The Cal State Fullerton Titans have lost all four games since Alex Harris was injured by an average of 14.5 points, and those struggles should continue vs. Charleston Sunday.
The underdogs figure to continue to struggle with their leading scorer still out on Sunday when those Cal State Fullerton Titans (2-5, 1-3 away) take on the College of Charleston Cougars (2-5, 0-1 away) in The Wooden Legacy Tournament from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA at 4:30 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.
NCAA Basketball Pick
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has College of Charleston as a moderate favorite for this contest with the current line at -3½ with odds of -108.
Charleston may be 2-5, but the Cougars have a very good excuse as they have lost to the likes of Louisville, San Diego State, Arizona State and the Miami Hurricanes, and they even own a one-point win over a good Charlotte team. Fullerton represents a huge drop in class from the teams that they have been taking on.
That is especially true with the Titans’ leading scorer Alex Harris out with an ankle injury, as Fullerton was off to a 2-1 start with a healthy Harris but has gone 0-4 without him while losing by an average of 14.5 points, with Marquette being the only team the Titans lost to during that streak that is currently in the Pomeroy Top 100.
To give you an idea of how important Harris is to the Titans, consider that they averaged 80.7 points in their first three games with him in the lineup while scoring at least 71 points each game, and they have averaged 58.3 points in their four losses without him while only getting into the 60s twice. Harris still leads Fullerton in scoring with his 17.7 points per game as nobody has really stepped up in his absence.
Michael Williams has come closest while averaging 13.3 points in the games that Harris has missed, but Williams is not the all-around player Harris is as he has a grand total of just six assists in those four games. Fullerton has been getting killed in the turnover department without a legitimate point guard, as the Titans are ranked 213th early on offensive turnover percentage, and their defense is only 259th in defensive turnover percentage.
That is a combination that will lose you a lot of basketball games, especially when you rank just 259th in offensive efficiency and 203rd in defensive efficiency.
The Cougars should appreciate this class drop after butting heads with so many heavyweights during an ambitious non-conference schedule, and it is worth noting that the last time Charleston faced a team ranked worse than Fullerton on the Pomeroy Ratings, it crushed Furman 89-55. The statistics may not look pretty for the Cougars because of their slate so far, but through its all they have still managed to rank a respectable 68th in offensive rebounding percentage.
That should lead to quite a few second chance opportunities here, and the performance vs. Furman shows what the Cougars can do when not being outclassed by a top-tier major conference school.
With Fullerton more on its level, look for a handy win by the College of Charleston in The Wooden Legacy Tournament on Sunday.
: College of Charleston -3½ (-108)