Tourney Time! Eighth-Seeded Titans Tip-Off Thursday in Anaheim
Cal State Fullerton at Big West Conference Tournament
March 14-16, 2013
Honda Center (18,336)
SERIES RECORDS (Since 1976)
Overall: 22-32 (Lost 2)
Overtime: 0-1 (Lost 1)
Double Overtime: 1-0 (Won 1)
at Civic Auditorium: 0-1 (Lost 1)
at Titan Gym: 1-0 (Won 1)
at Anaheim Conv. Ctr.: 13-13 (Lost 1)
at Great Western Forum: 5-6 (Lost 1)
at Long Beach Arena: 2-5 (Lost 4)
at Thomas & Mack Ctr.: 0-2 (Lost 2)
at Lawlor Events Ctr.: 1-3 (Lost 2)
at Honda Center: 0-2 (Lost 2)
First Round: 12-17 (Lost 2)
Second Round: 4-5 (Lost 2)
Semfinals: 4-8 (Won 1)
Championship: 2-2 (Won 1)
vs. Cal Poly: 0-1 (Lost 1)
vs. Cal State Northridge: 3-2 (Lost 1)
vs. Long Beach State: 1-6 (Lost 5)
vs. UC Davis: 0-1 (Lost 1)
vs. UC Irvine: 6-2 (Lost 1)
vs. UC Riverside: 2-0 (Won 2)
vs. UC Santa Barbara: 1-1 (Lost 1)
vs. Pacific: 3-3 (Won 1)
TIP OFF: Cal State Fullerton's run into the postseason begins this week as the Titans, who enter the week having lost their last four-straight outings after back-to-back wins, make the short jaunt south to the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., for the 2013 Big West Conference Tournament. Fullerton, the No. 8 seed in this year's event, opens play on Thursday (March 14) at 6 p.m. against top-seeded Long Beach State in a game to be televised on Fox Sports PrimeTicket.
Thursday, March, 14 (Fox Sports PrimeTicket)
#7 UC Santa Barbara vs. #2 Pacific, 12 p.m.
#6 UC Davis vs. #3 Cal Poly, 30 min. after
#8 Cal State Fullerton vs. #1 Long Beach State, 6 p.m.
#5 Hawaii vs. #4 UC Irvine, 30 min. after
Friday, March 15 (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Highest Seed vs. Lowest Seed, 6:30 pm
Second Semifinal, 9:00 pm or 30 min. after
Saturday, March 16 (ESPN2)
Championship Game, 7:30 p.m.
BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans' athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans).
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, all of Cal State Fullerton's games from Anaheim during the Big West Tournament can be heard live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Links will be made available on the men's basketball schedule page as veteran Cal State Fullerton play-by-play man Mike Martinez will have the call.
LOOKING AHEAD: The coaches usually won't do it, so we'll do it for them. A Titan first-round victory would pit them against the highest remaining seed on Friday in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m., on ESPNU and online at ESPN3.com. Saturday's championship will be played at 7:30 p.m., and televised on ESPN 2. Information for the entire event is available on the Big West Conference website at http://www.bigwest.org/sports/mbball/info/champs/.
TITANS AT THE TOURNEY: Cal State Fullerton is making its 11th consecutive appearance in the Big West Conference Tournament, having missing the event only three times (1996, 2000, 2002) since the 1975-76 season... the Titans are 22-32 all-time in the league's postseason event, but have yet to post a win at the Honda Center after being eliminated in the first round in each of the last two seasons... Cal State Fullerton is 12-17 all-time in first-round tournament games.
TITANS VERSUS THE FIELD: Fullerton is just 1-6 against long-time rival Long Beach State at the Big West Conference Tournament, having lost the last five meetings in the event to the 49ers... against current members of the league, the Titans hold winning records against only Cal State Northridge (3-2), UC Irvine (6-2), and UC Riverside (2-0) in the Big West Tournament... Fullerton is also 0-1 against Cal Poly, 0-1 vs. UC Davis, 1-1 vs. UC Santa Barbara, and 3-3 against Pacific.
SEED MONEY: Fullerton is 1-2 all-time in the tournament as the No. 8 seed... the last time the Titans were the No. 8 seed in the tournament was in 1994, falling to No. 9-seeded Nevada, 68-64, in the first round in Las Vegas... Fullerton has had the most success as the No. 3 seed, posting a 12-4 all-time record in that spot... Fullerton has been the top seed only once at the four-team 1976 tournament held at the Stockton Civic Auditorium, falling in the first round to fourth-seeded Pacific, 72-64.
SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE: Excluding the 1997-99 seasons when the tournament participants were split by divisions, a team seeded eighth or lower has posted a first round victory only eight times in 99 possible first-round contests:
1988 - #8 Cal State Fullerton def. #9 Fresno State
1989 - #8 UC Irvine def. #9 Pacific
1990 - #9 Fresno State def. #8 San Jose State
1992 - #8 UC Irvine def. #1 UC Santa Barbara
1994 - #9 Nevada def. #8 Cal State Fullerton
1994 - #10 UC Irvine def. #7 UC Santa Barbara
1995 - #8 UC Irvine def. #9 Cal State Fullerton
2009 - #8 UC Davis def. #5 UC Irvine
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!: Thursday night's appearance on Fox will be the Titans' seventh appearance on some sort of television broadcast this season -- with the possibility of two more TV games depending on their run through the tournament bracket... Fullerton is 21-20 on television in the last seven-plus seasons -- including a 6-1 mark during the 2007-08 campaign... the Titans are 2-4 on television thus far this season: 0-2 on the Pac-12 Network (at Stanford, at Washington); 1-1 on ESPNU (vs. UC Santa Barbara, at Long Beach State); 1-1 on Fox Sports PrimeTicket (at UC Irvine, at UC Riverside).
SCOUTING THE 49ERS: Long Beach State enters the postseason tournament at 18-12 overall and won its third-consecutive outright regular season conference title with a 14-4 mark in Big West play... the 49ers are scuffling a bit at the end of the season, losing three of their last four contests, including a 20-point loss at Pacific to finish the regular season... the team's only win in that span was a one-point triumph at UC Davis on March 7... Big West Conference Player of the Year James Ennis leads the offense, averaging 17.0 ppg and 6.9 rpg while shooting 49 percent from the floor and knocking down 49 blocks... Mike Caffey (12.3 ppg, 3.80 apg) and Tony Freeland (10.8 ppg) are also in double figures this season... Long Beach State is averaging 69.7 ppg and shooting .443 from the floor while allosing opponents 70.5 ppg and .429 shooting from the field.
HEAD-TO-HEAD VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: The 49ers lead the all-time series with the Titans, 62-43, after an 81-73 win in Fullerton and an 85-65 victory in Long Beach... Fullerton has won seven of 12 in the series dating back to 2007-08... Long Beach State's sweep of the regular season series with the Titans was the first for the 49ers since 2006-07, the last of their six-straight wins over Fullerton from 2004-07.
TITANS NATIONALLY: Ranked among the nation's top scoring teams for most of the season, the Titans took a tumble out of their comfortable top five spot among the NCAA leaders, and have fallen all the way to 17th in the country entering the tournament at 76.9 ppg. Saturday night's loss to UC Santa Barbara marked the 10th-consecutive game that Fullerton has been held to under 80 points, having not reached the mark since a 92-86 loss to Cal State Northridge on Jan. 31.
ELSEWHERE IN THE NCAA: As of March 10, Fullerton also ranks among the top 25 teams in the NCAA in points (24th, 2385), three-pointers per game (17th, 8.4 pg), free throw percentage (9th, .763), and turnover margin (16th, +3.4).
VAUGHN, SEELEY NAMED ALL-BIG WEST SECOND TEAM: Cal State Fullerton senior guards Kwame Vaughn and D.J. Seeley were named to the All-Big West Conference Second Team on Monday morning, each earning their second all-conference honor of their Titan careers.
Vaughn, a second-team honoree as a junior in 2011-12, finished the regular season as Fullerton's leading scorer -- and the second-leading scorer in the Big West -- this year as a senior, averaging 18.4 ppg and shooting .452 from the field while not missing a game. He reached double figures in all but two games, including a team-high 12 games with 20-or-more points, including a season-high 29 against Green Bay on Nov. 18 and, again, against UC Davis on March 2. He became the 22nd Titan to reach 1,000 career points against the Aggies to tip-off the month of March and ranks 17th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,053 career points heading into this week's Big West Tournament.
Seeley, a first-team all-conference selection last season, finished third on the team and in the Big West in scoring at 17.9 ppg during the regular season, missing the final three-and-a-half games after suffering a foot injury in the second half against Pacific at home on Feb. 28. He averaged 17.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, becoming the 21st member of the 1,000-point club on Feb. 20 against Cal Poly with a 21-point night against the Mustangs. He reached double digits in all but four games in 2012-13, including a career-high 37-point night at Cal State Northridge and pair of 32-point games against Southern Utah (Nov. 17) and at UC Davis (Jan. 24).
HONORED: Vaughn and Seeley become only the 14th and 15th players in the history of the program to earn multiple first- or second-team honors in a career and the first since Josh Akognon in 2008 (second team) and 2009 (first team).
20-20-20 VISION: Senior Kwame Vaughn made it three-straight 20-point games Saturday night against Cal Poly, finishing with 22 against the Mustangs in a two-point loss and averaging 23.6 ppg during his streak. It is the second time this season that the Oakland native has accomplished the feat, averaging 25.0 ppg against UC Santa Barbara, Hawaii, and Cal State Northridge from Dec. 29-Jan. 5, and the third time this year a Titan player has done it after D.J. Seeley accomplished the feat against UC Davis (32), Pacific (23) and Cal State Northridge (22) on Jan. 24-31.
THE FULLERTON 500: Kwame Vaughn's scoring exploits this season have him ranked among the school's best single-season scorers as his 569 points in 2012-13 places him ninth on the single-season list, just 41 points behind Joe Small's 610 points in 1990-91. Along with teammate D.J. Seeley's 537 points (which is 13th best on the single-season list), the Titans have two players with at least that many points for the first time since 2007-08 when Josh Akognon (647) and Frank Robinson (507) accomplished the feat. Vaughn's 569 points this season are the most by a Titan since Akognon's 764 points as a senior in 2008-09.
MOVIN' ON UP: Thanks to his 22-point night at Cal Poly, Vaughn jumped two spots into the No. 17 position on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,053 career points, passing teammate D.J. Seeley (1,037 points) and Mark Hill (1,040) on the list. Vaughn, who became the 22nd player to reach the milestone on March 2 against UC Davis, became the seventh-fastest player in school history to hit the millennium mark at 60 games.
FASTEST TO 1,000 POINTS AT CAL STATE FULLERTON
1. Leon Wood -- 46 games
t2. Josh Akognon -- 47 games
t2. Cedric Ceballos -- 47 games
4. Joe Small -- 54 games
5. Mark Hill -- 56 games
6. D.J. Seeley -- 57 games
7. Kwame Vaughn -- 60 games
8. Ike Harmon -- 64 games
t9. Bobby Brown -- 66 games
t9. Pape Sow -- 66 games
DOUBLE-DIPPING: With Vaughn's inclusion on Cal State Fullerton's list of those scorers who have hit the millenium mark, the senior, along with teammate D.J. Seeley, gives the Titans a pair of 1,000-point scorers in the same season for the first time in 21 years and for only the fifth time in school history:
1,000-POINT DUOS IN CAL STATE FULLERTON HISTORY
• Keith Anderson (1,240), Kevin Heenan (1,163) & Mike Niles (1,014) in 1978-79
• Tony Neal (1,327) and Gary Davis (1,165) in 1984-85
• Cedric Ceballos (1,284) and Mark Hill (1,040) in 1989-90
• Agee Ward (1,017) and Joe Small (1,011) in 1991-92
• D.J. Seeley (1,037) and Kwame Vaughn (1,011) in 2012-13
SEELEY, VAUGHN IN A SELECT GROUP: Having reached the 1,000-point plateau in only two seasons is somewhat of a rarity in Cal State Fullerton men's basketball lore as seniors D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn become only the fifth and sixth players to hit the mark as two-year players for the Titans, joining Josh Akognon (2007-09), Cedric Ceballos (1988-90), Mark Hill (1988-90), and Joe Small (1990-92).
VAUGHN'S TRIPLE CROWN: With the Big West Tournament (and possible NCAA Tournament games) looming on the horizon, Vaughn is on track to accomplish something that has not been done in Cal State Fullerton men's basketball history dating back to the 1974-75 season. Should the numbers hold up, the senior could become the first Titan ever to lead the team in scoring average (18.4 ppg), rebounding average (4.8 rpg), and assists (114) in the same season. Others have come close, the last being Ralphy Holmes in 2004-05 when he led the team in scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg), but finishing third in assists (68) behind Bobby Brown (149) and Jermaine Harper (72).
THREE FOR ALL: If the season ended today, both Seeley and Vaughn would go down as one of the top three-point shooting duos in school history, both finishing their careers among the top 10 sharpshooters. Seeley would be the new career record-holder (minimum 100 made), shooting .423 from beyond the arc in his two seasons as a Titan to break Marcus Crenshaw's mark of .414 set from 2006-08 and stand as one of only four Fullerton players to hit better than 40 percent for a career. Vaughn's total of .386 entering this week's tournament ranks him seventh for a career, just .002 behind Isiah Umipig (2010-12) for the No. 6 spot. On the single-season list, senior Sammy Yeager's .446 from three-point range would be a new school reocrd (minimum 50 makes), breaking Don Leary's mark of .443 set in 1992-93, while Seeley's .412 from beyond the arc this year stands eighth.
I SEE YOUR POINT: With just 33 points in Thursday night's Big West Conference Tournament opener against Long Beach State, the Titans will surpass last year's total of 2,417 points and post the most points in a season since the 2007-08 NCAA Tournament squad finished with an even 2,700 points in 33 games.
NO SECOND CHANCES: The 2012-13 season has been one of the worst for the Titans when it comes to rebounds as the Titans' will need 64 rebounds this season to keep alive a streak of nine-consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 rebounds. Fullerton's season average of 30.2 rpg entering the tournament is its lowest since the 2000-01 team averaged 29.4 rpg.
NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH: But there are such things as free points if you're Kwame Vaughn. The Titans' senior finished 13-for-14 from the line last week on the coast to increase his league-leading total to 174 free throws made, which stands third overall on the school's single-season list -- just 13 back of Leon Wood's 187 makes from 1981-82. Vaughn enters the night ranked fourth in the Big West in free throw percentage at .841, a total that would rank him sixth on the school's single-season list, while his career mark of .843 entering the night would be the fourth-best in school history.
HARRIS-ING THE OPPOSITION: Sophomore Alex Harris has done is best to fill the gap left by the losses of the injured Sammy Yeager and D.J. Seeley, reaching double figures in points in each of the last seven games, averaging 13.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.71 assists per game in that span, including a career-high 22 points at Cal Poly to close out the regular season, a career-high eight rebounds at UC Santa Barbara on March 7, and a career-high seven assists against UC Davis on March 2. One of the Titans' iron men in that stretch, Harris has played 38 minutes in four of his last five games and is averaging better than 38.2 minutes in that span, including back-to-back 40-minute performances on the coast this past weekend.
"40" TIMES: No, this isn't the National Football League scouting combine. After having two players play all 40 minutes for the first time in three years on Thursday night at UC Santa Barbara, the Titans had to one-up themselves on Saturday at Cal Poly as senior Kwame Vaughn, sophomore Alex Harris, and freshman Jared Brandon all accomplished the feat against the Mustangs. It was the first time that it has happened for Fullerton since Jacques Streeter (49), Aaron Thompson (47), and Gerard Anderson (44) went above and beyond in a triple-overtime thriller at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 13, 2010.
IS THERE A LID ON THAT THING?: Probably not, as that would be against the rules, but it probably seems like it to the Fullerton offense, which has struggled to put the ball in the basket as of late. The Titans have been held to 20 makes, or fewer, from the field in four of their last five contests -- the only instances of that happening this season. The 17 makes on March 7 against Santa Barbara were the second fewest this season, just one shy of the 16 made against Pacific on Feb. 28 at home.
WHEN WE WIN, WE'RE GOOD...: In its 14 victories this season, Fullerton has been lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 86.2 ppg and .539 shooting from the field, including a .423 clip from beyond the arc. When the Titans are on the short end of the stick, however, things aren't so rosy, held to just 69.3 ppg in 17 losses, shooting just .415 from the floor and .338 from three-point range.
DIGGING A HOLE: The first half of the season produced some big first halves for the Titans, who trailed only twice at the break in their first 16 games en route to a 10-6 record. The "second half" of the season, however, hasn't been as kind as Fullerton has had to find a way to rally with a big second half, trailing at halftime in 12 of its last 15 games and posting just a 4-11 mark in that span.
MMMM... TURNOVERS: Apple? Cherry? Basketball-flavored? Don't know about the last one, but the Titans are a fan, forcing a league-high 499 turnovers entering this week's Big West Conference Tournament, just edging out second-place Cal State Northridge (490) and standing as one of only four teams with more than 400 turnovers forced this season.
DOESN'T SHARE WELL: Speaking of giveaways, the Titans have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in eight of their last nine games -- giving the ball away no more than 15 times in that span -- and have finished with single digits in that category five times in 2012-13. Fullerton leads the league in turnover margin (+3.4) and has had fewer turnovers than the opposition in 24 of its 31 games this season, posting only a 13-11 mark in those games, but outscoring opponents by a 578-421 margin in the points off turnovers category.
WELL, THAT'S NOT MUCH HELP: With Vaughn assuming more of a scoring role due to the losses of Sammy Yeager and D.J. Seeley to injury, the senior guard was held to without an assist for only the third time in 31 games on March 7 at Santa Barbara, but he continues to rank third among active Big West players, and 13th on the school's all-time list, with 230 career assists, trailing Gary Davis (1981-85), who stands 12th with 235 assists as a Titan.
SHARING IS CARING: Seniors D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn have each surpassed the 100-assist mark for the season, marking the second-straight year that the Titans have had two players with at least 100 assists after Vaughn (116) and Perry Webster (100) accomplished the feat in 2011-12. It is a rare sight in Titans men's basketball lore as Cal State Fullerton has had two players with more than 100 assists in the same season only three times dating back to 1972-73, with the only other occurance coming during the 1977-78 season with Mike Linden (204) and Keith Anderson (132) teaming up to share the rock.
MINUTE MEN: With the Titans' rotation thinning, seemingly, every day, Cal State Fullerton's senior backcourt duo of Kwame Vaughn and D.J. Seeley, along with senior Sammy Yeager and sophomore Alex Harris, have had to log a lot of minutes in 2012-13. Vaughn, who has played at least 35 minutes in 20 of the team's 31 games overall (including 15 of the last 21), enters the night ranked atop the league at 34.8 mpg while Seeley, who has 11 games of 35 minutes or more is sixth at 32.8 mpg. Harris, who played in a career-high 40 minutes in both of the Titans' games on the coast, is seventh in the league at 32.7 mpg while Yeager is 10th in the conference at 31.8 mpg.
SEELEY ONE OF SCHOOL'S TOP THIEVES: Thanks to his two steals on Feb. 23 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, senior D.J. Seeley, who holds the top spot in the Big West at 2.0 spg, became only the 15th player in the history of the program to log 100 steals for a career and the first to break into the top 15 since Frank Robinson (2005-08) finished with 122 (No. 10 overall) in 2008. Seeley's 56 steals this season also has him among the program's top 10 for a single campaign, breaking a tie with Wayne Williams (1989-90) for eighth, standing just one back of Chris Dade (1997-98) for seventh, and five shy of Leon Wood (1982-83) and Tony Neal (1981-82) for a spot in the top five.
SWIPER, NO SWIPING!: Fullerton's 242 steals this season are tied for the fourth-most in a single season in school history, just 16 back of the 1982-83 team in third place. The school record for a single season is 296 set by the 2007-08 squad followed by the 1985-86 team's 261 swipes in second.
TWENTY-POINT TIDBITS: Vaughn ranks second in the league with 13 games of 20 points or more this season while Seeley stands tied for third with 11... Seeley leads all active players with 24 career 20-point games with Vaughn close behind in second with 22 in two seasons... the duo stands among a select group of eight active Big West players with 10-or-more 20-point games for their careers... last season, Fullerton was 17-5 when either Seeley (10-3) or Vaughn (7-2) scored at least 20 points, but the Titans are just 8-10 when that occurs in 2012-13... The duo has reached 20 points in the same game 14 times during their Fullerton careers (eight of those coming last season and six times this year), posting an 9-5 mark in those contests (6-1 at home, 3-3 on the road, and 0-1 on a neutral floor).
EIGHT(Y) IS GREAT(Y)...: What a difference a point makes. Cal State Fullerton is a stellar 8-2 this season when scoring at least 80 points this season compared to just 6-15 when scoring 79 points or fewer.
...AND NINETY IS NICE...: Fullerton's 95 points in its win at UC Davis on Jan. 24 marked the sixth time in 14 victories this season that the Titans have eclipsed the 90-point plateau. Fullerton, which reached 90 points six times in 31 games combined last season, is averaging 86.2 ppg in its 14 victories this season while holding opponents to just 70.2 ppg in those contests.
...BUT A HUNDRED IS HEAVENLY: The Titans reached the 100-point plateau for the third time this season with their 105 points against the Cal State Northridge on Jan. 5 -- the first time that Fullerton has surpassed the 100-point plateau three times in a single-season since the 2006-07 campaign when the Titans reached the century mark four times against Cal Maritime (W, 108-56), Eastern Washington (L, 110-100), San Jose State (W, 104-77), and Pacific (W, 100-92 in 2OT).