Ryan Chartrand

Marcus McIntosh’s favorite food is the McDonald’s “Dollar Menu.” Nic Campbell is a self-titled “White Chocolate.” One of Mark Kelley’s heroes is David Hasselhoff.

How do I know these UC Irvine basketball players’ deepest secrets? The Mustang Maniacs told me so, courtesy of a “trash talk cheat-sheet” handed out prior to Saturday night’s game against the Anteaters.

Cal Poly might not be a bastion for big-time sports programs the likes of USC and UCLA, but its intangibles are quickly improving, making Mott Gym a feared stop on the Big West Conference schedule.

Don’t get me wrong – the Mustang Maniacs don’t quite carry the street cred of Stanford’s “Sixth Men,” notoriously some of the craftiest trash talkers on the West Coast. However, the Maniacs are showing rapid improvement with their antics this season.

Tonight gives them a chance to make their mark, to paint their masterpiece for the year; and they’re hoping a horde of hyperactive fans join them.

If you’re anything like me, you’re once again dateless for Valentine’s Day. Rather than sitting on the couch, drowning your loneliness away with a quart of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream, take a trip to Mott Gym tonight.

Cal Poly will host Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.

Here’s a snapshot view of “The Dirt” for tonight’s game against the Gauchos: Ivan Elliott likes to wear a fake grill and lists his occupation as a pimp; Emmanuel Bidias a Moute received the lesser of his family’s genes – his brother, Luc Richard, stars at UCLA while Manny is stuck in Goleta; Alex Harris loves Paris Hilton – enough said.

Fans might also be inclined to remind Cecil Brown about how he clanked the front end of a pair of technical foul shots Saturday night with less than one second remaining in the game, which resulted in a 68-67 loss in a regionally televised game.

There’s more, but I can’t spill all of the Maniacs’ secrets.

It’s time to get hyped.

It’s time to wear the green and gold and show the Gauchos what Cal Poly’s all about. So drag your lonely butt into Mott Gym and bring your A-game cheering skills.

For all of you fans who aren’t sure what to say when a referee makes a bad call or when a UCSB player is near your section, here’s a list of my top-five favorite trash-talking lines from a few of Hollywood’s best sports movies:

5. “Noonan!” “Caddyshack” (1980): Relates to the ability of a person to choke. as in on the free-throw line.

4. “Your sister’s going out with SQUEEK!” “Baseketball” (1998): If you haven’t seen it, go rent it and study up before the game tonight.

3. “You’re killin’ me smalls!” “The Sandlot” (1993): One of the greatest yet most underappreciated sports movies of all-time.

2. “You’re adopted! Your parents don’t even love you!” “Dodgeball” (2004): This one isn’t just good for bagging on 12-year-old Girl Scouts – and it really goes for the heart.

1. “I’m gonna get at you like a spider monkey!” “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (2006): The line was directed toward an 80-year-old man by a 10-year-old punk kid, but we could all take a lesson from that punk kid.

Most importantly, remember to keep it PG-rated, folks.

Cal Poly basketball is a family outing – so trade the “BS” chants for something wittier like, “Take-his-whi-stle.”

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