SCIAC PREVIEW : Potent Redlands Gives Occidental and Others Something to Shoot For

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Gary Smith has not changed into the free-wheeling, defense-be-damned type, but the University of Redlands men’s basketball coach no longer treats each basket scored against his team like a personal affront.

“Now you can score on them but, boy, you’d better score a lot,” Whittier Coach Dave Jacobs said of Redlands, which is averaging 101 points a game (about 30 points more than last season) and has made 152 3-point shots (second most in the NCAA behind Loyola Marymount).

Occidental, which is led by swingman John Keister (23 points a game) and center Chris Anderson (18 points), will find out just how many points it needs to beat the Bulldogs (9-5) when they visit Redlands on Saturday night.

Occidental will try to contain senior wing Perry Bellaire, a second-team Division III Western region All-American who is averaging 24 points and has made 50 of 117 3-point shots.


First, however, the Tigers (10-3) will play host to La Verne at 8 tonight in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener.

La Verne (4-10) should prove far less formidable than Redlands, especially without forward Glenn Jackson (20 points a game), who quit recently. Jackson’s departure leaves the Leopards dependent on Lamont Landers, who has averaged 24.3 points in the past 3 games.

Claremont (7-8) is composed almost entirely of forwards. Sophomore Matt Johnson is the only player in the backcourt with previous guard experience. The Stags are led by all-conference forward Mike Dawe (19 points) and forward Henry Albrecht (15 points).

Pomona-Pitzer’s all-conference forward, Rick Duque (14 points), has been hobbled because of a groin pull and is off last season’s pace.

The Sagehens (5-8) are having reasonable success from the 3-point stripe; guards Reed Porter and David Todd have made a combined 35 of 87.

Whittier (7-8), which has lost its past 2 games to North Park of Chicago and Cal State San Bernardino, has been plagued by poor outside shooting.

The Poets are led by 6-6 center Kyle Davis and 6-4 wing Whelan Elmore, both of whom average 13 points, and forward Aaron Bach (12 points).