College basketball season may be over, but both the men’s and women’s programs at Cal State Fullerton have been busy retooling their rosters after the departure of key seniors.
Men’s Head Coach Dedrique Taylor has signed four new players to the Titan family, while Daron Park has five recruits committed to becoming part of the women’s team.
After a disappointing 9-22 season, in which his team missed out on the Big West Conference tournament, Taylor knew he had a lot of work to do to replace seniors Alex Harris and Steve McClellan, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, respectively.
Taylor’s first national letter of intent signee, Khalil Ahmad, came back in November right as the 2014-15 season was starting.
The 6-foot-4-inch shooting guard is a three-star recruit, according to ESPN.com, and can help fill the shoes left behind by Harris with his shooting and ball-handling ability. Ahmad was a four-year varsity member of Centennial High School in Corona, and helped lead his squad to the CIF State Boys Playoff championship.
The other incoming freshman will be Kyle Allman, Jr., a 6-foot-3-inch point guard from Queens, New York. The multi-skilled guard posted marks of 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game during his senior campaign at High School For Construction Trades, Engineering And Architecture.
The third guard in Taylor’s signing class has a name that fits his toughness and grit on the court, Lionheart Leslie. The 5-foot-10-inch point guard plays larger than his size, as he averaged 14.7 points, 5.7 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game at Blinn Junior College in Benham, Texas.
The lone forward to committing to the men’s team is Samuel Williams.
The 6-foot-8-inch Williams will be transferring from Mt. San Jacinto Junior College, where he averaged 25.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. The Reno, Nevada native can not only grab the rebounds that will be left behind by McClellan, but will be able to provide something that the Titans have been sorely lacking the past few seasons: post scoring.
On the women’s side, Park’s team qualified for the Big West Conference as the seventh seed after a 13-19 season, but made a Cinderella run to the semifinals before falling to top-seeded Hawaii. Park will now be without the services of seniors Chante Miles and Kathleen Iwuoha, the top scorer and rebounder, respectively.
Although not the same type of volume scorer as Miles, Park thinks he has found a suitable replacement in Lauren Nubla, a 5-foot-7-inch point guard from Sacramento. Nubla prepped at C. K. McClatchy High School, where she posted 8.6 points and 4.1 assists per game as a senior en route to the Division 1 CIF State Championship. Winning is in her blood, and Park hopes that she will bring that history of success to Fullerton.
Nubla will join a stout incoming class of Danielle Craig (Iowa City, Iowa), Madison Crawford (Fort Worth, Texas), Michelle Berry (Miami) and Mikayla Williams (Temecula), who will all don Titan orange and blue next season.