March 7, 2012
Anaheim, Calif. -
Thur., Mar. 8 -- at Big West Conference Tournament, Honda Center, vs. UC Irvine, approximately 2:30 p.m.
IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans (21-8, 12-4) are appearing in the Big West Conference Post-Season Tournament for the 34th time in its 37-year history. Fullerton is the No. 2 seed and plays No. 7-seed UC Irvine (11-19, 6-10), whom it beat twice in close games. The Titans have won the tourney and its automatic NCAA Tournament berth twice, in 1978 and 2008. Their all-time record is 22-31 including 6-1 vs. UCI. Coach Bob Burton is 8-7 in the tourney including 6-2 in first games. Both teams lost in the first round last year -- the Titans to Cal State Northridge and the Anteaters to Long Beach State.
HIGH SEED, BAD OMEN: The No. 2 seed is Fullerton's highest since a similar spot in 1983, which resulted in a 61-59 loss in the first round to No. 7 Long Beach State in the Forum, 61-59. The only other true No. 1 or No. 2 seed was a No. 1 in the inaugural tournament in 1976 at the Stockton Civic Auditorium and that resulted in a 72-64 loss to No. 4 Pacific. Fullerton was a No. 2 WEST seed in 1998 (with a 6-10 record) and beat Boise State, 89-82, in Reno.
20-WIN SEASON: Fullerton has posted its sixth winning season in the 9-year Bob Burton Era and the sixth in the last 19 seasons. Fullerton has won 20 games in a season for only the seventh time in school history (52nd season), the fourth time by Burton teams. This, after a 20-loss season in 2010-11 (11-20 record). Previous 20-win seasons: 24-7 in 1961-62; 23-9 in 1977-78; 21-8 in 1982-83; 21-11 in 2004-05; 20-10 in 2006-07; and 24-9 in 2007-08. The Titans tied for second place in the Big West. It's the third time in the Burton Era but only the fifth time in the program's Div. I history that they finished first or second.
AWARD SEASON: Fullerton's entire starting five received All-Big West Conference accolades Monday from the opposing coaches. D. J. Seeley was selected Newcomer of the Year and made the first team, Kwame Vaughn and Omondi Amoke gained second-team honors and Orane Chin and Isiah Umipig received honorable mention. Only once before has CSF had three players on the first and second teams: Scott Cutley (1st), Josh Akognon (2nd) and Frank Robinson (2nd) in 2008. Seeley also was selected player of the week for all mid-majors by College Sports Madness as well as the Big West.
AUDIO: Most Titan games can be heard live on the internet. Listeners may access the CSF Athletics home page at www.fullertontitans.com and follow the links. Mike Martinez and Kevin Barbarino will call the Big West Tourney games.
VIDEO: First-round Big West games can be viewed on computers via BigWest subscription TV. The semifinals will be carried by ESPNU and the championship game by ESPN2.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg a/rpg Quick Notes
G 5 Kwame Vaughn 6-3 Jr. 15.6 3.9a Transfer from USF; scored 49 points in 2 games vs. UCI, making 6 of 8 treys
G 13 Isiah Umipig* 6-1 So. 13.9 2.8r Leads Big West in 3-point baskets per game at 2.76 per game
G 11 D. J. Seeley 6-4 Jr. 17.0 5.4r Transfer from Cal; 54 points, 10-for-10 treys in 2 games vs. UCI
F 15 Orane Chin** 6-7 Sr. 9.9 5.0r Transfer from South Florida; matched career high with 5 assists vs. Beach
F 21 Omondi Amoke 6-7 Sr. 11.2 8.8r Transfer from Cal; missed second UCI game with ankle injury; 23 & 17 in 1st
OFF THE BENCH:
G 3 Perry Webster* 6-1 Sr. 3.6 3.1a Season-high 12 points at UC Davis; 13-for-20 treys over last 10 games
G 10 Cameron Glover 6-0 Jr. 1.0 0.7r Transfer from Mt. San Jacinto JC
C 12 John Underwood 6-9 Jr. 1.1 1.4r Transfer from Missouri has started 3 games
G 14 Orlando Brown* 6-2 Sr. 1.9 1.0r Hit clutch trey to stop 7-0 UCI run in second half on Jan. 21
C 24 Bernard Webb 6-9 Jr. 2.0 0.6r Transfer from Salt Lake City CC played in only 7 games due to a broken foot
G 32 Chris Collins 6-4 RFr. 1.7 1.0r Sat out true freshman season last year
C 33 Sedric Martin* 6-6 Sr. 3.1 1.8r Last 7 games averaging 6.6 points and 3.4 rebounds
G 44 Jordan Knox 6-0 Jr. 0.0 0.6r Transfer from Las Positas JC in Livermore, Calif.
HOW YOU SAY IT: OHR-uhn Chin &\#149; igh-ZAY-uh YOO-muh-pig &\#149; kwah-MAY Vaughn &\#149; oh-MAHN-dee ah-MOHK-ee
LAST GAME: Before a raucous crowd of 3,458 that included hundreds of students from both schools, the Titans beat Long Beach State, 77-74, to hand the champion 49ers their only conference loss. D. J. Seeley led a Fullerton rally from down 7 in the final 6+ minutes and scored 27 points, one shy of his career best. Isiah Umipig added 16 points and led a stellar defensive effort on Casper Ware, who was 2-of-15 shooting.
THE COACH: Bob Burton is 155-120 in his ninth season at Cal State Fullerton and career. He has passed Alex Omalev (139-176 in 12 years) for the most CSF wins all-time. Burton's winning percentage of .564 trails only Bobby Dye (.583, 109-78). This will be his fifth season at Fullerton finishing in the top three spots in the standings -- 3rdT in 2004-05; 2ndT in 2006-07; 1stT in 2008-08; 3rdT in 2009-10; and now 2ndT in 2011-12.
ON THE ROAD: The Titans are a game over .500 on the road this season at 8-7 (7-6 hostile, 1-1 neutral). From the 2004-05 through 2009-10 seasons, Coach Burton's second thru seventh years, the Titans were 57-51 (.528) on the road. But last year they were only 4-15 away from Titan Gym. Coach Burton's current total (including 13-19 on neutral floors) is 73-85 (.462). By comparison, for the nine seasons (1994-95 thru 2002-03) prior to Burton's arrival, the combined road record was 27-104 (.206).
FRIENDLY CONFINES: At 13-1 this season, the Titans are now 82-35 (.701) under Bob Burton in Titan Gym -- 40-5 (.889) in non-conference games and 42-30 (.583) in Big West games. Fullerton's all-time Div. I Titan Gym record is 307-168 (.646). Fullerton also is 1-8 in regular season home games at the Anaheim Convention Center. Fullerton has won 37 of its last 40 home non-conference games with the exceptions an 84-80 loss to Wright State on Dec. 22, 2007, a 71-57 loss to Montana on Dec. 22, 2010, and Nov. 26 of this season vs. Bakersfield.
MORE WINNING AT HOME: Fullerton went unbeaten at home in conference play at 8-0 for the first time since the 1982-83 team also went 8-0 including a win over No. 1-ranked UNLV. Coach Burton's best previous home Big West record was 7-2 in 2004-05. The overall mark of 13-1 is second in the program's Div. I history to only Leon Wood's 1982-83 team that went 13-0. Burton's previous overall best was the 2006-07 team that went 12-2.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT: The Titans and Anteaters had a pair of shootouts this year with the Titans prevailing each time, 92-84 at UCI on Jan. 21 and 100-94 in Titan Gym on Feb. 9. UCI is a perimeter-oriented team led by second-team All-Big West guard Michael Wilder (11.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and honorable mention guard Daman Starring (11.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg).
SERIES HISTORY: The Titans lead it, 52-42, and have won three in a row and five out of six. Coach Burton is 12-7 vs. UCI, 3-0 against Coach Turner.
HALFTIME INDICATORS: Fullerton is 15-0 when leading at the half, 6-7 when trailing and 0-1 when tied. The Titans have outscored the opposition by 90 points (38.0 to 34.8) in the first half and by 134 points (40.6 to 35.9) in the second half.
BALANCED, EXPLOSIVE STARTING FIVE: The Titans have used the same starting lineup -- Chin, Amoke, Seeley, Vaughn & Umipig -- in every game but three. All but Chin (9.9 ppg) are averaging in double figures led by Seeley and Vaughn, at 17.0 and 15.6 ppg, respectively. Each of the five has been the team's game leader or co-leader in scoring at least three times (Seeley 11, Vaughn 8, Umipig 7, Amoke 4 and Chin 3).
3-POINT SLUMP: Prior to making 9 of 21 3-pointers vs. Long Beach on Saturday, the Titans had been shooting more 3-pointers and making less of them. In the previous 3 games they were 29-for-91 (.264), dropping the season's percentage from .428 (2nd in the nation) to .411 (now back up to .412).
At .412, the team is unlikely to top the school record of .436 by the 1984-85 squad, which made 44 of 101 attempts in the early days of the rule. But it's well ahead of the best performance by a Bob Burton Era team -- .385 (285 of 741) by the 2007-08 NCAA Tournament team.
SCORING TRIO: Last-season redshirts Seeley, Amoke and Vaughn have combined for 1,258 or 55 percent of Fullerton's 2,279 points so far this season. Isiah Umipig (402) has scored 18 percent to leave the remaining 27 percent spread among 10 players.
AMONG THE BIG WEST: Through games of Mar. 3, Fullerton was among the Big West Conference leaders in:
-- scoring (1st)
-- FG percentage (1st)
-- 3ptFG percentage (1st)
-- rebounding margin (1st)
-- 3pt FGs made (1st)
-- scoring margin (2nd)
-- assists (3rd)
but near the bottom in:
-- turnover margin (7th)
-- assist/turnover ratio (7th)
-- Vaughn was 1st in assists
-- Umipig was 1st in 3ptFGs made
-- Webster was 1st in assist/turnover ratio
-- Vaughn was 2nd in FT percentage
-- Amoke was 2nd in rebounding
-- Amoke was 2nd in double-doubles
-- Amoke was 3rd in FG percentage
-- Seeley was 3rd in steals
-- and the Titans had three of the top 9 scorers in Seeley (3rd), Vaughn (6th) and Umipig (9th).
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Thru games of Mar. 4, Fullerton ranked 4th in 3-point FG percentage at .412 (Northern Colorado No. 1 at .444); 13th in 3's made at 8.7 per game (Florida at 10.0); 18th in FG percentage at .482 (Creighton .509) and 12th in scoring at 78.6 ppg (Iona at 83.4). Webster ranked No. 20 in assist/turnover ratio at 2.50.
REBOUNDING EDGE: Fullerton has outrebounded its opponents by an average of 5.4 per game despite a lack of great size but is only +2.3 in Big West play. The school record for rebounding margin is + 6.1 by the 2003-04 team. The next best is plus 5.1 by the 1978-79 squad.
AMOKE: Omondi Amoke hurt his ankle in the Cal Poly game (missed the UCI game) and has been ill the last few weeks, resulting in some inconsistent numbers. He had 18 points and 14 rebounds at UCR but only 5 points and 0 rebounds vs. Montana State. He had 1 rebound at UC Davis but 12 vs. CSUN last Wednesday and 13 vs. Long Beach on Saturday. In the first UCI game he had career highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds but he missed the rematch.
CHIN: Orane Chin had his first sub-par game of February vs. CSUN last Wednesday with 6 points and 0 rebounds before fouling out after 29 minutes. But he bounced back with 9 points and 10 rebounds vs. Long Beach. He had averaged 14.2 points over the previous 6 games while making 34 of 55 field goals (.618) including 9-of-18 threes. The third-year player leads the current Titans in career scoring with 895 points and 433 rebounds.
MARTIN: Sedric Martin has scored 61 points all season. He got 27 of them in 2 games -- vs. UCI (14) and UCR (13). He has 12 of his 36 rebounds in those 2 games.
SEELEY: D. J. Seeley is averaging 22.0 points and 7.0 rebounds over the last 4 games while making 10-for-25 (.400) behind the arc. He wasonly 5-for-22 (.227) from the 3-point line over the 5 games prior to going 5-for-6 vs. Long Beach. In the previous 7 games he was 24-for-34 (.706). At .444, he is leading by the thinnest of margins the Titan single-season record of .443 by Don Leary (89 of 201) in 1992-93. Perry Webster (.489) and Orane Chin (.433) have comparable marks but slightly less than 1 make per game.
UMIPIG: Isiah "Zeke" Umipig's .867 free-throw percentage leads the team and would top the Big West but at 52-of-60 he is 6 makes shy of the qualifying minimum. He has made 2 or more 3-pointers in each of the last six games and 10 of the last 11. But he's only 2-for-8 vs. UCI.
VAUGHN: Kwame Vaughn's 37-point game vs. UCSB is surpassed only by the following in Titan Div. I history: 47 points by Bobby Brown vs. Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 16, 2006; 41 by Josh Akognon twice; and 38 by Richard Morton. Akognon also had a 37-point game. After his 37-point game, Vaughn tallied 24 vs. UCI but then averaged only 9.3 points over the next 4 games before erupting for another 24 vs. CSU Northridge last Wednesday.
WEBSTER: Perry Webster led the Big West last year in assists-to-turnover ratio at 2.67 to 1 and he's not far off that pace this season at 2.50 to 1 (90 assists, 36 turnovers). He had his season high of 12 points at UC Davis on Feb. 25 and had 6 vs. CSUN last Wednesday. He had made at least one 3-pointer in 9 games in a row before going 0-for-1 vs. Long Beach.
DIVISION I TRANSFERS: Omondi Amoke, D. J. Seeley, John Underwood and Kwame Vaughn have brought the number of Div. I transfers to play for Coach Bob Burton to 15. Teammates Orane Chin and Andre Hardy preceded them. Two others (Sean Williams, Syracuse, academics; and Lloyd Walls, Wright State, injury) redshirted but never actually played. In Fullerton's Div. I history, they bring the total to 38. In the same time frame (1975 to present), only six players have left for other Div. I programs and only one (Jacques Streeter to UTEP) in the Burton era. Currently waiting in the wings are Sammy Yeager from TCU, Alex Harris from Northeastern and late arrival Darius Nelson from UTEP.
ANOTHER DIV. I TRANSFER: Forward Darius Nelson has walked on the Titan roster after completing Fall classes at UTEP and will be eligible for the Titans at the end of the Fall 2012 semester. He was one of the highest scoring players in northern California history for Sheldon High School in Sacramento County. His brother DeMarcus played four seasons at Duke and later with the Golden State Warriors.
NOVEMBER SIGNEES: The Titans have signed three incoming players for 2012-13.
Forwards Marquis Horne of Salt Lake City Community College and center James "Deuce" Johnson of Central Wyoming College both began their careers at the Div. I level. Horne, 6-foot-6, began his career at Ohio University but never played while Johnson, 6-foot-7, played his freshman year at Louisiana Tech.
Horne and Johnson will have two seasons of eligibility while 6-foot-4 prep school guard Jared Brandon of Maine Central Institute, who led Canyon Springs High School of North Las Vegas to the Nevada state championship in 2011, will have four.