Men’s Basketball team won the Western State Conference title with an 8-2 mark against the loop and advanced to the playoffs for the seventh time over the past eight season. The Cougars, 21-7 overall, earned the #17-seed in the 2019 CCCAA Regional Playoffs, but due to a rule about conference foes meeting each other in the first round they dropped to the #19-seed and play #14-seed Pasadena on the road this Wednesday (7 PM).  The Western State Conference has just released the 2019 All Western State Conference seasonal awards and four members of Cuesta’s starting line-up were honored.  Four members of the team were accorded all-WSC status, including WSC Player of the Year Joshua Wilson-Murry (San Luis Obispo: Paso Robles HS), while Coach Rusty Blair was named WSC Coach of the Year for the eighth time.  Freshman Guard Alexandre Fanchini (Hyeres, FRA) and Sophomore Forward Iker Cruz (Madrid, ESP) joined Wilson-Murry on the all-WSC 1st Team, while Sophomore Guard Jorge Bueno (Madrid, ESP) earned all-WSC Honorable Mention.

Sophomore Shooting Guard Joshua Wilson-Murry (San Luis Obispo: Paso Robles HS) was accorded all-WSC Honorable Mention last season as a freshman, but after leading Cuesta to the Western State Conference title this season he was voted the 2019 WSC Player of the Year and earned an automatic spot on the 2019 CCCAA All State team.  Wilson-Murry is the eleventh Cuesta player to earn conference player of the year honors in the program’s 54-year history, but the first player from a local high school to win the award since the Cougars joined the Western State Conference in 1983.  A fiery, enthusiastically intense player, Wilson-Murry is one of the Cougars’ Captains and a driving force in the program’s success the past two seasons. Wilson-Murry leads the Cougars with 16.9 points and is tied for the team lead with 7.6 rebounds per game.  On offense, Wilson-Murry was as comfortable driving to the basket as he was testing his seemingly unlimited range.  He enjoyed a team-high 90 three-pointers on the year, including 13 in the final week of the season as the Cougars took down fellow playoff teams Allan Hancock and Ventura to clinch the WSC Crown.  His career three-point percentage of 38.1% ranks 4th all time at Cuesta.  Wilson-Murry’s 828 career point currently place him 15th all time in program history.  On defense, he is second on the team with 65 steals and third on the team with 13 blocked shots.  His 103 career steals represent the 5th highest total by a Cougar on record. 

Freshman Point Guard Alexandre Fanchini (Hyeres, FRA) burst onto the scene this season as one of the State’s premier point guards and was near unanimous addition to the 2019 All Western State Conference First Team.  Fanchini at his best is impossible to stop, because he can lead his team to victory in multiple ways.  He ended the regular season a tenth of a point behind Wilson-Murry for the team scoring lead with 16.8 points per game.  His ability to score was on full display early in the season, when he became the first Cuesta player to drop 40 points in a game in a decade and the most since points since Eric Edmunds scored 43 in 1999, when he piled up 41 points on Porterville on November 17.  Fanchini also led the Cougars with 4.0 assists and 2.6 steals, 6th in the State, per game.    

Sophomore Forward Iker Cruz (Madrid, ESP) was selected to the 2019 All Western State Conference First Team after earning all-WSC Honorable Mention in 2018.  Cruz is the tallest player in the Cougars starting line-up and the team’s de facto Center.  He had the job of playing against bigger and taller players all season on both on offense and defense, so his ability to extend the court and find open teammates made him an invaluable player for the Cougars.  Cruz’s team play on offense helped him post a team-high 50.7 shooting percentage, while also finishing second on the team with 3.4 assists per game.  Cruz scored 11.2 points per game and tied with Wilson-Murry for the team lead with 7.6 rebounds per game.  His 6.2 career rebounding average ranks 7th all time at Cuesta, 

Sophomore Guard Jorge Bueno (Madrid, ESP) was accorded 2019 All-WSC Honorable Mention.  Bueno joined Wilson-Murry and Fanchini to lead the Cougars’ three-guard attack.  All three players could run the floor, lead the offense, and score in bunches.  Bueno worked seamlessly with his high-scoring running mates, but made the most of his opportunities.  Bueno averaged 8.5 points a game and also paced the Cougars’ guard trio with a highest field goal (44.5%) and three-point percentage (42.0%).  Bueno was also 3rd on the team with 58 assists and 27 steals during the regular season.

Coach Rusty Blair was voted by his peers as the 2019 Western State Conference Coach of the Year, but in a show of magnanimity he offered to share the award with Ventura Coach Joey Ramirez, who’s Pirates were the loop’s co-Champions.  Blair led the Cougars to a 21-7 record during the regular season and an 8-2 mark against the WSC to a share of the title. He also led his team to its fifth conference title of the past seven seasons.  This is the 18th playoff berth for the Cougars since Coach Blair took over the program for the 1992-93 season.  This season, Blair became the 13th CCCAA Men's Basketball Coach to earn 500 career victories and led his Cougars to their 11th Western State Conference title under his watch.

 

2018-19 WSC Basketball Awards

Joshua Wilson-Murry – Player of the Year

Alexandre Fanchini- First Team

Iker Cruz- First Team

Jorge Bueno- Honorable Mention 

Rusty Blair- Coach of the Year

 

Joshua Wilson-Murry Named All State

 Last week in Ventura, the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association announced the 2019 CCCAA All State Team, which included 2019 Western State Conference Player of the Year Joshua Wilson-Murry (San Luis Obispo: Paso Robles HS) Wilson-Murry is the Cougars’ 14th All State player since the CCCAA went to one division in 1983.  In all 12 players from the Southern California Region and another dozen from the Northern California Region were accorded first team honors, while three others earned honorable mention status. Wilson-Murry is the first Cuesta player from a SLO County high school to earn all-State since Brian Dignan (SLO HS) led the program to its only CCCAA State Tournament appearance in 1997.

Sophomore Shooting Guard Joshua Wilson-Murry (San Luis Obispo: Paso Robles HS) was accorded all-WSC Honorable Mention last season as a freshman, but after leading Cuesta to the Western State Conference title this season he was voted the 2019 Western State Conference Player of the Year and earned a spot on the 2019 CCCAA All State team.  Wilson-Murry was also the eleventh Cuesta player to earn conference player of the year honors in the program’s 54-year history, but the first player from a local high school to win the award since the Cougars joined the Western State Conference in 1983.  An enthusiastically intense player, Wilson-Murry was one of the Cougars’ Captains and a driving force in the program’s success the past two seasons. Wilson-Murry led 2019 team with 16.8 points and tied for the team lead with 7.4 rebounds per game.  On offense, Wilson-Murry was as comfortable driving to the basket as he was testing his seemingly unlimited range.  He enjoyed a team-high 95 three-pointers on the year, including 13 in the final week of the season as the Cougars took down fellow playoff teams Allan Hancock and Ventura to clinch the WSC Crown.  His career three-point percentage of 37.6% ranks 5th all time at Cuesta and Wilson-Murry’s 861 career points place him 13th all time in program history.  On defense, he was second on the team with 68 steals and third on the team with 14 blocked shots.  His 103 career steals represent the 5th highest total by a Cougar.

                The Cougars won the 2019 Western State Conference Championship, but were knocked out of the playoffs in the second round by Citrus. A dozen of the Cougars’ 30 games this season were played against eventual playoff teams and they posted an 6-6 record in those games.

                 

                Cuesta All State Players (Since joining DI in 1983)

1985       Sean Chambers- 23.3 PPG

1995       Charles Thomas- 15.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.2 APG

1997       Brian Dignan- 8.5 PPG, 2,7 RPG, 5.0 APG

1998*    Jaron Singletary- 20.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.6 APG

1999       Jaron Singletary- 16.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.5 APG

2007       Jimmy Allen- 16.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 0.9 APG

2009*    Tom Schumacher- 18.5 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.8 APG

2009*    Joe Ayarza- 16.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.5 APG

2010*    Roger Guardia- 15.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.2 APG

2012*    Malte Kramer- 16.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.6 APG

2012*    Calen Coleman- 16.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.8 APG

2014*    Oscar Pedroso- 17.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.1 APG

2015*    Rafael Casanova- 17.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.2 APG

2019*    Joshua Wilson-Murry- 16.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.8 APG

 

*First Team All State