Sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when your hard work isn’t manifesting itself in the win-loss column. That has been the case with the Cal State San Bernardino women’s basketball team.
But first-year coach Renee Jimenez and her Coyotes had a breakthrough the past weekend, chalking up wins over Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State East Bay.
The win over the Otters was an emotional one since that’s the program Jimenez and lead assistant Tina Samaniego directed to prominence in their five years there before moving to SoCal.
Then 24 hours later the Coyotes rallied from a 19-point second half deficit to defeat an East Bay team that started the night tied for first in the competitive CCAA. A win over a first-place team surely will go a long way to bolster the confidence of a team that was 0-6 in conference and 1-8 overall before the weekend. Now they know they can play with anyone.
Jimenez came was handed the job too late to recruit so this basically is the previous coach’s team. That’s not to say they’re players she wouldn’t want but a new coach always brings new offensive and defensive schemes, practice routines, etc. It takes awhile for players to adjust. But now they appear to be adapting quite nicely.
Jimenez has proven herself to be one of the top coaches in the conference, maybe THE best. She did a lot with a little at Monterey Bay. Now she has resources, a fine facility and a great talent pool in the Inland Empire with which to work.
It will only be a matter of time before the women’s program is on par with that of the men which are currently ranked in the top 10 nationally. Let’s hope area basketball enthusiasts take note.