November 12, 2008

CSF Men Open Basketball Season in Honolulu

Nov. 12, 2008

Honolulu, HI - UPCOMING:
Fri., Nov. 14 -- vs. Texas State, at Verizon Wireless Tipoff Classic, Stan Sheriff Center (10,300), 7 p.m. PST, Honolulu, HI
Sun., Nov. 16 -- at Hawai'i, Verizon Wireless Tipoff Classic, Stan Sheriff Center (10,300), 7:05 p.m. PST, Honolulu, HI - - KFVE-TV in Honolulu
Thur., Nov. 20 -- Hope International, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:05 p.m. PST
Sun., Nov. 23 -- at Portland State, Stott Center (1,500), 2:05 p.m. PST

IN A NUTSHELL: The new-look Titans (0-0) open the 2008-09 season with only two returning players -- guards Josh Akognon and Marcio Lassiter -- on their 12-man playing roster. It's Fullerton's fifth trip to the Islands in the program's 49-year basketball history, the first since an 0-2 performance in 2002-03. Fullerton is coming off a 24-9 season that featured a co-championship of the Big West Conference and a tournament title that produced the Titans' first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 30 years.

AUDIO: All Titan games (except the 76 Classic in Anaheim) can be heard live on the internet on computers with sound cards. Listeners may access the CSF Athletics home page at www.fullertontitans.com and follow the links. SID Mel Franks will call the games from Hawai'i.

VIDEO: Sunday's game vs. Hawai'I will be televised on the Islands by KFVE-TV in Honolulu. All Titan home games and road Big West Conference games are available via videostreaming on a subscription basis. Details are available on the Big West website at www.bigwest.org.

PROBABLE STARTERS:
No. Name Ht. Yr. \#ppg \#r/apg Quick Notes
G 1 Josh Akognon* 6-1 Sr. 20.2 3.3r Pre-season All-Big West Conference first-team selection
G 11 Marcio Lassiter* 6-2 Sr. 3.3 1.1r Attempted 19 3-point field goals in Blue-White scrimmage
G 22 Jacques Streeter 6-0 Fr. -- -- True freshman from Findlay Prep in Las Vegas
F 24 Gerard Anderson 6-6 Jr. -- -- Redshirted last year; transfer from Saddleback College
F 42 Papa Guisse 6-8 Jr. -- -- Transfer from national runnerup Salt Lake City Community College
OFF THE BENCH: F 43 Ray Miller 6-8 Jr. -- -- Transfer from Iowa Western College
G 21 Chris Rhymes 6-4 Jr. -- -- Transfer from Cowley County JC coming back from knee surgery
G 14 Ameer Shamsud-din 6-2 Fr. -- -- True freshman from Benson Tech in Portland; last scholarship player signed
C 55 Adam Thomas 7-2 Jr. -- -- Redshirted last year; late start to his basketball career
G 0 Aaron Thompson 6-4 Jr. -- -- Transfer from Cerritos College; aggressive undersized rebounder
F 5 Regan Andersen 6-7 Jr. -- -- Well-traveled Milwaukee native; walk-on transfer from Oxnard College
G 44 Kwasi Mensah 6-3 Fr. -- -- Walk-on from Rancho Cucamonga HS
*letters earned \#2007-08 CSF statistics

SERIES HISTORIES: The Titans and the Bobcats of Texas State never have met while Fullerton and Hawai'i have split two meetings, both in Honolulu.

ABOUT THE BOBCATS: Texas State (formerly Southwestern Texas) from San Marcos is coming off a 13-16 season and was picked sixth in the Southland Conference's West Division's pre-season poll... 6-foot-7 senior guard Brandon Bush has led the team in scoring and rebounding in each of the last two seasons... the Bobcats were one of the six teams in the nation last season to outscore Fullerton, averaging 83.6 points per game compared to Fullerton's 81.8.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Hawai'i is coming off its first losing season in nine years at 11-19 including a season-ending 7-game losing streak... the Warriors feature five returning lettermen, four eligible redshirts and six newcomers... Hawai'i won its two pre-season exhibitions, 72-70 over Hawai'i-Hilo and 80-63 over Chaminade. Hawai'i plays University of San Francisco in Friday's second game.

THE COACH: Bob Burton is 92-60 in his sixth year at Cal State Fullerton and career. At .605, Burton has is the winningest coach in Titan history. Alex Omalev has the most total victories (139-176) followed by George McQuarn (122-117). Bobby Dye is second in winning percentage at .583 (109-78).

ROAD WARRIORS: Under Bob Burton, the Titans have made dramatic strides as a road team. In the past four seasons they were 41-31 (.569) away from Titan Gym (includes 9-6 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 44-42 (.512).

ON OAHU: This is Cal State Fullerton's fifth basketball trip to Hawai'i, all on Oahu... at Blaisdell Arena, 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 (the last one for former Head Coach Donny Daniels) in the Sheriff Center with losses to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Arkansas-Little Rock.

SEASON OPENERS: In the Bob Burton Era, the Titans are 2-3 in season openers, losing at Northern Arizona and to Samford on a neutral court and winning the last three seasons at home over Hope International, 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.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY: In 28 regular-season tournaments at the Div. I level, the Titans are 32-26 (.552) with seven championships. They have gone 2-0 seven times, 1-1 on 17 occasions, 0-2 twice and 0-3 and 1-2 once each. Their last championship was in 1986-87 when they won the Cougar Classic by beating TCU and host BYU.

EXHIBITION WIN: Josh Akognon scored 23 points and five teammates also were in double figures as Cal State Fullerton rolled to a 101-67 men's basketball exhibition victory on Nov. 6 over Carroll College of Helena, Montana. Jacques Streeter had 16 points and Marcio Lassiter added 15 for the Titans, who shot 56 percent from the floor, taking advantage of many of the Fighting Saints' 24 turnovers for easy baskets. Gerard Anderson led the Titans with 10 rebounds and had 11 points, as did junior Aaron Thompson. Ameer Shamsud-din added 12 points. Fullerton used an early 10-0 run to bolt to a 14-4 lead and never trailed.

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