Men's Basketball Opens Season at No. 10/11 USC
FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton men's basketball begins the 2017-18 season on Friday against No. 10/11 USC. The game at the Galen Center will tip off at 7 p.m. PT and the game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.
FROM THE TIP
• CSF is opening up the season on the road for fifth time in the last six years.
• Junior guard Khalil Ahmad is the team's top returning scorer as he averaged 11.2 points per game in 21 games played.
• Ahmad and sophomore forward Jackson Rowe are the last two Big West Freshman of the Year honorees. Rowe scored 10.4 points per game last year and led the team in rebounding with 7.2 per game.
• Junior guard Kyle Allman is the team's third returning starter that averaged double figures last season, at 10.2 points per game.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10 at USC || 7:00 PM
Series Record: USC leads 5-0
Home Record: 0-0
Away Record: 0-5
Neutral Record: 0-0
Current Streak: Lost 5
First Meeting: 12/11/02 at USC, L, 63-78
Last Meeting: 11/25/14 at USC, L, 49-53
• The Trojans enter the season ranked 11th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 10th in the AP Top 25. USC was also picked to finish second in the Pac-12 Conference preseason poll, its highest-ever ranking in the preseason poll.
• Andy Enfield enters his fifth year at the helm of the USC program. He led the team to a school-record 26 victories during the 2016-17 season and advanced to second round of the NCAA Tournament.
• The Trojans returned all five starters from last year's squad and welcomed the 30th ranked recruiting class (per 247sports.com).
• Junior Chimezie Metu was one of 20 players to be named to the preseason watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award as the nation's top center.
• Junior Bennie Boatwright was one of 20 players to be named to the preseason watch list for the Karl Malone Award as the nation's top power forward.
• Sophomore De'Anthony Melton was one of 20 players to be named to the preseason watch list for the Jerry West Award as the nation's top shooting guard.
• Senior Jordan McLaughlin was one of 20 players named to the preseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard.
TITANS DEFEAT LA VERNE IN EXHIBITION
Five different Titans scored in double figures as Cal State Fullerton men's basketball defeated La Verne 112-57 at Titan Gym (Nov. 4). Freshman Landon Kirkwood led the team in scoring in its lone exhibition game of the season with 13 points.
The Titans welcome seven newcomers to the squad this season, five of which are freshmen and two are junior college transfers. The freshmen include Daniel Venzant, Johnny Wang, Josh Pitts, Gaber Ozegovic and Landon Kirkwood. Ian Fox and Dominik Heinzl joined CSF after two years at the junior college level.
BIG WEST FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR THREE-PEAT?
Junior guard Khalil Ahmad and sophomore Jackson Rowe are the last two Big West Freshman of the Year honorees. Ahmad put together one of the best freshman campaigns in program history during the 2015-16 season. He holds the freshman school records in points (429), scoring average (14.3), field goals made (138) and free throws made, attempted and percentage (112-144, .778).
Rowe claimed the award in 2016-17 by scoring 10.4 points per game (No. 4 in CSF freshman history) and 7.2 rebounds per game (No. 2 in CSF freshman history). Rowe also shot 55.2 percent from the field on the year, the second-best mark in school history for freshmen.
Cal State Fullerton's five freshmen will attempt to continue that streak this season.
The Titans open the season at two nationally-ranked opponents in No. 10/11 USC and then No. 22/22 St. Mary's. The Titans could face St. Mary's again in the Wooden Legacy Classic. Georgia is receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll and Harvard is receiving votes in both polls.
ALL EYES ON ME
The Titans will be on the ESPN family of Networks at least seven times this season. At the minimum, two games will be broadcast on Fox Sports West and two games are being televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
The Titans will look to snap a streak of six straight losses on the road to non-conference opponents at USC on Friday.
AROUND THE WORLD
The Titans have five student-athletes, including three of the newcomers, on the team from outside the United States. Senior Arkim Robertson hails from St. John's, Grenada and sophomore Jackson Rowe is a native of Toronto, Ontario in Canada. Junior Dominik Heinzl is from Uzov, Czech Republic, freshman Gaber Ozegovic hails from Kranj, Slovenia and freshman Johnny Wang is a native of Beijing, China.
SUPPORT THE TITANS!
Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting FullertonTitans.com/Tickets. The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at email@example.com. The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.
FOLLOW THE TITANS!
Fans can keep up with the latest in Titan Athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook/FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) Instagram (@FullertonTitans) and Snapchat (FullertonTitans). In addition, the basketball team has established its own Twitter (@FullertonHoops) and Instagram accounts (@FullertonHoops).