COMPLETE GAME PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly men's basketball program begins a seven-game road trip – it's lengthiest in four seasons – when visiting defending Pac-12 Conference champion Arizona on Sunday, Nov. 11. Tipoff time from the McKale Center is 2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT with action televised nationally on Pac-12 Networks. Behind a career high 30-point effort from senior guard Donovan Fields, Cal Poly (1-0) opened the regular season with an 82-75 home victory versus NAIA Menlo College (Nov. 7). The first of three Pac-12 opponents on Cal Poly's 2018-19 schedule, Arizona (1-0) – after defeating Western New Mexico (95-44) and Chaminade (75-64) in exhibition matchups – rolled past Houston Baptist in its Wednesday regular season opener, 90-60. The Wildcats received 14 votes in the preseason edition of the AP Top 25 poll to finish 151 points behind No. 25 Washington.
FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Chris Sylvester will have the play-by-play call of Sunday's matchup at Arizona for ESPN 1280 in San Luis Obispo County and via GoPoly.com HERE … Daron Sutton will provide play-by-play for Pac-12 Networks with Richard Jefferson handling color commentary … in addition to Sunday's game being televised on Pac-12 Networks, live stats and streaming video from Arizona will also be available via GoPoly.com HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS ARIZONA: The Mustangs make their return to the McKale Center for the first time since dropping a 73-62, season-opening decision (Nov. 8, 2013) to the Wildcats in a matchup that featured five future NBA players (Cal Poly's David Nwaba and Arizona's Aaron Gordon, T.J. McConnell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Nick Johnson). Cal Poly's only other meetings with Arizona were road losses on Dec. 13, 1949 (63-53) and Dec. 17, 1957 (66-65).
FIELDS PICKS UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF: Cal Poly's second leading scorer last year, senior guard Donovan Fields opened his final season with a 30-point performance in Cal Poly's Wednesday victory versus Menlo. The leading free throw shooter in Cal Poly program history at 89.5 (153-for-171) percent, Fields is averaging 12.4 career points per game and has scored in double figures 39 times in 63 (61.9 percent) Division I appearances. Fields requires just 218 more points to become the 24th player in program to reach 1,000.
HOLLINGSWORTH BACK ON THE BLOCK: The fourth leading shot blocker in Cal Poly program history, junior forward Hank Hollingsworth opened the year with a five-block effort versus Menlo College (Nov. 7) to up his career total to 86. He requires just 50 more blocks to match the program record established by Varnie Dennis (2000-04).
DEBUTANTE BALL: Four Cal Poly players made their Division I collegiate debuts during Wednesday's season opener versus Menlo College. Junior guard Job Alexander, an offseason transfer from two-year Trinidad (CO) State, started and played 18 minutes. Freshman forward Tuukka Jaakkola grabbed nine rebounds and hit all three field goal attempts to finish with seven points in 19 reserve minutes. Freshman guard Junior Ballard scored four points in 14 minutes. Freshman guard Jared Rice, who redshirted during his first season on campus last year, played six minutes.
CALLERO CLIMBING THE WINS CHART: Tenth-year head coach Joe Callero moved into third place on the Cal Poly career victories chart with his 121st win as Mustang head coach during Wednesday's season opener versus Menlo. Now tied with Steve Beason (1986-95) for third place in program history, Callero ranks 18th in career victories in Big West Conference history.
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 9.99 turnovers per 188 matchups (1,879 turnovers total). Cal Poly, which finished 76th among Division I programs last season with 11.8 turnovers per game, has led the Big West in fewest turnovers per game in five of the last six years.
LOOKING AHEAD (NOV. 12-18): Cal Poly's seven-game road trip continues on Friday, Nov. 16 versus Sacramento State at 6 p.m. The two programs have traded victories in each of the previous nine matchups with Cal Poly winning the last meeting at home on Nov. 30, 2011 (77-51). The Hornets open their regular season versus NAIA Simpson College on Friday, Nov. 9.
ETC.: Cal Poly improved to 39-1 against non-Division I programs with its 82-75, season-opening win versus Menlo College (Cal Poly transitioned to Division I prior to the 1994-95 season).