Titans Wrap Up Road Swing at Central Michigan
Dec. 4, 2007
Mt. Pleasant, MI -
Sat., Dec. 8 -- at Central Michigan, Rose Arena (5,200), 6:30 p.m. EST
Mon., Dec. 17 -- Southern Utah, Titan Gym (4,000), 7:05 p.m. PST
IN A NUTSHELL: The cold (24 degrees) of Missoula was more conducive to success for the Titans last week than the fair weather (78 degrees) of Tucson, so the Titans should feel more comfortable and confident in the chill of Michigan this week. Fullerton (4-1) will end a 4-week, 4-game stretch on the road Saturday night at Central Michigan, which will take a 1-5 record into a Wednesday night game at Robert Morris. Snow is expected this week in Mt. Pleasant. The Titans are coming off a 100-91 shootout victory at Montana after a 91-65 loss that wasn't that close at Arizona two nights earlier.
AUDIO: All Titan games 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. Mel Franks will be the announcer at Central Michigan.
VIDEO: 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.
SERIES HISTORY: The Titans are meeting the Chippewas for only the second time. Fullerton logged a 75-42 victory in California in 1975-76. Central Michigan is scheduled to return this week's game on Dec. 6, 2008. Fullerton made one previous visit to Michigan, losing to Earvin Johnson's Michigan State team, 92-89, on Dec. 9, 1978.
ABOUT THE CHIPPEWAS: Central Michigan was picked to win the Western Division of the Mid-American Conference by The Sporting News but it got off to an 0-5 start before winning at Detroit-Mercy on Saturday night, 70-66. Second-year Coach Ernie Zeigler is a former UCLA assistant. CMU has the top returning scorer in the MAC in senior guard Giordan Watson, who is averaging 16.3 points to lead the team thru 6 games. Swingman Nate Minnoy (6-3, 260) is averaging 11.7 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds. Central Michigan is located in Mount Pleasant, which not coincidentally is situated in the geographic center of the state about 150 miles northwest of Detroit, hometown of Titan guard Marcus Crenshaw.
THE COACH: Bob Burton is 72-52 in his fifth year at Cal State Fullerton and career. At .581, Burton has the second best winning percentage of any Titans' head coach, trailing only Bobby Dye (109-78, .583). His four previous 6-game records at Fullerton: 2-4 in 2003-04; 3-3 in 2004-05; 4-2 in 2005-06; and 5-1 last season.
THESE 30 ROAD WINS MUCH QUICKER: Under Bob Burton, the Titans have made dramatic strides as a road team. In the past three seasons plus this season to date, they are 30-26 (.536) away from Titan Gym. For the previous 10 seasons (1994-95 thru 2003-04) the combined road record was 30-115. With a 3-11 mark in his first season (2003-04), Burton's total CSF road record is 33-37.
HEALING MAN CUTLEY: The Titans' returning first-team All-Big West Conference senior forward returned to the practice floor during Thanksgiving weekend, came off the bench at Arizona and started at Montana, six weeks after suffering a fractured right ankle. Last season he missed only one game despite a broken thumb. He led the Big West in rebounding last year and Friday led the team with 9 against the Grizzlies.
AKOGNON LIKES THE TEMPO: Josh Akognon is averaging better than five 3-point field goals per game at 26-for-57 (.456) while leading the team and the Big West Conference in scoring at 24.2 points per game. The Washington State transfer led the Cougars in scoring in 2005-06 but made just under two treys per game while averaging 10.3 points.
ROBINSON REBOUNDS: Frank Robinson bounced back from one of his worst games as a Titan to score a career-high 30 points at Montana to go with 5 assists and 4 rebounds. He was 1-for-7 from the floor in Tucson and 11-for-16 in Missoula. He continues to lead the team in rebounding at 6.2 rpg.
CRENSHAW STARTS: Junior guard Marcus Crenshaw, the Big West Conference's Sixth Man of the Year in 2006-07, started at Montana on Friday after 31 consecutive appearances off the bench. He started his first three games as a Titan in November of 2006 when the roster was short three suspended players. He leads the Titans in 3-point field goal percentage at .481 (13-for-27) and is only 18 makes away from moving into the Titans' all-time Top Ten list for successful treys.
MORGAN SHINES IN TV SPOTLIGHT: Marcus Morgan had his best statistical game against easily the toughest opponent he has faced in his 35-game Titan career. He scored 13 points and grabbed 9 rebounds while playing solid defense at Arizona. Two nights later in Montana, with a large contingent of family members watching, he got into early foul trouble and finished with only 2 points and 3 rebounds in 13 minutes of action.
SURVEY SAYS: Cal State Fullerton was a consensus third-place prediction at the annual Big West Conference Basketball Media Day on Oct. 24 behind UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly SLO. The Titans were third in the media poll and tied for third with Pacific in the coaches poll.