"Biggest Little City" Welcomes Titans, Two Others for World Vision Classic

THIS WEEK...
Cal State Fullerton at Nevada
2012 World Vision Classic
Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 | 6 p.m.
Reno, Nev.
Lawlor Events Center (11,536)
Game Coverage: Tournament Central | Audio

Cal State Fullerton vs. Southern Utah
2012 World Vision Classic
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 | 8:30 p.m.
Reno, Nev.
Lawlor Events Center (11,536)
Game Coverage: Tournament Central | Audio

Cal State Fullerton vs. Green Bay
2012 World Vision Classic
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 | 1 p.m.
Reno, Nev.
Lawlor Events Center (11,536)
Game Coverage: Tournament Central | Audio 

TIP OFF: It's a quick turnaround for the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team as, after spending just two days at home following a trip to Palo Alto, the Titans immediately return to the road to play three games in three days at the World Vision Classic at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nev.  Fullerton opens against host Nevada on Friday evening (Nov. 16) at 6 p.m., before taking on Southern Utah on Saturday (Nov. 17) and Green Bay on Sunday (Nov. 18) at 8:30 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.

IN THE POLLS: Neither Cal State Fullerton nor its opponents are ranked in the national polls entering this weekend's event.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans' athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans).

STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH'S MOUTH: Fans can preview the 2012-13 men's basketball season as the Cal State Fullerton sports information staff sat down with Interim Head Coach Andy Newman to talk about the upcoming campaign. View the video, shot in stunning HD by Matt Brown, on Cal State Fullerton's Official YouTube page at www.YouTube.com/CSFAthletics.

TOURNEY TIME: Fans can follow the tournament remotely as Nevada has set up a tournament page for this weekend's event. Links to box scores, recaps, and live stats, as well as live video (for a fee), are now available at: http://www.nevadawolfpack.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/world-vision-classic.html.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, all three of Cal State Fullerton's contests from the tournament this weekend will be broadcast live over the Internet. Longtime Sports Information Director Mel Franks will have the call from Reno.

SCOUTING THE WOLF PACK: Cal State Fullerton will mark the second-straight Big West Conference opponent for Nevada, which opened the regular season with a, 78-64, loss to UC Irvine on the road last weekend... senior guard Malik Story, who averaged 14.1 ppg while starting all 35 games last season, led the Wolf Pack with 21 points against the Anteaters -- the only Nevada player in double figures... the Wolf Pack returns three starters (Story, Deonte Burton, and Jerry Evans, Jr.) and 10 total players from last season's squad that finished 28-7 overall and reached the quarterfinals of the Postseason NIT.

HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH NEVADA: The Wolf Pack leads the overall series with the Titans, 11-4, winning the last 10 straight meetings dating back to the first round of the 1993-94 Big West Conference Tournament... Nevada joined Fullerton as members of the Big West from 1992-00 before leaving for the Western Athletic Conference and the Wolf Pack are now in their first season as part of the Mountain West Conference... Fullerton won four-straight in the series from 1992-94, the last victory coming on Feb. 10, 1994 -- a 97-72 victory at Titan Gym.

SCOUTING THE THUNDERBIRDS: Southern Utah is in its first year as a member of the Big Sky Conference after spending the last 15 years as a member of the Summit League and Mid-Continent Conference... the Thunderbirds are 0-1 to start the 2012-13 season after falling, 103-65, at home to #21 Gonzaga on Nov. 9... senior forward Jackson Stevenett scored a game- and career-high 29 points against the Bulldogs to go with six rebounds... under first-year head coach Nick Robinson, SUU returns two starters and 10 letter winners from last season's squad that finished 14-17 overall and 8-10 in the Summit League.

HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH SOUTHERN UTAH: The Titans have won all four meetings with the Thunderbirds, including sweeping a home-and-home from Southern Utah in 2007-08... three of the four all-time meetings have come in Fullerton... the two teams first met in 1968-69, ending in a 68-63 Fullerton win... the Titans posted a 78-63 victory on Nov. 17, 2007, in the only meeting in Cedar City, Utah.

SCOUTING THE PHOENIX: Green Bay enters the weekend with a 1-0 record after defeating Chicago State, 72-67, in its opener last weekend... sophomore guard Keifer Sykes, who was named this week's Horizon League Player of the Week, scored a career-high 31 points -- including a school-record 17 free throws -- to help rally his team, which fell behind by a 13-1 count after four minutes... the Phoenix return all five starters and seven letter winners off of last season's squad that finished 15-15 overall and 10-8 (t-6th) in the Horizon League.

HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH GREEN BAY: Sunday's meeting with the Phoenix will be only the second in the history of the two programs after Green Bay won the inaugural meeting, 70-60, at home on Dec. 27, 1997.

CONFERENCE CALL: Cal State Fullerton is 52-113 (.315) against the current Mountain West Conference alignment, but has not faced a current league member since an 86-71 loss at Wyoming on Dec. 1, 2001... the Titans are 28-29 (.491) against current Big Sky Conference members, including a 3-0 mark against the league last season following wins over Eastern Washington (91-76), Montana State (80-66), and Portland State (92-86)... Fullerton is just 1-5 against Horizon League foes, but has not met a member of the conference since falling to Wright State, 84-80, on Dec. 22, 2007.

TOURNEY TESTED: This weekend will mark the sixth-consecutive season that the Titans will play in a regular season tournament, but will be looking to improve on a 4-8 mark over the previous five events that included last year's three-game trip to Louisiana (2-1 record), two jaunts across the Pacific for tournaments in Hawaii in 2008-09 (1-1) and 2010-11 (0-3), and single-year trips to Texas (0-2 record in 2009-10) and Moraga, Calif., for a Saint Mary's-hosted tournament (1-1 in 2007-08).

DOUGLAS, WILLIAMS DECLARED ELIGIBLE: Cal State Fullerton sophomore James Douglas and senior Michael Williams had their NCAA hardship waivers granted prior to the Titans' departure to Palo Alto last week and are eligible to compete in 2012-13. Douglas, who led Northern Arizona in scoring as a freshman (12.2 ppg), made his debut against Stanford, grabbing a rebound and a steal in 12 minutes off the bench, while Williams, a transfer from San Francisco who averaged 10.9 ppg in three seasons with the Dons, will most likely redshirt and complete his final year of eligibility with the Titans in 2013-14. Fullerton is still awaiting word on a third hardship waiver for Louisiana-Monroe transfer Steven McClellan.

TRANSFER U: With Monday night's contest at Stanford officially kicking-off the 2012-13 season, Sammy Yeager, Alex Harris, and James Douglas officially became the 39th, 40th, and 41st Division I transfers to the program in its Division I history dating back to 1975 while, in that same time frame, only seven players have left the Titans for other Division I programs. Also waiting in the wings, two more Division I transfers in McClellan and UTEP transfer Darius Nelson, who isn't eligible until the end of the fall semester.

TITANS ROAD WARRIORS FOR BRACKETBUSTERS: Cal State Fullerton has been named one of five Big West Conference road teams for ESPN's 11th annual BracketBusters event to be held on Feb. 22-23, 2013, joining UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge, and Pacific. The 122-team field features squads from 13 conferences and the event will have 13 nationally televised contests over the two-day event, which falls three weeks before "Selection Sunday." The televised slate of games will be announced on Jan. 28 with the remaining contests released shortly after.

DON'T LOOK NOW, BUT SEELEY'S BEING "WATCHED": Cal State Fullerton senior guard D.J. Seeley was one of 31 players named to the CollegeInsider.com preseason All-America Team and one of only five to hail from west of the Rocky Mountains joining Santa Clara's Kevin Foster, Loyola Marymount's Anthony Ireland, Utah State's Preston Medlin, and Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos. The list essentially serves as a preseason "watch list" for the fourth-annual Lou Henson Award, named after the former Illinois and New Mexico State head coach and presented to the top mid-major player at the Division I level. For more information on the award, visit http://www.louhenson.com.

NEWMAN FACES HIS "OLD" TEAM: When the Titans take the court on Saturday against Southern Utah, Head Coach Andy Newman will be, in a roundabout sort of way, facing his old team. Newman spend his freshman year (1995-96) with the Thunderbirds, leading them in minutes played (36.1 mpg) and pacing the offense with 3.7 assists per contest before transferring and playing two seasons at West Valley College and, finally, his senior year at Azusa Pacific.

THEY WENT TO JARED: Freshman Jared Brandon had himself quite a debut against one of the Pac-12 Conference's best, coming off the bench to finish with 13 points -- 10 of those in the second half -- and two rebounds in 23 minutes, hitting 4-of-5 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the line after attempting just four free throws (three makes) in the first half.

THE TITANS' OWN "BIG THREE": Yeah, we know the stats from two of the games don't count, but Fullerton's "Big Three" of D.J. Seeley, Kwame Vaughn, and Sammy Yeager are the only three Titans hit double digits in points in each of the team's first three "competitions" thus far (Blue-White scrimmage, Cal State Los Angeles exhibition, and season opener at Stanford). Seeley (16.0 ppg) is leading scorer of the trio, just edging out his teammates (15.7 ppg), while Vaughn has compiled the best shooting percentage (.500) and top assist numbers (4.0 apg), and Yeager is the leading rebounder (5.7 rpg) and top shooter from three-point range (.450)

HI, MOM!: The Titans will invade the airwaves (or fiber optic cables) on at least seven occassions in 2012-13, playing twice on the newly launched Pac-12 Network at Stanford (Nov. 12) and at Washington (Dec. 2), featured on the ESPN family of networks in their games against UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 29 - ESPNU) and at Long Beach State (Feb. 13 - ESPNU), as well as three more contests on Fox Sports PrimeTicket against Hawaii (Feb. 2), at UC Riverside (Feb. 9), and at UC Irvine (Feb. 16. There are four more possibilites for TV exposure: the first coming in the ESPN Bracketbuster game on Feb. 23 and a possible road contest at The Thunderdome against the Gauchos on March 7 as one of ESPN's "wild card" games as well as possible contests against UC Davis (March 2) and at Cal Poly (March 9) on Fox Sports West.

INTERIM HEAD COACH ANDY NEWMAN: The curtain rises on the Andy Newman Era at Cal State Fullerton as the former Titans' Assistant and Associate Head Coach moves over one chair on the bench to guide Fullerton into the 2012-13 season. During Newman's tenure, the Titans are a combined 155-122 (.560) overall and 79-65 (.549) in the Big West Conference -- including five, top-three finishes in the standings since he arrived in 2003-04.

TITANS PICKED SECOND IN BIG WEST RACE; SEELEY, VAUGHN HONORED: Led by preseason All-Big West Conference picks D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn, the Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team was picked to finish second in the Big West Conference in 2012-13 as selected by the media and released by the league office on Oct. 25. The Titans received six first-place votes and 164 points overall to stand behind defending conference champion Long Beach State, which garnered 13 first-place votes and 194 points overall. UC Irvine (one first-place vote) was third with 153 points, league newcomer Hawaii was tabbed fourth with 132 points, while UC Santa Barbara rounds out the top five at 129 points. Fullerton is the only school to return a pair of All-Big West performers in Seeley and Vaughn, who each earned preseason all-conference recognition from the media panel. Seeley, a first-team All-Big West selection and the league's Newcomer of the Year in 2011-12, averaged 17.3 ppg to stand fourth in the conference and ranked eighth in the league with 66 three-pointers made. Vaughn was a second-team selection as a junior after averaging 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and a league-best 3.7 assists per game. He ranked sixth in scoring, fifth in field goal percentage (.458), and 10th in three-pointers made per game (1.9 pg).

"HELLO, MY NAME IS...": Introductions may be in order for the Fullerton faithful as the Titans return just two starters and five players overall to a roster bolstered by three eligible Division I transfers (one of whom will be eligibile beginning at the end of the fall semester), a pair of junior college transfers, and one freshman.

NUMBERS ARE FUN: Fullerton's 21-win campaign in 2011-12 marked the sixth time in the last nine years that the Titans have finished with a winning record and only the seventh time in the 52-year history of the program that Fullerton has won at least 20 games. Last season marked the fourth time in eight years that the Titans won at least 20 games and only the fifth time in the school's Division I history that they finished either first or second in the conference.

HEY MR. D.J.: The honors begin to roll in for Fullerton senior D.J. Seeley, who has been selected by Lindy's Magazine as the preseason pick for Big West Conference Player of the Year in 2012-13. Seeley, a first-team All-Big West selection as a junior last season, lit up the scoreboards to the tune of 17.3 points per game (1st on the team, 4th in the Big West) and a .434 three-point percentage (4th in the conference).

HE'S HERE TO HELP: The only Titan to start all 31 games a season ago, senior Kwame Vaughn is a giver as evidenced by his Big West Conference-best 3.74 assists per game en route to second-team all-conference honors. Vaughn, who also led the league in free throw percentage (.847), finished second on the team -- and sixth in the Big West -- in scoring (15.6 ppg) and was a star in the classroom, earning Dean's List honors in the Spring of 2011 and 2011-12 Big West All-Academic Team laurels.

PACK YOUR BAGS: Aside from a pair of exhibition contests to start the season, Cal State Fullerton will play only one regular season contest within the friendly confines of Titan Gym in the month of November and just four of its first 11 at home before the start of Big West Conference play on Dec. 29 against UC Santa Barbara. This after a season that saw the Titans finish 13-1 on their home floor in 2011-12 while entering this season with a 12-game home winning streak dating back to a 73-66 loss to CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 26, 2011.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE: Cal State Fullerton's 13 wins at Titan Gym last season were the most since the 1982-83 Titans finished a perfect 13-0 on their home floor while the 13-1 record extended a streak of 10 seasons with a non-losing record at home dating back to the 2002-03 campaign. Fullerton, which had .500 seasons of 6-6 in 2002-03 and 2008-09 at Titan Gym in that stretch, hasn't had a losing campaign at home since finishing 4-9 in 2001-02 and is 88-41 (.682) during its current run.

MORE WINNING AT HOME: Fullerton went unbeaten at home in conference play at 8-0 for the first time since the 1982-83 season -- a campaign that also included a win over top-ranked UNLV.

OFF-ENSE... CLAP, CLAP... OFF-ENSE... CLAP, CLAP: Led by the scoring prowess of Seeley and Vaughn, the Titans will look to duplicate their offensive exploits from a season ago when Fullerton stood atop the Big West statistical leaders in scoring offense (78.0 ppg), field goal percentage (.472), and three-point percentage (.404).

WELCOME TO THE CLUB: The Big West Conference landscape will look a little different in 2012-13 with the addition of the University of Hawaii to the fold after spending the last 32 years as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (the women's teams were a member of the Big West from 1984-96). The view will shift a bit more next season when long-time member Pacific leaves for the West Coast Conference and San Diego State and Boise State return in 2013-14. The Aztecs were members of the Big West Conference from 1969-78 while the Broncos were members of the league from 1996-2001.