Friday, May 23, 2008

A Little History Lesson on the Cal State Fullerton Titans Men's Basketball Program


Since Bruce Bowen, a former Cal State Fullerton Titan, is currently playing the the Western Conference Finals, I thought I might give a brief history of the greatness of our basketball program.

Cal State Fullerton, my University, has had a "rich" history of basketball tradition. The team plays in Titan Gym, aka HTG(Historic Titan Gym). The gym, er, I mean arena, has a capacity of 4,000. The program's first major moment of glory came in 1978 when the Cal State Fullerton Titans, led by former NBA player Greg Bunch, qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. At that time, the tournament consisted of a 32 team field. In the first game, the Titans managed to upset New Mexico, one of the nation's top offensive teams. After that remarkable upset, the Titans earned the nickname "Cal State Who?" In the sweet sixteen, the Titans had to face USF, led by Bill Cartwright. And fittingly, the Titans managed to pull of another huge upset. At that point Southern California was going crazy with Titan fever. Unfortunately, all runs come to an end. Fullerton lost by 3 to Arkansas in the Elite Eight, with the game ending with a controversial no-call in favor of Arkansas.

During the 80s, a player named Leon Wood transferred from Arizona to CSUF. He is widely recognized as the greatest individual player to ever put on the Titan uniform. In 1984, he was named to the All-American team as a guard. The other guard was Michael Jordan. Wood went on to win the gold medal later that year and was drafted 10th in the NBA Draft. He played 6 years in the league and is now currently a referee in the NBA.

During the late 80s and early 90s, Fullerton saw the arrival of the likes of Cedric Ceballos and Bruce Bowen. Ceballos was part of a Fullerton team that managed to upset then top seeded UNLV, who were led by Stacy Augmon. Bowen did not play at Fullerton with Ceballos. He was a good player but did not put up the stats of Ceballos. Unfortunately, neither of them led their teams to March Madness.

During the 90s and early 2000s the Fullerton program went completely downhill. But towards the mid 2000s the Titan program began to see an upswing. First, the program was able to produce another NBA player in Pape Sow. The 2004-05 team, led by Ralphy Holmes, was able to qualify for the NIT and defeat Oregon State.


Since the NIT run, the Titans have produced several 20+ win seasons. Bobby Brown, the mainstay of the Titan program during the last few years, was a projected 2nd round pick during the 2007 draft. That may be a blessing in disguise as his time overseas may help polish his skills and a team will probably pick him up sometime down the road. Below is vid highlight of his career high 47 points. BTW, attendance has been up since the video was made haha.


This past season, my beloved Titans finally qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time since that unlikely run in 1978. The team was led by Big West co-player of the year Scott Cutley, Frank Robinson, and Josh Akognon. Unfortunately, they were knocked out in the first round by Wisconsin. Akognon is currently testing the NBA draft waters. He has yet to hire an agent so he is still eligible for his senior year.


Well there you go, a "brief" history of our men's basketball program. Bruce Bowen is the only active Titan in the NBA and his play makes all Titans proud(well, sort of haha). I wish Bowen well, except when playing the Lakers.

On a side note, there will be box and pack breaks coming soon as my semester just ended.

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