CSUB Men’s Basketball team takes pride into competition at Big West Tournament

Madalyn Powers, Sports Editor

Members of the CSUB Men’s Basketball team huddle up during a game against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 5, 2022, in Fullerton, California. (Photo provided by Isaac Comelli/CSUB Athletics)

With the Big West tournament in Henderson, Nevada underway, the stakes are high with the CSUB Men’s Basketball team (7-17,2-11 Big West) and head coach, Rod Barnes.

The tournament kicked off Tuesday, March 8 at the Dollar Loan Center with the expectations of large crowds to light a spark at the games.

When discussing their season, he brought up the need for more consistency in wins and the number of close games they have played.

As Barnes stressed, “We fight to the end. Our program is built on hard work.” For now, he sees those close games as hope to do better with not leaving as many 3-pointers wide open, and having the players ready to respond during crunch time.

As for Barnes’ views on the season it has been a battle but they are working really hard to get to where they need to be.

Barnes stated, “They show up every day and give us what they got.”

Barnes looked forward to his team playing their hardest, saying they were “giving me hope and encouragement because the kids are doing it right.”

And more importantly, “This is the proudest team I have had since I got to CSUB.”

Barnes could not be prouder of the men the seniors are, highlighting how well rounded and high character these guys are. The players have gone through a lot but always keep their heads up.

“I’m confident these guys are going to be successful” on and off the court when this season is finished, Barnes said.


Senior guard/forward Justin McCall driving toward the hoop during the team’s season-opening game at No. 2 UCLA on Nov. 9 at Pauley Pavilion. (Photo provided by Isaac Comelli/CSUB Athletics)

Justin McCall

Senior forward Justin McCall naturally gravitated towards basketball when he was three years old. 

There are many reasons McCall chose CSUB’s program. For him, it genuinely felt like home, because his dad is the head coach of the women’s basketball team at CSUB.

Along with that, the coach, Rod Barnes was committed to the program.

With the COVID shut down, McCall could not be more thankful to be back on the court.

The unknown of never being able to play in front of friends and family again was a large possibility so having this opportunity to play in the environment has been amazing.

With the ups and downs of the season, McCall couldn’t emphasize enough how amazing winning felt after a losing streak. 

McCall feels the team is headed towards the right direction and ready to play a defensive game at the tournament. 

McCall’s momentum is high and he is encouraged as he closes out his last season.

Senior guard/forward Justin Edler Davis stretches his arms before the team’s seasoning opening game at No. 2 UCLA on Nov. 9 at Pauley Pavilion. (Photo provided by Isaac Comelli/CSUB Athletics)

Justin Edler Davis

Senior guard Justin Edler Davis didn’t imagine playing basketball when beginning to play almost twenty years ago at age five. 

It was actually football that had his peak interest until his sophomore year of high school. 

His friends and his mom got him into basketball, after much convincing.

Now, one of the main highlights of Davis’ games is being able to see his mother and grandma cheering him on in the stands. 

With all the uncertainties that COVID brought into the sport, Edler Davis stated, “honestly put everything into perspective, with all the little hurdles it’s worth it to be able to go out and play on the court.”

Davis brought up the faith that Coach Barnes and the previous Coach Conoro had in him. 

The dedication they showed by being at all his games led to him choosing CSUB’s basketball program. 

That feeling hasn’t dwindled since coming to CSUB and Davis feels confident on the team.

After many close games this season, the team looks forward and hopes for future wins.

As for the Big West Tournament, Edler Davis is simply excited for one last shot.