Cal State Fullerton Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Cal State Fullerton Titans

Big West (20-11, 10-6)

Cal State Fullerton is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. Coach Dedrique Taylor has been with the program for five years now and success started to come in 2016-2017 when the Titans went to the CIT. That was a young team so this year’s group had high expectations. During the regular season the Titans finished just 10-6 in Big West play, but they won a few tight games in the conference tournament and are back in the NCAA Tournament.
Big Wins: 12/9 Utah Valley (91-83), 1/11 at UC Irvine (67-64), 3/9 vs UC Davis (55-52)
Bad Losses: 12/16 at California (89-95), 2/21 at UC Riverside (65-69), 3/3 Hawaii (60-68)
Coach: Dedrique Taylor
Why They Can Surprise:
When not committing turnovers, the Titans offense is surprisingly efficient. The team shoots well from the floor and can generate points by getting to the basket and hitting free-throws. Kyle Allman leads the way with his 19.4 points per game. There are not many players in the country that get to the free-throw line more than the 6-3 junior. Allman does not take too many three-pointers, but he is pretty good at hitting them when he does. Khalil Ahmad is the most prolific shooter on the team. Jackson Rowe can stretch the defense by knocking down the occasional three-pointer, but he is the team’s top interior scoring threat. Along with frontcourt mate Akrim Robertson, Rowe certainly helps boost the team’s shooting percentage.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Unfortunately, the Titans do commit way too many turnovers. That often stifles an otherwise potent offense. The offense also struggles from beyond the arc when somebody besides Allman or Rowe is shooting. The rest of the team needs to stick to taking smart shots inside of the arc. If this group can play smart and take better care of the ball, they can make things interesting. But it will take more than that to pull off a massive upset in the NCAA Tournament.
Probable Starters:
Austen Awosika, Sophomore, Guard, 7.4 ppg, 2.7 apg, 3.7 rpg
Kyle Allman, Junior, Guard, 19.4 ppg, 2.4 apg, 3.4 rpg
Khalil Ahmad, Junior, Guard, 15.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Jackson Rowe, Sophomore, Forward, 12.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Arkim Robertson, Senior, Forward, 5.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Key Role Players:
Jamal Smith, Sophomore, Guard, 4.0 ppg, 1.9 apg
Dwight Ramos, Sophomore, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Dominik Heinzl, Junior, Forward, 2.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.9 (177th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.1 (142, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.1 (56, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (73, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (333, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.4 (216, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.0 (111, 2)
Rebound Margin: 2.4 (96, 3)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (245, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.4 (306, 8)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    CIT      First Round loss to Weber State
2012    CIT      First Round loss to Loyola Marymount
2008    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Wisconsin
2005    NIT     Opening Round win over Oregon State
2005    NIT     First Round win over San Francisco
2005    NIT     Second Round loss to Georgetown
*all team stats through 3/4