MBB vs UCSB (Omar Sanchez)-7

(Omar Sanchez / Daily Titan)

CSUF men’s basketball head coach Dedrique Taylor announced on Wednesday that five newcomers along with fall signee Dante Maddox will join the program for the 2020-21 season. 

Josh Hall is one of the more notable signees as he brings postseason experience to the team. On the Nevada Wolfpack in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, Hall has made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament. 

He made an impact for Nevada with a game-winning shot against Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament to send the Wolfpack to the Sweet 16. In the tournament, he averaged 13 points per game on 67% shooting. He was also named Nevada’s Most Improved Player that season after averaging 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds a game. 

Hall sat out the next season after he transferred to Missouri State. In the one season that he played for the Bears, he led the team in steals. 

Taylor said he hopes that Hall brings his experience, defense and other skills to Fullerton. 

“Josh gives us great experience having spent time at Nevada during some of their most successful years,” Taylor said in a press release. “His versatility along with size and maturity will allow us to key in on defending, rebounding, playing in transition, spacing the floor and moving the ball.” 

Tray Maddox Jr. joins the team after playing his first two collegiate years at Oakland University. Last season, he averaged 9.1 points, three rebounds and 2.2 assists a game while shooting 34.5% from the field. 

Latrell Wrightsell Jr. will join the team as a freshman. At Omaha Central High School, he averaged 24 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals per game and led the team to a 21-4 record. He was the No. 3 ranked player in Nebraska and was a First Team All-Nebraska honoree his senior season. He also broke the school record as he scored 43 points in one game.

Jalen Harris is transferring to Fullerton from Casper Community College in Wyoming. The Los Angeles native led Casper to a 58-9 record across two seasons while averaging 16.2 points and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 37.1% from the 3-point line. His performance in his last season at Casper earned him a 2020 First-Team NJCAA All-Region IX selection. 

Another junior college transfer is Landis Spivey, who played at Columbia Community College in Sonora the past two seasons. He led his school to second in the CCCAA Central Valley division while averaging 17.1 points and 5.4 rebounds and was fifth in the CCCAA with 94 made 3-pointers. 

Dante Maddox Jr. is an incoming freshman from Bloom Township High School in Illinois, who will join the team. Maddox was a First-Team All-Illinois honoree and finished third for Mr. Basketball in Illinois. 

These six newcomers hope to fill the shoes of four departing seniors. Last season, the Titans’ three leading scorers were seniors, so the newcomers will have to make an immediate impact on the scoreboard.

The newcomers will also try to help Fullerton improve on a 2019-20 season where they went 11-20 overall. The team finished 6-10 in conference play, good for a seventh-place finish in the Big West. 

One of the main issues that plagued the Titans throughout the season was inconsistent play. They finished December with a victory at UCLA, a team that went on to finish second in the Pac-12. CSUF then finished January with an overtime loss to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, who finished last in the Big West.

Taylor said he hopes that the newcomers will give the Titans the consistency they need to climb the ladder in the Big West. 

“Each one of these young men along with our returning guys will give us a lot to work with as we look to make a push for the Big West Conference Championship,” Taylor said in a press release. 

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