Cal State Bakersfield basketball history will likely be made tonight, and it will probably happen late in the first half or early in the second.
That’s when senior guard Stephon Carter will likely pass Kenny Warren and become the all-time career scoring leader in CSUB’s 42-season history.
The Roadrunners (8-15) play host to Cal State San Marcos (20-4) at 7 p.m. in the Icardo Center.
Carter, who is 14 points shy of Warren’s mark (1,521 career points), put himself into position to set the record tonight when he had 20 second-half points in Wednesday’s 61-53 loss to Wyoming. Carter had zero points in the first half against the Cowboys and rejected any suggestion that he was feeling pressure about the record.
“No. Absolutely not,” he said. “I just came out flat and wasn’t ready.”
CSUB coach Rod Barnes said Carter’s career is special and will remain that way in the years ahead when anyone reflects back on these four seasons.
“He’ll go down as one of the best players ever in this program,” Barnes said. “But he’ll go down even as a bigger guy who made the decision to stay here and help build this program.”
Carter considered leaving CSUB after his sophomore season when then-head coach Keith Brown was fired.
But Carter decided to remain with the Roadrunners after meeting with Barnes shortly after the coach’s arrival at CSUB. And Barnes said he has enjoyed coaching Carter.
“I love Stephon Carter,” Barnes said. “He loves the game. He plays the game with passion. ...
“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to witness this, being a part of him becoming the all-time leading scorer.
“There have been great players here, a great history and tradition.”
Carter came to CSUB after four stellar years at Garces High. When his high school career ended, Carter ranked No. 2 in CIF Central Section history with 2,589 points, according to section historian Bob Barnett. The only player with more was Tre’von Willis, a 2006 graduate of Fresno-Washington Union who finished with 2,843 points.
Carter is now ranked third. Central Valley Christian’s Grant Verhoeven, who graduated last year and is now a freshman at Stanford, finished with 2,598 points.
Warren, who could not be reached for comment, was a great outside shooting guard for CSUB from the 1990-91 through 1993-94 seasons. Warren still holds CSUB’s career records with 131 games played, 520 assists, 278 3-pointers made and 641 3-pointers attempted.
Earlier this season, Carter broke Warren’s record of 188 career steals. Carter has 220 steals entering play tonight.
One of the San Marcos players who figures to be defending Carter at times tonight is Bryan Emanuel, who was a sophomore at CSUB during Carter’s freshman season.
In his two seasons at CSUB, Emanuel was considered the Roadrunners’ strongest defender.
If Carter is going to break the scoring record at home, it needs to happen tonight. The next two CSUB games are on the road, at Texas-San Antonio (Tuesday) and at Texas-Pan American (Thursday).