FULLERTON, Calif. - The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team hits the road once again to open up Big West Conference action at Hawai'i on Wednesday at 9 p.m. PT then hosts UC Irvine at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
FROM THE TIP
• The Titans open Big West Conference action at Hawai'i on Wednesday and then return home for a rematch of the 2018 Big West Tournament Final on Saturday against UC Irvine.
• Senior guard Kyle Allman, Jr., Allman is tops on the team and second in the league in points per game at 18.5. He's third on the squad in assists and tied a career-high against Wake Forest (Nov. 16) with eight helpers. The Brooklyn native has scored has scored 10+ in 33 of his last 34 games. Allman has scored 30+ six times over the course of this season and last season.
• Senior guard Khalil Ahmad, the Nov. 19 Big West Player of the Week, is second on the team and fourth in the Big West in scoring at 18.2 points per game. He had a strong showing at the Myrtle Beach Invitational as he earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Over the three-game tournament he averaged 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals, including a 40-point outburst against Monmouth. He's also fourth in the league in steals per game at 1.64.
• Ahmad became the 24th Titan in program history to score 1,000 points in a career after scoring 31 at UC Davis (Feb. 10, 2018). He has totaled 1,404 points in his career, the eighth-best mark in the program. Allman joined him in the 1K Club on Feb. 28 when he scored 23 points at CSUN (Feb. 16, 2018). He sits 1,342 points for his career, No. 9 all-time.
• Junior forward Jackson Rowe, the reigning Big West Player of the Week, has been doing a bit of everything on the floor this year. He is averaging 10.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 0.92 steals per game. He leads the team in both rebounds and blocks. He's shooting an impressive 57.4% (58-101) from the field this year, the No. 2 mark in the league. He recorded his second double-double of the season at Washington (Jan. 1) to earn weekly conference honors as he posted 22 points and 11 rebounds. Rowe has played 356 minutes for the Titans this year and the team has out-scored the opponent by 38 points (+4.27 per 40 minutes) in that timeframe, the best mark on the team of those who play regularly.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9 AT HAWAI'I || 9 PM PT
Series Record: 4-13
Home Record: 1-5
Away Record: 3-7
Neutral Record: 0-1
Current Streak: L1
First Meeting: 11/27/83 at Hawai'i, W, 90-60
Last Meeting: 03/03/18 vs. Hawai'i, L, 68-60
UH enters its seventh season in the Big West and has won one title (2015-16). The preseason poll had UH at 6th, exactly where they placed last year. The Rainbow Warriors went 8-8 last year and split the season series with each of its league opponents.
UH has never finished with a losing record in the Big West regular-season. UH is 2-4 in Big West openers (one win vacated) and 5-1 in its first Big West home game of the year. UH will play CSF in a conference opener for the second-time (also 2016, lost on road).
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12 VS. UC IRVINE || 6 PM PT
Series Record: 55-53
Home Record: 24-25
Away Record: 24-26
Neutral Record: 7-2
Current Streak: W1
First Meeting: 01/15/66 at UC Irvine, L, 68-74
Last Meeting: 03/10/18 vs. UC Irvine, W, 71-55
UC IRVINE NOTES
UCI at 12-4, recorded 12 regular-season non-conference wins, the most since 1981-82 when the Anteaters also won 12 non-conference games.
UCI recorded its 10th win on Dec. 15th, the earliest date on the calendar in the history of the program. Only two Anteater teams have registered 10 wins by the end of December. They include the current 2018-19 team (12/15), the 2015-16 team (12/22)
In the history of the program, the only UCI squad with more wins in its first 12 games.
Before falling to Butler, the Anteaters had a 10 game road-winning streak which ended as the second-longest active road-win streak in DI
Per KenPom, the TItans have the No. 8 ranked strength of schedule in the country overall and the No. 5 non-conference strength of schedule. The squad played just four non-conference home games.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
For CSF, junior guard Austen Awosika is fourth on the team in scoring (7.6 points per game), first in assists (4.1 per game), second in blocks (10 total, 0.71 per game), second in steals (1.21 per game) and second in rebounding (5.6 per game). He led the team in the category last year and is tops on the team again this year in assist percentage (an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals assisted while on the floor) at 24.1%. He has the third-best assist-to-turnover ration in the league at 1.87.
PIECING IT ALL TOGETHER
The Titans are still early in the season and have dealt with key players missing some games early on but the Titans have found success with the quintet of Kyle Allman, Jr., Austen Awosika, Khalil Ahmad, Jamal Smith and Jackson Rowe. In 44 minutes on the floor together, that group has a plus/minus of +26. Allman, Awosika, Ahmad, Rowe and sophomore forward Johnny Wang are +28 in 57 minutes on the floor.
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