CSUSB men’s basketball ranks third in the nation

By LeAndrew Knight , Jason Lucero, and Diego Womack (Contributing Writers)

CSUSB is on pace for another 20 plus win season under Head Coach Andy Newman and the Yotes are on a seven game win streak since 2021.

Photo courtesy of CSUSB Men’s Basketball

Throughout their first 17 games, the Yotes are 16-1 and in first place in the CCAA after finishing second in the preseason. 

With big wins over Cal State San Marcos, Cal State Eastbay, and Chico State losing to Cal State Monterey Bay, the Yotes are in control of their own destiny. 

The Coyotes have climbed into the NABC rankings and are ranked third in the nation. They are currently ranked first in the West Region and have eight games to finish out of conference before the CCAA conference tournament in Arcata, the home of Humboldt State. 

The Yotes are currently on a 9 game win streak and off to their best start under Head Coach Andy Newman. Coming off a big win against Dominguez Hills, the Yotes have a big week ahead against Stanislaus State and Chico State, as both games are on the road and can have huge implications on their season. 

The Yotes have gone from being ranked tenth in the nation to ninth, before reaching their current third place ranking.

 Coach Newman and the Coyotes understand they have a chance at something special this season, as the roster is shaped to make a deep run and only have one loss this season in seventeen games. There is a race for the CCAA title which will go through the Coyotes, Chico State and Cal State San Marcos, as they are all ranked in the top fifteen in the nation for division two basketball. 

The Yotes face Chico State and San Marcos back to back, which is going to be a good two game stretch for the Yotes to keep their spot atop the conference. 

 As the season goes forward, the Yotes know that each team they play will give them their best shot and they know they have to be well prepared for each opponent. 

Daytone Jennings and top ten leading scorer in the nation, Brandon Knapper, have been a huge part of Yotes success. Jennings is number one in the CCAA in double doubles and top 15 in the nation. As for Knapper, he can score from all three levels as he has hit multiple game winners to help lead the Yotes to victory. During this season, he’s also averaged thirty points a game for a week and has won player of the week multiple times. Darius Mickens can’t be forgotten either, as he’s been a leading contributor to the team’s success, with his ability to score and defend the opposing team’s best players. He leads the conference in Field Goal Percentage and ranks eight in the whole Nation. Newman has made great choices in shaping this year’s Yotes roster, as they are off to the best start in a decade for Cal State San Bernardino and have big plans on playing deep in March. 

The Yotes head to Stanislas State and Chico State who gave the Yotes their first and only loss of the season back in December. The Yotes cannot overlook the Stan State Warriors, as they play them Thursday before heading to Chico for a showdown on Saturday night. Stanislas State is coming off a four game win streak and is looking for revenge against the Yotes. Coach Andy Newman will have the Coyotes prepared as he usually does for the biggest week of the season as these are two must win games. Being ranked third in the nation comes with knowing that you are going to get every team’s best shot when they play you and the Yotes are well aware of that. The rematch with Chico State is a game for everyone in the CCAA and around the country as that game will determine how the standings play out and seedings in the CCAA and West Region. In addition, right after playing Chico State, the Yotes will have to turn right around and play Cal State San Marcos again. This next three game stretch for the Yotes might be the biggest challenge they have faced all year and they should be well prepared.

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