Team preview: Cal Poly SLO

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2005-06 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 31, 2005, 12:22 PM ET
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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

In college sports, experience is everything. Every coach wants a team filled with seniors. Unless, that is, the team in question was 5-22 last season. Which is why some new blood looks awfully good to Cal Poly coach Kevin Bromley.

"We have seven new players in the program,'' he said, "and that's a double-edged sword. But I'm excited about it because the players coming in are enthusiastic and excited about the new year and our schedule. When you're coming off a 5-22 year, you've got to have a lot of enthusiasm and excitement to get things turned around.''

Some skilled players would help, too, but because there aren't enough of those around, the Mustangs have a long way to go before they can be considered Big West contenders. The Mustangs are so young that even their only scholarship senior is a newcomer.

Gabe Stephenson was among the Ivy League's leading rebounders (6.6 per game) for Cornell in 2003-04 but left to be closer to his family in the West and is now eligible for one more season after sitting one out. The 6-8 center/forward becomes an instant leader on a team whose only other senior is little-used 6-0 walk-on R.J. Socci (1.4 ppg).

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