California State Fullerton Info
Head Coach: Dedrique Taylor
Location: Fullerton, CA
Conference: Big West
Mascot: Tuffy the Titan
Last time out: Lost to San Francisco
Typical Rotation Depth: 10+
Shirt not to wear: Navy Blue, Orange, Thanos
Line: Nebraska by 19
Previous History: The only other time we played CSF was in 1967 where the Huskers won 111-67
Celebrity Alumni: Kevin Costner
Thing you will hear about Cal St: Last year they were an NCAA tourney team (and they brought back most of their starters)
Players to watch: Khalil Ahmad and Kyle Allman
The two leading scorers are fairly inefficient with eFG under 50%. Allman (the skinny one with the hair) is the better shooter but has really struggled this year though he does get to the FT line often. Ahmad (the beefier one) leads the team in steals and is an excellent FT shooter. The duo combined for 66 points in a double OT game vs Arizona St. on the road.
KenPom Helps explain the Roster
- The Titans don't have a lot of size so they tend to run a small ball lineup of 4 guards and a post. No one on the team is under 6'3" though.
- Jackson Rowe is one the teams most efficient scorers in the paint. He's also the team's leading rebounder
- PG Austen Awosika doesn't shoot a ton but draws contact when he does.
- Imagine how much Benny Parker shot. Jamal Smith shoots half as much when on the floor.
- 6'4" freshman guard Wayne Arnold is a 3pt shooter though the problem is he's shooting 16% on the year (4/25)
- They have a couple of international traditional bigs in 6'10" 255# German Amel Kuljuhovic (HS in Iowa) and 6'9" 245# Chinese Johnny Wang.
The Skinny: Like any holiday type game vs a lesser opponent there is always the worry of a let down. CSF isn't a particularly good team but they aren't as bad as their 3-8 record might indicate as they've played the 11th hardest KenPom schedule thus far. Nebraska with its rim protection and ability to guard without fouling is set up to stop a team like the Titans so even in a struggle the Huskers should win pretty handily. Defensively is where CSF shines and they'll sit back and bait you into long range 2s. Defensively they crash the boards and they rarely chase offensive boards, preferring to get back on defense. They foul quite a bit so this is another game where you could see James Palmer with double digit FT attempts.
Otherwise the biggest lingering question is how long will it take for backup guard Amir Harris to recover from mono and how much will Thorir play in his absence. Miles almost always describes him as a crafty gifted scorer with a high basketball IQ which means his inability to play defense at a high enough level is what keeps him out of the rotation. He'll certainly play over the next two games so it will be something to focus on when he's in the game.
This is the type of team that can turn a game into a boondoggle but ultimately Nebraska is talented enough to win even when not playing at their best.
Prediction: Nebraska 79 - Cal St Fullerton 59