If Kaijae Yee-Stephens is healthy next season, then Cal State San Bernardino’s basketball team could stand a little stronger with a player off Pepperdine University’s roster.
Yee-Stephens, a 6-foot-2 point guard, has apparently joined the Coyotes’ roster for the 2020-21 season ⎯ if that season will be played, due to COVID-19 restrictions ⎯ according to a Twitter feed.
Yee-Stephens, who has appeared in just 14 games with a 2.1 ppg scoring past in nine minutes per contest, was Central Coast Section Player of the Year at Santa Cruz High School in 2015-16.
That season, he averaged 26 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, earning a shot at Pepperdine ⎯ right down California’s coastline.
He played just four games in 2016-17, his freshman season, having suffered an ankle injury.
His background is checkered with a variety of injuries, having missed an entire season in 2018-19 due to injuries. Yee-Stephens will be a graduate student in cybersecurity at Cal State.
Yee-Stephens was a four-year all-league player for the Cardinals, a team that won 83 games under two different head coaches between 2012 and 2016.
Cal State will have to replace NCAA Division II second team All-West Region guard Jeremy Smith, who had a strong senior season in 2019-20.
* * *
Jordan Jamestown, who has been an assistant coach at Western Oregon the past two seasons, has joined head coach Andy Newman’s Cal State staff. Jamestown joins Ivan Patterson, another Cal State assistant who notched a coaching award this past off-season.
Jamestown has also coached Seminole (Okla.) State College and Adams (Colo.) State College.
Patterson, recently names one of the Silver Waves Media 50 Impactful Division II assistant coaches honor ⎯ a national award ⎯ has coached at Riverside-based California Baptist University.
UNIVERSITY OF REDLANDS
A couple weeks back, it was referenced that new Bulldogs’ men’s coach Eric Bridgeland was forming a reunion club at Currier Gym, especially when he hired his assistant coach, Cory Coombe, from the previous stop.
That would be Whitman College ⎯ Washington.
Okay, try this: Darne Duckett, who is from Oakland, is a scoring specialist who’s transferring to Redlands as a junior. He connected for multiple 25-point games at Whitman last season in that school’s Northwestern Conference tournament.
Khair Jackson, who can rebound, is another Whitman-to-Redlands pickup.
Check out the school’s athletic website sometime. It’s full of information on a boatload of incoming players who’ll check in for the 2020-21 men’s hoop season. Part of those biographies on each player is a little checklist on classroom activities and volunteer activist ⎯ which Redlands loves as a university.
The Brigeland-Coombe combo is pulling in recruits like crazy.
* Sam Abere, a Lake Oswego (Ore.) defensive specialist with classroom background, with three-time league championship bloodlines.
* Honor Society accolades preceding him, Josh Himel will show up from Jacksonville, Fla. According to Bridgeland, Himel can score.
* Tyson Legner, from Phoenix, has more wins, steals and assists and three-point “makes” than anyone in Arizona history. He’s Arizona’s Male Athlete of the Year off a two-year state championship team.
* Dallas, Texas’ contribution to the Bulldogs’ roster in Justice Marmara, a four-year Varsity player and four-time member of the Honor Roll/Honor Society.
* You wonder if Redwood City’s Colin McCarthy has enough time for basketball, especially off his 4.4 GPA, four-time Honor Roll actions, student government, serving as a student advisor and camp counselor for middle school children.
* Jaxon Miller, who is from Washington, who “guards, creates, scores, boards, makes plays while making it seem easy,” according to Bridgeland.
* On Neil Owens, an All-Mission League selection from Pasadena: “Don’t let his humble demeanor fool you; he’s an absolute warrior on the floor.”
* Part of Ben Peterson’s background out of El Segundo (which is Lakers’ country) is volunteering to coach a fifth-grade recreation team. At El Segundo High, Peterson was team captain on the school’s first back-to-back winning seasons over the past decade.
* “Long and lanky” Robert Power, at a 4.5 GPA from Pacific Palisades, has loads of highly-decorated charity work that almost seems endless. “Potential,” said Bridgeland, noting his shooting ability, “to be one of the best we’ve ever coached.”
* Elijah Randall, from Carlsbad, Calif., “doesn’t know a bad day.” He’s a light, says Bridgeland, noting Randall has a “big-time motor and does everything.”
Let’s see: Duckett and Jackson, Legner and Marmara, plus McCarthy, Himel, Abere, along with Peterson, Power and Randall, with Owens and Miller makes an even dozen new faces on a squad with plenty of returning talent off a first place SCIAC team last winter.
That’s a full roster in anyone’s book. Expectations, at least without a single game having been played, might well have been already met.
Not a single SCIAC school has released its 2020-2021 schedule yet. COVID-19 may well stretch far into the winter months.
In other words, no one can really plan a date to see those faces in action.