Bulldogs in transition, but Ducey still optimistic

The Lee Fulmer Memorial Tournament has become a tradition at the University of Redlands. The event, named for the man who coached the Bulldogs from 1955-1970, is in its 60th season.

The 2007 event starts Thursday and runs through Saturday. The new-look Bulldogs (1-2) will square off with UC Santa Cruz in their opener at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The field also includes Pomona-Pitzer, Chapman, Cal State East Bay, Whitworth (Wash.), West Coast Baptist and Southwestern (Ariz.)

There will be four games each day with action starting at 2 p.m.

Redlands has won the event seven times, including three of the last four. Chapman has won three times, with the most recent in 2005. Whitworth won in 2002.

The Bulldogs now are coached by Jim Ducey, who previously headed the women’s program. He steps in for the “retired” Gary Smith.

The team is in transition while moving from a frantic, up-tempo game to a more conventional offense.

“When we use our break it’s pretty much the same,” Ducey said. “But the guys are getting used to working off each other and using the shot clock, which they never had to do. On defense they used to pressure the ball up front. Now we’re back more toward the basket.”

The starting lineup consists of senior guards Dave Thomas (9.3 ppg) and Daniel Markus (8.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg), senior forward Matt Loretz (7.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg), sophomore point guard Patrick Coffey (10 ppg, 3 apg) and freshman forward Matt Dietrich (5.3 ppg). Thomas was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player last year.

Sophomore guard Justin Sobczyk (11 ppg) is the leading scorer.

This year the SCIAC will hold a conference tournament at the end of the year with the winner getting an automatic playoff bid. Ducey likes the idea.

“It is good for teams like our ours that are in transition and going to be much better by the end of the season,” he said.

Ducey may be running the show now, but Smith isn’t exactly in full retirement mode. He is at Grinnell College in Iowa, which runs the same system Smith used to set a national scoring record in the 2004-2005 season at Redlands.


COYOTES NO. 9

The Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team is ranked ninth in the Division II national poll released Tuesday. The Coyotes were not in the preseason poll but moved in after their 5-0 start. All of the wins were on the road.

The Coyotes were 1-1 against Division teams which don’t count. They beat Weber State and lost to UCLA.

Coach Jeff Oliver is thrilled with the start, especially since there still is considerable room for improvement.

“Our defense is phenomenal, better than it was at any point last season. That’s a good thing because our offense has been atrocious,” he said. “We have to start getting better at that end.”

The Coyotes make their home debut Friday at Coussoulis Arena against Monterey Bay at 7:30 p.m. and will host San Francisco State on Saturday.


FOOTHILL CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL TEAM NAMED

Sophomore Krystyna Tuitelle (Pacific HS) of San Bernardino Valley College was named Most Valuable Player of the Foothill Conference in a vote of member coaches.

Also representing the Wolverines on the first team are sophomores Brooke Goodyear (Cajon HS) and Amanda Kury. Second-team honorees included sophomore Sarah Vasquez (Colton) and freshman Sebastiana Lopez (Rim of the World). The honorable mention list included sophomore Ashley Zamora (Rialto) and freshman Chypre Shaw (Pacific).

Victor Valley also is represented with freshman Emily Carlstrom selected to the first team and sophomore Krystal Harvey and freshman Keesha Thomas making the second team. Freshman Tamika Culpepper and sophomore Jennie Burdette earned honorable mention honors.

RCC PLAYERS SALUTED

Ten football players from Riverside Community College earned All-Mission Conference honors. The group is led by first-team running back Jamaal Scott (San Bernardino HS) who rushed for 750 yards on 148 carries (5.1 ypg) in just eight games.

Second-team selections included offensive tackle Ryan Henry (Upland), defensive tackle Joseph Jones (San Bernardino) and defensive back Shamon Wright (Colton).

First-team choices also included sophomore defensive tackle Bernard Afutiti (Kaiser) and sophomore guard Ula Matavao (Eisenhower HS/Chaffey College), both of Mt. SAC.

LOCALS RETURN

Three local players now competing at Cal State Monterey Bay will return home for basketball games Friday at Cal State San Bernardino and Saturday at Cal Poly Pomona.

The Otters’ roster includes center Ja’Nae Westmoreland (Rialto HS/San Bernardino Valley College), guard Mikeshaya Edwards (Eisenhower HS/Riverside CC) and guard Zulema Barajas (Alta Loma HS/SBVC) – all juniors. Westmoreland has earned the most playing time thus far. He started two of four games and averaged 6.5 rebounds and 4 points.


ON THE AIR

Oliver will be a guest on Inland Empire Sports Talk, which can be heard from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday on KTIE (590-AM).