SLO-Down Zone Doesn't Stop Titans

Cal State Fullerton wins third straight conference game, beating the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs Thursday night in Historic Titan Gym. The final score was 68-54 and the Titans are now atop the Big West Conference with a record of 3-1.

Aaron Thompson led the charge on the defensive side and Gerard Anderson supplied the focus and energy on the offensive end.

SLO's strategy on defense was to disrupt the Titans flow, play zone and foul Gerard Anderson. The Mustangs must be proud as the mission was accomplished. Cal State Fullerton, on the other hand, stuck to man defense the entire game, something they have done the entire three-game winning streak.

Pitching always stops hitting in baseball and good defensive players always stop the Kobe's of the basketball world.

Thompson suffocated, annoyed and dominated Lorenzo Keeler, who was reigning Big West Conference Player of the Week. Thompson scored only two points, 0-4 from the field, but he will be forgiven.

Side note: Keeler is quick but he is one-dimensional, for the most part. Doesn't play good defense and doesn't make his players around him better.

This may not be the last time Aaron has to sacrifice his offensive game for the betterment of the team. UCI's Eric Wise comes to mind as a must stop player.

Full speed ahead. Gerard Anderson has not let up since the Long Beach game and he has become the natural leader of this team. His energy was unsurpassed and his domination of this game was unmistakable. SLO's only answer was to foul and that they did, sending him to the line 16 times, most of the time intentional. He just goes all out on both sides of the ball.

Speaking of being on his game, Devon Peltier is starting to look like the shooter he has looked in practice. Would like to see a few more plays run for him when he is on his game like that -- six shots is not nearly enough. The kid can shoot and he brings good, positive movement on the floor. He plays hard on defense but his size puts him at a disadvantage. One solution would be to go to a zone but let's not have any of that.

Bryce Webster, as kids today would say, "played very decent." 11 points and 3 rebounds don't overwhelm but he is just, well, very decent. (Trust me, it's a compliment). He had zero turnovers and has a uncanny left-handed shot that always seems to go in. Just love his game.

The rest of the team can play a little better. Jacques Streeter looked confused, couldn't make quick decisions and held the ball way too much. Need to stop pacing himself and play all out the entire game. Eric Williams came in and impressed once again. I think he can work his way up to 10-15 minutes a game and give Streeter a little more rest.

Jer'Vaughn Johnson had a great second half and finished with a double-double but that first half, on offense, left a lot to be desired. He missed nine shots in the game and seven or eight of those were from five feet. This only means he will get better. Just needs to look for the open man a little more and stay focused until the ball is in the basket. Solid on the defensive side and he is another player who could use more rest.

And that's pretty much the only concern right now. Four players playing 33+ minutes is not a good thing. This team really needs someone to step up. Orane Chin had his third consecutive 0-2 from three, 0-3 from the floor game so he is obviously not feeling comfortable in games right now.

It all starts in practice. If you earn it there then you will get a chance in the games and the Titans certainly need someone like Raymond Miller or Robbie Robinson to start stepping it up in practice.

CSUN tomorrow night at home and then they head out on the road for three straight, one a non-conference game. Titans need to come out strong as Northridge is on a roll and is a much better team, with much better players, than what they faced last night.

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