By Michelle Gardner
POMONA – Right now Cal Poly Pomona mens basketball coach Greg Kamansky will take small improvements. So he is stressing the positive in Sundays 68-64 nonconference win over LeMoyne.
The Broncos (2-5, 1-1) return to CCAA play this weekend at Kellogg Gymnasium, hosting Cal State Dominguez Hills (5-2, 0-2) Friday and Cal State Los Angeles (7-2, 1-1) on Saturday.
Kamansky also is aware that Cal State Los Angeles beat the same LeMoyne team by 20 but says his focus right now is only on his team.
We have enough to worry about with our own team. We cant worry about any other team, he said. Were trying to make adjustments and be smarter in how we play. If we can do that, well be competitive. If not we wont be. Its that simple.
The Broncos are off to their worst start since 1981 but four of those losses came in nonconference play so they still have a chance to live up to their lofty preseason billing. Cal Poly was picked to finish second in the conference behind defending champion Humboldt State. Kamansky admits he hasnt yet figured out his current team which he said has looked better this week in practice.
Ive had crappy practice teams that came out and played great in games and I have had great practice teams come out and look crappy in games, he said. We looked better this week but I said that before we went to Las Vegas too.
The Broncos are close to full strength with 6-foot-7 senior center Kaelen Daniels returning from a one-game suspension that followed his ejection from the second game in Las Vegas.
Senior Kevin Neveu filled in capably with a career-high 10 points against the Dolphins.
The exception is reserve forward Bill Forelli who had surgery Wednesday on a broken nose and is out indefinitely.
The bright spot in the otherwise dismal performance early in the season has come from junior forward Larry Gordon who was named CCAA Player of the Week for his showing against LeMoyne. He ranks third in the conference in scoring (17.9 points per game), second in rebounding (8.9 rpg), fourth in free-throw percentage (.854) and seventh in field-goal percentage (.547).
Senior guard Angelo Tsagarakis (14.7 ppg) is also coming off a solid performance against LeMoyne.
Both this weekends foes will provide a challenge. Both are expected to contend with the traditional foes thanks to solid recruiting classes.
The Broncos are last in scoring offense (64.3 ppg) and seventh in defense (69.4). They are third in field-goal percentage (.473) but have been a woeful .612 from the free-throw line.
The Toros rely on their balance. They dont have a player averaging double figures but have four above nine points a game. Junior guard Jonathan Toliver (9.7 ppg) is the leader with former Ontario High player Jerrell Smith (9.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg) also a key player. Smith and junior forward Rodney Yearby (9 ppg, 5.6 rpg) are both transfers from Riverside Community College.
Kamansky has been experimenting with his lineup and said he wont make any decisions until game day.
Its one of those things that will probably keep changing until we find out what fits best and we really havent found that yet, he said.
The Broncos will need a good showing at home because after this weekend they will play seven of their next 10 on the road including two tough road trips against the northern teams.
This is a big weekend for us, Kamansky said. Well know where we stand after these two games.