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Cal Poly Men’s Basketball Summer Journal Series: Leaving a Legacy

MORE SUMMER JOURNAL SERIES: CHRIS EVERSLEY | JAMAL JOHNSON

EDITOR'S NOTE: Senior guard Kyle Odister, who finished fourth among Mustangs last season with 6.5 points per game, checks in July 13 with the third entry from the Cal Poly men's basketball program's summer journal series. The last remaining player from fifth-year head coach Joe Callero's first season and a member of the 2009-10 Big West Conference All-Freshman team, Odister appeared in 30 of 32 games last year and shot 37.0 percent from the three-point line. Odister's season high of 15 points last year, which included icing the game-winning free throws, came during a 70-68 victory at No. 11 UCLA.

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.

It's crazy to think that it has been four years since I was a senior in high school and decided to join the Mustang family. Approaching my fifth year with the program (after redshirting the 2010-11 season), I'm nothing but excited for the upcoming challenges we'll face this season. As the only remaining player from coach Callero's arrival, I've contributed and witnessed the progress that the Cal Poly Athletics Department and men's basketball program have made each year. Over the years, we've developed a definite home-court advantage inside the Mott Athletics Center, which is something we didn't have during my freshman year. In front of our dedicated fans last season, we recorded a 13-1 home record and strive to do even better this year.

Our schedule for the upcoming season is another example of the progress that the program has made. Just in our non-conference schedule, we'll face highly competitive programs such as Arizona, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Stanford. Facing teams of such a high caliber will only excel the program forward and prepare us for the opportunity to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
We've embraced four new freshman players for the summer quarter as they get a head start on learning the Cal Poly tradition, routine and mentality of our program. The development of the freshmen and implementation of our junior college transfer Dave Nwaba will be essential for success this season.

In the meantime, I've embraced more responsibility of being a leader, mentor and contributor for this year's team. Cal Poly is enjoying its best run of success in 41 years and we want to continue building on that winning tradition. Past and current players, our coaching staff and I have developed a foundation that the team can follow in future years.

The ultimate pleasure for the end of my career at Cal Poly would be to continue our winning tradition and leave a legacy behind by becoming the first Mustang men's team to earn a bid to the NCAA Division I Tournament. Lets get to work!

See you soon in Mott,

Kyle Odister