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Mustang Men's Basketball Hosts Cal State Bakersfield, Visits USC

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WILL TAYLOR DISCUSSES SATURDAY'S SHOWDOWN AT USC (video)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal Poly men's basketball program completes a two-game season-opening home stand and makes its debut against the Pac-12 Conference when hosting Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. inside Mott Gym before visiting USC on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. inside the Galen Center. The Mustangs (1-0), who opened the year on Nov. 12 with a 79-52 home demolition of San Jose State, are attempting to start a campaign with successive victories for the first time since winning three straight to open the 1997-98 season. Cal State Bakersfield (0-1) opened its season on Nov. 12 with an 86-62 loss at Oregon State. USC (1-1), which dropped a double-overtime decision against Nebraska on Monday, visits San Diego State on Nov. 17 before welcoming Cal Poly.

FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS THIS WEEK: Tom Barket returns to the headset to provide play-by-play detail of Cal Poly's Nov. 16 matchup versus Cal State Bakersfield online HERE and in San Luis Obispo County on ESPN 1280. Dave Grant grabs the broadcasting reins for Cal Poly's Nov. 19 showdown at USC. Due to a schedule conflict with Cal Poly's 2 p.m. football game at South Alabama, the USC basketball broadcast will be an internet-only affair HERE. Live stats and streaming video of both games are available HERE.

WELCOME TO FABULOUS CAL POLY BASKETBALL: Saturday's showdown at USC marks the opening game of Cal Poly's four-contest run in the 2011 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. Action continues in Las Vegas against UNLV on Tuesday, Nov. 22 inside the Thomas and Mack Center. The Mustangs then transition to the Orleans Arena to face Morgan State on Friday, Nov. 25 before squaring off against either Tennessee State or Mississippi Valley State the following afternoon.

MILESTONE LOOMS: A pair of victories this week will provide Cal Poly its 200th triumph at the Division I level. Cal Poly's first win as a Division I program was a 62-59 edging of Menlo College on Jan. 11, 1995.

CAL POLY VERSUS CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD: The Roadrunners own a 30-25 all-time series edge against the Mustangs dating to the first meeting on Feb. 15, 1971 (Cal Poly, 82-75). Former Division II foes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, Cal Poly outlasted the Roadrunners, 77-61, in the last meeting between the two programs on Jan. 29, 2011 inside Cal State Bakersfield's Rabobank Arena.

CAL POLY VERSUS USC: The Mustangs and Trojans have met just twice prior with Cal Poly claiming a 93-78 victory during the first encounter on Dec. 22, 2003. USC prevailed during the last matchup on Dec. 22, 2007, 78-55. Both contests took place in Los Angeles.

WORTH THE WAIT: Forced to sit out the 2009-10 season after transferring from Hagerstown College (Md.) and the 2010-11 season after suffering an ACL injury, senior guard Amaurys Fermin finally made his Cal Poly debut with a game-high 17-point performance during the program's 79-52 victory against San Jose State (Nov. 12). Fermin, who started at the point and played 27 minutes, also kicked down a game-high three assists.

REDSHIRTS MAKE SEAMLESS TRANSITION: Three other Mustangs returned from 2010-11 redshirt seasons to star in Cal Poly's season-opening victory versus San Jose State (Nov. 12). Senior forward Will Taylor grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds against the Spartans and matched a career best with 12 points. Sophomore forward Chris Eversley, a 2010 transfer from Rice, added five points in 13 minutes of work. Sophomore guard Kyle Odister, a member of the 2009-10 Big West Conference All-Freshman team, helped seal Cal Poly's victory with a late three-pointer.  

RIGHT WHERE HE LEFT OFF: Sophomore guard Maliik Love, the 2010-11 Big West Freshman of the Year selection, finished Cal Poly's season-opening victory 6-for-7 from the floor and with a further six rebounds. The Nov. 12 start against San Jose State was the 19-year-old Love's 31st-successive start in the Cal Poly lineup.

THE WINNING EDGE: Cal Poly's 27-point margin of victory against San Jose State (Nov. 12) was the program's largest disparity under third-year head coach Joe Callero and largest since hammering North Florida on Nov. 21, 2008, 76-42.

CAL POLY LOCKING UP OPPONENTS AGAIN: A year after finishing third among all Division I programs in opponent three-point percentage (28.7), sixth in opponent points per game (58.9) and 25th in opponent field goal percentage (40.0), the Mustangs opened the 2011-12 campaign by limiting San Jose State to a 21.4 percent mark from beyond the arc, 52 points and a 28.6 percent figure from the floor.

HANSON ON VERGE OF HISTORY: Senior forward David Hanson requires 118 points to become the third Mustang in as many seasons and the 17th player in program history to notch 1,000 career points.  Hanson, who finished eighth among Big West players last year with 455 total points and 15.2 per 30 games, is currently sixth among active conference players in career points. Guard Shawn Lewis completed his four-year Mustang career last year as the seventh-leading scorer in program history with 1,304 points while guard Lorenzo Keeler (2007-10) ended his tenure ranked No. 11 with 1,157 points.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE: Cal Poly's 14 home games this season are the most contests inside Mott Gym since the program hosted 16 opponents during the 1999-00 campaign. Under Joe Callero, Cal Poly has posted a 14-11 overall mark in Mott Gym, a 9-7 record against Big West opposition and, last season alone, allowed just 54.4 points per 12 home games.

MUSTANGS RETURN TO THE SMALL SCREEN: A year after making a program-record five television appearances, the Mustangs are scheduled to appear on TV a further four times during the 2011-12 campaign. Below is a listing of Cal Poly's 2011-12 television schedule, including tentative dates.

Jan. 2: UC Santa Barbara – KSBY-TV
Jan. 21: Cal State Northridge – PRIME
Feb. 18: ESPNU BracketBuster (Pending)
Feb. 25: at UC Santa Barbara – ESPNU
March 3: Pacific – KSBY-TV
March 9: Big West Tournament semifinal – ESPNU (pending)
March 10: Big West Tournament championship – ESPN2 (pending)

MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST IN 2011-12: In what has become a hallmark of head coach Joe Callero's three-season tenure, Cal Poly will again face another testing schedule during the 2011-12 campaign. Beginning with the Nov. 19 clash at Pac-12 Conference opponent USC, Cal Poly will contest seven games this season against programs that qualified for either the 2011 NCAA Tournament or NIT.

HAWAI'I SAYS ALOHA TO BIG WEST CONFERENCE: The Big West Conference Board of Directors announced the addition of Hawai'i as the conference's 10th member institution on Dec. 10, 2010. Previously a member of the Big West from 1984-96, Hawai'i will begin official conference competition during the 2012-13 campaign.

ETC.: Cal Poly improved to 9-9 in season-opening contests at the Division I level with a 79-52 victory against San Jose State (Nov. 12).