 3-pointer with 11 seconds left was blocked by Big West Player of the Week Josh Ritchart. The Titans lost, 78-75, snapping a 6-game win streak.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 153-120 in his ninth season at Cal State Fullerton and career. He has passed Alex Omalev (139-176 in 12 years) for the most CSF wins all-time. Burton's winning percentage of .560 trails only Bobby Dye (.583, 109-78).

FRIENDLY CONFINES: At 11-1 this season, the Titans are now 80-35 (.696) under Bob Burton in Titan Gym -- 40-5 (.889) in non-conference games and 40-30 (.571) in Big West games. Fullerton's all-time Div. I Titan Gym record is 305-168 (.645). Fullerton also is 1-8 in regular season home games at the Anaheim Convention Center. Fullerton has won 37 of its last 40 home non-conference games with the exceptions an 84-80 loss to Wright State on Dec. 22, 2007, a 71-57 loss to Montana on Dec. 22, 2010, and Nov. 26 of this season vs. Bakersfield.

WINNING AT HOME: Fullerton has not gone unbeaten at home in conference play since the 1982-83 team went 8-0. The current squad is 6-0 with Northridge and Long Beach to go. Coach Burton's best home Big West record is 7-2 in 2004-05. The 2006-07 and 2007-08 teams both went 6-2.

ON THE ROAD: The Titans are a game over .500 on the road this season at 8-7. From the 2004-05 through 2009-10 seasons, Coach Burton's second thru seventh years, the Titans were 57-51 (.528) on the road. But last year they were only 4-15 away from Titan Gym. Coach Burton's current total (including 13-19 on neutral floors) is 73-85 (.462). By comparison, for the nine seasons (1994-95 thru 2002-03) prior to Burton's arrival, the combined road record was 27-104 (.206).

ABOUT THE OPPONENT: The Matadors have lost three in a row and seven of their last eight but they have a 4-year winning streak in Titan Gym. CSUN shoots only 38 percent from the floor and 31 percent at the 3-point line yet leads the Big West in free-throw percent at .755. Redshirt Stephan Hicks has had a huge debut season, leading the team in scoring (15.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg). Joshh Greene averages 12.1 points and 2.9 assists.

SERIES HISTORY: The homecourt advantage doesn't exist in this series that dates to Div. II days in the CCAA and is led by Fullerton, 36-29. Since the 1989-90 season, Fullerton is 9-4 in Northridge and Northridge is 6-7 in Fullerton including wins in the last four visits.

HALFTIME INDICATORS: Fullerton is 13-0 when leading at the half, 6-7 when trailing and 0-1 when tied. The Titans have outscored the opposition by 105 points (38.7 to 34.5) in the first half and by 110 points (40.2 to 35.8) in the second half.

BALANCED, EXPLOSIVE STARTING FIVE: The Titans have used the same starting lineup -- Chin, Amoke, Seeley, Vaughn & Umipig -- in every game but three. All are averaging in double figures led by Seeley and Vaughn, at 16.3 and 15.4 ppg, respectively. Each of the five has been the team's game leader or co-leader in scoring at least three times (Seeley 9, Vaughn 8, Umipig 7, Amoke 4 and Chin 3).

SCORING TRIO: Last-season redshirts Seeley, Amoke and Vaughn have combined for 1,159 or 55 percent of Fullerton's 2,115 points so far this season. Isiah Umipig (340) has scored 18 percent to leave the remaining 27 percent spread among 10 players.

AMOKE: Omondi Amoke hurt his ankle in the Cal Poly game but played on it -- and well with 12 points and 8 rebounds -- vs. UCSB but couldn't go against UCI, a team he dropped career highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds on in the first meeting. He came back at UCR with his seventh double-double (18 pts. and 14 rebs) but then had 5 points and no rebounds while fouling out in 12 minutes vs. Montana State. He then had 11 rebounds at Pacific but only 1 in 28 minutes at UC Davis.

CHIN: Orane Chin has averaged 14.2 points over the last 6 games while making 34 of 55 field goals (.618) including 9-of-18 threes. Over the last 11 games he is 50-for-82 (.610) including 12-for-26 (.462) treys. The third-year player leads the current Titans in career scoring with 880 points and 423 rebounds.

MARTIN: Sedric Martin has scored 51 points all season. He got 27 of them in 2 games vs. UCI (14) and UCR (13). He has 12 of his 30 rebounds in those 2 games.

SEELEY: D. J. Seeley is only 3-for-15 from the 3-point line over the last 4 games, dropping his season's percentage to .434. He has fallen behind the Titan single-season record of .443 by Don Leary (89 of 201) in 1992-93. Perry Webster (.488) and Orane Chin (.463) have better marks but less than 1 make per game. At .414, the team is unlikely to top the school record of .436 by the 1984-85 squad, which made 44 of 101 attempts in the early days of the rule. But it's well ahead of the best performance by a Bob Burton Era team -- .385 (285 of 741) by the 2007-08 NCAA Tournament team.

UMIPIG: Isiah "Zeke" Umipig's .855 free-throw percentage leads the team and would top the Big West but at 47-of-55 he is 7 makes shy of the qualifying minimum.

VAUGHN: Kwame Vaughn's 37-point game vs. UCSB is surpassed only by the following in Titan Div. I history: 47 points by Bobby Brown vs. Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 16, 2006; 41 by Josh Akognon twice; and 38 by Richard Morton. Akognon also had a 37-point game.

WEBSTER: Perry Webster led the Big West last year in assists-to-turnover ratio at 2.67 to 1 and he's not far off that pace this season at 2.53 to 1 (86 assists, 34 turnovers). He is coming off his season high of 12 points at UC Davis.

AMONG THE BIG WEST: Through games of Feb. 25, Fullerton was among the Big West Conference leaders in:
-- scoring (1st)
-- FG percentage (1st)
-- 3ptFG percentage (1st)
-- rebounding margin (1st)
-- 3pt FGs made (1st)
-- scoring margin (2nd)
-- assists (2nd)
but near the bottom in:
-- turnover margin (7th)
-- assist/turnover ratio (7th)

Individually:
-- Vaughn was 1st in assists
-- Umipig was 1st in 3ptFGs made
-- Webster was 1st in assist/turnover ratio
-- Amoke was 2nd in FG percentage
-- Vaughn was 1st in FT percentage
-- Amoke was 2nd in rebounding
-- Amoke was 2nd in double-doubles
-- Seeley was 3rd in steals
-- Seeley was 3rd in 3pt FG percentage
-- and the Titans had three of the top 9 scorers in Seeley (4th), Vaughn (5th) and Umipig (9th).

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Thru games of Feb. 26, Fullerton ranked 5th in 3-point FG percentage at .414 (Northern Colorado No. 1 at .450); 14th in FG percentage at .486 (Creighton at .508) and 3's made at 8.6 per game (Florida at 10.1); and 17th in scoring at 78.3 ppg (Iona at 83.4). Webster ranked No. 19 in assist/turnover ratio at 2.53.

COIN DRIVE: The nine campuses of the Big West Conference are conducting their fifth annual Coin Drive during February to benefit local charities. Last year Fullerton fans contributed \$306.10 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Pacific won the competition with \$2,512.07 for the St. Josephs Foundation for Breast Cancer Services.

REBOUNDING EDGE: Fullerton has outrebounded its opponents by an average of 5.9 per game despite a lack of great size but is only +2.6 in Big West play. The school record for rebounding margin is + 6.1 by the 2003-04 team. The next best is plus 5.1 by the 1978-79 squad.

DIVISION I TRANSFERS: Omondi Amoke, D. J. Seeley, John Underwood and Kwame Vaughn have brought the number of Div. I transfers to play for Coach Bob Burton to 15. Teammates Orane Chin and Andre Hardy preceded them. Two others (Sean Williams, Syracuse, academics; and Lloyd Walls, Wright State, injury) redshirted but never actually played. In Fullerton's Div. I history, they bring the total to 38. In the same time frame (1975 to present), only six players have left for other Div. I programs and only one (Jacques Streeter to UTEP) in the Burton era. Currently waiting in the wings are Sammy Yeager from TCU, Alex Harris from Northeastern and late arrival Darius Nelson from UTEP.

ANOTHER DIV. I TRANSFER: Forward Darius Nelson has walked on the Titan roster after completing Fall classes at UTEP and will be eligible for the Titans at the end of the Fall 2012 semester. He was one of the highest scoring players in northern California history for Sheldon High School in Sacramento County. His brother DeMarcus played four seasons at Duke and later with the Golden State Warriors.

NOVEMBER SIGNEES: The Titans have signed three incoming players for 2012-13. Forwards Marquis Horne of Salt Lake City Community College and center James "Deuce" Johnson of Central Wyoming College both began their careers at the Div. I level. Horne, 6-foot-6, began his career at Ohio University but never played while Johnson, 6-foot-7, played his freshman year at Louisiana Tech. Horne and Johnson will have two seasons of eligibility while 6-foot-4 prep school guard Jared Brandon of Maine Central Institute, who led Canyon Springs High School of North Las Vegas to the Nevada state championship in 2011, will have four.