Cal State Fullerton Titans
Big West (24-8, 12-4)
Big Wins: 2/2 at CS Northridge (80-72), 2/23 Portland State (85-69), 3/8 at UC Irvine (74-66)
Bad Losses: 12/8 at Central Michigan (76-79), 1/17 at Pacific (82-89), 2/28 CS Northridge (74-82)
Last NCAA Appearance: 1978, Elite Eight loss to Arkansas
Coach: Bob Burton (First NCAA appearance)
Ray Reed, Senior, Guard, 6.4 ppg, 2.6 apg
Josh Akognon, Junior, Guard, 19.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Frank Robinson, Senior, Guard, 16.0 ppg, 2.5 apg, 7.0 rpg
Marcus Morgan, Senior, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Scott Cutley, Senior, Forward, 14.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.9 apg
Marcus Crenshaw, Junior, Guard, 8.9 ppg, 2.2 apg
Marcio Lassiter, Junior, Guard, 3.5 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Kenneth Alexander, Senior, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Andrew Green, Senior, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Cal State Fullerton has a trio of guards that just fit perfectly in Coach Bob Burton’s style of play. The Titans will push the tempo at every possible moment and point guard Ray Reed leads the way. Reed is not a great scorer, but he has the speed to get up and down the floor and find the scorers. And Reed has a couple great scorers that he will find very often. Josh Akognon, a former Washington State Cougar, averages 19.9 points per game and knocks down 3.6 three-pointers per contest. Akognon is just a superb scorer from anywhere on the floor and he will rarely take a day off.
But if Akognon’s shot happens to not be falling, the Titans will look to Frank Robinson. The 6-4 senior is not as great of an outside shooter as Akognon, but he does a great job of getting to the basket and finishing around the rim. Those two average 35.9 points per game and that is a tough backcourt to stop when it is clicking on all cylinders.
Why They Can Disappoint:
There is not a whole lot of size on this team. Scott Cutley is only 6-5, but the forward is a wide body who tilts the scales at a lean 235 pounds. He will take the ball into the paint, run some people over and do a lot of scoring. He is also a solid passer from the inside and actually leads the team with 2.9 assists per contest. Yet, the size can be a major concern against bigger opponents. Marcus Morgan is Cutley’s partner in the paint and he is just 6-5 as well. Morgan is not a scorer and will do the all the dirty work in the paint. Cutley and Morgan are both decent rebounders, but toughness can only get you so far if the opposition is six inches taller than you are. It is also that lack of size which allows the opponents to shoot 46.8 percent from the floor. The Titans just do not have a shot blocker and that makes it easy to get into the paint against Fullerton.
Who To Watch:
There is not too much depth on this team, but Marcus Crenshaw is certainly a great sixth man to have on any roster. The 5-10 junior will mostly take three-pointers, but he does it extremely well. Crenshaw hits 2.2 per contest at a 42.0 percent mark. If the offense happens to be sputtering, Crenshaw can come into the game and immediately turn things around.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.7 (5th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.1 (266, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.4 (34, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.8 (295, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (25, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.7 (36, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.9 (112, 5)
Rebound Margin: 1.5 (130, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.6 (45, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (104, 3)
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