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Men's Basketball

Men's Hoops Begins Conference Play This Week



Weekly Release No. 10

The Big West men's basketball 16-game conference race gets underway Wednesday with three games.  Reigning regular season champion UC Davis opens Thursday at preseason favorite UC Irvine.


Reset The Records: Everyone’s 0-0
All nine Big West schools are back on equal footing entering week one of conference play, each with the opportunity to navigate the 16-game schedule and emerge as regular season champion.  The league slate tips off on Wednesday, with three games – Cal Poly at UC Santa Barbara, CSUN at UC Riverside, and Cal State Fullerton at Hawai‘i.

Opening Statements
Cal State Fullerton has won three consecutive Big West openers overall.  The Titans also have won their last three conference road opening games, and they will have a chance to make it four in Honolulu on Wednesday.  Hawai‘i has won three straight league home openers, so something will have to give.  UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara have the longest current losing streaks in Big West openers – three apiece.  Here are the current streaks of the other five programs at the starting point of Big West play – Cal Poly (W1), CSUN (L1), Long Beach State (W1), UC Davis (W2) and UC Irvine (L1).  Notably, the Beach have won their conference home debut in four straight seasons and host UC Davis on Saturday.

Gauchos Post 11 Wins In Non-League Play
UCSB registered its second consecutive 11-3 non-conference record under second-year head coach Joe Pasternack entering league play.  Last season, the Gauchos lost to Cal Poly in their conference opener on the road.  This time around, UCSB hosts the Mustangs with an opportunity to go 12-3 for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign.

Road Success Fuels UC Irvine’s 12-4 Start
UCI finished non-conference play at 12-4.  The 12 non-conference wins ties the school record initially set in 1981-82.  The Anteaters posted a 5-2 road record, including wins at Texas A&M and Saint Mary’s. 

‘Bows Off To Great Start
Hawai‘i was the third Big West squad to conclude non-conference play with an above .500 record, the third time in four seasons the ‘Bows have done so under Eran Ganot.  UH claimed three prominent wins, beating a pair of Pac-12 squads (Utah and Colorado) as well as Rhode Island from the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Diane In Exclusive Club
CSUN freshman Lamine Diane – the Big West’s leading scorer (24.3 ppg) and rebounder (11.1 rpg) – is one of just three players nationally to rank top 25 in both categories.  The other two are South Dakota State senior Mike Daum and BYU junior Yoeli Childs.

Name, School PPG Rk RPG Rk
Mike Daum, South Dakota State 24.9 6 10.6 11
Lamine Diane, CSUN 24.3 8 11.1 8
Yoeli Childs, BYU 21.6 21 10.3 14

Galloway Closes In On 800 Rebounds
UC Irvine senior Jonathan Galloway needs eight rebounds to collect 800 for his career, which would make him just the 18th player in Big West history to accomplish the feat.


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 191 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 four wins to catch Fresno State’s Boyd Grant (194) and seven to surpass UC Irvine’s Pat Douglass (197) in the Big West record book.

RUSSELL TURNER notched his 164th win all-time at UC Irvine when his team defeated Saint Mary’s on Nov. 28, moving him past Bill Mulligan for second place on the career wins list at the school.  He now needs to surpass Pat Douglass (197, 1997-2010) for the record.  In addition, Turner is now ranked ninth in Big West history with 169 career victories.  Turner is on pace to become the third-fastest coach in league history to reach the 200-win mark, with Jerry Tarkanian and Neil McCarthy the only two Turner cannot outdo.  The ninth-year coach has led the Anteaters to 20-win campaigns in five of the last six seasons.


Coach, Team Years Wins
Bob Thomason, Pacific 25 436
Jerry Tarkanian, Long Beach State/UNLV 14 405
Bob Williams, UC Santa Barbara 19 313
Neil McCarthy, New Mexico State 12 248
Jerry Pimm, UC Santa Barbara 15 222
Pat Douglass, UC Irvine 13 197
Boyd Grant, Fresno State 9 194
Dan Monson, Long Beach State 12 191
Russell Turner, UC Irvine 9 169

UC Irvine maintained a top 25 ranking in the poll for the ninth consecutive week. The Anteaters moved up three spots this week to a season-best No. 12 in the poll. Other conference schools have been recognized in the “others receiving votes” section of the poll – Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and Hawai‘i. UCSB has been receiving votes in all but one week this season.

The top two active career scorers in the Big West have accumulated in excess of 2,500 points at Cal State Fullerton.  Seniors KHALIL AHMAD (1,404) and KYLE ALLMAN, JR. (1,342) have scored 2,746 points for the Titans.  They have combined for nine 20-point games this season.