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No. 1 College of Idaho's 20-game winning streak powered by elite rotation

The top-ranked College of Idaho men's basketball team is riding 20-straight wins. The Yotes are outpacing opponents with one of the deepest rosters in the NAIA.

BOISE, Idaho — The No. 1 College of Idaho men's basketball team picked up two more wins last weekend, extending its impressive win streak to 20 games. The Yotes beat Lewis-Clark State 74-63 and dominated Walla Walla 119-60 on back-to-back nights.

An interesting thing about the Yotes' successful squad is how they share the wealth. No player on the team averages more than 25 minutes per game and a trio of players off the bench are leading the way statistically for C of I (20-1, 15-0 CCC).

Most teams lose a step when their reserves check in, but for the Yotes, they sometimes get even better.

Rocky Mountain High School grad Straton Rogers leads the roster in rebounds per game, grabbing an average of 7.8 boards per outing. 

"We all have different roles on this team and we all know what our different roles are," Rogers said. "For me, it's rebounding."

Johnny Radford, a sophomore from Hailey, leads C of I with 13.5 points per game. Freshman Samaje Morgan is the Yotes' top assist-getter, with 104 total during the 2022-2023 campaign. 

"They've shown that they're bought into winning," head coach Colby Blaine said. "To have three different individual players who are having a great season statistically come off your bench and show that it doesn't matter to them when they get in the game, they just want to help impact it, I think it's made us a better team."

The winning culture has led to, well, wins. The Yotes have not lost since their season opener at Arizona Christian back on Nov. 4, 2022. C of I has won 20-consecutive games, blazing through the Cascade Collegiate Conference. 

The culture is hard to replicate and is only attainable by a supremely unselfish group.

"It could easily be, someone starts complaining or someone feels like they're not getting enough playing time or enough points, but it's never that for our team," Morgan said. "I feel like that is a big reason for the success we have."

Across the entire 40 minutes, there's been plenty of highlights, from the surgical passes, to the crowd-erupting dunks.

"Usually the crowd sees the starting five and they're like, 'oh, there's the best five players on the team right there,' but for us it's really – we have 13 guys that could start on any other team," Rogers said.

With so many Yote players ready to rise to the occasion, opposing squads are getting outpaced by one of the deepest rosters in the NAIA. 

"There's a lot of confidence built within the team that it doesn't really matter who's scoring at the end of the day, as long as we're winning and we get the result that we want," Radford said.

College of Idaho hits the road this weekend to face Warner Pacific on Friday and Multnomah on Saturday.

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