November 9, 2010

Cagers Open in Hawai'i

Nov. 9, 2010

Honolulu, Hawaii - Cal State Fullerton opens its men's basketball season in Hawai'i for the second time in three years with three games in the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic beginning Friday.

UPCOMING:
at Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic, Stan Sheriff Center (10,300), Honolulu, Hawai'i
Fri., Nov. 12 -- vs. Central Michigan, 11:30 p.m. PST
Sat., Nov. 13 -- at Hawai'i, 9 p.m. PST
Mon., Nov. 15 -- vs. Montana State, 7 p.m. PST

Sun., Nov. 21 -- at Univ. of San Diego, Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100), 4:30 p.m. PST

IN A NUTSHELL: The Titans make their sixth trip to Hawai'i and second in 24 months to open the 2010-11 season at the Outrigger Hotel Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, where they will face Central Michigan, Hawai'i and Montana State.

AUDIO: All 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. Mel Franks will call the games in Honolulu.

VIDEO: The game vs. Hawai'i will be televised on the islands on KFVE-TV out of Honolulu.

POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP:
No. Name Ht. Yr. ppg rpg Quick Notes

G 21 Perry Webster 6-1 Jr. Transfer from Saddleback College; MVP of state championship game

G 3 Devon Peltier* 5-11 Sr. 10.1 1.5r Led team in 3-point field goals in 2009-10 with 76 (in 181 tries, .420)

G 11 Roger Guardia 6-4 Sr. 25-year-old Spaniard is transfer from Cuesta College with one year to play

F 45 Steve Jurich 6-7 Jr. Transfer from Scottsdale Community College; led league in rebounding

F 15 Orane Chin* 6-7 Jr. 7.4 3.6r Played in all 31 games last year, 2 as a starter; 9 times in double figures

OFF THE BENCH:
G 13 Isiah Umipig 6-1 Fr. Freshman from Federal Way, Washington; nickname is Zeke

G 14 Orlando Brown 6-1 Jr. Transfer from Connors State JC; brother Preston played at Sam Houston St.

G 32 Eric Williams* 6-3 Sr. 1.6 0.6a Last-second hero of miracle triple overtime win at Cal State Northridge

C 33 Sedric Martin 6-6 Jr. Transfer from New Mexico Military Institute

F 42 Chris Collins 6-4 Fr. Walk-on freshman from Chino Hills HS

DISABLED LIST:
F 12 Jer'Vaughn Johnson* 6-6 Sr. 11.3 6.5 Suffered strained medial collateral ligament in his knee in practice

F 0 Andre Hardy 6-6 Jr. Had surgery to remove bone chips and repair ligament in his ankle

*letters earned ( ppg and rpg - last season)

HOW YOU SAY IT: dee-VAHN pehl-tee-AY &\#149; Steve JUHR-itch &\#149; OHR-uhn Chin &\#149; Roger GWAHR-dee-uh &\#149; igh-ZAY-uh YOO-muh-pig

SEASON OPENERS: In the Bob Burton Era, the Titans are 3-4 in season openers, losing at Northern Arizona, Samford and Texas State on neutral courts and winning at home over Hope International (twice), Cal Maritime and Cal State Bakersfield. They last won an opener away from home on Nov. 22, 1996, at BYU by a 75-67 score.

ON OAHU: This is Cal State Fullerton's sixth basketball trip to Hawai'i, all on Oahu, where the Titans are (x-x)... at Blaisdell Arena (3-3), the Titans went 1-2 in the 1981-82 season, losing to Wichita State and Michigan State and beating Bradley in the Rainbow Classic; they swept McNeese State and Hawai'i in a season-opening tournament in 1983-84; and they went 1-2 in 1985-86, beating BYU-Hawai'i between losses at Hawai'i and Hawai'i Pacific... they opened the 2002-03 season in the Sheriff Center with losses to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Arkansas-Little Rock and opened the 2008-09 season in the VerizonWireless TipOff Classic with a loss to Texas State and a win over Hawai'i behind a Sheriff Center record 41-point effort by Josh Akognon.

EXHIBITION RECAPS: The Titans had a closed scrimmage at home vs. Pepperdine on Oct. 30 and a Nov. 6 home exhibition with Cal State L.A. to help prepare for the season opener. The Titans won the latter, 79-67, with Devon Peltier scoring a game-high 20 points and Orane Chin delivering an impressive double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds. Fullerton hit 10 of 21 3-point field goals.

NO EXPERIENCE: With no two-years or more lettermen, the Titans take a roster to Oahu that has never played there at the collegiate level. In fact, the Titans have a total of only eight seasons of Div. I experience (Johnson 3, Hardy 2, Chin 2 and Peltier 1) and only three of those are at Fullerton (Johnson, Chin and Peltier). With Johnso and Hardy sidelined by injury, the Titans bring only eight scholarship players to Oahu with a total of three seasons of Div. I experience.

ROAD WARRIORS: The Titans do take to the islands a streak of six wins in their last seven away games, having finished last year's away schedule with wins at Bakersfield, Long Beach, Irvine, Northridge and San Luis Obispo and a win over Cal State Northridge and a loss to UC Davis on the neutral floor of the Anaheim Convention Center. Under Bob Burton, the Titans have made dramatic strides as a road team. In the past six seasons, they are 58-52 (.527) away from Titan Gym (includes 11-13 on neutral floors). For the previous 10 seasons (1994-95 thru 2003-04) the combined road record was 30-115 (.207). With a 3-11 mark in his first season (2003-04), Burton's total CSF road record is 61-63 (.492).

TOURNAMENT HISTORY: In 31 regular-season tournaments at the Div. I level, the Titans are 34-31 (.523) with seven championships. They have gone 2-0 seven times, 1-1 on 18 occasions, 0-2 thrice, 1-2 twice and 0-3 once. Their last championship was in 1986-87 when they won the Cougar Classic by beating TCU and host BYU.

ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN: The Chippewas are one of the favorites this year in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference. They received eight first-place votes in a pre-season media poll and totaled 122 points to trail only Ball State with 124 points and 12 first-place votes. Last year they won the West with a 9-7 record and were 15-15 overall. Three starters return for fifth-year Head Coach Ernie Zeigler in 6-4 senior guard Jalin Thomas (7.4 ppg), 6-3 senior guard Antonio Weary (5.1 ppg) and 6-7 senior forward Will McClure (3.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg).

ABOUT HAWAI'I: The Warriors have a new coach in Gib Arnold, who was an assistant at USC the past five seasons. His father, Frank, coached Hawai'i during the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons. Three lettermen including two starters return from a 10-20 squad last year, that finished ninth in the Western Athletic Conference and has been projected to repeat by both the media and coaches in this year's polls. Bill Amis, a 6-9 senior forward, averaged 10.7 points and 6.5 rebounds last year. Hiram Thompson, a 6-2 senior guard, averaged 9.2 points and shot 44 percent from the 3-point line.

ABOUT MONTANA STATE: The Bobcats have three veterans in All-Big Sky 6-7 forward Bobby Howard, 6-5 guard Erik Rush and 6-6 forward Danny Piepoli joined by nine newcomers and two eligible redshirts. Howard had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in a 99-62 exhibition win over Mayville (ND) State on Friday. Newcomer Shawn Reid also had 16 points. Coach Brad Huse is in his fifth season. The Bobcats were projected for fifth place in the Big Sky by both the media and coaches in pre-season polls. Last year they tied for third at 10-6 in league and were 15-14 overall.

LAST MEETINGS: The Titans have faced all three Oahu opponents in the last few years.

Central Michigan - the teams split a home-and-home series in 2007-08 and 2008-09 with the home team winning each: 79-76 for CMU on Dec. 8, 2007, and 79-65 for the Titans on Dec. 6, 2008. The Titans won the only previous matchup, 75-42, on Dec. 15, 1975, to hold a 2-1 series edge.

Hawai'i - the Titans rode a Sheriff Center record 41-point effort by Josh Akognon to beat the Warriors, 90-76, on Nov. 16, 2008, and take a 2-1 lead in the series. Fullerton's other win over Hawai'i came on Nov. 27, 1983, when CSF's Leon Wood scored 34 points. UH's win came in Fullerton's season opener on Nov. 22, 1985, by a 79-76 score.

Montana State - the teams split an in-season home-and-home series two years ago. The Bobcats won in Bozeman, 74-60, on Dec. 9, 2008, and the Titans prevailed at home, 88-80, on Dec. 22, 2008. Bobby Howard had 20 points and 7 rebounds in Bozeman and 18 points and 7 rebounds in Fullerton, where Rush led his team with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. In the Titan win, Josh Akognon hit six 3-point field goals in the second half on his way to 29 points. MSU leads the all-time series, 3-2.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 123-92 in his first seven seasons at Cal State Fullerton and career. He has the most victories at the Div. I level and trails only Alex Omalev (139-176 in 12 years) all-time. Burton's winning percentage of .542 trails only Bobby Dye (.583, 109-78).