yote notes - edition 19
COMING UP: Season Complete
LAST WEEK: Cascade Conference quarterfinal at No. 3 Oregon Tech (L 79-53)
YOTES SEASON ENDS IN CCC QUARTERFINALS: Trying to become just the third team in the 20-year history of the Cascade Conference Championships to pull an upset in a No. 8 seed vs. No. 1 seed game, The C of I fell short at Oregon Tech, as the regular-season champs toppled the Yotes, 79-53. The loss ended the Coyote season with a record of 10-20.
PLAYOFF DROUGHT CONTINUES: The loss at Oregon Tech added to the woes for the Coyotes’ – who have not won a postseason contest since the 2005-06 season. That year, the Coyotes upset No. 2 seeded Southern Oregon on the road – but since have lost games to Northwest (2006), Eastern Oregon and Flagler (2007), Oregon Tech (2008), Evergreen (2009), Oregon Tech (2010), Northwest (2011), and Oregon Tech (2012). The five years between trips to NAIA National Tournaments equals the longest stretch without a berth to Nationals since the gap between the 1962 and 1983 teams.
BALLENGER EARNS HONORABLE MENTION KUDOS: C of I guard Matt Ballenger (Nampa, Idaho / U. of Colorado) was named Monday to the 2012 All-CCC Team as an honorable mention selection, as the squad was released by the league office in La Grande, Ore. The senior earns All-CCC honors for a third-straight year - earning honorable mention honors in 2010 and 2012, while earning first-team honors last season. Ballenger averaged 16 points and four rebounds per game, while leading the team with 56 steals. He was the lone C of I player on the squad - as Oregon Tech's Bobby Hunter was named CCC Player and Newcomer of the Year, with a pair from Northwest University earning honors, as John Van Dyke was named Coach of the Year and Rich Skillman earning Defensive Player of the Year.
RECORD BOOK: The 2011-12 squad did not set a single-game record this season, however, post Krispin Banks (Dallas, Texas / Salt Lake CC) cracked the single-season record book, recording the ninth-highest field goal percentage in program history (.630). Banks also ranks among the career leaders in field goal percentage, finishing his career at No. 5 on the all-time list (.598). Matt Ballenger ranks among the career Top-10 in four different categories – No. 3 in three-point attempts (596), No. 4 in three-pointers made (189) and field goal attempts (1,098), and No. 5 in steals (166). He also finished his career No. 11 in points scored (1,185) and No. 12 in field goals made (426).
TIGHT GAMES DIFFERENCE IN SEASON: The 2011-12 season was a frustrating one for the Yotes, who were picked to finish third in the CCC Preseason Poll. The squad had the lead at halftime in eight of their 20 losses – as opponents’ erased 10-or-more point deficits in four of the games. The squad recorded a 2-5 mark this season in games decided by five points or less. The Yotes won back-to-back games only once during the season (Nov. 18 and 25)
TOUGH YEAR AT HOME: For the first time since the late 1970s, the Coyotes recorded a losing record on their home floor. Despite playing a record 16 home games this season, The C of I recorded a 5-11 record at home – the most home losses in program history (as the 1978-79 Yotes posted a 2-8 record at O’Connor Fieldhouse. The rough season is just an aberration, as the Coyotes came into the year with a 205-63 all-time record inside the J.A. Albertson Activities Center and a 323-72 home record since the 1981-82 season.
NATIONAL POLL STREAK CONTINUED: The Coyotes began the season ranked No. 25 in the Preseason NAIA Top-25 Coaches’ Poll – the 20th-straight season that The C of I was ranked or receiving votes in the national poll. The Yotes have been a fixture at least once every year since the NAIA Division II was created during the 1992-93 season.
PLAYOFFS AGAIN: Despite a tough season, the Coyotes advanced to the postseason for the 15th-straight season Outside of the 1996-97 season in which the Yotes struggled to an 11-15 record, The C of I has advanced to the postseason every year since 1981-82.
RARE 20-LOSS SEASON: The loss last Wednesday at Oregon Tech handed the Coyotes their 20th loss of the season – a rare occurrence in the nearly 100-year history of the program. Previous 20-loss seasons were in 1937, 1969, 1972, and 1979.
CCC LEADERS: Scoring Average – Bobby Hunter (OIT) 19.9, Eric Thompson (SOU) 19.7, Adam Herman (CU) 19.6, Marice Tolliver (ESC) 18.6, Jordan Carter (CRB) 17.6; Rebound Average – Stephen Harris (WP) 8.1, Herman 7.7, Patrick Lewis (ESC) 7.6, Thompson 7.4, Tolliver 7.4; Assists Average – Dane Johnson (WP) 6.6, William Sharp (WP) 4.7, Tolliver 4.6, Cody Thurmond (EOU) 4.3, David Clarke (OIT) 4.2.
CONFERENCE/NATIONAL POLLS: In the latest CCC weekly poll, Oregon Tech continued to lead the 10-team conference, followed by Northwest, Warner Pacific, Eastern Oregon, Corban, and Southern Oregon. OIT dropped two spots to No. 3 in the NAIA Top-25 poll, with Northwest at No. 9 and Warner Pacific at No. 15, with Eastern and Corban receiving votes. The final regular-season CCC and NAIA polls will be released Monday, with the final poll released Feb. 29 – which determines the 11 at-large berths to Nationals.
GAME RECAP – OREGON TECH 79, C OF I 53: Oregon Tech opened the game on a 26-6 run and rolled to a 79-53 victory over The C of I in a CCC Men's Basketball Championships quarterfinal match-up last Wednesday in Klamath Falls, Ore. Tech hit 12 of their first 16 shots from the field, as Bobby Hunter scored 10 points and Scotty Riddle canned a pair of three's in the opening sprint. The Yotes would close within 35-24 on a Ben Van Lith (Eagle, Idaho / Coll. of Southern Idaho) basket with two minutes to play in the half, but a pair of turnovers led to two OIT scores, as the hosts led 39-24 at the half. A Rodney Delgardo (Seattle, Wash. / Spokane CC) dunk got C of I within 41-28 early in the second half, but a David Clarke triple and a three-point Hunter play extended the margin back above the 20-point mark. Hunter led all scorers with 18 points, with Riddle scoring 14. OIT made 56-percent of their field goal attempts, including 6-of-12 from outside the arc, while holding a commanding 34-20 edge on the glass. Seniors Krispin Banks and Matt Ballenger led the Yotes, with Banks scoring 13 points and Ballenger 11. The duo, along with Tyler Young (Leesburg, Va. / Boise State U.) and Jason Brown (Hagerman, Idaho / Whatcom CC) played in their final collegiate game.
ABOUT THE COACH: Rod Jensen completed his second season as head men's basketball coach at The C of I, recording a record of 23-37 as Coyote head coach. A year ago, his first Coyote team, which had just two returning starters, rallied from a tough start to win 9-of-12 games midway through the season and finish in a tie for fourth in the CCC standings. Jensen came to The C of I after five seasons at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he served as associate head coach for the last four years. Jensen has earned notoriety as a defensive coach, especially during his 19 years as a coach at Boise State University. From 1983-95, he was the top assistant to head coach, Bobby Dye, helping the Broncos rank among the Top-15 in the NCAA Division I in scoring defense for four-straight seasons, winning Big Sky regular-season championships in 1988 and 1989, along with Big Sky Tournament titles in 1988, 1993, and 1994. BSU teams advanced to the National Invitational Tournament in 1987 and 1991, and the NCAA National Tournament in 1988, 1993, and 1994. In 1995, Jensen became the head coach at Boise State - compiling a 109-93 overall record in seven seasons at the helm - recording the fourth-most wins in BSU history. During his tenure, the Broncos ranked among the NCAA Top-25 in scoring defense in 1998 and 1999, while winning the 1999 Big West East Division Championship. Jensen headed east in 2002, becoming an assistant coach for Pete Gillen at the University of Virginia, where he helped the Cavaliers to NIT appearances in 2003 and 2004 - leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in defensive field goal percentage. In 2005, he headed south to UNC-Greensboro, working for Mike Dement, where during his tenure, every player who exhausted their eligibility, graduated. A graduate of the University of Redlands in California, Jensen began his coaching career at his alma mater in 1980, serving as an assistant for two years, before spending one season at Penn State.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information on The C of I men’s basketball program, head to the official homepage of the Coyotes, http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/mensbasketball.