Cal Poly Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Cal Poly Mustangs
Big West (13-19, 6-10)


Cal Poly got off to a rough start, winning just two non-conference games versus Division I opponents. And that rough start continued throughout the rest of the 2013-2014 campaign…at least until the Big West Conference Tournament. The Mustangs pulled off three improbable wins in three days to earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament. Prior to their trip to Anaheim, it took Cal Poly 13 contests to find the win column three times.

Big Wins: 1/9 Hawaii (77-65), 1/11 at UCSB (72-64), 3/14 vs UCSB (69-38)
Bad Losses: 1/25 at UC Riverside (58-61), 1/30 UC Davis (58-62), 2/20 Cal State Fullerton (59-67)
Coach: Joe Callero (5 seasons at Cal Poly)

Why They Can Surprise:
Cal Poly can stick around because they do not make it easy for their opponents to score. The Mustangs commit about nine turnovers per game and only a few teams can beat that number. Jamal Johnson deserves much of the credit. The senior guard keeps the team under control and finds the scorers. Chris Eversley is the top scoring threat. The 6-7 forward is a capable outside shooter and will mix it up in the paint on both ends of the floor. Wing Dave Nwaba has not been the most consistent scorer during his sophomore season, but he has had a few 20+ point games and scored 17 against Cal State Northridge in the in the Big West Tournament final. The other relatively consistent scoring threat is Kyle Odister. He is easily the team’s most prolific outside shooter. However, Odister has not scored in double figures since returning from a nagging injury.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Even though there are some decent scoring options, Cal Poly shoots just 40.6 percent from the floor. And they rarely get easy points at the free-throw line either. That means points can be extremely difficult to come by for Cal Poly. If shots are not falling, which is often the case, this is a team that will have to endure long runs without scoring. If the defense holds up, the Mustangs can survive without scoring over 60 points. Yet, that is asking a lot from Cal Poly. To win a tournament game, they will have to get hot from outside and knock down more shots than usual.

Probable Starters:
Jamal Johnson, Senior, Guard, 4.6 ppg, 2.8 apg
Kyle Odister, Senior, Guard, 9.3 ppg,1.5 apg
Dave Nwaba, Sophomore, Guard, 11.9 ppg, 1.2 apg, 4.9 rpg
Joel Awich, Sophomore, Forward, 4.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Chris Eversley, Senior, Forward, 13.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Brian Bennett, Sophomore, Forward, 6.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Michael Bolden, Junior, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Maliik Love, Junior, Guard, 3.3 ppg, 1.6 apg
Ridge Shipley, Freshman, Guard, 4.1 ppg, 1.8 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.2 (325th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.7 (46, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.6 (320, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.8 (183, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (132, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.6 (196, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.9 (200, 6)
Rebound Margin: -1.2 (235, 7)
Assists Per Game: 11.8 (246, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.3 (6, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    CIT    First Round loss to Weber State

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules