Cal Poly Men’s Basketball Summer Journal Series: Ready to Lead

Cal Poly Men’s Basketball Summer Journal Series: Ready to Lead


Senior guard Jamal Johnson, who led the Big West Conference and finished 11th among NCAA Division I players last season with a 2.75-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, checks in July 8 with the second entry from the Cal Poly men's basketball program's summer journal series. Also sixth among Big West performers with 122 assists last year and eighth with 3.8 assists per game, Johnson started 18 of 32 games during the 2012-13 season.

Cal Poly returns three starters and eight letterwinners from last year's squad that set program records for Big West victories (12-6) and Big West winning percentage (.667). Cal Poly's 18 overall victories matched the second highest total in 19 Division I seasons. The 2012-13 Mustangs, who finished 13-1 inside the Mott Athletics Center last season, also established Division I program records for home victories, fewest home losses, home winning percentage (.929) and, for the first time, swept every Big West opponent at home.

Hello Mustang Family,

The summer is upon us and our basketball season has started, even though I believe that a basketball season never really ends. In addition to on-court practice, our team has been working very hard by running at 7 a.m. and lifting weights. We've added four freshman guards as well as our new associate head coach Paul Fortier and it's nice to see fresh faces in practice because it brings more life and energy to the court. Although they are all new, each one is a significant addition to the program and in practice.

This summer is unlike any we've had in the past. For the new players, it is a life adjustment unlike any they've encountered before. For the returning players, however, this is another chance to work hard and achieve our goal of making the NCAA Tournament. As a senior, I've taken on a bigger leadership role within our team – both on and off the floor. Whether its coordinating information throughout the team or sharing basketball knowledge with the younger players, I take great pride in being a team leader. With the addition of three young point guards to our team, I hope to share the experiences that I've come across in my three years of playing and hopefully make the learning curve better for everyone. Coach Callero is an excellent coach and between his copious amount of detailed information and my on-court knowledge, I see nothing but high ceilings for our younger players.

Since this is my senior year, I want to ensure that I leave all I have on the court. Chris Eversley, Kyle Odister and I won't have another chance to step on the court as Mustangs after this season, so wearing our uniform next year might be bittersweet at some points. As we embark on the journey of our last season as Mustangs, however, I feel energized for the future. This season should be one to remember as we hope to be cutting down the nets in March.

See you in Mott!

Jamal Johnson