COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly men's basketball program closes the 2017 calendar year, caps its 14-game, non-conference schedule and completes preparations for its Jan. 4 Big West Conference opener when hosting Division II Notre Dame de Namur inside Mott Athletics Center on Saturday, Dec. 30. Tip time is 7 p.m. for Cal Poly (4-9), which has won seven of its last nine non-conference home games and looks to stem a five-game slide when meeting the Belmont, Calif.-based Argonauts. Pacwest Conference member Notre Dame de Namur (2-7), making its 12th all-time visit to Mott Athletics Center in 38 years, most recently dropped a 90-57 home decision to Azusa Pacific (Dec. 18).
FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Chris Sylvester will have the call of Saturday's game versus Notre Dame de Namur for ESPN 1280 in San Luis Obispo County and via GoPoly.com HERE … live stats and streaming video will also be available via GoPoly.com HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR AND NON-DIVISION I OPPONENTS: Cal Poly holds a 14-1 all-time series advantage and 2-0 advantage as a Division I program versus Notre Dame de Namur since the first meeting between the two sides on Nov. 29, 1980 … Notre Dame de Namur's only victory versus Cal Poly was a 100-89 decision in San Luis Obispo (Dec. 22, 1992) … since transitioning to the Division I level prior to the 1994-95 season, Cal Poly is 37-1 against non-Division I programs and 12-1 in similar games under ninth-year head coach Joe Callero.
THE WELL-ROUNDED DONOVAN FIELDS: Ranked 12th among approximately 5,500 NCAA Division I players with a 93.8 (30-for-32) percent free throw mark and second in Cal Poly's lineup at 13.2 points per game, junior guard Donovan Fields also enters Saturday's matchup versus Notre Dame de Namur ranked third among Big West Conference players with 4.7 assists per game, fourth with 1.5 steals per game and 10th in scoring. Fields matched a career high with 23 points at Santa Clara (Nov. 18) and has reached double-digit scoring figures in nine of 13 games. Averaging 11.9 career points per game, Fields has scored in double figures 27 times in 44 (61.4 percent) Division I appearances. His 11-assist effort versus Pepperdine (Dec. 2) stands as the highest single game total in 262 games under ninth-year head coach Joe Callero.
WHEN IT COMES TO FREE THROWS, TAKE THE FIELDS: Having knocked down his first 28 free throw attempts of the season before finally missing against Princeton (Dec. 16), Donovan Fields ranks 12th among approximately 5,500 NCAA Division I players with a Big West Conference best 93.8 (30-for-32) percent free throw mark. On pace to eclipse the Cal Poly single season free throw record of 90.0 (54-for-60) percent set by guard Reese Morgan in 2012-13, Fields is also the leading free throw shooter in Cal Poly program history at 88.7 (102-for-115) percent.
JOSEPH PACKS THE SCORING PUNCH: Cal Poly's leader with 12 double-digit scoring efforts in 13 games – including five games of 15-plus points – senior guard Victor Joseph ranks ninth among Big West players at 13.8 points per game. Joseph is Cal Poly's single-game scoring leader this season alongside Donovan Fields with a 23-point effort against Idaho (Nov. 25). Having scored in double figures 27 times in 44 career games, Joseph is averaging 12.5 career points per game for the Mustangs.
HOLLINGSWORTH LEADS CAL POLY ON BOTH ENDS: The Big West's leading shooter at 72.5 (29-for-40) percent and second leading shot blocker at 2.0 per game, 6-10 sophomore forward Hank Hollingsworth also paces Cal Poly with 5.5 rebounds per game. Having secured a second career double-double with a collegiate best 12 points and 10 rebounds versus Pepperdine (Dec. 2), Hollingsworth is a 63.8 (44-for-69) percent career shooter. Having blocked multiple shots in eight of 13 games this year, Hollingsworth – in just 42 career games – ranks eighth in program history with 55 career blocks.
CAL POLY'S QUALITY CONTROL: No Division I program has committed fewer turnovers per game since the beginning of the 2012-13 season than Cal Poly, which has averaged just 9.80 turnovers per 169 matchups (1,657 turnovers total). Cal Poly, 73rd among 351 Division I programs thus far at 12.2 turnovers per game, has led the Big West in fewest turnovers per game in each of the last five years.
MUSTANGS FACE ANOTHER TESTING SCHEDULE THIS SEASON: Once again contesting one of the Big West Conference's more demanding schedules, Cal Poly will play nine games this season against opponents that qualified for the NCAA Tournament and NIT last year.
HOME IS WHERE THE (NON-CONFERENCE) WINS ARE: Under ninth-year head coach Joe Callero, Cal Poly is 24-9 (72.7 percent) inside Mott Athletics Center in non-conference home games. Cal Poly has also won seven of its past nine matchups at home versus non-Big West opposition.
LOOKING AHEAD (JAN. 1-7): Cal Poly opens its 22nd season of Big West Conference action when hosting UC Santa Barbara (Thursday, Jan. 4) and Cal State Fullerton (Saturday, Jan. 6). Both games tip at 7 p.m. for Cal Poly, which has won five of its last six Big West openers.
ETC: During a 73-68 win versus the College of Charleston (Nov. 22) – the first game in program history against the Cougars – Cal Poly set a new program record with a 100 (11-for-11) percent mark from the free throw line … Cal Poly's Dec. 19 visit to SMU marked the first time in NCAA Division I history that two schools which feature Mustangs as a mascot played.