FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team hits the road once again to play at Nebraska on Saturday at 11 a.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
FROM THE TIP
• Cal State Fullerton treks to Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers for just the second time in program history and the first since 1967. Nebraska is the first ranked opponent the Titans face this year as it is No. 25 in the AP and No. 22 in the Coaches Poll.
• Senior guard Kyle Allman, Jr., Allman is tops on the team and second in the league in points per game at 18.3. He's third on the squad in assists and tied a career-high against Wake Forest (Nov. 16) with eight helpers. The Brooklyn native has scored has scored 10+ in 30 of his last 31 games. Allman has scored 30+ six times over the course of this season and last season.
• Senior guard Khalil Ahmad, the Nov. 19 Big West Player of the Week, is second on the team and third in the Big West in scoring at 17.6 points per game. He had a strong showing at the Myrtle Beach Invitational as he earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Over the three-game tournament he averaged 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals, including a 40-point outburst against Monmouth. He's also second in the league in steals per game at 1.91.
• Ahmad became the 24th Titan in program history to score 1,000 points in a career after scoring 31 at UC Davis (Feb. 10, 2018). He has totaled 1,343 points in his career, the eighth-best mark in the program. Allman joined him in the 1K Club on Feb. 28 when he scored 23 points at CSUN (Feb. 16, 2018). He sits 1,285 points for his career, No. 11 all-time.
• Junior forward Jackson Rowe has been doing a bit of everything on the floor. He is averaging 10.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.90 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. He leads the team in both rebounds and blocks, and had a career-high four rejections against Monmouth (Nov. 18). He's shooting an impressive 60.3% (44-73) from the field this year, the No. 2 mark in the league. Rowe has played 263 minutes for the Titans this year and the team has out-scored the opponent by 57 points (+8.64 per 40 minutes) in that timeframe, the best mark on the team of those who play regularly.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22 AT NEBRASKA || 11 AM PT
Series Record: 0-1
Home Record: 0-0
Away Record: 0-1
Neutral Record: 0-0
Current Streak: L1
First Meeting: 12/04/67 at Nebraska, L, 111-74
Last Meeting: 12/04/67 at Nebraska, L, 111-74
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are 9-2 on the year and 1-1 in Big Ten play.
The Huskers have the No. 17 ranked offense in the nation as they score 114.4 points per 100 possessions. The defense is also stout as it is 32nd in the country, allowing just 94.3 points per 100 possessions. As effective as the offense is, Nebraska plays a slow brand of basketball, averaging just 66.9 possessions per 40 minutes on the year, the No. 300 ranked tempo in the nation.
James Palmer leads the team in scoring at 19.6 points per game. Isaiah Roby is projected as the No. 33 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft (per ESPN). He averages 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.73 steals and 1.45 blocks per game.
Per KenPom, the Titans have the No. 17 ranked strength of schedule in the country. The squad has played just three non-conference home games and only has one more on the schedule in Portland on Dec. 29.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
For CSF, junior guard Austen Awosika is fourth on the team in scoring (7.2 points per game), first in assists (3.7 per game), tied for first in blocks (10 total, 0.90 per game), third in steals (0.90 per game) and second in rebounding (4.8 per game). He led the team in the category last year and is tops on the team again this year in assist percentage (an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals assisted while on the floor) at 22.1%.
PIECING IT ALL TOGETHER
The Titans are still early in the season and have dealt with key players missing some games early on but the Titans have found success with the quintet of Kyle Allman, Jr., Austen Awosika, Khalil Ahmad, Jamal Smith and Jackson Rowe. In 32:23 on the floor together, that group has a plus/minus of +22, scoring 75 points and allowing 53. Allman, Awosika, Ahmad, Rowe and sophomore forward Johnny Wang are +22 in 33:02 on the floor.
UPDATING THE RECORD BOOKS
In addition to Khalil Ahmad and Kyle Allman, Jr. climbing the rankings of all-time points as a Titan, the duo added their names to the list of individual scoring performances in a single game this season. Ahmad scored 40 points against Monmouth (Nov. 18) and had a historic day, setting career highs in points (40), field goals made (13, on just 22 shots) and three-point field goals made (8). He is just the fifth Titan to ever score 40 points or more in a game, joining Bobby Brown, Tre' Coggins, Josh Akognon and Kyle Allman, Jr. Ahmad's 40 points was the highest point total ever in a men's basketball game at the HTC Center, breaking the previous record of 36 set by Quinton Wood on Dec. 13, 2013.
Allman scored 38 points at Hofstra (Nov. 21), tied for the seventh-best scoring performance in a single game in program history and just two points off his career-high. He knocked down a career-high eight three-point field goals, improving on his previous best of five.
Allman now has four of the top 30 scoring performances in CSF history while Ahmad has two.
ONLY TWO NEW FACES
The Titans just two newcomers to the squad this season in freshman guard Wayne Arnold and forward Amel Kuljuhovic. Arnold prepped at Dominguez High School in Compton while Kuljuhovic is a transfer from Lake Land College. Arnold is a high-level shooter he showed against West Coast Baptist when he scored 23 points to lead all scorers, including four three-point field goals. He is averaging 3.9 points and 12.1 minutes per game. Kuljuhovic has the size to work down low but can also stretch the defense with his jump shot. He is averaging 3.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 9.3 minutes per game. He scored 7 points and hauled in 7 rebounds at San Francisco (Dec. 16).
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