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Men's Basketball

A Look Back At The 2017-18 Men's Basketball Season



2017-18 Men's Basketball Final Release

Highlighting the 2017-18 Big West men's basketball campaign was Cal State Fullerton becoming the eighth different tournament champion in eight years at Honda Center.


Big West Tournament Magic
The 2018 Big West Men’s Basketball Tournament presented by MemorialCare produced a different champion for the eighth straight year at Honda Center.  Cal State Fullerton joined the list, becoming the first No. 4 seed since Long Beach State in 1993 to win the tournament.  The list of champions since the tournament moved to Honda Center in 2011 is below.


Year Champion Seed
2018 Cal State Fullerton No. 4
2017 UC Davis No. 2
2016 Hawai‘i No. 1
2015 UC Irvine No. 3
2014 Cal Poly No. 7
2013 Pacific No. 2
2012 Long Beach State No. 1
2011 UC Santa Barbara No. 5
Titans Win Third Tourney Title
Cal State Fullerton plowed through No. 5 Long Beach State, No. 1 UC Davis and No. 3 UC Irvine to capture the Big West Tournament title – the program’s third all-time.  Previous title seasons came in 1978 and 2008.  The Titans now have defeated UCI twice (2008, 2018) in the only two all-Orange County championship games.  CSF made its fifth title game appearance (1978, 1982, 1985, 2008, 2018) and improved to 3-2 in those games.

Cal State Fullerton Returns To NCAA Tourney
CSF’s reward for winning the Big West Tournament was a trip to the NCAA Tournament.  It was the program’s first tourney berth in 10 years and the third overall.  The Titans also appeared in the Big Dance in 1978 and 2008.  Head coach Dedrique Taylor’s Titans earned a No. 15 seed in the East Region, losing to second-seeded Purdue.

UC Davis Claims Second Regular Season Title
UC Davis earned its second Big West regular season championship in four year under head coach Jim Les, finishing 12-4 in conference play despite entering the year with just one returning starter.  The Aggies finished 22-11, representing the third time in four seasons the program accumulated 20 victories and made the postseason.  UC Davis received an automatic bid to the National Invitation Tournament as the Big West champion, losing to Utah in the first round.

UC Santa Barbara Shines Under Pasternack
UC Santa Barbara finished 23-9 in Joe Pasternack’s first year as head coach.  The 23 victories tied the single-season school record, matching the output of the 2007-08 team.  That success followed a 2016-17 campaign in which UCSB established a school record for losses with 22.  The 17-win turnaround represented the nation’s biggest improvement this season, and established a Big West record.

Team Year W-L Year W-L Diff.
UC Santa Barbara 2016-17 6-22 2017-18 23-9 +17
Utah State 1981-82 4-23 1982-83 20-9 +16
UC Davis 2013-14 9-22 2014-15 25-7 +16
Fresno State 1976-77 7-20 1977-78 21-6 +14
Cal State Fullerton 1980-81 4-23 1981-82 18-14 +14
UC Irvine Continues To Set Winning Standard
UC Irvine notched its sixth consecutive winning season after finishing 18-17 overall in 2017-18.  No other Big West program has a current streak longer than two straight winning seasons.  It is the longest such streak by a Big West school since UC Santa Barbara had seven consecutive winning campaigns from 2005-12.

Year Record Pct.
2012-13 21-16 .568
2013-14 23-12 .657
2014-15 21-13 .618
2015-16 28-10 .737
2016-17 21-15 .583
2017-18 18-17 .514
Totals 132-83 .614
Big West Coaching
Long Beach State’s DAN MONSON is the dean of Big West head coaches, having completed his 11th season roaming the sidelines of the Walter Pyramid.  He ranks eighth all-time in conference history with 185 wins, while his 114 Big West victories is sixth all-time.  Only five Big West head coaches have accumulated 200 or more wins during their tenure with the conference – Bob Thomason (Pacific, 436), Jerry Tarkanian (Long Beach State & UNLV, 405), Bob Williams (UC Santa Barbara, 313), Neil McCarthy (New Mexico State, 248) and Jerry Pimm (UC Santa Barbara, 222).  Monson has won a minimum of 15 games in each of the last 10 seasons, needing that total to hit the 200-win milestone during the 2018-19 campaign.

Coach, Team Years (School/Career) School Big West Career
Dan Monson, Long Beach State 11/21 185-177 114-64 355-300
Russell Turner, UC Irvine 8/8 157-122 83-47 Same as school
Joe Callero, Cal Poly 9/19 120-161 63-83 259-291
Jim Les, UC Davis 7/16 109-114 59-55 263-254
Dedrique Taylor, Cal State Fullerton 5/5 67-89 30-50 Same as school
Eran Ganot, Hawai‘i 3/4 59-35 29-19 62-37
Joe Pasternack, UC Santa Barbara 1/4 23-9 11-5 77-69
Pasternack Joins Marquee List
UC Santa Barbara’s JOE PASTERNACK had a very successful first year heading up the program.  Coming over from the University of Arizona, where he was an Associate Head Coach, Pasternack led the Gauchos to a 23-9 record, tying the program record for victories.  The 23 wins represents the fourth-most by a first-year Big West head coach.  Hawaii’s Eran Ganot is the all-time leader, having collected 28 wins in 2015-16.  Jerry Tarkanian and Lute Olson had 24 victories in their first seasons when they took turns coaching at Long Beach State in the 1970s. 

Record Breaking Performance For Levin
Long Beach State senior forward GABE LEVIN obliterated two Big West single-game records in a 105-104 double overtime loss to UC Davis on Feb. 3.  He established new benchmarks for free throws made (24) and free throws attempted (28).  The previous record for made free throws was 18 by UC Irvine’s Johnny Rogers on Feb. 15, 1986.  Levin’s 28 attempts bettered the 22 by Hawaii’s Christian Standhardinger on Dec. 14, 2013 and Cal State Fullerton’s Leon Wood on Dec. 19, 1981.  The impressive effort by Levin led to a 45-point night, which tied him for fifth all-time in Big West history for most points in a single game.  Levin also tied the LBSU record jointly held by Ed Ratleff, who dropped 45 on Saint Mary’s on Dec. 10, 1970.

More On Levin
GABE LEVIN finished his three-year Long Beach State career with 1,091 points and 518 rebounds, becoming just the 24th player in program history to accumulate 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.  He’s also just the second transfer to the Beach to reach the milestone.

Welcome To The 1,000 Club
Entering the 2017-18 season, only one player had earned the distinction of scoring 1,000 career points, and that belonged to UC Santa Barbara senior GABE VINCENT.  The guard had 1,044 career points entering the season opener.  Vincent concluded his career with 1,441 points – No. 10 overall in UCSB history.  Five other players joined the club this season.  Cal State Fullerton teammates KHALIL AHMAD and KYLE ALLMAN, along with UC Davis guard SILER SCHNEIDER, will return for their senior seasons in 2018-19 as members of the 1,000-point club.

  Career Total Career Total
Player, School Entering 2017-18 Ending 2017-18
Gabe Vincent, UC Santa Barbara 1,044 1,441
Tavrion Dawson, CSUN 720 1,221
Khalil Ahmad, Cal State Fullerton 665 1,149
Siler Schneider, UC Davis 661 1,119
Kyle Allman, Cal State Fullerton 479 1,102
Gabe Levin, Long Beach State 500 1,091

Prolific Free Throw Shooter Fields Joins Record Book
Cal Poly junior DONOVAN FIELDS shot 92.6 percent from the free throw line in 2017-18, the No. 2 mark in Big West single-season history.  Fields canned 75 of 81 from the charity stripe, including 28 in a row at one point.  In two seasons as a Mustang, Fields has shot 89.6% (147 of 164) from the foul line.  That places him No. 2 in the Big West career record book, just percentage points behind leader David Doubley of Pacific.  Doubley shot 89.8% (168 of 187) from 2003-05.

Aggie Home Court Streak Reached 19 Straight
UC Davis had a 19-game home court win streak – the fourth-longest in the nation at the time – end in a 90-81 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 8.  The Aggies went 11-0 at home in 2016-17 and began this season with eight straight wins on Hamilton Court before falling to the Gauchos.  Ironically, UC Davis returned the favor nine days later in Santa Barbara, ending a Gaucho 12-game run at the Thunderdome with a 71-54 triumph.

Hawai‘i Duo Earns Major Hardware
For the first time since Hawai‘i joined the Big West in 2012-13, a pair of Rainbow Warriors etched their names on two of the All-Specialty Awards trophies.  Junior JACK PURCHASE became the first UH representative of the Best Sixth Man award after hitting 50 threes and ranking second on the team with 153 rebounds.  Fellow junior SHERIFF DRAMMEH claimed Best Hustle Award laurels.  The intense guard had two or more steals on 10 occasions and earned a reputation as one of the best in the country at drawing charges.

Shorts Not Shorted With Highest Honors

UC Davis junior T.J. SHORTS II – all 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds of him – carried the heaviest workload for the Big West regular season champions.  Shorts II became the first individual in Big West history to be named Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in the same season.  The Saddleback College transfer averaged 21.0 points over the final eight games to help UC Davis finish 12-4 in Big West play despite not having the services of Chima Moneke, a first team all-conference performer in 2016-17.  Shorts II enjoyed the biggest moments, hitting two game-winning shots – a running three-pointer against Long Beach State and a coast-to-coast layup versus UC Riverside.  He also produced the first Aggie triple-double in nearly a decade with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Cal Poly.

Moneke Earns Preseason Honors
UC Davis forward CHIMA MONEKE entered his season on the national radar for recognition.  Moneke was named to the preseason Watch Lists for both the Lute Olson Award and Lou Henson Award.  The Lute Olson Award recognizes the nation’s top Division I player who has played at least two seasons.  Moneke was featured on a list of 40 players from conferences including the Power 5.  The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I mid-major player.

Allman, Heidegger Named NABC All-District 9
Cal State Fullerton junior KYLE ALLMAN joined UC Santa Barbara sophomore MAX HEIDEGGER on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District Second Team.  Allman scored 623 points – most in the Big West – and No. 7 all-time on the Titan single-season scoring list.  The first Titan to earn NABC All-District honors since DJ Seeley in 2012-13, Allman led the Big West with 17 games of 20 points or more, and eclipsed the 30-point mark four times.  The guard had a career-high 40 points on 16-of-19 shooting in a Jan. 27 win at Hawai‘i.  Allman topped the Big West in scoring average (19.5 ppg), while ranking No. 4 in three-point field goal percentage (.429) and No. 10 in field goal percentage (.489).

Heidegger is the first Gaucho since Michael Bryson in 2015-16 to capture NABC All-District honors.  Heidegger enjoyed a breakout sophomore season in which he tallied 612 points, the fifth-most in UCSB single-season history.  He averaged 19.1 points per game to help the Gauchos to a 23-9 overall record and a 17-win increase over the previous season, tying the largest increase in victory total in NCAA history.  Heidegger also sank a single-season school record 95 three-point baskets and topped the Big West in threes made per game (3.0).  Just the third UCSB sophomore to claim All-District recognition (Orlando Johnson, Alan Williams), Heidegger scored 20 points or more 13 times, and had 30 or more twice.

Heidegger Named To Lou Henson All-America Team
UC Santa Barbara sophomore MAX HEIDEGGER was the lone Big West representative on the 40-member Lou Henson All-America Team by  Heidegger, who joins Orlando Johnson and Alan Williams as Gauchos on the team, is the eighth player in Big West history to be selected to the prestigious team, given to the top mid-major players in the country.  The Lou Henson Award was named after the former Illinois and New Mexico State coach who became one of just 12 coaches all-time to take two schools to the Final Four.  The Big West has had at least one representative in eight of the nine years since the award was created in 2010.  Overall, it is the 12th time a Big West player has received the recognition as Alan Williams (twice), Orlando Johnson (twice), Corey Hawkins of UC Davis (twice) and Casper Ware of Long Beach State (twice) were selected multiple times.


Year Player School
2018 Max Heidegger UC Santa Barbara
2016 Nick Faust Long Beach State
  Stefan Jankovic Hawai‘i
2015 Alan Williams UC Santa Barbara
  Corey Hawkins UC Davis
2014 Alan Williams UC Santa Barbara
2013 Corey Hawkins UC Davis
  James Ennis Long Beach State
2012 Casper Ware Long Beach State
2011 Casper Ware Long Beach State
  Orlando Johnson UC Santa Barbara
2010 Orlando Johnson UC Santa Barbara
Allman Enters Top 10 For Free Throw Attempts
Cal State Fullerton junior KYLE ALLMAN took a conference-high 244 free throw attempts, the No. 10 mark in Big West single-season history.  He made 182 free throws – three shy of breaking into the Big West top 10 – but nonetheless third all-time in Titan history.  The 244 attempts at the charity stripe ranked second in the Titan record book only to Leon Wood’s 257 taken in 1983-84.

Moneke Finishes Career As Elite Rebounder
UC Davis senior CHIMA MONEKE became just the second player in almost 30 years to finish within the Big West top 10 in career rebounding.  The forward averaged 9.5 rebounds over 57 games spanning his two seasons in an Aggie uniform.  He had 201 rebounds in 21 games (9.6 rpg) this season before missing the final 12 contests.  In 2016-17, Moneke led the Big West in rebounds (9.5 rpg) as he helped the Aggies to their first Division I NCAA Tournament appearance.  Despite sitting out the final 12 games, Moneke was still No. 2 in the Big West with 11 double-digit rebounding efforts.

UCSB Ranked No. 25 In Final Poll
After rising to a season-best No. 11 ranking in the Feb. 12 edition of the Mid-Major poll, UC Santa Barbara ended the season with a No. 25 ranking.  They were ranked in the top 25 for 13 straight weeks.  Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis received votes in the final poll.  The Aggies were ranked in the top 25 for a three-week stretch in December.