The Titans (10-5, 2-2) face Bakersfield (9-9) in a non-conference game. Tip-off is Saturday, 7:00 PM at the Icardo Center in Bakersfield.
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Bakersfield Scouting Report
- On two-game streak with wins over New Jersey Tech and Texas-Pan American, both at home. Notable wins include the Titans at Titan Gym by the score of 73-66. Have also beaten CPSLO by 2 on the road as well as CSUN (by 7 on the road) and UOP (by 30 at home).
- Recent losses include Colorado on the road (by 6), New Mexico State (by 1) and UNLV (by 42).
- New coach and completely revamped team
- Rod Barnes is the 2001 'Naismith Coach of the Year' at Ole Miss who guided the Rebels ('98-'06) to three NCAA Tournament appearances in his first four seasons
- Fired from Ole Miss and then coached at Georgia State where he was fired after four seasons
- Half the team consists of newcomers
- Leading scorer is newcomer Issiah Grayson (11.2), JC transfer PG who also played for VCU
- Return last year's leading scorer Stephon Carter (10.2), a 6-3 guard
- Newcomer Tyrone White (6-7) gives them size at the three
- Top 5 scorers all shoot the three, athletic team, but they really are not very good (comparable to lower-half Big West teams).
- Leading rebounder is 6-6, 220 lb forward Rashad Savage at 6.1 rpg.
- Have a 6-10, 285 pound center in Andre Jackson (hopefully Amoke will not be covering again). Jackson dominated the Titans inside with 15 points, 6 rebounds in 19 minutes. Jackson (4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg) hasn't done much against other teams as he has only played in 13 games and averages only 8.4 minutes and
- Roadrunners go deep into their bench, playing 11 or 12 regularly.
- Bench averages 30+ points a game, led by 6-8 PF Donald Johnson (8.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg), 6-3 guard Zach Lamb (7.6 ppg, 1.5 apg) and 6-7, 240 lb PF Mo Hughley (4.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg). Hughley has had 14 points and 4 rebounds in each of the last two games.
- Not a good free-throw shooting team, especially Carter (62%), Savage (58%), Hughley (56%), Robert Hayes (59%) and Jackson (45%).
Keys to the Game
- This is a perfect exhibition game for Cal State Fullerton as Bakersfield possesses exactly what has been the Titans weakness during the last four Big West games: physical play and inside domination.
- Even if center Jackson doesn't play a lot, Bakersfield will try to do exactly what they did last game by pounding it inside and getting open looks from behind the arc. The key is how the Titans counter this. Do they press more, thereby needing to go to their bench. Will they expend more energy on half-court defense, thereby needing to go to their bench? Or do they continue to try to avoid foul trouble, giving up easy baskets and hope that their potent offense can out-shoot Bakersfield, something that really hasn't worked well all season long?
- For starters, what worked with some success against Cal Poly SLO was to press and also play more of their bench. Omondi Amoke, Orane Chin and Andre Hardy need help inside or they simply need to play more physical, a foul-risk the Titans so desperately need.
- In an ideal fan-world, John Underwood plays for five fouls (remember, Bakersfield is poor at the line) and the Titans go 8 or 9 deep so that the starters can press and make this a game that's too their advantage. Get this game into the high 80's and the Titans should win by 10.