MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYS AT CAL STATE FULLERTON ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
Game Notes (25 pages) - pdf
Sacramento State (3-4) will play for the first time in seven days when the team travels south to face Cal State Fullerton (4-7) on Saturday, Dec. 21…tip-off at Titan Gym is set for 3:05 p.m…the Hornets are in the midst of a stretch that sees the team play once a week for five consecutive weeks…Sacramento State is coming off an 85-54 win over William Jessup at home last Saturday…the game against Fullerton will mark the Hornets' fifth road game of the season, and the team is 1-3 away from home thus far…only two non-conference games remain on the schedule, including Saturday and next weekend at home against UC Riverside…in a series which dates back to 1960, the Hornets are 6-5 against the Titans…that includes a 3-4 record in Fullerton, and 3-1 in Sacramento…since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991-92, Sacramento State has played Fullerton four times, and three of those games went into overtime…that includes the teams' last meeting when the Hornets scored 18 points in the extra session to defeat Fullerton, 78-71, on Nov. 29, 2003 inside Titan Gym…in that game, Joseth Dawson scored a game-high 20 points, including six in overtime (box score on page 9 of the notes)…the Titans enter Saturday's game with a 2-3 record at home, including an 87-80 victory over Texas Southern this past Sunday…Fullerton's Michael Williams (15.5 ppg), Alex Harris (13.3 ppg) and Marquis Horne (10.2) combine to account for 57 percent of the team's offensive production…Saturday's game can be heard over the airwaves on KTKZ 1380 AM The Answer and on the internet at www.hornetsports.com with 17th year play-by-play announcer Steve McElroy calling all the action…a live video stream of the game is being offered free at www.bigwest.org/tv…live stats for the game are available at www.fullertontitans.com…Saturday will mark the first in a stretch that will see the Hornets play five of their next six games on the road, including each of the first four Big Sky Conference contests.
555 AND COUNTING
Sacramento State has converted at least one three-pointer in 555 straight games. It has been over 20 years since the Hornets failed to convert a three ball. The last time the program was blanked from beyond the arc came on Nov. 28, 1993, when the Hornets went 0-for-6 in a loss on the road at Montana State.
FOULS ON THE RISE
Last May, the NCAA men's basketball rules committee voted on changes intended to cut down the amount of physical play and encourage a more open style of play. The NCAA warned that more fouls would likely be called. In Sacramento State's case, that has certainly rang true. Through seven games, the Hornets have been whistled for 156 fouls, or 22.3 per contest. In comparison, last year's team was whistled for 122 fouls through the first seven games, and finished the season with 16.0 fouls per game. A Hornet has fouled out of a game six times this season after finishing with that same amount through 29 games last year.
FREE THROW ATTEMPT DISPARITY
With the Hornets averaging more than 22 fouls per game, the opponents have taken advantage, going to the free throw line a ridiculous 195 times already. That breaks down to a robust 27.9 free throw attempts per game, which is partially to blame for the team's 3-4 record. Opponents have shot at least 20 free throws in all but one game, including 45 by UTEP two weeks ago. The opposition has attempted 67 more free throws (195-128) and converted 43 more of those freebies (128-85) than Sacramento State.
GAUGING THE PLUS/MINUS
The plus/minus ratio, originally created in hockey, gauges the success of a team when a certain player or combination of players are on the floor. So far this year, senior forward Jordan Salley has a team-best ratio of +3.14 per game, so the Hornets have outscored their opponents by more than three points per game when Salley is on the floor. As far as lineups go, the fivesome of Dylan Garrity, Mikh McKinney, Cody Demps, Alex Tiffin and Salley have been the best statistically, also checking in at +3.14 per contest. The Hornets have used 104 different fivesomes this season.
GARRITY/McKINNEY ACCOUNT FOR BIG PART OF THE OFFENSE
A good chunk of the team's scoring this season has come from the back court of junior point guard Dylan Garrity and junior shooting guard Mikh McKinney. The duo combines to form one of the best back courts in the Big Sky Conference, and, together, have scored over 40 percent (.415) of the team's points this season. McKinney (14.7 ppg) and Garrity (12.0 ppg) are the only Hornets averaging better than 7.3 points per contest and one of the two has led the team in scoring in all but two games thus far.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL
Over the last three games, Sacramento State has posted its lowest turnover marks of the season, comprised of 11 vs. UC Irvine, 10 against UTEP and a season-low eight vs. William Jessup. That's an average of just 9.7 per contest during that three-game stretch.
Academically, of the 18 Hornets that have expired their eligibility under head coach Brian Katz, 14 have graduated, and three more are on pace to graduate during the 2013-14 academic year.
As far as a starting lineup goes, one thing is pretty certain....head coach Brian Katz will start Dylan Garrity at point guard, Mikh McKinney at shooting guard, Cody Demps at swingman and Alex Tiffin in the post. Who he starts alongside that foursome is still being ironed out. Katz has started four different players alongside the foursome, comprised of forward Joey Quigley (3 times), center Eric Stuteville (2), and forwards Jordan Salley (1) and Zach Mills (1).
GARRITY CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
Junior point guard Dylan Garrity, who has been the Hornets' starting point guard the moment he stepped foot on campus two years ago, continues to impress. Already fourth in school history in career assists (358), Garrity has increased his scoring average from 8.1 ppg as a freshman, to 11.6 ppg as a sophomore, and currently 12.0 ppg this season. He is shooting .474 (18-38) from beyond the 3-point line, and averaging 2.6 makes per game, both the second best marks in the Big Sky. Most impressive, however, is the fact he's turned the ball over just six times in 213 minutes this year (one every 35.5 minutes) despite playing a highly demanding position. His 3.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is the 14th best mark in the nation and tops in the Big Sky.
STAT SHEET STUFFING McKINNEY
Junior shooting guard Mikh McKinney, who shares the team captain duties with Dylan Garrity, is currently averaging 14.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting .479 (35-73) from the field and .917 (22-24) from the free throw line. He has scored in double figures in all but one game, including a season-best 25 points at UC Davis, and 22 more at UTEP. The Union City, Calif., native has started all 36 games during his Sacramento State career after transferring from Ohlone College. He has scored in double figures in 25 of those games. Over his last two road games, he is averaging 23.5 points, a big mark for a player who struggled with his shot away from home last season. The only game he didn't reach double figures in points this season came when he notched seven at UCLA. His .917 free throw percentage (22-for-24) is currently the 15th best mark in the nation.
BIG STRIDES FOR DEMPS
Last season as a true freshman, swingman Cody Demps averaged 3.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.8 minutes of playing time. What a difference a year makes. This season, Demps is not only getting bigger minutes (27.4 per game), he is making the most of the added playing time, averaging 7.3 points and a team-high 4.4 rebounds per game. Including his career-high 16 points against UC Irvine, he has scored in double figures three times in the last six games after doing so twice all of last season. He also had his first career double-double (10 pts, 12 reb) at CSU Bakersfield. He's been somewhat feast or famine, having scored at least nine points four times, and scoring two points or less in the other three games.
THE PROFICIENT SALLEY
Over his last 23 games dating back to last season, senior forward Jordan Salley is shooting a ridiculous .719 (41-of-57) from the field. He finished last season by going 22-of-29 over his final 16 games, and is now 19-for-28 (.679) this year. The athletic Salley will often jump higher than his defender to set up a clean midair look at the basket. After averaging just 8.0 minutes the first three games this season, he has combined for 78 minutes over the last four games. Overall, he is now averaging one point every 2.3 minutes of playing time, the second best mark on the squad.
The Hornets are 3-0 when outrebounding an opponent, and 0-4 when being outrebounded…after combining for four points over his previous three games, junior forward Alex Tiffin broke out for season bests in points (21) and rebounds (9) on Saturday vs. William Jessup…after beginning the season 1-for-6 from beyond the arc, sophomore Dreon Barlett is 4 for his last 8 from distance…six different players have now led the Hornets in rebounding through seven games…despite averaging just 64.4 points per game, the Hornets' average of 13.7 assists per game is the second best mark in the Big Sky.