COMMUNITY COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL PREVIEW : Part-Timers Rule, but Full-Time Coaches Favored
The part-timers are in the majority in Orange Empire Conference men’s basketball, but the full-timers are expected to top the standings.
Because of sabbaticals and retirements, six of eight teams have part-time head coaches.
Riverside’s Bob Schermerhorn and Saddleback’s Bill Brummel are the only full-time coaches this season. Riverside is picked to win the conference and Saddleback is second in the preseason poll.
Jerry Hernandez of Irvine Valley, Ray Rodriguez of Rancho Santiago and Tim Sweeney of Fullerton are in their first year. Hernandez replaces Bill Mulligan, who retired after coaching the team in its first three seasons.
Rodriguez and Sweeney are working in place of Dana Pagett and Roger See, who are taking a season off.
Paul Bottiaux (Cypress), Tom McCluskey (Golden West) and Tim O’Brien (OCC) are all in part-time positions.
Here’s a brief look at the teams in the Orange Empire Conference:
Cypress: The Chargers return guards Gil Gonzales and David Neal and forward Jason Krauss, who all started last season. Gonzales set a Cypress record with 128 three-pointers, which was also tops in the state. He averaged 16 points. Jeff Rutter, also returning at guard, made 68 three-pointers last season.
Cypress’ weakness last season was in the front court, but the Chargers got some help when 6-7 Tyler Ream transferred from Azusa Pacific. Shane Miller, a 6-6 freshman, is also playing forward.
Fullerton: The Hornets are strong at forward with David Wilson, a 6-7 freshman from Ocean View, and Chris Campbell, a 6-8 freshman from Sonora. Campbell transferred from Cypress College where he redshirted last season.
Sophomore Scott Davis and Eric Morgan return to add experience to the backcourt. Davis averaged 10 points and had a team-high 76 three-pointers. Damon Smith and Ty-Juan Berry are first-year guards.
Golden West: The Rustlers return one player but have benefited greatly from transfers. Ryan Dennis, who is 6-9, came to Golden West from Youngstown State. Lydell Hill, who was at Long Beach State last season, is playing guard.
Rod Scheuerman, a sophomore forward, is back after averaging 15 points last season. Philip Domingo, a freshman guard from Fountain Valley, is starting at forward and Ray Jimmerson, a freshman from Rialto Eisenhower High, is in the backcourt. Jimmerson was MVP in the Citrus Belt League.
Irvine Valley: Josh Porter, a sophomore guard, is the only returning player for Irvine Valley, which is most talented in the backcourt. The Lasers’ offense got a boost when guard Demetrius Zeigler transferred from Cornell. He averaged an Orange County best 25.9 points as a senior at University High during the 1993-94 season.
Matt Moore, a 6-6, 220 freshman from Trabuco Hills High, and Brandon Hearvey, who is 6-6 but 35 pounds lighter than Moore, both start up front.
Orange Coast: Matt Ambrose, a 6-6 sophomore transfer from San Diego State, gives OCC a hard-nosed player up front.
Scott Wilcox (6-10), David Downs, a 6-6 forward from Servite, and sophomore Darnell Adamson (6-4) join Ambrose up front. Adrian Reyes and Duane Curtis, both freshmen from Pasadena Muir, start in the backcourt.
Rancho Santiago: The Dons have outstanding potential up front. Jon Surface (6-8), Todd Wilson (6-4) and Ramon Alliman (6-2) return and are joined by Chris Rose (6-10), who was a redshirt last season and freshman LaByron Clayton (6-4). Surface plays mostly at wing and is a talented three-point shooter.
Marcus Lemons and Tremain Ross, both freshmen, and sophomore Andy Neito have played the most so far in the backcourt.
Riverside: The Tigers appear to have the more talented team this season. Paul Culbertson, a 6-6 guard who averaged 15 points a game last season, returns at guard and Schermerhorn says he is the best player he has coached at Riverside.
Rick Hite and Sean White are also back at guard along with 6-7 forward Ed Posey. Transfer Gary Williams, another 6-7 forward, is also up front.
Saddleback: Anthony Carter, the conference MVP as a freshman, returns after averaging 19 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Carter will play on the wing and David Drakeford, a transfer from Oregon State, and Caleb Ashley will run the backcourt. Ashley has been slowed by a recent minor motorcycle accident.
Saddleback has no center but freshmen forwards Roderick Beavers (6-6) and Scott Duffy (6-6) will help fill the void.