Cal Poly Mustangs

NIT Season Tip-Off

Report: Minnesota transfer lands at Cal Poly

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After seeing little play time through the first seven games of his collegiate career, 6-foot-8 Josh Martin was looking for a fresh start.

The former Minnesota forward will do so back on the west coast, transferring to Cal Poly, according to a report from Evan Daniels of Scout on Friday night. Martin originally committed to the Golden Gophers, but transferred last month, leaving Richard Pitino with only 10 scholarship players.

Martin was averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds in only 5.4 minutes per game. He came out of high school as a three-star recruit, according to Rivals.

Cal Poly reached the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament a season ago. Martin, who will have three and a half years of eligibility beginning in the second semester of the 2015-16 season, will add some front court depth for the Mustangs alongside current juniors Brian Bennett (11.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game) and Joel Awich (6.3 points, 5.8 boards, 1.3 blocks a night).

Cal Poly is currently 7-5 heading into Big West Conference play.


Cal Poly’s David Nwaba spins through traffic for a two-handed finish (VIDEO)

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In the first half of their game against Northeastern at the Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara, California on Wednesday, the Cal Poly Mustangs struggled on both ends of the floor. Joe Callero’s Mustangs shot just 8-for-29 from the field, scoring 17 points with Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton tallying 11 points and nine rebounds to lead the Huskies to a 14-point lead at the intermission.

Cal Poly would turn things around in the second half however, shooting 65.4% from the field with Brian Bennett scoring 13 of his team-high 19 points and David Nwaba adding 11 points to help lead the Mustangs to a 60-58 win.

Nwaba provided the highlight of the evening as well, using an Aleks Abrams ball screen to make his way to the basket. Path to the rim cut off by the defender? No problem for Nwaba, who spun back to his left and finished the play with a two-handed dunk.

David Nwaba Dunk from Jeremy Jauregui on Vimeo.

2014-15 Big West Preview: UC Irvine, UCSB lead highly competitive race

UC Irvine head coach Russell Turner (AP Photo)
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UC Irvine head coach Russell Turner (AP Photo)

Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 college hoops preview package.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

The 2013-14 season was a very competitive one for the Big West, with preseason favorite UC Irvine winning the regular season title. Big West Coach of the Year Russell Turner’s Anteaters were one of the nation’s best defensive teams and that was to be expected, with 7-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye anchoring their zone defense in the middle and defensive stalwart Will Davis II also figuring prominently in their plans. UC Irvine went 13-3 in conference play, finishing a game ahead of a very good UCSB squad led by Big West Player of the Year Alan Williams.

With those two teams combining to go 25-7 in Big West play they were a lock to reach the conference tournament final, right? Wrong.

The Anteaters and Gauchos received a painful reminder of how rough conference tournaments can be in one-bid leagues, as both were bounced from the Big West tournament with seven-seed Cal Poly getting hot at just the right time. Joe Callero’s Mustangs, who entered the tournament having lost five of their final six regular season games, beat UCSB and UC Irvine on consecutive days before holding off CSUN in the title game.

The favorite in 2014-15 will once again be a UC Irvine team returning nearly 84 percent of its scoring from a season ago. In addition to Ndiaye (8.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.1 bpg) and Davis (11.0, 6.4) the Anteaters also welcome back guards Alex Young (junior; 8.9 ppg, 4.6 apg) and Luke Nelson (sophomore; 11.8 ppg), the last two winners of the league’s Freshman of the Year award. UC Irvine will be favored to repeat as Big West regular season champs, and UCSB could once again be the Anteaters’ greatest threat.

The Gauchos also return four starters, with Williams (21.3 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg) and junior guard Michael Bryson (11.5, 4.3) leading the way offensively. UCSB also has one of the steadier hands in the conference in point guard Zalmico Harmon, who ranked second nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.64). Yet even with the amount of talent returning at both UC Irvine and UCSB, as many as six teams harbor realistic thoughts of winning the Big West.

One team to keep in mind is Long Beach State, which will be led by senior guards Michael Caffey and Tyler Lamb. Those two combined to score more than 31 points per game last season, and the addition of FGCU graduate transfer Eric McKnight will help the 49ers in the paint. Dan Monson’s put together another brutal non-conference slate, so Long Beach State will once again be tested before the start of league play.

CSUN returns the tandem of Stephen Maxwell and Stephan Hicks, and Cal Poly returns three starters led by junior David Nwaba. UC Davis can’t be ignored either, as the Aggies are led by one of the more prolific perimeter scorers around in senior Corey Hawkins. There’s a lot of returning talent in the Big West, which should make for a highly competitive 2014-15.


UCSB’s Alan Williams (Getty Images)

Williams won the honor last season and with good reason, as he averaged 21.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots per game. Williams shot 53.3% from the field, and he was the best player in the Big West in both offensive (14.6) and defensive (26.9) rebounding percentage.


  • Corey Hawkins, UC Davis: Hawkins accounted for 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as a redshirt junior.
  • Michael Caffey, Long Beach State: Caffey’s been a first team All-Big West selection in each of the last two seasons, averaging 16.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in 2013-14.
  • Isaac Fotu, Hawaii: No Christian Standhardinger means even more attention for Fotu, who accounted for 14.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season.
  • Stephen Maxwell, CSUN: Maxwell was very good last season, shooting 54.7% from the field and averaging 17.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest.



1. UC Irvine
3. Long Beach State
5. Cal Poly
6. UC Davis
7. Hawaii
8. Cal-State Fullerton
9. UC Riverside