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Men's Basketball

UC Irvine Off To 3-0 Start


Weekly Release No. 2

UC Irvine men's basketball is unbeaten at 3-0, off to its best start since the 2015-16 season.


UC Irvine Off To 3-0 Start
UC Irvine has defeated Idaho, Texas A&M and Life Pacific to give the program its first 3-0 start since the 2015-16 season.  The Anteaters began the 2015-16 campaign 4-0, and have an opportunity to match that start with a Thursday road game against Santa Clara.  UCI’s one-point road win against Texas A&M represented the school’s first against an SEC opponent since defeating South Carolina in 2006.  It is the first time a Big West school beat an SEC school since Hawai‘i toppled Auburn on Dec. 25, 2015.

CSUN Game Against Pepperdine Postponed
Due to the Woolsey Fire affecting the community of Malibu, CSUN’s game at Pepperdine on Saturday, Nov. 10 was postponed.  A make-up date is expected to be set sometime in the future.

Tournament Play Continues This Week
Hawai‘i opened up non-conference tournament play with a 2-1 record in its own Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic.  Jack Purchase and Zigmars Raimo earned All-Tournament Team recognition for the Rainbow Warriors.  UC Davis also competed in the first of two Hardwood Showcase games, falling at Arkansas.  Long Beach State played the first of four MGM Resorts Main Event contests, losing to Arizona State in Tempe.

Tournament play ramps up this week as three schools head across the country for competition.  Cal State Fullerton takes part in the Myrtle Beach Invitational.  The Titans face UCF in the opener then either Saint Joseph’s or Wake Forest follows.  Long Beach State continues action in the MGM Resorts Main Event, traveling to Starkville, Miss. for a date with No. 17 Mississippi State.  The Beach will then play two neutral site games next week in Las Vegas against Iona and Hartford or Utah Valley.  UC Irvine takes on UTSA in  its Gulf Coast Showcase opener as the ‘Eaters play three games in the state of Florida beginning next Monday.

Five 30-Point Efforts Produced In Week One
The first week of the men’s basketball season was highlighted by a handful of superb scoring performances from Big West players.  Five players recorded 30-point games.

Player School Opponent Pts.
Kyle Allman, Jr. Cal State Fullerton Arizona State 35
Lamine Diane CSUN New Mexico 34
Khalil Ahmad Cal State Fullerton Arizona State 31
Deishuan Booker Long Beach State UCLA 31
Donovan Fields Cal Poly Menlo College 30
Galloway Passes 700 Rebound Threshold

UC Irvine senior Jonathan Galloway tied his career high with 14 rebounds against Life Pacific, increasing his career total to 707.  In addition to being the Big West’s active career leader in that category, Galloway became just the seventh player in ‘Eater history to reach the 700-rebound mark.  He is the first to do so since Will Davis II (2011-15).


Big West squads have lined up another challenging non-conference slate which includes a minimum of 23 games against opponents which advanced to the NCAA Tournament or National Invitational Tournament last season.  Twelve out of 13 games scheduled against 2018 NCAA teams will be played on the road or at a neutral site.  In fact, all but the Dec. 8 Montana at UC Irvine game will not be played at a Big West home facility.  The possibility to play additional games against 2018 postseason teams is dependent on the outcomes of several tournaments within the first couple of months.

Games Against 2018 NCAA Tournament Teams
Nov. 6     Cal State Fullerton at Arizona State
Nov. 9     Long Beach State at UCLA
Nov. 9     UC Irvine at Texas A&M
Nov. 11   Cal Poly at Arizona
Nov. 12   Long Beach State at Arizona State
Nov. 12   UC Davis at Arkansas
Nov. 19   Long Beach State vs. Iona
Nov. 28   Hawai‘i at UCLA
Dec. 8     Montana at UC Irvine
Dec. 19   CSUN at New Mexico State
Dec. 21   UC Irvine at Butler
Dec. 22   UC Davis at Arizona   
Jan. 1      CSUN at San Diego State

Games Against 2018 NIT Teams
Nov. 16    Long Beach State at Mississippi State
Nov. 22    Hawai‘i vs. Utah
Nov. 28    UC Irvine at Saint Mary’s
Nov. 28    Long Beach State at USC
Dec. 2      UC Santa Barbara at Washington
Dec. 10    Cal State Fullerton at Saint Mary’s
Dec. 22    Cal State Fullerton at Nebraska
Dec. 29    Long Beach State at Stanford
Dec. 30    UC Davis at USC
Jan. 1      Cal State Fullerton at Washington

Long Beach State’s DAN MONSON is the dean of Big West head coaches, entering his 12th season roaming the sidelines of the Walter Pyramid.  He ranks eighth all-time in conference history with 186 wins, while his 114 Big West victories is sixth all-time.  Only five Big West head coaches have accumulated 200 or more wins during their tenure with the conference – Bob Thomason (Pacific, 436), Jerry Tarkanian (Long Beach State & UNLV, 405), Bob Williams (UC Santa Barbara, 313), Neil McCarthy (New Mexico State, 248) and Jerry Pimm (UC Santa Barbara, 222).  Monson has won a minimum of 15 games in each of the last 10 seasons, needing that total to get to 200 for his career during the 2018-19 campaign.  Monson needs nine wins to catch Fresno State’s Boyd Grant (194) and 12 to surpass UC Irvine’s Pat Douglass (197) in the Big West record book.


Two new faces will be roaming the sidelines for the Big West this season.  Veteran head coach MARK GOTTFRIED begins his first season at CSUN after three previous head coaching stints at Murray State (1995-98), Alabama (1998-09) and NC State (2011-17).  Gottfried his compiled a Division I record of 401-242 during his 20 years of head coaching experience.  He has reached the NCAA Tournament 11 times, including an Elite Eight appearance with Alabama in 2003-04 and two Sweet Sixteen stops with NC State (2011-12 and 2014-15).  His teams also have participated in the NIT on four other occassions.

DAVID PATRICK begins a new era at UC Riverside as a first-time head coach.  Patrick had successful assistant coaching stints at TCU and LSU before arriving in the Inland Empire.  He is known as an outstanding recruiter, credited with bringing in 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons to LSU.  He also coached NBA champion and Australian national team guards Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova while working as an assistant at Saint Mary’s.

The Big West had several key moments take place during the 2017-18 season.

• Cal State Fullerton became the eighth different school in eight years to win the Big West Tournament at Honda Center.  The list of champions since the tourney moved to Honda Center in 2011 – UC Davis (2017), Hawai‘i (2016), UC Irvine (2015), Cal Poly (2014), Pacific (2013), Long Beach State (2012) and UC Santa Barbara (2011).

• CSF won its third Big West Tournament title all-time – and first in 10 years.  Other title teams were in 1978 and 2008.

• UC Davis accumulated 20 wins for the third time in four years, and won its second regular season title over that stretch after finishing 12-4 in league play.

• Under first-year head coach Joe Pasternack, UC Santa Barbara set the Big West record for biggest turnaround in one season and he took a program that finished 6-22 in 2016-17, to a 23-9 mark in 2017-18.  The +17 win improvement not only was the best in league history, the Gauchos went from setting the school record for losses to tying the program benchmark for wins.

• UC Irvine notched its sixth straight winning season, the longest such streak by a Big West school since UCSB reeled off seven straight from 2005-12.