With all of the player-coach introductions completed, the Glendale Community College men’s basketball team can begin its final preparations for the start of the upcoming season.
Glendale college will feature a 14-player squad consisting entirely of first-year athletes who will look to return the Vaqueros to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
It’s unusual not to have at least a couple of returners. However, but that doesn’t worry Glendale sixth-year coach Vigen Jilizian.
“It’s a first time for me having all first-year guys and they are all literally out of high school,” said Jilizian, whose team will tip off its season at 5 p.m. Wednesday with a nonconference road game against Moorpark. “We’re doing OK and I like the fact that they are enthusiastic.
“They are eager to learn and there are no preset notions. There’s definitely a leaning curve involved. We’ll see how they can handle the next level of maturity and execution. We’ll do evaluations and do our best to put them in position to be successful.”
Glendale finished 11-17, 4-6 in the Western State Conference’s East Division last season. Glendale tied for third with Victor Valley and Antelope Valley.
Glendale will return to the Western State Conference South Division this season after being in the East Division the past three seasons. Glendale will be joined by Bakersfield, West L.A., Santa Monica, Citrus, Antelope Valley, L.A. Valley and College of the Canyons.
“It’s pretty cool to be back [in the South Division],” said Jilizian, a former standout player and assistant coach at Glendale college. “You remember a lot of the old rivalry games from back then. I know the [division] will be tough.”
Though Jilizian hasn’t formed a projected starting lineup, there’s plenty of possible combinations in store.
Among those who could crack the lineup are guard Andreyas Boghossian, a Crescenta Valley High graduate who helped the Falcons advance to the CIF State Division III playoffs last season. Boghossian averaged 13.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last season for the Falcons, who reached the Southern California regional final for the first time in the program’s history.
Boghossian will be joined by guards Joel Finney, Jayden Couch and DeAndre Walters. Up front, Glendale could turn to forwards Christian Finney, Jalen White and Khan Nyamkhuu.
“It’s going to be a lot about them being able to learn the offensive and defensive concepts,” said Jilizian, who relied on Burroughs product Steven Hubbell and Bellarmine-Jefferson standout Isaac Etter to provide leadership and experience the past two seasons. “We’ll look to see what their pluses and minuses are.
“We’ll look to see where they are after every four of five games and go from there.”
Hubbell and Etter earned all-conference honors during their sophomore campaigns. Hubbell, a 2016 Burroughs High graduate, started 26 games, shot 38 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three-point range to average 11.6 points a game. Etter, a former Bell-Jeff standout, led the team in scoring with 18.6 points per game, shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from three.
Glendale will begin conference Jan. 8 at West L.A. and will wrap up Feb. 21 at Citrus.