Oliver looks to have another contender at Cal State

A week ago the jury was out on the Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team. Yes the Coyotes looked to have a solid team but they hadn’t really hit the road or played the leading contenders.

Last week they made a firm believer out of a lot folks.

The Coyotes (8-1, 6-0) won three games in six days, all on the road. They started with a win against travel partner UC San Diego on Sunday. Then it was a road game at Humboldt State on Thursday. Remember there’s no easy way to get there, so that game takes three days – a day go get there, you play the next, then another day to get home.

Coach Jeff Oliver & Company didn’t get back until 4 p.m. or so Friday, leaving no time to prepare for Saturday’s game, oh yeah, against the No. 6 team in the country Cal Poly Pomona. And the Coyotes won that one too.

This team has the intangibles that have been lacking the last two years when the Coyotes failed to make the playoffs. They are unselfish, they play together and they really seem to like each other. Oliver seems to like these players too.

The team has made a habit of puling out close games, a lot of them. And it’s not the same guy always making the plays.

The Coyotes have a dominant big man in Kwame Alexander, who has broadened his game and is more than just a shot blocker and a dunk machine.

They have a bunch of sharp-shooters that can light it up from the perimeter – Lacy Haddock, Brian Goins, Jamari Simmons. Oliver also has more unheralded players that can also drain them in Taylor Statham, Johnny Bell and Juan Martinez. That’s a lot of weapons.

They’re fast. They’re athletic. And they are very fun to watch.

Next up are home games on Friday and Saturday against Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State. Then they’re on the road for six straight.

I think this team will be in it for the long haul!



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