COACH: Bill Bellatty
TOP RETURNEES YR POS HT Billy Hoover Jr. G 6-1 Noel Bloom So. G 6-3
TOP NEWCOMERS YR POS HT Sherif Michael Sr. G 5-6 Barry Carlisi Sr. F 6-3 Nick Alexander So. C 6-6 Ryan Colman Fr. G 5-10 Dave Coleman Sr. G/F 5-11
The Coyotes are young, lack experience and don't appear to have a lot of firepower. Finding the right players to change the team's fortunes after a winless Frontier League season under such circumstances would seem like picking through wreckage. "But I'm very excited," Bellatty said. "We've got good chemistry, and I think that can win games. It's a fun bunch of kids." Bloom, who averaged 8.3 points last year as a freshman, has grown four inches. Michael, a transfer from Faith Baptist, is the best point guard Bellatty has had since Jon Drezner, who went on to play at Brown.
COACH: Tim Bednar
TOP RETURNEES YR POS HT Micah Hanson Sr. G 6-4 Jeff Barry Sr. C/F 6-6 Keith Linton Sr. F 6-2 Mike Newbill Sr. F 6-1 Stephen Jennings Jr. G 6-0
TOP NEWCOMERS YR POS HT Brian Fortman Jr. G 6-0 Florencio Morales Jr. G 6-0 Marko Grgecic Sr. G 6-1
With three starters returning from a team that shot 47% and tied for second place last season, the Musketeers appear ready to contend for a Frontier League title--that is if physical limitations don't prevent them. The top eight players stand 6-0 or taller but only three are taller than 6-1. They will be bolstered by a group that won the junior varsity league championship. Hanson, who made 63 three-point shots and shot 41% behind the line, averaged 14 points last year and was named second-team all-section. Hanson, all-leaguer Barry (10.6 points, 7.6 rebounds) and Linton (9.8 points) are third-year starters. Moorpark will be stingy with former Cal Lutheran Coach Norm Chung, a defensive specialist, returning as an assistant.
COACH: Dick Sebek
TOP RETURNEES YR POS HT Mark Sebek Sr. G/F 6-2 Dallan Rigby Jr. G 5-11 Gabe Vega Sr. G 6-0 Archie Jackson Sr. F 6-1
TOP NEWCOMERS YR POS HT Snow Talifero Sr. C 6-3 James Colborn Sr. F 6-1 Mark Churchill So. F 6-2
Time will tell whether this team is good enough to improve on its second-place tie of a year ago. That's because three of the top seven players are on a varsity football team still alive in the Division IX playoffs. It will take time for point guard Rigby (a returning starter), and forwards Jackson and Colborn to get into basketball shape. Until then, Sebek--the coach's son--will have to carry the load. He averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds last e isn't much scoring punch behind him. Rigby, Vega and Jackson combined to averaged 14 points last year. Talifero averaged 11 for the junior varsity team.
COACH: Lou Cvijanovich
TOP RETURNEES YR POS HT Jess Pena Sr. F 6-2 Damien Smith Jr. G 5-10 Kris McLucas Sr. C 6-4
TOP NEWCOMERS YR POS HT Damien Cantrell Sr. F 6-4 Damon Gilmer Sr. G/F 6-2 Daniel Keit Sr. G 6-2 Jevaughn Baker Jr. G 5-6 Paul Cervantes Jr. G 5-6 Blair Ferguson Jr. G 5-11 Mike McGill Jr. C 6-5 Matt Henson Jr. F 6-4 Alan Fouchey So. F 6-3
It is never good news for opponents when Cvijanovich--the dean of area coaches who turns out league champions like clockwork--says he has a good team. So this is really bad news: "This is an exceptional group," he said. "I think they can all play." And so Cvijanovich did not cut anybody. He's keeping 17 players and he plans to shuffle them on and off the floor and run opponents out of the gym. The Saints only have one returning starter and no proven standouts. But, said Cvijanovich, "If somebody beats us, they're going to have to be a real competitive team, because we can play defense."
COACH: Tom Donahue
TOP RETURNEES YR POS HT Manuel Escamilla Jr. G 6-1 Raymond Cordova Sr. G 5-7 Otis Henderson Sr. F 6-3 Petie Hernandez Sr. G 6-2 Reuben Barron Sr. F 6-2
TOP NEWCOMERS YR POS HT Chris Cannon Jr. C 6-4 1/2 Ben Tryk Jr. G 6-1 Teva Johnson Jr. G/F 6-2 Danny Herrera Jr. C 6-5
Donahue says he has a quick, running team that will excel at man-to-man pressure defense. The Cardinals will be versatile too, with the ability to play a half-court game. "Our goal is to run and pressure the ball," Donahue said. "We're going to be very competitive. I think we'll have a legitimate shot." Yes, but can Donahue win the big ones against Santa Clara? Returning starters Escamilla (17 points per game), Cordova (seven assists) and Henderson (10 points, six rebounds) are proven. Donahue is excited about the return of Cannon, who lived in New Mexico last year, and the addition of Tryk, who averaged 15 points for the junior varsity team last year.