Tag Archives: Chico State basketball

Thoughts on the Chico State Wildcat Men from 35 thousand feet

*Here are some thoughts on the plight of the Chico State Wildcat men’s basketball team from 35 thousand feet as I fly to Houston with the Chico State baseball team to Houston*

The news emerging from the Division West Region NCAA Men’s Basketball committee on Wednesday afternoon had to send a jolt of energy to the Chico State men’s basketball team.

The first regional ranking has the Wildcats sitting at number five in the West Region with the top eight teams going to the NCAA Tournament in three weeks.

The news had to be thrilling for a Wildcats team that has dropped three in a row and four of their last six. With losses over the last 11 days to Sonoma, San Francisco State and Cal State San Marcos the Wildcats were left to wonder whether their early season success would be over-looked, but as we like to emphasize, your post-season fate rests on your body of work and not entirely on “what have you done lately?”

For a team that was averaging nearly 78 points a game, the Wildcat offense has come to a stand-still during their skid. During the recent downturn it’s not as if the Cats are playing a bunch of also-rans. Sonoma State has the best Division II defense in the country and their match-up zone that put the clamps on Chico is “hell on wheels.” The Seawolves held Chico to a season-low 50 points in a 16-point win.

San Francisco State has interior size, perimeter athleticism and followed their game-plan perfectly in holding Chico to 51 points 10 days ago. The biggest surprise in the down-turn was Chico’s sub-par performance against the Cougars of San Marcos. At Acker Gym and after a great week of practice the Wildcats were held to 58 points in a heart-breaking loss against a team they put 80 points on in early December. It was Chico’s first loss at home in 13 games this year.

It is no surprise what is giving Chico State trouble right now. The match-up zone. The offense was cruising until Greg Kamanksy’s Cal Poly Pomona Broncos put the clamps on Chico’s offense in late January at Kellogg Gym. After the game Kamansky told me, “that’s best our zone has been all year.” Well, the rest of the CCAA has taken notice and employed their different versions of a defense that has suddenly put the skids on the free-flowing, ball is a blur Chico State offense.

The Wildcats have been known to carve up the zone, but inexplicably their flow has come to a stand-still against the zone over the last several weeks. Chico State head coach detests when the ball “sticks” in a players hands. By “sticking” he means when the ball is held by the offensive player, player just holds it as movement and cohesive play stops. There has been too much sticking. Too many times yours truly says, (Chico State player) is “surveying the scene.” When Chico attacks the teeth of the zone, they are either driving right into the heart of a double or triple team, make an ill-advised pass or take a bad shot. The synchronicity of the Wildcat offense is dis-jointed and has frustrated them as a group.

Clink was at wit’s end after last Saturday’s loss calling his teams’ offense “putrid.”

There is a silver lining to this slide. Last year the Wildcats lost steam after a 22-3 start and capturing their second straight CCAA title and could not recapture the magic dropping their final three games of the season including their NCAA Tournament opener against UC San Diego. Almost the entire squad that saw their season end so unceremoniously last year is on this squad and they will do whatever they need to do to prevent a repeat of last year.

Coming into the season the professed goal of many of the Wildcats I spoke with was not winning a 3rd straight CCAA title, but it was to go into the post-season playing their best basketball. With two weeks left in the regular season the regular season CCAA title may have come and gone, but the hopes of playing their best basketball still sits there like the ultimate carrot on a rope.

This team is too good and too veteran to let this little down-turn define their season. It will take more than talking about how good they are though. This team has to come together, maybe have some tough internal conversations, look themselves in the mirror and figure out what kind of team they want to be. I know they can do it, their rabid supporters know they can do it. Now we wait for them to figure it out.

Photo courtesy of Chico State Wildcats at http://www.chicowildcats.com

Chico/Pomona: It was a great night….except for the ending

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Last Friday night’s Chico State and Cal Poly Pomona nationally televised men’s basketball game had everything. The Chico State students with a rousing rendition of the national anthem. The artistry of Wildcat junior Robert Duncan, and an 18 point lead with 10 minutes to go…..

But then, the floor caved in.  We look back at a memorable albeit unfulfilling night at Acker Gymnasium

*PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHICO STATE ATHLETICS AT CHICOWILDCATS.COM

2015 Chico State Basketball Regional Montage

 

The 2015 Chico State Wildcat men’s basketball team will be playing in their 4th straight NCAA TOURNAMENT. Along the way they have given us some amazing moments……

#6 seed Chico State takes on #3 seed Cal Baptist in the 1st Round of the NCAA TOURNAMENT on Friday at Azusa Pacific University

*AUDIO may not work on some mobile applications*

 

 

Chico State Men’s Basketball is here !

 

The defending West Region Champion Chico State Wildcats open their 100th year of college hoops this afternoon at the Ron Logsdon Tournament on the campus of Sonoma State.

The 2014-15 campaign figures to be a year of transition, but also a year of exciting promise with several highly touted recruits and red-shirts elevated to the big club. Seniors Jordan Semple, Jordan Barton and Mike Rosaroso will be asked to assume the leadership roles handed over by the triumvirate of Amir Carraway, Sean Park and Rashad Parker.

The 2013-2014 season ended on the highest of notes, a regional championship that saw the Wildcats go to their first ever Elite Eight. They open tonight again NAIA opponent Pacific Union. You can hear the game on ChicoWildcats.com at 2:45pm with our pre-game show and the tip at 3pm.

To get you ready here is a little taste from last year’s amazing comeback to beat Stanislaus in the Regional Final. This game punched the Wildcats Cats’ ticket to Evansville, and the Elite Eight.

“Never Stop Playing. Never Give in.”

PHOTO Courtesy of Chico State Athletics

Elite Eight Preivew: Keys for Chico State

photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics ChicoWildcats.com @ChicoWildcats on twitter and Luke Reid

Its game day for the Chico State men’s basketball team as they take on South Carolina-Aiken in the Elite Eight. We are done talking about the game, it’s time to play the game. Here are some keys for the Chico State Wildcats if they want to advance to tomorrow’s National Semifinal…..

1. NO SLOW START

The Wildcats just can’t afford a slow start. South Carolina-Aiken is just too good. With all of the great success the Cats have had this year they have had a tendency to get off to slow starts and have to battle back just minutes into the game. Coach Greg Clink has said his teams’ intensity needs to be ratcheted up from the get-go. From the opening tip, the Wildcats need to play with the urgency they showed against Cal State Stanislaus 9 days ago. Anything less and they could find themselves in a hole. They can’t afford that here.

2. REBOUND REBOUND AND THEN…..REBOUND SOME MORE

When the Wildcats are dialed in, they not only defend, but they hold their opponents to one shot. That is imperative against a team in Aiken that out-rebounds their opponents by eight. The Cats don’t need to be dominant on the boards, but if they are giving up second-and-third opportunities against the Pacers it will make for a long day.

Chico needs to show that tough-hard nosed defense that has been a hallmark all season long. And, when you get that stop you MUST grab the rebound. 2nd chance points could very well determine this game. Chico needs to crash the boards with reckless abandon. Get a body on your man, block him out, and attack the glass.

3. KNOCKING DOWN THREES

The Chico State Wildcats love to shoot and knock down the three. The South Carolina-Aiken Pacers are the best in the country at defending the three. Yes, no joke. The Pacers have held opponents to 24.7 percent shooting from three-point range. Visiting their shoot-around yesterday I noticed them specifically working on defending the three-point shot. Their close-outs on shooters are well-positioned and disciplined. The Pacers coaches were emphasizing close-outs, uttering the words, “gentleman, we have to defend the three-point line against these guys. They can shoot it. We must be perfect on this.”

One strength the Wildcats have in this regard is something Pacers Head Coach Vince Alexander told me yesterday, “I am really impressed with the way Chico moves the ball to get their teammates open, that is one of their great strengths is their trust in their teammates.” Despite South Carolina potency on the defensive end, Chico has always found ways to get open shots through trust and great ball movement. Today the ball movement needs to be good. The Cats need to be patient and make the Pacers play defense, showing that tremendous team concept that opens lanes and gets shooters open looks.

Enjoy the game everyone !!

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