It’s been a long road for the Bakersfield College men’s basketball team this season.
Through 10 games, the Renegades have had just two on their home floor. That trend was supposed to continue with games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Santa Barbara Tournament. Those have been canceled, however, due to the severe wildfires that hit Southern California this week.
Even so, BC sports a 6-4 record thus far. Head coach Rich Hughes said playing away from home so frequently at the outset of the year isn’t abnormal for his program. The Renegades only get eight conference games a year (four of which come at home).
“These kids are used to it. It’s not the ideal thing, but creates a little toughness, preparation for conference,” Hughes said. “It’s the mindset that no matter where we go or what we have to do, we go and win.”
Hughes said after losing the opening game last weekend, the team bounced back with two victories on Friday and Saturday.
Jamar Hammonds has been putting up big numbers on a daily basis. The 6-foot-5 sophomore wing is averaging 21 points per game and just under 10 rebounds.
“He’s really good at getting to the rim,” Hughes said. “He gets fouled a lot and he’s a good free-throw shooter. He can knock down a shot, he can score in the midrange, he can pass. He’s had some high assist games. He’ll rebound. Very competitive, he plays very hard.”
Hughes added that point guard Johnathan Murray gets lost in the shuffle, yet is a leader who has put up strong assist totals in a handful of games.
“Our general,” Hughes said. “He keeps us going, he keeps us level-headed.”
Three other sophomores make up the starting lineup: Stockdale High School graduate Tucker Eenigenburg (15.3 points per game), 6-foot-8 wing Jaylunn English (16.2 ppg, 5.2 rebounds per game, 2.8 blocks per game) and 6-foot-5 forward Henry Galinato (9 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.3 bpg).
The Renegades' next home game is Feb. 12 against El Camino.
“It’s still early,” Hughes said. “Still trying to feel each other out, still trying to grow as a team. We have good ingredients.”