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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / BIG WEST MEN'S TOURNAMENT

Team Capsules

March 08, 2001|PAUL McLEOD and LON EUBANKS

BOISE STATE

Record: 16-13, 8-8, tied for fifth in conference.

Starters: G Joe Skiffer (3.3 assists), G Booker Nabors (9.9 points), F Kejuan Woods (14.1 points), F Abe Jackson (17.4 points), C Trever Tillman (1.2 blocked shots).

Top reserves: Devlin Armstrong, Clint Hordemann.

Outlook: Team has three-game winning streak and is 4-0 with Tillman starting. Jackson averaged 26.5 points in final two games.

CAL POLY SLO

Record: 9-18, 3-13, tied for seventh in conference.

Starters: G Watende Favors (13.3 points), G Jamaal Scott (15.6 points), C Chris Bjorklund (17.9 points), F David Henry (4.7 points), F Jeremiah Mayes (8.9 points, 6.1 rebounds).

Top reserves: Varney Dennis, Michael Burris, James Grace.

Outlook: This is Cal Poly's first appearance in the men's tournament. The eighth-seeded Mustangs might be more of a threat if they hadn't lost junior Brandon Beeson, a former Woodbridge High player, with a knee injury. Beeson averaged 8.2 points and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds. Cal Poly still has Bjorklund, one of the conference's top big men, and Scott, a standout freshman.

CS FULLERTON

Record: 5-22, 3-13, tied for seventh in conference.

Starters: G David Castleton (7.8 points), G Kevin Richardson (11.8 points), G Ryan Dillon (9.0 points), C Babacar Camara (7.5 points), F Josh Fischer (6.0 points).

Top reserves: Ike Harmon, Matt Caldwell, Chris Smith.

Outlook: The Titans have struggled in Donny Daniels' first season as coach, but have shown some improvement in the last four games. They defeated Idaho, 63-60, and UC Riverside, 70-59, and lost close games to Long Beach State and UC Irvine. Harmon, the Titans' No. 3 career scorer, is averaging a team-leading 13 points and 6.2 rebounds despite being slowed by a foot injury.

LONG BEACH STATE

Record: 18-12, 10-6, third in conference.

Starters: G Ramel Lloyd (18.9 points), G Ron Johnson (8.8 points), C Travis Reed (14.5 points, 8.7 rebounds), F Lemi Williams (11.7 points), F Grant Stone (4.3 points).

Top reserves: Kevin Roberts, Michael Darrett, Brad Smith.

Outlook: Long Beach has won six of its last seven games. The 49ers have two all-conference first-team selections in Lloyd and Reed. Lloyd ranks fifth among the school's career scoring leaders, and has scored 20 or more points 15 times this season. Reed leads the conference in rebounding.

PACIFIC

Record: 16-11, 8-8, tied for fifth in conference.

Starters: G Maurice McLemore (9.7 points), G David Bunts (3.0 points), G Peter Heizer (12.0 points) C Tim Johnson (4.2 points), F Mike Hahn (10.7 points).

Top reserves: Tom Cockle, Jono Metzger-Jones, Mike Preston, Ross Mills, Eli Kiedrowski.

Outlook: The Tigers have come back from an 11-18 record last season for their eighth winning season in the last nine years under Coach Bob Thomason. Pacific won the tournament title in 1997 and reached the championship game two other times under Thomason. Hahn ranks second in the conference with 59.3% field-goal shooting.

UC IRVINE

Record: 24-3, 15-1, first in conference.

Starters: G Jerry Green (19 points), F Sean Jackson (made 47.2% of three-pointers), F Stanislav Zuzak (started eight of last nine), F Ben Jones (11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds), C Adam Parada (7.2 points, 5.8 rebounds).

Top reserves: Malachi Edmond, Aras Baskauskas, J.R. Christ, Dave Korfman, Albert Miller.

Outlook: The Anteaters, who have won seven in a row, captured their first regular-season conference title and set a school record for most wins in a season. Green was the Big West MVP.

UC SANTA BARBARA

Record: 13-14, 9-7, fourth in conference.

Starters: G Jacoby Atako (4.7 points), G Branduinn Fullove (12.2 points), G Nick Jones (9.6 points), F Mark Hull (13.8 points), F Mike Vukovich (5.4 rebounds).

Top reserves: B.J. Ward, Juliano Jordani, Casey Cook, J.J. Todd.

Outlook: The Gauchos, who won eight of their last 11 games, start three freshmen, a sophomore and one junior.

UTAH STATE

Record: 24-5, 13-3, second in conference.

Starters: G Bernard Rock (4.3 assists), G Tony Brown (12.1 points), F Shawn Daniels (12.2 points, 6.7 rebounds), F Curtis Bobb (4.9 rebounds), C Dimitri Jorssen (9.2 points).

Top reserves: Brennan Ray, Jeremy Vague, Dion Baily, Tony Brown.

Outlook: The Aggies are the defending tournament champions. Daniels leads the conference in blocked shots. Forwards Ray and Vague provide good inside depth off the bench.

TODAY'S GAMES

* LONG BEACH STATE (18-12) vs. BOISE STATE (16-13), KPLS (830), noon--This very well could be the best game of the first round and features three first-team all-conference players in guard Ramel Lloyd and post Travis Reed of Long Beach and forward Abe Jackson of Boise. Both teams have three-game winning streaks. They split their season series and each has a victory over Utah State, the winner's most likely opponent in the next round.

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