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BIG WEST MEN'S BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Team Capsules

November 19, 2002

CAL POLY SAN LUIS OBISPO

Coach: Kevin Bromley.

2001-02 record: 15-12 overall, 9-9 in the Big West.

Top players: Forwards Shane Schilling, a 6-6 junior transfer from Minnesota, and Diaby Kamara, a 6-7 senior from France who played at Portland, could be among the top newcomers in the conference. Varney Dennis, a 6-7 junior forward who averaged 14.7 points and 5.6 rebounds last season, has recurring knee problems and can't practice every day. Coaches hope 6-1 senior guard Jason Allen, who ranked sixth in the conference in assists and second on the team in three-point shooting last season, has a break-out year.

Outlook: The Mustangs could be the sleeper if all the pieces come together. "This is a very mature group with lots of experience," Bromley said. Look for San Luis Obispo to improve when Schilling becomes eligible Dec. 16. Phil Johnson, a 6-11 center who played in only 11 games last year because of academic problems, could provide an additional lift if he remains eligible.

Schedule: Friday: at Colorado, 7 p.m.; Nov. 27: College of Notre Dame De Namur, 7 p.m.; Nov. 30: San Diego State, 7 p.m.; Dec. 2: at Oregon State, 7 p.m.; Dec. 7: Sacramento State, 7 p.m.; Dec. 16: Loyola Marymount, 7 p.m.; Dec. 20: vs. New Orleans at Hawaii Festival, 8 p.m.; Dec. 21: vs. Eastern Illinois at Hawaii Festival, 8 p.m.; Dec. 28: at St. Mary's, 7 p.m.; Jan. 2: CS Fullerton, 7 p.m.; Jan. 4: UC Riverside, 7 p.m.; Jan. 9: at Utah State, 6 p.m.; Jan. 11: at Idaho, 7 p.m.; Jan. 16: Pacific, 7 p.m.; Jan. 18: CS Northridge, 7 p.m.; Jan. 25: at UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.; Jan. 29: at Long Beach State, 7 p.m.; Feb. 1: at UC Irvine, 7 p.m.; Feb. 6: Idaho, 7 p.m.; Feb. 8: Utah State, 7 p.m.; Feb. 13: at CS Northridge, 7 p.m.; Feb. 15: at Pacific, 7 p.m.; Feb. 20: UC Santa Barbara, 5:30 p.m.; Feb. 27: UC Irvine, 7 p.m.; March 1: Long Beach State, 7 p.m.; March 6: at UC Riverside, 7 p.m.; March 8: at CS Fullerton, 7 p.m.

*

CAL STATE FULLERTON

Coach: Donny Daniels.

2001-02 record: 5-22, 2-16.

Top players: Some scouts think Pape Sow, a 6-10 junior, from Dakar, Senegal, has a future in the NBA. He averaged 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game last season. His 6-11 cousin, Babacar Camara, hopes to improve on a disappointing sophomore season in which he averaged only 4.6 points. Senior guard Brandon Campbell made 40.2% of his three-point attempts last season.

Outlook: Fullerton is off NCAA probation that previously restricted contact with junior college players. Sow has been slowed by an ankle injury, but he figures to be a candidate for conference player of the year. The Titans probably aren't ready to challenge for a championship, but they are versatile and should be improved. "We will play to the level of the opponent's talent," Daniels said.

Schedule: Friday: vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, at Hawaii Tournament, 7 p.m.; Sunday: vs. Hawaii or Arkansas-Little Rock at Hawaii Tournament, TBA; Nov. 3: Occidental College (exhibition), 7 p.m.; Dec. 2: Morris Brown, 7 p.m.; Dec. 4: Pepperdine, 7 p.m.; Dec. 7: at Loyola Marymount, 7 p.m.; Dec. 11: at USC, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 14: Idaho State, 7 p.m.; Dec. 21: at Sacramento State, 7 p.m.; Dec. 2: at San Francisco, 7 p.m.; Jan. 2: at CP San Luis Obispo, 7 p.m.; Jan. 4: at UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.; Jan. 9: UC Irvine, 7 p.m.; Jan. 11: Long Beach State, 7 p.m.; Jan. 14: at Idaho State, 6 p.m.; Jan. 18: UC Riverside, 7 p.m.; Jan. 23: at Idaho, 7 p.m.; Jan. 25: at Utah State, 6 p.m.; Jan. 30: CS Northridge, 7 p.m.; Feb. 1: Pacific, 7 p.m.; Feb. 6: at Long Beach State, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 8: at UC Irvine, 7 p.m.; Feb. 15: at UC Riverside, 7 p.m.; Feb. 20: Utah State, 7 p.m.; Feb. 22: Idaho, 7 p.m.; Feb. 27: at Pacific, 7 p.m.; March 1: at CS Northridge, 7 p.m.; March 6: UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.; March 8: CP San Luis Obispo, 7 p.m.

*

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE

Coach: Bobby Braswell.

2001-02 record: 12-16, 11-7.

Top players: Curtis Slaughter, a 6-7 senior swingman, reminds Braswell of New Jersey Net guard Lucious Harris, who he coached at Cleveland High and Long Beach State. Lionel Benjamin, a 6-6 senior forward, led the team in field-goal percentage.

Outlook: The Matadors' explosive offense has been described as organized street ball but Braswell's gang has the conference favorites looking over their shoulders. The average margin of loss for Northridge, which started 1-7 a year ago, was only 1.3 points. "We're so much farther ahead than we were last year," Braswell said.

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