Exhibition or not, new Titan head coach Bob Burton has got to be excited entering his first Division I game as a head coach.
His first opponent will be Branch West Basketball Academy, a team formed by former Division I head coach Bob Gottlieb. Gottlieb now runs a recruiting service.
Branch West is made up of nine former starters from the college ranks, including Brandon Smith and Deandre Moore of San Diego State. Moore, a 5'-10" point guard, led the team in assists last year with 122 in 30 games, all of them as a starter. He also averaged 8.3 ppg and 3.7 rpg.
Smith is a 6'-7" wing player who followed Steve Fischer from Michigan to SDSU in the 2000-01 season. After sitting out a transfer year, he averaged 3.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 14.2 minutes.As a junior at Michigan, Smith averaged 7.9 points and 3.9 rebounds in 25.6 minutes. Started 10 of the 19 games he appeared in, missing the first half of the season due to a knee injury.
Other starters for Branch West include guard Steve Miles from American Univeristy, forward Aleem Muhamed from Mercer and center Chris Thompson from NW Louisiana State.
Miles averaged 16.4 ppg, 4 rpg and 34 minutes per game his senior season (2002-03). He shot 36.5% on his 3-pointers (84 for 230) and was a 82.3% free throw shooter.
Muhamed had similar statistics, though a appears to be a better shooter. In 2002-03, he averaged 15.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 31 min/gm and was 47% from 3-point distance (60 for 127).
Thompson appears to have last played in the 2000-01 season for Northwestern State which is Louisiana. If so he has grown 3 inches and played in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This Chris Thompson averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds per game for the Demons of the Southland conference.
For Cal State Fullerton, the Titans may be without the services of Babacar Camara who has missed practice due to a back injury. Bron Groomes, another front court player is out indefinitely with severe damage to his pinky finger. Hardy Asprilla, who missed practice due to an ankle sprain, is expected to play.
BWBA Exhibition Team Roster 2003
|30||Deandre Moore||Point Guard||5'-10"||San Diego State|
|43||Steve Miles||Shooting Guard||6'-2"||American University|
|40||Aleem Muhamed||Small Forward||6'-5"||Mercer University|
|54||Brandon Smith||Power Forward||6'-7"||San Diego State|
|55||Chris Thompson||Center||6'-9"||Northwest Louisiana State|
|53||Ricky White||Power Forward||6'-6"||Maine|
|35||Brian Wilson||Shooting Guard||6-2"||Holy Cross|
|50||Lewis Airline||Power Forward||6'-6"||Lamar|
|32||Mike Hornbuckle||Point Guard||6'-0"||Radford|
Head Coach: Bob Gottlieb
(former Head Coach at Jacksonville University and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee)