The 2019-2020 season for the CSUSB Men’s basketball is primed to be an exciting one for the Coyotes. So far the 2019-2020 Coyotes are 3-1 on the season, with their only blemish coming against Point Loma in the home opener, losing 93-91 before bouncing back against Cal Poly Pomona in the CCAA opener.
The Coyotes led most of the game against Point Loma, taking a 53-47 halftime lead and at one point held a 19 point lead. The Sea Lions outscored the Coyotes 46-38 in the second half.
“It’s a good lesson to our guys, if you don’t defend [or] rebound, your going to lose no matter how well you’re doing offensively,” said Head Coach Andy Newman.
The Sea Lions shot 64% in the second half, up from 46% in the first half, a figure Newman was unhappy with.
“In Central, our guys took a lot of pride defensively, even when we went up 19 [today], then we just lost focus and guys gave up,” said Newman.
In the first two games the Coyotes gave up 73 points per game while scoring 83, even though Saturday was a season-high 91 points scored, 93 opposing points are the most allowed this season. The Coyotes made up for it in the CCAA opener defeating Cal Poly Pomona 72-70 in overtime. The Coyotes used improved defense to bounce back from the home loss.
“Really proud of our guys’ effort tonight. It was great to see them respond to getting down to a really good team like Pomona and still be able to battle back and get the win,” Newman said. “We had tremendous defensive efforts from Tyrell Henderson and CJ Clark which really carried our team tonight.”
The Coyotes dominated the glass 51-37 which was a point of emphasis after losing the rebound battle in the home loss.
Despite the early defensive woes the first three games, the team stepped up against a solid Pomona squad.
Offensively, the Coyotes are balanced and have 4 players averaging double figures in points, led by Senior guard Jeremy Smith at 22.3 who made the go-ahead basket against Cal Poly Pomona with 19 seconds left. The strength so far has been 3 pointers. The pack shot 37.5% from 3, while opponents shot 34%.
Senior Andre’s Villa and Daytone Jennings are the returning leading scorers from last year’s squad looking to improve off of last seasons 15-14 finish.
The Coyotes lost several starters but have added key transfers to take over their spots. One such player is Jordan Mitchell, who transferred from Jacksonville College. He is currently averaging 14 points per game and is helping the Coyotes on defense.
Coach Newman is entering his second season as the Coyotes coach, after winning 101 games the Head Coach at Texas Permian Basin. Newman’s teams are known for their high scoring offense and opportunistic defense.
The Coyotes were picked 4th in the CCAA and 10th in the preseason D2 regional poll. but since, have risen to 8th.
[tweet 1199105479978340352 align=’center’]
The expectations are high this season due to more continuity than last season, 5 returners this year versus 1 last, and are also higher because of the incoming players.
The Coyotes are 1-0 in the CCAA and began their first home conference game on Sunday, November 24 against nationally-ranked UC San Diego. They lost 86-77, and play two games Friday for the Thanksgiving classic.