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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
There's a different atmosphere in the CSUB gym this season. The Division I men's basketball team is ready to take on its opponents to secure a seat in the NCAA Tournament in March.
"Year one we played with what we got, the second year there were a lot of injuries but this year we are ready to play ball," coach Rod Barnes said Tuesday on "First Look with Scott Cox."
The team's first game is Friday at Washington State. The first home game is Nov. 11 and Barnes said the team will push hard against UC Merced. This season CSUB will take on Sacramento State, Fresno State and rival New Mexico State.
Barnes said he hopes to beat New Mexico this year since the schools and cities are similar.
"I want people to really enjoy themselves at each game and just provide great college basketball," Barnes said.
When Barnes took the position as head coach at CSUB three years ago, he came with the plan to revolutionize the team and create excitement in the community for the team.
"That's what drew me here and I'm excited to build the program myself," Barnes said.
And it's starting to happen.
"It's a sleeping giant," Barnes said. "Once people really realize what Division I is all about, it's going to change the community."