Cal State Fullerton Preview
Date: Saturday, December 22nd
Time: 1:00pm CST
2017-18 Record: 20-12 (10-6 Big West Conference
2018-19 Record: 3-8 (0-0 Conference)
Coach: Dedrique Taylor (6th Season)
The Titans of California State Fullerton had a banner year in 2017-18. The ended the season with a 20-12 record overall, 10-6 in the Big West Conference, were the Big West Tournament champs, and made it to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. There they lost to Big Ten power Purdue. Thus ending their season.
Last season’s high is currently being followed by this seasons low. Four starters from last years squad has returned but their output has not. This is an experienced team but none of it has transitioned to the scoreboard and the record shows it. They were picked behind UC Santa Barbara in this years preseason poll as the #2 ranked team in the conference. A lot of high expectations were on the shoulders of this team coming into the season. Most thought it would be another great year.
The Titans are currently sitting at 3-8. Those wins were over West Coast Baptist, Monmouth, and California Lutheran. None of which are NCAA Division I institutions. They have had a few close losses. Sacramento State and Arizona State both won their games in overtime. Both games on the road. Makes you think what a little home court advantage would have done for the team in these losses.
The win over Monmouth was in the middle of a five game road trip that was two weeks long back in November. Those losses started with UCF and Wake forest and were ended with losses to Hofstra and the mentioned Sacramento State. None of those teams would be considered pushovers on most teams schedules.
Leading the Titains Kyle Allman Jr. at guard. The senior is currently averaging 18.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.1 points per game. He is 6’4” and has been one of the key contributors to carry the team this season. While Kyle is only shooting 38% from the floor, you can chalk that up to the rest of the team under performing and the guard taking more shots than he really has. He was a All Big West First Team member last season and preseason first team this year.
Next to Kyle is Khali Ahman, also at guard. Khali is averaging 17.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He was All Big West Second Team last season and was picked by the media as a preseason first team selection this year.
Hopefully the record of the Titans doesn’t hurt either of these players standings for post season honors if the squad doesn’t turn things around.
This isn’t last years Cal State Fullerton team. While most of the names are the same, the play and outcomes have been a step down from last year. They have some players that will push the Huskers, but not to the point where we need to be worried. They are outside heavy and Nebraska should be able to take advantage of the paint against the Titans. This is something you will not be reading from me once Big Ten play starts. So enjoy it while you can.
The Vault will probably be a little empty due to winter break but I doubt the Huskers will be looking too far ahead to Christmas. Nebraska gives the Titans a lump of coal for their trip home and the Husker bench gets a little more experience.
University of Nebraska 85 California State Fullerton 68