The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team it looking little like the defending national champion. The Broncos were sluggish in every facet of the game, losing to lowly Montana State Billings 52-44 on Friday at the Grand Canyon Christmas Classic.
It’s one thing to lose to a quality foe. It’s another to lose to a team that was 1-6 coming in which happened to be the case.
The Broncos have made a habit of getting off to slow starts and they have always managed to turn it around and make a run when it mattered. Let’s hope that is the case again. But even when they were losing early, they weren’t losing to teams like this.
The Broncos didn’t seem to play with any passion. They have had their shortcomings. But playing with passion has never been one of them. So there is cause for concern.
Senior forward Tobias Jahn did not play because of a strained groin. But Cal Poly should have won this game without him.
About the only player living up to expectations is junior Dwayne Fells who tossed in 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field He also had seven rebounds and two blocks.
The Broncos have to get more out of senior Donnelle Booker, their most athletic and experienced player, or they will not make a run. Junior Matthew Rosser and sophomore Mitchel Anderson seem to have regressed from their solid showings last year. Mark Rutledge needs to learn when to shoot and when not to shoot.
Now the Broncos face Simon Fraser (2-4), a team from Canada that Billings lost to by 15 points. This could be a turning point game. Lose and continue the slide. Or win and right the ship for the moment.