Let's tip it off with basketball.
Gerard Anderson represented the student-athletes for basketball and, not surprisingly, is an outstanding young man. Yes, I could have just been in awe of actually looking up to one of our players, but there is no question he represents the university well, both on and off the court.
Anderson said he will be graduating after this semester, a half-year earlier than originally expected. Just an amazing accomplishment for Gerard who said he could not have done it without the help of assistant coach Scott Waterman.
One of Waterman's duties as an assistant is the complete over-site of all things academia for the basketball program. Coach Burton gave him the highest of praises and said that, since coming to Cal State Fullerton he is a perfect 10 for 10 in graduating seniors.
How big is this? It's one thing for today's coaches to talk about making academics a priority and it's another thing to actually follow through. With these perfect scores we can now officially forgive Scott for his sins of coaching at Long Beach State for five years.
Anderson said that, while it's still very early, it is a complete 180 degree difference from last year. He says it's going to be very competitive at every position. Asked who he thought was the biggest surprise thus far: Devon Peltier.
Yes, just about everyone asked him about Bryce Webster. He just smiled coyly and said, "He's good. He's very good."
Coach Burton called Anderson one of the most athletic players this university has ever had.
Burton says that Anderson will be given every opportunity to compete at the three. He won't be your typical Fullerton three but he still will be expected to hit the 15 footer and use his athleticism to score.
Anderson says he is up for the challenge and is determined to make it work. Let's be honest, Gerard is simply not a back-to-the-basket type of player. With JerVaughn Johnson and. Bryce Webster in the paint this is one gamble I can't wait to see.
Also in attendance was associate head coach Andy Newman. Burton joked that he has completed the game assignments for the coaches and that Newman is responsible for the UCLA game while he has full responsibility for Hope.
Newman also volleyed numerous questions regarding the impact of Bryce Webster. Yes, he too was smiling and he picked Bryce as his biggest surprise thus far.
In Baseball news head coach Dave Serrano says the Titans goal every year is to win a national championship. Obviously not earth-shattering news but it's something I never grow tire of hearing. He said last year had some great moments but felt the team did not perform as well as they could have and he was almost apologetic in how the team ended the season in Omaha.
Christian Colon represented the baseball student-athlete. Coach Serrano said as good of a player Colon is on the field he is equally that good off the field. Apparently Christian was the first player ever voted for team captain on a USA squad, which is an honor to the type of person he is.
Colon's injury is progressing well and he has actually been cleared to run straight lines next week. The coaches want him to take it slowly and their only goal is to have him ready for January. Basically, he has already proven what he can do on the field and his health and recovery is the main focus.
Serrano said that while the basketball program is getting bigger, the baseball program is taking a different approach. They will be smaller this year and we should expect more running.
Assistants Sergio Brown and Greg Bergeron were also in attendance for the baseball program. One thing is certain, this is one tight-nit group and is clearly one of the reasons this program excels.
Serrano mentioned that he is taking John Wooden's quote (who was quoting his father) of “Don’t whine, don’t complain, and don’t make excuses!” as a mission for this year's team and, so far, they are living up to these expectations. TitanCentral.com will also challenge it's readers and forum members to embrace this philosophy. We'll keep you updated on how well this goes.