2003-04 Basketball Preview: Small Forwards

This is not your ordinary preview. The publisher of TitanCentral.com and two of the most passionate, insightful posters (Throwback and Rufus) on the TitanCentral.com message boards preview the 2003-04 season.

Small Forwards
Bolton
Anthony Bolton
King
Yahphett King
Lambert
Danny Lambert

Previews: Whit Haydon (Throwback) | Mike Welton (Rufus) | Paul Causey

Whit Haydon, aka Throwback

Anthony Bolton's emergence last year was a key factor in a successful late-season surge that saw Fullerton playing its best basketball in what seemed like a century.

 2003-04 Preview

Monday: Introduction
  Point Guards
Tuesday: Shooting Guards
Wednesday: Small Forwards
  Power Forwards
Thursday: Centers
  Season Outlook
Friday: Predictions

Bolton has shown he can do it all. Rebound well for a smaller guy, shoot the three, and drive to the bucket. He is a very emotional player who swings to the extremes in both directions depending on current circumstance, which is okay if the good outweighs the bad. His long wingspan gets a hand in opposing players faces and will fight for loose balls.

As long as Bolton plays like he did in the second half of last year and uses his emotions to motivate others, then all the better. Not to sound like a broken record, but Bolton's brash demeanor is a breath of fresh air for an oft-downtrodden program. Let's hope he uses it wisely and has a nice senior year.

Yaphett King will need to knock down shots to be effective for the squad. Hardly a banger on the glass, King has a nice looking shot that will need to find the hole in order to justify more than spot minutes. It appears that a scoring punch is the reason that King was somewhat touted out of a good Juco program and I'm sure Burton and the boys want to see him contribute in that way.

What's In Store: As long as Bolton stays out of foul trouble and has the physical and mental ability to make it through a full season playing major minutes then the Titans will be just fine at Small forward. It may appear that an extra effort on rebounding here will be needed as there is a premium on rebounding at this very moment . Bolton certainly can run the court well.

King will have to have to shoot the ball well or surprise with other some other area of ability. King does have the look of an alert player. I give the position a C until adequate depth can be proven as something to count on.

Grade: C

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Mike Welton, aka Rufus

Another weak spot on the team because of depth.

Anthony Bolton is a very good player, when he wants to be. He is a key on this team, if he plays well as he can be better than people think. Ant is very versatile, can play all positions. Needs to keep his head in the game at all times, and not get distracted. Excellent shooter from the field and from the line, good rebounder for his size and weight.

Yaphett King looks like a dud. He has a good looking shot but it doesn't go in. Maybe he will develop once he loses some more weight. I think he is a center trying to play the three spot; looks to be weak on defense because of his lack of speed.

Danny Lambert (redshirt) is a good shooter but a poor defender. He will be a non factor in his Titan career.

Grade: C-, because of depth. An injury or suspension to Ant and we will be playing with Zakee, Warsaw, and LB on the floor at the same time.

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Paul Causey, TitanCentral.com

Without a doubt, Anthony Bolton has the potential to be a All-Big West Conference player. Last year he took awhile to adjust to the Div. I game but when he did, that's when the Titans appeared at their best. He is a vocal player on the court and is very passionate about the game of basketball. While their have been some growing pains (tardiness, suspensions) adjusting to the coaching change, Bolton appears to be on the right track once again.

As Titans head coach Bob Burton says, he is "our smartest, most versatile player on the team." He has all the tools to be an excellent leader once he learns to take more responsibility on and off the court. On the court, he needs to learn how and when to "talk" to the refs. Off the floor, he just needs to take care of business.

There is no one better in the conference in actually understanding the game. He is an excellent shooter and passes the ball almost too well ... and too much.

Yaphett King was another late signee by coach Burton. King came to Fullerton needing to lose about 30 pounds and he has lost much of the excess baggage. He has a nice looking stroke, an effective fall away jumper and some good moves in the paint. King is height-challenged but uses his big body to his advantage and once he gets into game shape and adjust to his new weight his shots should start falling.

At 25 King is the oldest Titan on the team and he does have a NJCAA Div. II national championship under his belt so he knows what it takes to win. When he gets into the game he is not afraid to shoot the ball. King will take some time to adjust to his new body but improving his defense covering taller and quicker players will be his biggest challenge.

Danny Lambert, a walk-on from Irvine Valley College, has been very impressive in practices. At 6-6, he has good size for a shooter and knows what to do on the floor. Lambert is probably the best shooter on the team though he is a likely redshirt candidate. This will bode well for us next year when we lose many seniors but will hurt us this year with our lack of a true three-point threat.

Bottom Line: Bolton is one of the top small forwards in the conference but King will need to prove himself.

Grade: C+

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