Cal State men face pivotal weekend

The Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team is at a crossroads and it has barely started CCAA play.

The Coyotes (3-5, 1-1) will host Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State this weekend at Coussoulis Arena. Those are bottom-feeder teams. Teams any team that is going to challenge for a conference title should throttle, especially at home.

The Coyotes have the talent. They were ranked nationally the first week of the season and they were the coaches pick to win the title. But coach Jeff Oliver’s team has not lived up to that billing.

Oliver looked on as the Cal Poly Pomona men were playing a nonconference game earlier this week and talked about his team, in a not so complimentary fashion. The biggest problem is what he perceives as lack of hustle and intensity. The Coyotes just don’t seem to be really fighting for a rebound, diving for that loose ball.

It has gotten so bad Oliver is starting walk-on Michael Lucas, one of the few guys that appears to be playing hard. If you’re going down, you might as well go down with the players that care.

If the Coyotes can’t beat these two teams that won’t say much for their chances against the likes of UC San Diego, Cal Poly Pomona and the other more traditional contenders.

Tip-off both Friday and Saturday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.