- 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: Long Beach State's (22-7, 15-0) perfect Big West Conference record and Cal State Fullerton's (20-8, 11-4) perfect HOME Big West record (7-0) collide Saturday afternoon in what is expected to be a full Titan Gym. The Titans haven't gone unbeaten at home in conference play since 1982-83. Their overall home mark is 12-1, second in CSF's Div. I history (since 1975) only to the 13-0 overall mark of Leon Wood's 1982-83 squad, which included a win over No. 1-ranked UNLV in that accomplishment. In addition to a chance to spoil rival Long Beach State's accomplishment, the Titans are battling UC Santa Barbara for second place. The Gauchos host eighth-place UC Davis.
TOURNEY SEEDING: Fullerton most likely will need to upset the 49ers to earn the No. 2 seed in the post-season tourney. UCSB and CSF split head-to-head. UCSB swept Cal Poly, the current fourth-place team, while the Titans managed only a split. UCSB split with UC Riverside, which CSF swept. Fullerton also lost one game to UC Davis, UCSB's Saturday night foe.
20-WIN SEASON: Fullerton has posted its sixth winning season in the 9-year Bob Burton Era and the sixth in the last 19 seasons. Fullerton has won 20 games in a season for only the seventh time in school history (52nd season), the fourth time by Burton teams. This, after a 20-loss season in 2010-11 (11-20 record). Previous 20-win seasons: 24-7 in 1961-62; 23-9 in 1977-78; 21-8 in 1982-83; 21-11 in 2004-05 20-10 in 2006-07; and 24-9 in 2007-08.
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 the Long Beach and Big West Tourney games.
VIDEO: Ron Pitts, Michael Cage and Crystina Poncher are the talent for FS West's telecast of Saturday's game. All other non-televised 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. 15.8 3.9a Transfer from USF; scored only 2 points (2-of-2 FTs) in first Long Beach game
- G 13 Isiah Umipig* 6-1 So. 13.8 2.8r Leads Big West in 3-point baskets per game at 2.78 per game
- G 11 D. J. Seeley 6-4 Jr. 16.6 5.5r Transfer from Cal; 5-for-22 at arc last five games, dropping from .465 to .426
- F 15 Orane Chin** 6-7 Sr. 9.9 4.8r Transfer from South Florida; 52-for-89 FGs (.584) over last 12 games
- F 21 Omondi Amoke 6-7 Sr. 11.4 8.6r Transfer from Cal; 16 points, 5 rebounds in first half at Long Beach
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. 3.6 3.1a Season-high 12 points at UC Davis Saturday; 13-for-19 treys over last 9 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. 1.2 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 6 games averaging 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds
G 44 Jordan Knox 6-0 Jr. 0.0 0.6r Transfer from Las Positas JC in Livermore, Calif.
HOW YOU SAY IT: OHR-uhn Chin • igh-ZAY-uh YOO-muh-pig • kwah-MAY Vaughn • oh-MAHN-dee ah-MOHK-ee
LAST GAME: A late 10-2 run between 7:22 and 3:57 remaining on the clock created a 78-66 lead and allowed the Titans to pull away to an 87-76 home win over Cal State Northridge on Wednesday. After a see-saw first half, the Titans led the entire second half but never by more than seven points until the decisive spurt, capped by Kwame Vaughn's fifth 3-pointer of the game.
THE COACH: Bob Burton is 154-120 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 .562 trails only Bobby Dye (.583, 109-78). This will be his fifth season at Fullerton finishing in the top three spots in the standings -- 3rdT in 2004-05; 2ndT in 2006-07; 1stT in 2008-08; and 3rdT in 2009-10.
FRIENDLY CONFINES: At 12-1 this season, the Titans are now 81-35 (.698) under Bob Burton in Titan Gym -- 40-5 (.889) in non-conference games and 41-30 (.577) in Big West games. Fullerton's all-time Div. I Titan Gym record is 306-168 (.646). 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 including a win over No. 1-ranked UNLV. The current squad is 7-0 with Long Beach to go. Coach Burton's best home Big West record was 7-2 in 2004-05. Even with a loss to Long Beach, the Titans will have matched their third best overall home winning percentage of the Div. I Era (since 1975). The 1982-83 team went 13-0 and the 1975-76 team went 9-1. Burton's 2006-07 team went 12-2.
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 49ers are trying to run the Big West table. The last team to do it was Pacific in 2004-05. A senior-dominated roster (7) is led by reigning Big West Player of the Year Casper Ware, who seems a lock to repeat.
SERIES HISTORY: The 49ers lead it, 60-42, but are only 16-23 in Titan Gym. Long Beach has won the last two meetings after a 3-game Titan win streak. Coach Burton is 6-3 against Dan Monson 49er teams, 3-1 in Titan Gym.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Long Beach prevailed on Jan. 28 at The Pyramid, 75-61, before a record crowd. It was a 1-point game (60-59, 49ers) at 4:13 after a Umipig trey. But the 49ers scored the next 12 points. Omondi Amoke had 20 points and 7 rebounds for CSF while Kwame Vaughn, who would score 37 points a week later vs. UCSB, was held to 2 free throws. James Ennis led the 49ers late and finished with 19 points. Long Beach was 14 of 25 at the foul line, Fullerton was 4 of 4.
HALFTIME INDICATORS: Fullerton is 14-0 when leading at the half, 6-7 when trailing and 0-1 when tied. The Titans have outscored the opposition by 90 points (38.0 to 34.8) in the first half and by 134 points (40.6 to 35.9) 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 but Chin (9.9 ppg) are averaging in double figures led by Seeley and Vaughn, at 16.6 and 15.8 ppg, respectively. Each of the five has been the team's game leader or co-leader in scoring at least three times (Seeley 10, Vaughn 8, Umipig 7, Amoke 4 and Chin 3).
3-POINT SLUMP: Lately, the Titans are shooting more 3-pointers and making less of them. In the last 3 games they are 29-for-91 (.264), dropping the season's percentage from .428 (2nd in the nation) to the current .411. They've shot at least 30 in each of the last three games while the most they attempted in any of the first 25 games was 27.
At .411, 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.
SCORING TRIO: Last-season redshirts Seeley, Amoke and Vaughn have combined for 1,216 or 55 percent of Fullerton's 2,202 points so far this season. Isiah Umipig (386) has scored 18 percent to leave the remaining 27 percent spread among 10 players.
AMONG THE BIG WEST: Through games of Feb. 29, 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 (6th)
- 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
- and the Titans had three of the top 9 scorers in Seeley (4th), Vaughn (5th) and Umipig (9th).
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Thru games of Mar. 1, Fullerton ranked 5th in 3-point FG percentage at .412 (Northern Colorado No. 1 at .444); and 13th in FG percentage at .485 (Creighton at .508); 3's made at 8.7 per game (Florida at 10.0); and in scoring at 78.6 ppg (Iona at 83.4). Webster ranked No. 20 in assist/turnover ratio at 2.53.
REBOUNDING EDGE: Fullerton has outrebounded its opponents by an average of 5.5 per game despite a lack of great size but is only +2.1 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.
AMOKE: Omondi Amoke hurt his ankle in the Cal Poly game (missed the UCI game) and has been ill the last few weeks, resulting in some inconsistent numbers. He had 18 points and 14 rebounds at UCR but only 5 points and 0 rebounds vs. Montana State. He had 1 rebound at UC Davis but 12 vs. CSUN on Wednesday. In the first Long Beach game, he had 16 of Fullerton's 32 first-half points plus 5 rebounds.
CHIN: Orane Chin had his first sub-par game of February vs. CSUN on Wednesday with 6 points and 0 rebounds before fouling out after 29 minutes. He had averaged 14.2 points over the previous 6 games while making 34 of 55 field goals (.618) including 9-of-18 threes. The third-year player leads the current Titans in career scoring with 886 points and 423 rebounds.
MARTIN: Sedric Martin has scored 53 points all season. He got 27 of them in 2 games vs. UCI (14) and UCR (13). He has 12 of his 32 rebounds in those 2 games.
SEELEY: D. J. Seeley is averaging 20.3 points and 8.3 rebounds over the last 3 games despite making only 5-for-19 (.263) behind the arc. He's only 5-for-22 (.227) from the 3-point line over the last 5 games. In the previous 7 games he was 24-for-34 (.706). The slump has dropped his season's percentage from .465 to .426. He has fallen behind the Titan single-season record of .443 by Don Leary (89 of 201) in 1992-93. Perry Webster (.500) and Orane Chin (.439) have better marks but slightly less than 1 make per game.
UMIPIG: Isiah "Zeke" Umipig's .860 free-throw percentage leads the team and would top the Big West but at 49-of-57 he is 7 makes shy of the qualifying minimum. He has made 2 or more 3-pointers in each of the last five games and nine of the last 10.
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. After his 37-point game, Vaughn tallied 24 vs. UCI but then averaged only 9.3 points over the next 4 games before erupting for another 24 vs. CSU Northridge on Wednesday.
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 2.51 to 1 (88 assists, 35 turnovers). He had his season high of 12 points at UC Davis last Satrday and had 6 vs. CSUN.
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.