Season Preview, Part I: Point Guards

With the loss of five seniors and the addition of 12 newcomers, predicting the 2004-05 men's basketball season is no easy task. Never fear, as three fans and a publisher give you a wide range of views for the upcoming season.

Point Guards

Bobby Brown

John Clemmons

Damien Massey

Previews: Whit Haydon | Mike Welton | Kirk San Roman | Paul Causey

Whit Haydon

Let's cut to the chase. Fullerton brings the best point guard in the Big West in Sophomore Bobby Brown. LB (Little Bobby) is coming off of a tremendous freshman campaign which earned him Big West freshman of the year honors – and he kept it rolling in the summer, where his mesmerizing play in the Just Say No League helped lead his team to a near perfect record. The highlight of his summer was his unanimous destruction of highly touted UCLA freshman Jordan Farmar in August.

Bobby Brown has a knack for making the big play and has the ability to go into a trance-like state of mind from behind the arc. Brown will need to avoid the tentative play that plagued him during a small stretch of his first year in the program. I look for LB to continue his terrific play and to eventually gain icon status before he is done at Fullerton.

John Clemmons will back up Bobby Brown at the point. He had a good summer and from all accounts he is a very good addition to the Titan backcourt.

Damien Massey, apparently known for his defensive abilities, will likely redshirt.
Outlook: The PG position is the best it has been since the 1992-93 season with Aaron Sunderland at the helm.

Grade: A+ Nobody better.

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Mike Welton

Like most teams in the BW this year, the pg position for the Titans appears to be the most inexperienced.  Second year player Bobby Brown is still learning the position; however, he was on the all freshman team last year.

His back up is John Clemmons, who hasn't played basketball in a year, and is a jc transfer. 

As a shoot first type of pg, LB must learn how to find his teammates better than he did last year for the Titans to be successful; he must improve on his less than 4 assists per game. 

Biggest weakness for the pg combo is their lack of size and weight; they will need to rely on quickness to avoid being overpowered by the bigger point guards in the league - Gloger (Editor's Note: Gloger has moved to the wing this season), Kindred, etc.  Utah State, UCSB, UCI, UCR, Idaho, and SLO all have problems at the point.

Grade:  Based on size and experience, I would give our point guard category a grade of B.

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Kirk San Roman

Bobby "L.B." Brown was the most pleasant surprise of the '03-'04 season, averaging 13.2 points in 31 minutes. After bulking up over the summer, he now looks like a 16 year old instead of a 12 year old!

Bobby's biggest challenge will be to somehow balance his scoring ability with the necessity for him to distribute the ball to his team mates. This will be a pleasant dilemma for Titan fans, who haven't had a point guard who can score since Kenroy Jarrett or Chris St. Clair.

An outstanding outside shooter, Bobby made several shots in summer league from well beyond the NBA 3-point arc. Bobby also destroyed UCLA freshman phenom Jordan Faramir with his cross-over dribble.
Clearly, big things will be expected of Bobby Brown. As our point guard, our season may very well depend upon him.

John Clemmons proved in the Blue / White Scrimmage that he is capable of providing serviceable back-up at the point. He seems to have flown in under the recruiting radar, and may prove to be a steal for us. Having two quality point guards is a luxury Titan fans haven't had since perhaps the ‘80's.
Having Clemmons on the court will allow Bobby Brown to get a breather, or will allow him to switch over to the shooting guard spot.

Damien Massey will likely see few minutes. However, it's always great to have additional point guards in practice.

Grade: B+

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Paul Causey

Last year it took all of four games for freshman Bobby Brown to take the starting role from seasoned senior point guard Zakee Smith. He was that good last year and this year he appears even better. He added some bulk in the off-season and he also added some hops, more quickness and extended his range on an already deadly three-point shot.

The one (and only) supposed knock on LB is he is not a pass-first point man. Hopefully this continues as some believe this is actually a strength. Last year LB averaged a team-leading 3.5 assists per game despite the fact he was the lone outside threat. He did have Pape Sow inside but with Sow consistently facing double and triple teams, this usually resulted in a turnover or missed shot.

With the addition of wings Ralphy Holmes and sharp-shooter Jermaine Harper and the return of the constantly improving senior Yaphett King, his assists should rise and his 13.2 points per game should remain steady.

Many early season pundits have taken notice as he has been nominated as a pre-season all-conference team member as selected by the media. The only question is, can he live up to the hype and not fall victim to the sophomore jinx? There will be some growing pains with all the new team members but by the middle of conference, expect LB to be having another season to remember.

On the first viewing of John Clemmons, he looked like a major find and expectations were high for him to battle LB for playing time. While he certainly will play some minutes, possibly 10-15 per game, he has not looked as sharp in the early going during practice and scrimmages. Clemmons needs to work on his outside shot but he is a good defender, drives to the basket and sees the floor well. When he does come into the game, look for LB to move into the wing slot. Right now he would be on par with Zakee Smith in terms of talent but has a much better grasp on the offense and defense.

Walk-on Damien Massey is improving in practice but he will likely redshirt or see only limited playing time.

Grade: B+; LB deserves an 'A' as there is no better point guard in the Big West.

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