By Kristopher Sarikas |staff writer|
CSUSB’s men’s basketball team has been ranked 15th in the nation and has been consistently nationally ranked over the years.
The Coyotes play in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Head coach Jeff Oliver stated the key to the Coyotes’ success is their offensive balance in terms of various methods of offense.
Coach Oliver stated that the Coyotes ability to score from the three point line is the teams strongest attribute and that at one point were ranked in the top ten for three pointers.
He also stated that rebounds are the most prominent weakness. The coaching staff incorporates various drills throughout practice to enhance the Coyotes defensive consistency and offensive production.
Since 2002, Coach Oliver has brought in over 200 victories and only 83 loses and continues to strive for success. The Coyote’s currently hold a record of 8-3 while adjusting to a number of new players and rebuilding team chemistry.
However, Coach Oliver is not alone. His assistant coaches Anthony Jones and Robert Tossetti also play a huge role in the success of the team.
Jones and Tossetti have impressive sports backgrounds. Jones was a member of the Sun Devils Pac Ten championship football team. Tossetti played basketball for San Bernardino Valley College were she earned all-foothill conference first team honors.
In their current season the Coyotes average 72.7 points per game and were on an eight game winning streak up until last week.
Although Coach Oliver said that being ranked within the top 25 teams is nothing new for the Coyotes, something to consider is that there are 265 teams in Division II of the NCAA. Being ranked 15th is a great accomplishment and something to be proud of considering the amount of competitors in their division.
Overall the Coyote’s have a Division II record of 398 wins and 193 loses and have held eight CCAA titles. Throughout the Coyote’s basketball history they have made a total of 11 NCAA tournament appearances.
The Coyotes first qualified for the top 25 during their 1999-2000 season and were ranked 24th on January 10, 2000. Since then the Coyotes have been consistently ranked within the top 25 teams of Division II basketball in the NCAA.
The Coyotes were ranked first place during the 2001-2002 season on January 28,2002 and finished the season ranking in at third place.
This week the Coyotes will travel up north to take on the Sonoma State Cossacks and the San Francisco State Gators. Coach Oliver has been preparing for this weekends opponent’s by studying scout reports and focusing on defensive principles as well as offensive execution.
So wish your Coyote basketball team luck as they strive for victory this weekend and attempt to begin another winning streak.