In two years at the NCAA Division I level, the California Baptist men’s basketball team has made a name for itself. The Lancers are the only WAC team to beat New Mexico State in that time. CBU has won 37 games, most for a new Division I school in that timeframe. And has had a WAC Player of the Year in guard Milan Acquaah.
Now, after losing his top six players from a season ago, head coach Rick Croy has somewhat of an uphill battle. However, with the additions of graduate transfers and a few freshmen, the Lancers might make more noise than people think in 2020-21.
Add in that guard Ty Rowell is healthy after tearing his ACL in December, and the Lancers could very easily win 20-plus games for the second straight season.
Russell Barlow (TCU), Gorjok Gak (Florida) and Elijah Thomas (Saint Mary’s) will all play key roles for CBU. Barlow and Gak give the Lancers depth in the paint. And Thomas just adds to the depth at the guard positions for Croy and his staff.
But, Rowell is expected to be the floor leader. The redshirt junior from Langley, BC, Canada was playing some of his best basketball until he got hurt against crosstown rival UC Riverside on Dec. 4. Croy says that Rowell has worked hard and put in the time and will be a key figure at the point guard position.
The Lancers will play the majority, if not all, of their non-conference games in the state of California. And Croy is in favor of keeping the home-and-home schedule when conference play begins.
Practicing outside or at the beach has its benefits and Croy discusses how the circumstances have brought his team closer together.
Also, CBU is eligible for the WAC Tournament after a vote by the WAC Council earlier in the summer. And Croy is excited his team gets to compete for a championship.
Image courtesy of CBU Athletics.
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