The Cal State Fullerton Titans enter the 2017-18 season returning nine lettermen from last year’s squad that went 17-15 (10-6 Big West) and made the postseason. The Titans earned a third-place finish in the league standings for the regular season, played in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament and hosted a first round game in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. It marked the team’s first postseason appearance since 2012. This year marks Dedrique Taylor’s fifth year at the helm of the Titan program. He returns the last two Big West Freshman of the Year honorees in junior guard Khalil Ahmad (11.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg in 2016-17) and sophomore forward Jackson Rowe (10.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg).
Senior forward Yante Maten, a preseason SEC Player of the Year and third-team All-America by a national publication, returns after averaging 18.2 points and 6.8 rebounds a game while shooting 51.9 percent from the field last season. Supporting the 6-8 Maten will be seniors 6-4 guard Juwan Parker (9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds a game) and 6-8 forward Derek Ogbeide (7.1, 7.6).
With the Crimson being the 10th youngest team in major college basketball last season with 13 of the 20-man Crimson roster being freshmen or sophomores, the "experienced" 2017-2018 Cambridge crew will be led by sophomores 6-0 guard Bryce Aiken (14.5 points per game) and 6-7 forward Seth Towns (12.3). Tommy Amaker, the winningest coach in Harvard men’s basketball history, enters his 11th season as he has led the Crimson to five Ivy League titles in the last seven seasons.
Sacramento State is coming off a 2016-17 season in which the team went 13-18 overall and 9-9 in the Big Sky Conference. An 88-83 win at Southern Utah on Jan. 12 began a stretch in which the Hornets won 10 of their final 17 games, including a victory in the Big Sky Tournament. Tenth-year head coach Brian Katz welcomes back eight players and three starters from a year ago. The roster includes top returner and team co-captain Justin Strings, who was a second team all-league choice and enters the season three points shy of 1,000. Over the last three years, Sacramento State’s 28 combined conference wins are tied for fifth most among the Big Sky’s 12 schools.
San Diego State enters the 2017-18 campaign returning three starters and six letter winners off a team that finished 19-14 last year despite losing 24 games due to injury from players who started at least one game during the season. The Aztecs are led by their all-conference backcourt of senior Trey Kell and junior Jeremy Hemsley, and senior forward Malik Pope. First-year head coach Brian Dutcher will add to the trio junior transfer guard Devin Watson, who averaged 20.3 points and 4.9 assists as a sophomore at San Francisco in 2015-16, and graduate transfer center Kameron Rooks, who transferred from California. SDSU will also add four highly touted freshman to its veteran roster in hopes of returning to the postseason for the 12th time in the last 13 years.
The Hawks are returning five starters and 15 players from last year’s squad that was slowed by season-ending injuries to guards Shavar Newkirk (20.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game) and Lamarr Kimble (15.5, 4.0, 4.5). Among the other returning players who saw starting assignments last year are 6-6 senior forward James Demery (14.5 points per game) and A-10 All-Rookie selection 6-7 Charlie Brown (12.8), along with 6-3 senior guard Chris Clover (7.8), 6-7 junior forward Markell Lodge (4.6) and 6-6 sophomore forward Nick Robinson (5.2).
The Gaels are led by seniors 6-11 center Jock Landale (16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds a game while shooting 61.1 percent from the field), 6-6 forward Clark Hermanson (13.1 and 3.0) and 6-1 guard Emmett Naar (9.4 and 5.6 assists). Junior 6-10 center Evan Fitzner also returns after averaging 5.6 points and 3.2 rebounds a game last season. Among the new Gael faces will be Cullen Neal, who signed with Saint Mary's out of high school before his father (Craig) became head coach at New Mexico. Neal has scored 1,013 points (9.7 average) in his collegiate career with 68 games at New Mexico (674 points, 2013-2016) and 36 games at Mississippi (339, 2016-2017).
The 2017-18 Washington State Cougars look to replace four starters lost to graduation, including the school’s career rebounds record holder, Josh Hawkinson. One piece in place on fourth-year head coach Ernie Kent’s squad is at point guard with sophomore Malachi Flynn, the only returning starter and 2017 Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention selection. Kent also expects break-through seasons from juniors Robert Franks and Viont’e Daniels, who averaged 16.4 minutes and 17.1 minutes per game last season, respectively, along with sophomore Jeff Pollard who averaged 8.5 minutes in 24 games. Thrown into the mix will be three freshmen who redshirted last season Milan Acquaah, Arinze Chidom and Jamar Ergas, along with four scholarship newcomers and transfers; Drick Bernstine, Davante Cooper, Kwinton Hinson and Carter Skaggs.
Titan Gym - Cal State Fullerton
800 N State College Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92831
2695 E Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92806