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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / 2000-2001 PREVIEW

Daniels Has a Big Mountain to Climb

CS Fullerton: New coach must mix an assortment of players returning from injuries with a rash of newcomers.

November 16, 2000|LON EUBANKS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Donny Daniels needs all the help he can get in his first season as Cal State Fullerton basketball coach.

It was a particularly welcome bonus when Ike Harmon, the Titans' leading scorer and rebounder the past two seasons, regained the year of eligibility he lost as a Proposition 48 nonqualifier.

The NCAA passed legislation last spring that rewarded nonqualifiers who earn their degree in four years. Harmon passed 21 units during the summer to do it.

But Harmon was back in Titan Gym for only a few days of preseason workouts before he was sidelined because of a stress fracture in his left foot.

The Titans open the regular season Friday at Oregon State, and while Daniels thinks there is a chance that Harmon might be available, he doesn't expect him to be back in top form before December.

"The injury was a downer, but I don't look at it as a big setback," Harmon said. "I'm happy to have the year I lost back, and I want to be able go out with a winning season."

As capable as Harmon is--he has averaged 16.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in his college career--the Titans were 8-19 and finished last in the Big West Conference Western Division last season under Bob Hawking, whose Fullerton career ended with a 59-103 record in six seasons.

Harmon ranks seventh among the school's leading career scorers with 1,311 points, which is 565 behind record-holder Leon Wood's 1,876.

The Titans also should get a boost from the return of senior center Matt Caldwell, who sat out most of last season because of a shoulder injury.

Junior Brandon Campbell, a returning starter who averaged 10.7 points last season playing off-guard or small forward, has been Fullerton's most impressive player in two exhibition games. Campbell led the team by shooting 53.8% from the field last season.

Josh Fischer, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, is likely to play a more prominent role this season.

Fischer, who averaged 8.3 points last season, shot 49.3% from the field and made 18 of 37 three-point attempts.

"He faces some of the same issues as last year--the need for toughness and physical play," Daniels said.

Kevin Richardson, a 6-5 junior, has been a pleasant surprise for Daniels at point guard since moving from off-guard.

Daniels, a former Titan player and assistant who was on Rick Majerus' Utah staff for the last 11 years, has installed a new half-court motion offense similar to what Utah uses. He plans to emphasize an aggressive man-to-man defense.

The Titans were ranked eighth in the nine-team Big West in a preseason poll of conference coaches.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Long Beach State / 49ers at a Glance

Date: Opponent, Time

Friday: at Southern Illinois, 5

Tuesday: AIR FORCE, 7:30

Nov. 24: #San Francisco, 2

Nov. 25: #Big Island Invitational

Nov. 26: #Big Island Invitational

Dec. 2: STANFORD, 7:30

Dec. 6: PEPPERDINE, 7:30

Dec. 9: *at Idaho, 7

Dec. 14: CAL STATE DOMINGUEZ HILLS, 7:30

Dec. 18: at Loyola Marymount, 7

Dec. 22: TEXAS A&M, 7:15

Dec. 30: at USC, 5:30

Jan. 3: at Utah, 6:30

Jan. 6: *CAL STATE FULLERTON, 7:30

Jan. 11: *at Boise State, 6:30

Jan. 18: *at UC Santa Barbara, 9

Jan. 20: *CAL POLY SAN LUIS OBISPO, 7:30

Jan. 24: at UC Riverside, 7

Jan. 27: *at Pacific, 7

Feb. 1: *UC SANTA BARBARA, 5:30

Feb. 3: *UC IRVINE, 9

Feb. 8: *at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 5:30

Feb. 10: *IDAHO, 7:30

Feb. 14: *BOISE STATE, 7:30

Feb. 17: *UTAH STATE, 5

Feb. 22: *at UC Irvine, 7

Feb. 24: *at Cal State Fullerton, 7:30

Feb. 28: UC RIVERSIDE, 7:30

March 4: *PACIFIC, 2

March 8-10: Big West Tournament

Home games in CAPS; all times Pacific; *--conference game; #--Aloha Airlines Big Island Invitational at Hilo, Hawaii; **--at Anaheim Convention Center, TBA

ROSTER

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 00 Ron Johnson G 6-0 190 Jr.

*--*

Leadership role his as starting point guard.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 3 Larry Johnson G 6-5 200 Fr.

*--*

Will spend season learning system.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 13 Travis Reed C 6-8 240 Jr.

*--*

UCLA transfer gets chance to bust loose.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 15 Grant Stone F 6-8 230 Sr.

*--*

Team's emotional leader will do dirty work.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 20 Brad Smith G 6-4 200 Sr.

*--*

Another proven shooter off the bench.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 22 Ramel Lloyd G 6-4 225 Sr.

*--*

Numbers down, but overall game improved.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 23 Michael Darrett G 6-2 200 Jr.

*--*

Talented offensively and will push Johnson.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 30 Kevin Roberts F 6-6 190 Fr.

*--*

With key players injured, he'll play right away.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 32 Vance Lawhorn F 6-8 215 Jr.

*--*

JC transfer won't be ready until conference.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 34 Lemi Williams F 6-6 205 Jr.

*--*

Gifted talent will start at small forward.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 50 Rudy Williams C 6-9 225 Sr.

*--*

If healthy, among Big West's top centers.

*

*--*

No. Player P Ht Wt Yr 52 Tadeu Souza F 6-8 230 Jr.

*--*

Transfer tore ACL and will redshirt.

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