Three Squads Start Out 2-0 in Men's Hoops League Play
Weekly Release No. 11
Three Squads Off To 2-0 Big West Start
CSUN, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara went 2-0 last week to begin Big West play. The Matadors picked up a pair of road wins against UC Riverside and Cal Poly. The Anteaters knocked off the reigning conference regular season champion (UC Davis) and tournament champion (Cal State Fullerton). The Gauchos handled business at home against Cal Poly and UC Riverside. Long Beach State and Hawai‘i played single games last week and were victorious.
UCSB’s 13-3 start is the program’s best since 1988-89 when that squad began 15-1 through 16 games. With a 14-4 record through 18 games, UC Irvine is enjoying its best start since the 2000-01 team opened 16-2.
By a wide margin, CSUN has played the largest number of closely contested games, defined as outcomes ranging anywhere from 1-5 points. The Matadors are 5-5 in such games – the 10 games in excess of Cal Poly (2-4) and Long Beach State (4-2) by four. CSUN has played in a down to the wire battle in four straight and five of the last six contests. Five of CSUN’s 10 losses this season have been by five points or less. By contrast, Hawai‘i, which travels to CSUN for a Thursday clash, has yet to play a game this season decided by five or less points.
Monson Gaining On 200 Wins
Dan Monson is eight wins away from joining an exclusive Big West coaching fraternity, one that includes card carrying members Bob Thomason, Jerry Tarkanian, Bob Williams, Neil McCarthy and Jerry Pimm. That would be the 200-win club. Monson is 192-187 in his 11th season at Long Beach State. He is eighth all-time in Big West history for total wins. In the meantime, he’s just two wins away from tying Fresno State’s Boyd Grant for No. 7 on the list.
‘Bows Back To The Mainland
Hawai‘i will be making its first trip to the mainland since late November when it visits CSUN on Thursday and UC Riverside on Saturday. The ‘Bows last played on the mainland Nov. 28 at UCLA. Since then, UH had a solid seven-game homestand, going 6-1 with signature wins over Colorado and Rhode Island.
Galloway Reaches Milestone
With 21 rebounds in two games last week, including his fifth and sixth double-digit performances, UC Irvine senior Jonathan Galloway became the 18th player in Big West history to surpass the 800-rebound mark. He finished the week with 813 career boards, which puts him at No. 17 overall. He is 10 away from eclipsing Pacific’s Christian Maraker (822, 2001-06) for 16th.
Fields Hits 1,000-Point Mark
Donovan Fields tied his career scoring high with 30 points against CSUN last week, putting the Cal Poly senior above the 1,000-point career plateau. He is the 24th player in Mustang history to accomplish the feat as he enters this week with 1,007 points – fourth among active league players.
PRIOR TO TIPOFF
LONG BEACH STATE AT UC IRVINE (ESPN3) - UC Irvine attempts to go 3-0 in Big West play for the third time in four seasons. The Anteaters have won three straight at home against Long Beach State, which last won in Irvine on Jan. 8, 2015. UCI is the Big West’s top defensive club, yielding 63.7 points per game, and owns an 8-0 record this season when holding an opponent to 60 points or less. Senior Deishuan Booker made 19-of-20 at the free throw line in Saturday’s win over UC Davis. The 19 free throw makes ranks No. 2 all-time in Big West single-game history, while the 20 attempts is tied for No. 6. PXP: Tim Becwar • ANALYST: Bill Herenda • SIDELINE: Olivia Phelps
UC RIVERSIDE AT CAL STATE FULLERTON (BIGWEST.TV) - Both schools are seeking their first Big West win after 0-2 starts. The Highlanders are 0-9 on the road this season and seek to snap an 11-game road losing streak that dates back to last season. Austen Awosika is the Big West’s top rebounding guard. The Titan junior is No. 9 in the Big West with 5.6 rebounds per game. UCR’s Ajani Kennedy is averaging 16.5 points over the last four games – all as a reserve.
UC SANTA BARBARA AT UC DAVIS (BIGWEST.TV) - UC Santa Barbara hits the road for the first time in almost a month after a 5-0 homestand. UC Davis will play its first Division I opponent at home since Nov. 29 against Northern Arizona. Aggie senior TJ Shorts II is one of three players – Cal Poly’s Donovan Fields and LBSU’s Deishuan Booker are the others – to rank in the Big West top 10 in scoring, assists and steals. UCSB has committed the fewest turnovers (175) of any conference team, including 10 or fewer in seven consecutive games.
HAWAI‘I AT CSUN (ESPN3) - CSUN boasts the top two scorers in the Big West. Freshman Lamine Diane is No. 1 at 23.9 points per game, while sophomore Terrell Gomez ranks second (19.4 ppg). The duo has accounted for 756 of the team’s 1,407 points scored this year – more than half of CSUN’s offense. Hawai‘i has had four different leading scorers in its last five games. The ‘Bows are 6-0 this season when making 10 or more three-pointers. They made 11 in each of the last two games. PXP: Trent Rush • ANALYST: Richie Schueler • SIDELINE: Matt Brown
BIG WEST COACHING
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 192 wins, while his 115 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 three wins to catch Fresno State’s Boyd Grant (194) and six to surpass UC Irvine’s Pat Douglass (197) in the Big West record book.
TURNER MOVES UP CAREER WINS LISTS
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 171 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.
MOST HEAD COACHING WINS
|Bob Thomason, Pacific
|Jerry Tarkanian, Long Beach State/UNLV
|Bob Williams, UC Santa Barbara
|Neil McCarthy, New Mexico State
|Jerry Pimm, UC Santa Barbara
|Pat Douglass, UC Irvine
|Boyd Grant, Fresno State
|Dan Monson, Long Beach State
|Russell Turner, UC Irvine
UC IRVINE VAULTS TO NO. 7 IN MID-MAJOR POLL, GAUCHOS CRACK TOP 25
For the first time this season, the Big West has two teams in the CollegeInsider.com Top 25 poll. UC Irvine climbed five spots to a season-high No. 7 after a 2-0 start in Big West play last week. The No. 7 ranking is the highest by a Big West school since Hawai“i finished No. 6 in the final 2015-16 poll. In addition, UC Santa Barbara’s 13-3 start earned recognition from CollegeInsider.com as the Gauchos entered the top 25 for the first time this season at No. 25.