For the first time in a long time, UCR has big players down in the paint who can actually score effectively. Chris Patton has been the Highlanders’ best scorer all season, while freshman Josh Fox has become one of the most consistent big men on the team.

Although the Highlanders didn’t earn a good record against non-conference opponents in the first half of the season, there is certainly a lot to look forward to in the remaining games for the team with their big men running the show.

UCR can definitely change its record against Big West teams in the second half of the season. The conference usually isn’t known for their abundance of big players and that’s where UCR can be effective.

For instance, we saw how well Patton performed against Northridge last week. In that game, he scored 19 points and shot an amazing 80 percent from the floor. In the closing minutes of that match, Patton scored five straight points to erase a four-point deficit and to give the Highlanders a win, while clearly out-matching UCR’s Big West opponent with his six-foot-ten stature.

This guy is simply amazing. One could even argue that he has a little bit of magic of the Gasol Brothers in him. He has post moves, he has a soft touch around the rim and he can actually shoot well.

UCR’s other big man, Josh Fox, is not too shabby himself. Although he’s only a freshman, he has started just about every game for Riverside and has become the team’s third best scorer.

The bottom line is that when UCR’s big men are effective, UCR usually wins. In their last two victories, both big men scored in double figures and combined for over 50 percent shooting from the floor. It’s no secret that when they play well, the Highlanders usually get wins.

It’s going to be exciting watching this team play from this point forward. Look for the big men to have big performances in big games for the Highlanders the rest of the way.