Prime Ticket Package Opens With Long Beach State Vs. San Diego State
2015-16 Men's Basketball Release No. 4
A busy week of men's basketball commences with a showdown on Prime Ticket, as visiting San Diego State meets Long Beach State in front of a sold out Walter Pyramid.
Winning Continues: Cal Poly extended its winning streak to four straight with Saturday’s 85-55 decision over Antelope Valley. The Mustangs seek their first five-game winning streak since the 2012-13 season when they host IPFW on Thursday.
Offense Found: Prior to the season, head coach Joe Callero promised the Mustangs would focus on becoming a more uptempo team. So far, they have. Cal Poly has exceeded the 70-point mark in all six games. In 2014-15, the team scored 70 or more seven times for the entire season.
Non-Conference Success: The Mustangs have defeated their last eight consecutive non-conference opponents at home, dating back to the 2013-14 season.
Bennett Boards: Senior Brian Bennett is three rebounds away from moving into No. 14 all-time at Cal Poly and surpassing Stuart Thomas (465, 1989-91). He also scored a season-high 14 points in 19 reserve minutes against Antelope Valley.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Rolling: Cal State Fullerton knocked off Southern Utah and Nevada last week to expand its winning streak to four straight. The Titans encounter a busy week with three games, beginning with Cal State Dominguez Hills on Tuesday. CSF’s longest winning streak in recent memory included a six-gamer and a seven-gamer during the 2011-12 season.
Defense Gets It Done: The Titans have held their last three opponents to under 40 percent shooting and an average of 62.3 points per game. San Diego, Southern Utah and Nevada have shot a combined 37.0 percent (64-of-173) against the Titans.
Coggins Leads: Redshirt junior Tre’ Coggins is the conference scoring leader at 19.0 points per game. The guard has topped the 20-point mark three times and has scored in double figures in all five games.
Ahmad’s Arsenal: Freshman Khalil Ahmad contributed a career-high 22 points in CSF’s win at Southern Utah.
Back Home: After playing six of its first seven games away from home, CSUN returns to the Matadome on Saturday to face Pepperdine. The Matadors look to end a three-game losing streak while taking on a Waves program they have defeated in seven of the last nine meetings.
Youth Is Served: Head Coach Reggie Theus mainly has trotted out a seven-player rotation, including three sophomores and one freshman. Those four players – Jason Richardson, Micheal Warren, Tavrion Dawson and Zacarry Douglas – have accounted for 334 of CSUN’s 473 points, or 71 percent of the team’s offense.
Tre-Hale Inches Closer To Top 10: Senior Tre-Hale Edmerson, with at least one steal in five straight games, is now up to 119 career steals. That puts him just three short of tying Davin White (2003-05) and Brian Heinle (1997-2001) for No. 10 all-time at CSUN.
Close: Two of CSUN’s five losses are by four points or less.
LONG BEACH STATE
The Gauntlet: Long Beach State continues its parade of challenging non-conference foes with a whopping four games in six days this week, beginning Tuesday at home in front of a sellout crowd against San Diego State. The Beach also has another home game against New Mexico State sandwiched in between road jaunts to Colorado State and UCLA.
Balance: Three players are averaging in double figures, led by senior Nick Faust at 13.8 points per game. Seven players in the LBSU rotation have averaged at least six points per contest.
Spencer Steps Up: Senior A.J. Spencer turned in season-highs of 16 points, four three-pointers and six rebounds in Friday’s road loss to Oklahoma State. He also played a season-best 31 minutes against the Cowboys.
Sharing Is Contagious: The Beach recorded a season-best 21 assists on 26 made buckets against Oklahoma State. Sophomore Justin Bibbins dished out nine helpers against just one turnover, as LBSU committed only eight miscues versus the Cowboys.
Road W’s Are Good: UC Davis notched a season-high 82 points in a 12-point road victory over Southern Utah on Saturday to push its overall record to 3-2. The Aggies have scored better than 70 points in all five games and rank third in the Big West in scoring average (77.4 ppg).
Revenge Game: The Aggies seek to avenge last Tuesday’s 84-79 loss at Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State, getting a rematch at home for Wednesday. In the first matchup, the Aggies committed 19 turnovers that led to 22 Hornet points, while Sacramento State had just six miscues for the game.
It’s Brynton’s Time: Junior guard Brynton Lemar is busting out in a big way, having scored 18, 21 and 15 points among the first five games of the season. The three double-figure scoring outputs already eclipse the two he had as a sophomore in 2014-15.
More On Lemar: Lemar is also getting his opportunities to shoot from the perimeter. In 2014-15, he made just 12 threes on the year. Through five games this year, he has already knocked down 10 treys.
A Program First: UC Irvine posted a 1-2 mark at the DirecTV Wooden Legacy, and recorded the program’s first-ever win over an opponent from the ACC with Friday’s 80-67 thrashing of Boston College.
Forever Young: In three games at the DirecTV Wooden Legacy, senior Alex Young recorded 14 assists against ZERO turnovers. That continued a string of solid ball protection for the point guard, who is No. 10 nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (5.50, 33 assists and 6 turnovers).
Holding On: UCI had its two fewest turnover outputs of the season with just six turnovers against Boston College and a season-low five versus Evansville.
Welcome To The Club: Big West blocked shots leader Mamadou Ndiaye, with 2.4 per game, moved into a tie for No. 10 in conference history after swatting four shots during the Wooden Legacy. The 7-6 junior center now sits alongside Utah State’s Nate Wickizer (1991-95) with 148 career blocks, just one short of tying former UCI standout Adam Parada for ninth.
Roadtrip Split: UC Riverside recorded its first road victory of the year after toppling Lamar, 74-69, overcoming a 28-15 discrepancy in free throw attempts to improve to 4-2 overall. The Highlanders scored 10 of the final 15 points of the game to eke out the win.
Raining Threes: Senior Jaylen Bland, who led the Big West in three-pointers made (95) last year, has reassumed the role of the league’s top long distance shooter. The 6-3 guard has drained 25 treys for a league-leading average of 4.2 per game.
SRC Fever: The Highlanders have won 17 of their last 20 games at the SRC Arena, dating back to the tail end of the 2013-14 season. UCR is 3-0 at home going into Thursday’s contest against Northern Colorado.
Long Distance Carriers: The Highlanders aren’t restricted to just the aforementioned Bland on the topic of three-pointers. Ranked tied for 15th nationally in threes per game (10.5), the team boasts four other players shooting above 40 percent from distance, including Malik Thames (52.4%).
UC SANTA BARBARA
Hard Luck: UC Santa Barbara nearly came away with a 2-0 roadtrip, but settled for 1-1 after falling on a last second shot to host Arizona State on Sunday. The Sun Devils scored the final seven points of the game.
Finding Their Range: After an early season shooting slump, in which the team shot no better than 42.4 percent in any of the first five games, the Gauchos found their rhythm in the Arizona State game. They shot 50 percent from the field (26-of-52) and distance (8-of-16), both season-bests, while converting all eight free throw attempts.
Bryson Climbs: Senior Michael Bryson, who has had his two best offensive games against Pac-12 clubs – 23 points against both Cal and Arizona State – moved into 23rd place on the school’s career scoring list with 1,128. Next up is Idris Jones (1,130) in 22nd, Eric McArthur (1,134) in 21st and Raymond Tutt (1,141) in 20th.
Looking Ahead: UCSB hosts USC on Thursday in what will be the team’s fourth game against a Pac-12 opponent, before embarking on a six-game roadtrip.
Good Showing: Hawai‘i attempted to open the season with its fifth straight win, but could not overcome a 38-19 discrepancy in free throw attempts on Texas Tech’s home court in an 82-74 loss on Saturday. The ‘Bows had three players foul out in the game.
Valdes Goes Off: Junior Aaron Valdes recorded his second straight 20-point game, and the ninth of his career, notching a season-high 25 points against Texas Tech. The 6-5 guard has shot exactly 50 percent in four of UH’s five games, and is shooting a conference eighth-best 56.1 percent from the field for the season.
Welcome Home: UH returns home for its next nine games, beginning with a Wednesday tilt against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The ‘Bows do not head back out on the road until Jan. 14 at UC Riverside.
Fleming Emerges: Sophomore guard Isaac Fleming notched a career-high 21 points against Texas Tech, hitting 8-of-13 shots overall and 4-of-8 from downtown. He eclipsed his previous career-best of 18 points set twice last year.