An 11-game winning streak has propelled the Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team into this week’s NABC Division II Coaches poll top 10.
The Coyotes (11-1, 8-0 in CCAA) moved up five places to No. 9. It is the first appearance in the top 10 in six seasons for coach Jeff Oliver’s program and their third consecutive week in the top-25 poll. CSUSB opened at 19th on Dec. 31 and moved to 14th last week.
The last time the Coyotes appeared in the top 10 was Jan. 15, 2008.
CSUSB is the top-ranked team in the West Region. Five West teams are in this week’s poll: the Coyotes, No. 12 Dixie State, No. 18 Cal Baptist, No. 19 Western Washington and No. 25 Chico State.
The Coyotes are on the CCAA road for the first time since Dec. 16 when they take on San Francisco State (7-4, 5-3) on Friday and Sonoma State (1-11, 0-8) on Saturday.
West Liberty and Bellarmine remain one and two, and Florida Southern moved up to third as a result and Metropolitan State, which beat then-No. 11 Colorado School of Mines, rose to fourth. Indiana (Pa.) and Tarleton State also moved up to fifth and sixth, respectively, while Drury, which lost at Bellarmine last Thursday, dropped to seventh.
Cal Poly Pomona received votes but didn’t quite crack the poll.
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.
For the first time in six seasons, the Coyotes are in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II men’s basketball poll in consecutive weeks.
The Coyotes (9-1, 6-0 CCAA) moved up five positions from 19th to 14th this week by virtue of their wins over previously No. 21-ranked Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus last weekend at Coussoulis Arena. The last time CSUSB was ranked in the top 25 in consecutive weeks was in 2007-08 when the Coyotes appeared a full season in the rankings – 14 weeks.
Cal State boasts wins this season over Western Washington and Midwestern State, both of whom were ranked when the Coyotes played them.
The lone loss was to Washburn (Kan.) by four points in the season opener.
CSUSB takes its nine-game winning streak into Friday’s home game against Cal State Monterey Bay. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m.