Basketball builds on last year’s strong finish

By Azariah Long

Men’s basketball has already bested its win total from last year of 12-13, owning a 16-3 record this season with seven games remaining.

Last year, the Broncos struggled early, but finished the season strong.

The team won nine of its last 11 games and went to the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament as the sixth seed.

In the first round, the Broncos lost to Sonoma State 68-56.

During the season, the Broncos did not have one of their leaders.

Fifth-year senior guard Quentin Taylor decided to redshirt his senior year.

“Last year definitely sitting on the bench was hard, I had to be a player coach,” Taylor said. “We had a younger group of guys and there was no leader and this year I understand that I have to be that guy.”

The team had six freshmen and three sophomores last year.

“He was great last year, and it is just different when you’re not at war with the guys,” said coach Greg Kamansky.

Without Taylor, the Broncos averaged 63 points per game, 41.4 percent shooting, 30.6 percent from three and 32 rebounds.

Last season, the Broncos could not win consistently until the end of the regular season.

“We were winning ugly. Our offensive shooting was not great last year so we won some games last season, but this year they are definitely bigger, stronger and more confident,” said Kamansky.

This season, the Broncos came back determined and focused after the offseason.

“We’re tougher, grittier, have more ball movement, more guys have stepped up,” said sophomore guard William Christmas. “We’re just grittier on defense and that is why we lead our conference in defensive scoring.”

The team’s numbers have improved in every category this year.

The team is averaging 69.7 points per game, 43.9 percent shooting, 33.7 percent on three-point shooting and 36 rebounds.

“A lot of the guys are buying into the system and understanding how to win games. Sophomores and freshmen are starting to figure out how to win games,” said Taylor.

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