The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team turned in a 52-51 win over UC San Diego which on the surface may not seem that impressive.The Tritons came in to the game in last place and you’re supposed to beat the last place team if you’re tied for first right?
But the Broncos (9-0) played without three starters as a result of a brawl in their previous game against Humboldt State. Mohammed Fall and Shannon Sharpe were both ejected from that game, thus each had to sit out this game.
But DeRonn Scott also got a Coach-imposed one-game suspension. He was the one that actually started the brawl, although the officials didn’t catch it when they huddled to make that call during the game.
Broncos coach Greg Kamansky made the decision to bench Scott for his participation in the melee. Nowadays there is so much pressure on coaches to win, even at the Division II level. It would have been easy for Kamansky to look the other way, especially since he already had two players sitting. But that speaks of Kamansky’s character the high standard to which he holds his players.
Kamansky told me a week ago he was going to bench Scott but asked that it not be made public to tip off his opponent. But San Diego coach Chris Carlson was not surprised. He knows Kamansky well and expected him to sit the third player.
Asked after the game if he regretted that decision even if his team were to have lost, Kamansky said no. And in the end the Broncos benefited from the experience. Now the players know they can overcome adversity and the loss of any individual, be it by injury or whatever. And the message has been sent to the players that bad behavior won’t be tolerated.