The Titans (10-4, 2-1) face Cal Poly-SLO (9-6, 0-2). Tip-off is Saturday, 7:00 PM at Mott Gym in San Luis Obispo.
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Cal Poly-SLO Mustangs Scouting Report
- Notable wins include USC (by 6) and Fresno State (by 19), both on the road. They have also beaten Morgan State, Miss. Valley, San Jose State twice, Sac State, Hope, Menlo College
- Close losses include UCSB (1) at home and CSULB (5) on the road. Both games they really should have won.
- Like UCSB, they have a lot of seniors (six see regular playing time). SLO has an 11 man rotation with 10 averaging 10 minutes or more per game.
- SLO has 3 players averaging 10+ points a game, all seniors. 6-5 power forward David Hanson (11), 6-3 point guard Amaurys Fermin (10.6) and 6-7 center Will Taylor. Taylor is the leading rebounder with 8.1 boards, followed by Hanson at 5.1 rpg.
- Both Taylor (academics) and Fermin (ACL) had to sit out last season as redshirts.
- SLO has three very physical post players in Taylor, Hanson and 6-8 senior center Will Donahue, last year's starting center.
- Starting 6-5 junior small forward Drake U'u (7.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg) has improved tremendously over last year. He plays very well on both sides of the floor.
- Rounding out the starting five is 6-1 junior Dylan Royer (7.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg) who is by far the Mustangs best three-point shooter, hitting 32 of 61 (52%). No one else is shooting better than 36%. Hanson has taken the most three-pointers (75) but has only made 21 for 26%.
- Despite being 7th in the conference in 3-point FG%, SLO will still launch it when open. They average 32% from that distance but only give up 30%.
- Last year's FOY 6-2 sophomore Maliik Love (1.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg) seems to have been passed up by 6-0 sophomore point man Jamal Johnson (2.8 ppg, 0.7 rpg). Both get similar minutes and play great defense but Johnson is more of a 3-point threat. There are also plenty of others who might step up as SLO plays a lot of people.
- Head coach Joe Callero is also expecting big things from shooting guard Kyle Odister, a 6-0 redshirt sophomore who averaged 7.8 points per game and made 45.5 percent of his three-pointers as a freshman in 2009-10. He has been slow to recover from a broken ankle last year and is only averaging 4 minutes a game but he is due for a breakout game shooting the ball.
- Vegas: Mustangs by 7 with a score of 66-59 (o/u 124½).
Keys to game
- Just another very tough match up for the Titans. A slow, methodical, big, physical team who is in a must-win situation at home against a team coming off a physical beat down against UCSB.
- The biggest key for the Titans is they need to make adjustments. Our post players will need to look for the passing lanes instead of trying to challenge their bigs. Cal Poly will let the shot clock roll down and then pound it inside. We can not allow the easy baskets inside which means our 'bigs' will likely be in foul trouble. Shots can not go uncontested.
- Cal Poly SLO is best in the league at not turning the ball over so don't think a press would help in this game, and it's not like we would be able to do it anyway with our current limited rotation. Our best bet is to take lots gambles early in the possession and then, once the clock is down to 15, get in lock-down mode and prepare for a battle.
- Hope Cal Poly SLO continues to shoot poorly from outside (<30%) while we light it up from downtown (>40%). Assuming we continue to not use our bench, which means Amoke, Chin and Hardy will feel the need to avoid foul trouble, we are going to have to double their post players and give up the open three.
- Keep game close. If SLO gets a lead of 10 or more, game over.
- Need to be prepared mentally. This game will be won with great defense.
- "We take great pride in making the game ugly, because the result is a win," Cal Poly coach Joe Callero said. "The players bought into it and our fan base bought into it -- they were hungry for success. & As a matter of fact, there's a bit of pride about how ugly we can make it and how it's going to bother you but it doesn't bother us."
- "We're always a pain to go against. When we play conservative, compact, persistent defense and that real patient, methodical offense, the game gets very boring and you get so few possessions that when you finally get one, you have a birthday party and you blow it."