SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby PointGuard » Tue Jan 30, 2024 2:04 am

Cal Poly Mustangs (13-9, 6-3) @ Wyoming Cowboys (11-11, 4-5)

Mustang News

MUSTANGS WIN STREAK SHATTERED


The Mustangs initial focus was to draw fouls, primarily aiming at the Cowboys’ high scoring (15.6 ppg) freshman center Dennis Laws. By pounding the ball inside and driving and cutting down low across the key, the strategy worked at getting Wyoming saddled with fouls in the first 4 minutes with 2 starters forced to the bench, although Laws committed just one. But Cal Poly led by just a single point at that point. Laws did draw his 2nd foul with 8:43 remaining in the half. But the Mustangs’ failure to sink a high percentage of their free throws plus Wyoming hitting 3’s meant the Cowboys held a 19-16 lead then. Subs C Earl Bailey, PF DJ Morse, and SF Lane Lynch combined for 14 points and led Cal Poly to a 30-24 advantage with 4:19 left before the end of the half. But Wyoming rallied to take a 40-36 lead at the break.

Three early 3’s by Wyoming in the 2nd half left the Mustangs trailing by 13 with 17 minutes remaining. Cal Poly’s efforts to catch up were foiled by a series of mistakes and turnovers. With 13 minutes to go power outage plunged the Dome of Doom into darkness. Emergency lighting came on that, while providing some illumination, also created an eeriness. The game was suspended leaving a question on Mustangs’ fans if they could come back when power was restored with a renewed energy that would allow them to come back from their 56-47 deficit. Could they resurrect their shutdown defense that had carried them to 5 straight victories, but had eluded them thus far against the Cowboys?

When play was resumed, it was obvious that Cal Poly was being more aggressive defensively. But D without the ability to score and frequent turnovers (21 in the game) kept the Mustangs from cutting into the lead. Then as time was running short they had to throw up shots from beyond the arc. Hitting 3’s has been a weak part of the game for the Mustangs and it was no different against Wyoming where Cal Poly connected on just 4 of 20 shots. Wyoming added a loss to the Mustangs record by a final score of 79-69.

SF Louis Taylor topped the scoring for Cal Poly with 14 points. PG Jon Overton had 11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. C Earl Bailey scored 10 points and grabbed 4 boards. But the SG position for the Mustangs was impotent tonight where 4 players combined for just 2 points. Cal Poly held Wyoming’s C Jeff Laws to just 6 points, but the rest of the team dropped in nearly 50% of their shots (including 10 of 22 of their 3’s).

“We let Wyoming control the final 24 minutes of the game. Well actually we didn’t ‘let them’ because I have to give the Cowboys the credit for simply outplaying us. While we didn’t play badly, we were unable to wrest back control. Once they got ahead by 10 points, they just held us off and never let us get a run going. Our win streak may have been broken, but I’m confident that our guys will go out and try their best to create a new one,” said Coach Fred Aura.

Only 2 of the 5 teams that were tied for 1st place in the conference standings won, so now the Mustangs are in a 3-way tie for 3rd place.
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Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby PointGuard » Thu Feb 01, 2024 6:43 pm

Utah State Aggies (15-8, 7-3) @ Cal Poly Mustangs (13-10, 6-4)

C Steve Hastings


I’m the lone senior on our team. My collegiate career has been composed of two significantly different periods. In the first 2 years I was at North Dakota State and was called upon to be the go-to guy on offense. During those 2 seasons I averaged 18.3 ppg as a freshman and 28.4 ppg as a sophomore. But I just wasn’t happy there. Leaving the court after scoring 25 or 35 points but still being stuck with a loss wasn’t my idea of fun.

So I opted to transfer to Cal Poly where Coach Fed has wanted me to be what he has called the “keystone” of our team, providing the glue for a team on which everyone scores and the player of the game switches most every game. So while averaging about 11 ppg last season and this one, I’ve found his style and my place within the team to be more satisfying. The trade exchanging individual honors for team play and success has been pleasing. Besides playing basketball, I’ve concentrated on my classwork, maintaining a 3.8 GPA, and will graduate this year and then go on to Veterinary School. After completing Vet School, I’m thinking about returning to my home state of Oklahoma and work for a vet who has a practice specializing in farm animals. He’s getting older and I may be able to take over his practice in 5-10 years. My 6’8” and 242 body may give me a leg up on gaining confidence with the farmers who may well think my bulk means I can handle most any animal.

But enough about me. You’re reading this to find out about our game against Utah State. The Aggies came into this game sharing first place and have a very good overall record. So we’re the underdogs, but I like that. They deploy a 1-3-1 zone D which we’ve not encountered much. Our coaches have been working us hard in practice on it. We need to beat that zone. Coach Fed has me starting again at C rather than PF, trading positions with Brandon Bailey. Because he has much more experience working against the 1-3-1 zone, Jon Overton is starting rather than Gary Van Dyke at PG. Now for some game comments:

We didn’t score in the first 2 minutes but then Jon (Overton) made a slick pass inside to me for a slam. On Utah State’s next possession Jase (Carroll) stepped into a passing lane, picked off a steal, and fed it up to Louis (Taylor) for a nice layin. Jase nailed a long jump shot on our next possession. Another pickoff this time by Jon who upcourted the ball to Brandon for yet another slam and we were up 8-2. Our fans were going wild. We made the most of 6 turnovers by the Aggies in the first 5 minutes for a 13-5 lead. The refs then called me for a pushing foul…my 2nd and Micah (Hannah) replaced me. Coach Fed the subbed in a bunch of our freshman…not a good idea since Utah State went on an 11-1 run to take ; the lead. But a 14-0 run put us on top 36-20 with nearly 5 minutes left in the half. The Aggies sunk a FG but we then continued to stomp them by scoring 10 unanswered points and establish a 20 point lead. At halftime we’re on top 50-31 and have hit 58% of our FG’s…our coaches are patting everyone on the back. Our bench scored 29 of our 50 points.

We continued our dominance in the 2nd half. With 17 minutes remaining, I received a pass in key, faked to my right and rolled to my left to get around my defender and get to the hoop for a layup that put us ahead by 25 points. Our offense cooled during the final 10 minutes but we still blew the Aggies away 84-62. Coach Fed was happy to have us shoot 51%, be +5 on the boards, hand out 28 assists, and make 9 less turnovers than Utah State. We’re back into a tie with Utah State, UNLV, and Fresno State for 1st place.

Top scorers: Gary Van Dyke—14; Micah Hannah—12; Brandon Bailey—11; Steve Hastings—10; Louis Taylor—9; Will Cage—8.
Top rebounders: Steve Hastings—7, Brandon Bailey—6; DJ Morse—5.
Top for assists: Jon Overton—11; Will Cage—4; Gary Van Dyke—3; Louis Taylor—3.
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Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby HarryPotter69 » Fri Feb 02, 2024 9:43 am

We picked off 2 passes and forced another turnover on Baylor’s first 3 possessions and took a 6-0 lead with each of our 3 new starters (Courtland Reese, Dwayne Josh McFadgon, and Sam Dickens) scoring. Nice start to the season. We went on to take an 18-5 lead with 12:26 to play. I knew we were quicker this season, but we turned several of our 6 steals by that point into breakaway lay-ins and dunks. Our crowd was going crazy. After expanding our lead to 22, late in the half our defense got soft and we got sloppy making several turnovers. When the half ended we were on top 40-26. PF Marvin Reese paced us with 13 points in the half.
Last edited by HarryPotter69 on Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby PointGuard » Fri Feb 02, 2024 8:22 pm

The posting by HarryPotter69 does NOT apply to his dynasty thread and I've requested it be REMOVED since it appears to be spam given it's HarryPotter69's only post on the WolverineStudios boards.

But....until it's removed, here's some comments from Coach Fred Aura:

A friend of mine who has just begun coaching at the collegiate level contacted me recently. He's young...and somewhat inexperienced since he grew up in England and played a game other than basketball...something call Quidditch. Can't say I know anything about it, but it seems this chap must be some sort of magician to not only have landed a Division 1 head coaching job, but get off to a great start against the likes of Baylor. He's renamed some of his positon players as "chasers" and "seekers" rather than "forwards" and "guards" and uses his chasers to harry opponents into making errant passes which are picked off and fired upcourt to seekers who almost "fly" up the court to toss the ball through the hoop.

The only problem is that he's gotten into the habit of interrupting conversations with comments solely about himself and out of context with what had been being discussed. Possibly it will take a wizard to change this rather intrusive habit.
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Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby PointGuard » Sun Feb 04, 2024 3:03 pm

Omari Aura, 3rd Assistant Coach (player development/practice)

We just have 5 games remaining. We’ve played well enough to be tied for 1st place in the Mountain West. That’s better than most anyone anticipated due to our moving to a higher level conference and our having such a youthful team. Of the remaining games…3 are away games and one of those is against a team that’s tied with us for 1st place. So we need to improve our play.

Thus far the strongest part of our game has been defense. Our opponents are averaging 66.6 ppg which is 31st lowest in Division 1 and 2nd best in the Mountain West. We’ve won 6 of our last 7 games and our D has been a key factor in each of those wins. On the opposite end of the spectrum, our shooting from the field has been our weakest element. We’re hitting just 43.9% of our FGA’s and our 3 point shooting has been abysmal. We’ve connected on just 26.4% of our 3’s which is 362nd best in Division 1…so we’re almost at the very bottom. Free throw shooting has been woeful as well. We’ve dropped in only 66.0% of our foul shots (310th best in the country). We’re hauling down 36.1 rpg, which is 36th best in the nation. We’re +4.2 rpg compared to our opponents. Of course some of that is due to there being a higher number of rebounds because of our poor shooting. Our interior players are scoring more than 50% of our points. I’d really like to see our perimeter players up their shooting percentages and score a bigger proportion of our points per game.

Our 4 major challenges for the remainder of the season: (1) free up our players better to improve our shooting and scoring, (2) getting our perimeter players to become a more important part of our offense (possibly by improving their ability and opportunity to drive to the hoop) , (3) continue deploying a tenacious D to hold our opponent’s scoring down, and (4) continue to develop our 6 freshmen players so that they contribute more and our depth continues to improve.
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Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby PointGuard » Mon Feb 05, 2024 11:43 pm

Cal Poly Mustangs (14-10, 7-4) @ Nevada Wolfpack (12-12, 5-6)

David Williams, 2nd Assistant Coach


Another slow start. Nevada had scored 9 points before Louis Taylor sunk a 3 for us with 16-1/2 minutes left in the half. But our guys got their act together and with 12:40 remaining we took our first lead at 13-12 when Micah Hannah faked right, then stepped and turned to his right to bury a short jumper. The lead flip flopped until the half ended with us on the short end of a 32-31 score.

After the midpoint of the 2nd half the Wolfpack pulled away and led by 9 with 6 minutes to go in the game. We again came back to get within 1 when Jon Overton on a pick and roll, pulled up and dropped in a 10 footer. On our next possession Overton was pushed on the dribble and sunk both ends of a 1 and 1 to put us ahead with 2-1/2 minutes left to go. At the 1:42 mark, Jase Carroll cast up a long 3 and it dropped through giving us a 4 point lead. With less than a minute remaining, Nevada was forced to foul and we helped them by missing the first of a 1 and 1 and then, when fouled again, missed 2 on the double bonus. That gave the Wolfpack 38 seconds to try to catch up. But Lane Lynch blocked a shot and they again fouled. We again missed both shots but got the offensive rebound and were immediately fouled. Two more misses to give us 7 straight chokes. The Wolfpack could only throw up a last second 3 hoping to make the shot and get fouled, but the shot was off the rim and there was no foul. Even though we nearly gave the game away by going 0 for 7 on free throws in less than 60 seconds at the end of the game (after hitting 14 of 17 prior to that), we escaped with a 69-65 road win. The major team stat standing out was that we were +14 on the boards.

C Steve Hastings had 13 points and 6 rebounds, SG Jase Carroll scored 12 points and added 5 rebounds and 3 assists, PG Jon Overton had 12 points, 2 assists, and 2 steals, SF Louis Taylor hit for 11 points plus pulled down 4 rebounds, and PF/SF Lane Lynch and PF Brandon Bailey both had 10 boards with Lynch scoring 8 plus blocking 3 shots and Bailey adding 6 points.

With the win we remained tied for first (with Fresno State and UNLV) with Utah State and San Diego State just a game back.

Bad News: PF/SF Lane Lynch took an elbow while going up for a rebound and broke his nose late in the game. He may miss a few games, and when he returns to the court, could be hampered depending on how he responds to having to wear a mask. Earlier in the game PF DJ Morse strained a muscle in his back which may limit his action for the next 10 days. That significantly shortens our bench up front.
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Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby PointGuard » Thu Feb 08, 2024 12:21 am

Boise State Broncos (16-10, 6-6) @ Cal Poly Mustangs (15-10, 8-4)

Janeka Aura


A mother has the right to brag.

Malik has been in a slump for the Miami Heat, but last night he caught fire and scored 36 points to help the Heat get by the Celtics. That was a day after he asked Celia Ramirez, a Miami native, to marry him. I’m so proud of him and happy that he’s found Celia who seems to be a very nice person.

Omari continues to enjoy working for his father as the 3rd Assistant Coach at Cal Poly, but I think he has a desire to move up in the coaching ranks so I won’t be surprised if he latches on at a different school after this season. Fred knows this and feels Omari is ready for a new challenge.

Devany continues to do well in her studies and also on the basketball court in her sophomore year in high school. She’s planning to run for Junior Class President when the elections come up later this school year.

The Mustangs have been playing well of late and Fred has been very upbeat so that’s helped around the house.

Oh, and my father, Al Miller, who lives with us and now is in his early 80’s has been spending time with a woman who’s about his age and who when he surprised us all and took dance lessons. My oh my!

And tonight, here’s what happened with the Mustangs:

Cal Poly suffered their worst loss of the season, 79-61, when playing the Broncos on their court five weeks ago. So the team wants some revenge.

The Mustangs surprised us all by having a very good shooting night, hitting 55% of their shots from the field. But they were horrible from the foul line, connecting on just 9 of 23 (39%). Boise State outscored them by 12 on free throws. Fortunately Cal Poly grabbed 5 more rebounds and made 5 less turnovers than the Broncos plus held Boise State’s shooting to 40%. The Mustangs came back from an 8 point deficit in the middle of the first half to lead 45-37 at the break and then pulled a little more away to achieve an 83-71 victory.

C Steve Hastings starred, scoring 20 points, hauling in 8 rebounds, and blocking 2 shots. SF Louis Taylor had 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. PG Gary Van Dyke also scored 12 points plus he had 3 assists and 2 steals. SG Jase Carroll played solidly, scoring 10 and adding 5 boards, 8 assists, and 2 steals. C Micah Hannah had 8 points and PG Jon Overton scored 7 and had 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Injured players, DJ Morse and Lane Lynch also played but were minimally effective.

The team’s now in a 2-way tie with UNLV for 1st place in the Mountain West Conference. Utah State and Fresno State are nipping at their heels, just 1 game behind.
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Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby PointGuard » Fri Feb 09, 2024 2:26 am

Cal Poly Mustangs (16-10, 9-4) @ Fresno State Bulldogs (14-12, 8-5)

Cory McCreight, 1st Assistant Coach


Two more away games and this one against Fresno State is likely to be extremely tough. They beat us by 8 on OUR court. They’re a difficult team to figure out since they’re good but inconsistent. You just never know how strong the Bulldog team you’re going to face on any given night will be. SG Lionel Slay and SF Alvaster Andersson are both averaging 13.2 ppg. At the C position, they start Etan Davis but he basically splits on court time with Eustachius Stavrou and both are averaging 9.7 ppg, but Davis is averaging 6.3 rpg while Stavrou averages 4.6 rpg.

Coach Aura is here and will be on the bench but isn’t feeling well so he’s having me lead the team and work the officials tonight.

We got off to a strong start to lead 15-7 after 5 minutes of play. But then we hit a flat spot and the Bulldogs took advantage to edge past us 4 minutes later. I called a time out, replaced Louis Taylor (who seemed to be just a step behind) with Kenyon Farrell at SF. Kenyon responded by spurring the team to move out to a 33-24 halftime lead. Fresno State surprised me by starting both Davis and Stavrou. Stavrou was playing well, but Davis who had recently sustained a broken nose, was having a difficult time producing. I played our guy who also had a broken nose, PF/SF Lane Lynch, a little. He did OK but it was obvious he was having a bit of difficulty adjusting.

Our D, which had been tenacious in the first half, was porous in the 2nd half as Fresno State furiously tried to catch up. We were hitting our shots, though, and held the Bulldogs off. We had difficulty keeping Slay and Stavrou from scoring and in the final 5 minutes Fresno State began to close the gap. They got to within 2 points but we didn’t fold. They had to foul in the final 90 seconds and while we didn’t make all our free throws, we made enough to come away with a satisfying 74-70 road win. I really appreciated Coach Aura’s praise about how I’d handled the team. I imagine there were a few times when he wanted to step in and take back over, but he resisted. Due to UNLV getting upset at home to San Diego State, we’re now alone in first place.

Our top scorers: C Steve Hastings—16 points plus 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks; SF Kenyon Farrell—13 points; SG Jase Carroll—9 points plus 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. The Bulldogs’ Stavros and Slay both scored 18 and Andersson added 10 but we contained the rest of the team really well.

OK, gotta go. Time to board the team bus for a 2-1/2 hour ride from Fresno to San Luis Obispo with only the last 30 minutes of that on a freeway. Due to the emotions still resonating from our narrow win, the guys will be all revved up early in the trip. The game was tight enough where they had to go all out the entire 40 minutes though, so hopefully they’ll wear out quick and settle down for some sleep as soon as possible. I definitely know I need some.
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Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby PointGuard » Fri Feb 09, 2024 11:51 pm

Air Force Falcons (17-10, 7-7) @ Cal Poly Mustangs (17-10, 10-4)

The Jamie Monroe Big West Review


Cal Poly left the Big West which made me unhappy, but I’ve continued to follow them. But this is the first game of theirs that I’ve attended this season. While most people felt they’d finish in the bottom half of the Mountain West standings, I sort of figured Coach Aura would get them to finish in the upper half. So they’ve surprised everyone including me by being in first place with this and one more game to go. And they’ve done it with a less than stellar offense.

And with the Mustangs no longer in the Big West, UC Irvine had totally dominated. The Anteaters are 16-0 in conference play and 6 full games ahead of anyone else. San Jose State, the team that left the Mountain West and took Cal Poly’s place in the Big West is tied for 2nd place.

Air Force may be 3 games behind the Mustangs in the conference standings, but they beat Cal Poly 73-64 when they played earlier this season. SG Tyran Abrams is a great shooter and is averaging 16 ppg while C Quyn Whitfield is averaging 12.5 ppg and 6.9 rpg. The Falcons are a good-scoring team, so it’s important for the Mustangs to play tight D. I’m interested in seeing how the Mustangs 6 freshman do tonight. I heard that Coach Aura wasn’t able to coach the Mustangs last game due to some unexplained illness…some bug or something…and he’s not here tonight.

It's game time and the two teams are ready for the tip-off. The Mustangs got off to a rather slow start with Air Force maintaining a small lead until just past the midpoint of the first half. But then their defense created hell for the Falcons. Cal Poly finished the half with a 32-24 lead.

Whitfield, the Falcons’ C, caught fire in the 2nd half but he was matched by Cal Poly’s SG Jase Carroll as offense dominated on both ends of the court. The Mustangs held onto their lead and actually increased it to 20 points with 9 minutes to go. Air Force made a valiant effort to come back but there just wasn’t enough time on the clock and Cal Poly came away with an 82-72 victory. The Mustangs looked good. Their D was awesome in the first half, but dissolved in the 2nd half. One thing they did well was to control the ball, turning the ball over just 6 times.

Top scorer in the game was Air Force’s C Quyn Whitfield who dropped in 28 points (he also had 8 rebounds. SG Jase Carroll scored 24 points and had 8 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals to lead the Mustangs. He looked great! C Steve Hastings finished with 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists and PG Jon Overton had 12 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. All 6 of the Mustangs’ freshman played, but while 3 or 4 of them did OK, I wasn’t impressed with any of them. At best, I’d say they’re just adequate. I do suspect, though, that they will mature into good players in the next season or two.
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Re: SAME FEDORA-NEW CROWN?

Postby PointGuard » Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:45 am

Cal Poly Mustangs (18-10, 11-4) @ Colorado State Rams (21-9, 6-9)

Rob Benchley, Athletic Director


Pre-game comments:


After going 15-0 during pre-conference play and being ranked in the top 10 in the polls, the Rams stepped on themselves once they came up against Mountain West competition. They won just 2 of their first 11 conference games. But they seem to have turned things around and have won their last 4 games and moved up from last (12th) place to 10th place in the standings. 3 of those 4 wins have been on the road.

We’ve got a 5-game win streak on the line which I’d sure like to see continued. Fred has returned after not being able to coach the past two games due to illness. While we’ve locked up 1st place in the Mountain West Conference (so there’s the risk we will have a letdown against Colorado State), we need Fred handling the team for the upcoming conference tourney and post-season tournament play, should we get an invite.

Fred Aura is starting Jon Overton rather than freshman Gary Van Dyke at PG in this game. That’s probably not only due to Overton playing well in our last game, but Overton is stronger defensively and he may be able to control the Ram’s PG Reggie Porter who has come on strong in his first year of college ball.

I decided to go on this final road trip of the season since I’m retiring after this season. It’s been a great ride at Cal Poly and I’m going to miss it, but it’s time to call it quits. While I can’t say all sports have improved during my tenure, overall there’s been upgrades. But definitely basketball has been the biggest success story here. We’ve gone from doormats to champs within conference play and have consistently made it into post-season tournaments.

1st half comments:

The refs are working us over pretty good early…already 4 team fouls in the first 2 minutes with both Overton and Bailey now sidelined with 2 fouls apiece. Even though Colorado State is getting to the line much more often than us, our guys are hitting their shots and we’re up by 8 midway through the first half. Our lead expands to 12 with 5 minutes til halftime. We outplayed the Rams throughout the first half but with the help of the refs (they put Colorado State on the foul like 27 times in the half), the Rams cut our lead to 41-37 at the break. Both of our PG’s have 3 fouls on them and 4 other players have been saddled with 2 fouls each.

2nd half comments:

We held onto a small lead in the 2nd half for the first 13 minutes, but the Rams went on a 10-0 run to put us 6 points behind. Our efforts to catch up were unsuccessful and we lost 75-68. It was disappointing after we had led for most of the game.

Top performers:

SF Louis Taylor—14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks; SG Jase Carroll—13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists; C Steve Hastings—9 points, 5 rebounds; C Earl Barkley—8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks.

Coach Aura told me after the game that he felt Colorado State is going to be really tough during the conference tournament.
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