Imagine the surprise of the reader when they realize the Armstrong this article will feature is not WAC Freshman of the Year Taran Armstrong.
Yes, that’s correct. As we open California Baptist week, the focus will be on the other Armstrong in a Lancers uniform. And along with Tre Armstrong, this article will also focus on Loyola Marymount transfer Joe Quintana. It is all part of the 2022-23 California Baptist season preview.
In its first year of eligibility for the NCAA Tournament after a 4-year transition period, it appears the Lancers are all in. Croy and his staff brought in five Division I transfers. Quintana, Riley Battin (Utah), Hunter Goodrick (South Dakota), Blondeau Tchoukuiegno (New Hampshire) and Tim Ighoefe will all wear the navy and white in 2022-23. These transfers join returners Taran Armstrong, Tre Armstrong, Reed Nottage, and Juhlawnei Stone among others. It is a deep and talented roster in Riverside. And if Armstrong and Quintana can hit shots on the perimeter like everyone believes they can, CBU will be dangerous.
Heck, Sean Paul has already picked them to win the WAC in 2022-23. And Nick Lorensen is extremely high on the Lancers as well.
Cal Baptist HC Rick Croy has the Lancers looking dangerous ahead of this season. Croy has brought in:
Joe Quintana LMU
Riley Battin, Utah
Hunter Goodrick, South Dakota
Timothy Ighoefe, Georgetown
Blondeau Tchoukuiegno, New Hampshire
— The Portal Report (@ThePortalReport) July 13, 2022
Free on my substack: California Baptist is my WAC favorite. A future NBA guard with Taran Armstrong and a strong supporting cast. Discussing CBU and why they’re my pick over New Mexico State and Grand Canyon.
— Sean Paul (@SeanPaulCBB) July 13, 2022
What Will Elder Armstrong Do for an Encore?
The 2021-22 season was certainly a roller coaster ride for the Lancers. CBU got off to a 10-3 start including a thrilling win over Mountain West foe San Jose State. And then star point guard Taran Armstrong went down with an illness. CBU also dealt with the injury bug throughout WAC play to make matters even frustrating. Reed Nottage dealt with injuries. Malik Wade and Te’Jon Sawyer both missed games. There was not a lot of depth on the Lancers bench. Ty Rowell, Dan Akin, Elijah Thomas and Tre Armstrong were the only Lancers to play in all 34 games in 2021-22.
And it is the latter that we will focus on. Tre Armstrong hit 78 3-pointers in 2021-22 for the Lancers. That number was good for second on the team, one behind Ty Rowell. Overall, Armstrong shot 33 percent from distance and close to 38 percent from the field. His 11.4 points per game was good for second on the team. In WAC play, in a win over Utah Valley, Armstrong was 4-5 from deep and had a season-high 28 points. Armstrong had back-to-back 16-point games against Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston and hit a combined five 3-pointers between the two games.
Head coach Rick Croy has acknowledge the range is limitless for his junior guard from Burnie, Tasmania. And, if Armstrong can shoot at a higher clip in 2022-23, the Lancers will be extremely difficult to defend.
— California Baptist Men's Basketball (@CBUmbb) February 25, 2022
Will LMU Sharpshooter Excel at CBU?
There have been some recent transfers to CBU who might say it was the perfect opportunity. Two years ago it was Brandon Boyd from Idaho State who came to Riverside. And while Boyd had a stellar career as a Bengal, his lone season at CBU was the icing on the cake. Boyd averaged 11.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and dished out 90 assists. Imagine what he would have done had WAC Player of the Year Milan Acquaah not been a Lancer.
In 2020-21, it was Florida transfer Gorjok Gak who had a career year as a Lancer.
Now, former Loyola Marymount guard Joe Quintana may be that guy. Quintana started in all 29 games for the Lions in 2021-22. And with that, was second on the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 43 percent from distance. Quintana made 83 3-pointers, tops on an 11-win team. Quintana now comes to CBU where there is a lot of talent around him. Plus, Quintana has the pleasure of having the WAC Freshman of the Year feeding him and finding him in open space, making him even more dangerous.
Quintana made five 3-pointers seven times in 2021-22. This includes an 8-10 night from distance in a WCC Tournament win over Pacific on March 3. Quintana also went for a season-high 31 points in that win.
Joe Quintana is unconscious right now.
He just converted a four-point play and has 22 points.
35-27 Lions with 4:12 remaining in the first half.pic.twitter.com/YlUijLjSu5
— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) March 4, 2022
Taran Armstrong had 164 assists in 2021-22 for the Lancers. With shooters like his brother, Tre, and Joe Quintana, imagine what the younger Armstrong will do for an encore fully healthy and with a year of Division I basketball under his belt. Fans in Riverside should be excited for the 2022-23 season.