By Dave Loveton, sports information
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011
New-look Vaqueros have good chemistry
There’s plenty of new faces on the SBCC men’s basketball squad and it didn’t take
them long to build a cohesive unit.
“We have a lot of new guys and everyone’s picked up everything really well,” said Scott Burrows, a 6-4 guard from Santa Ynez High. “We have a lot of quick guards and a lot of knockdown shooters. When we get hot, we’re going to be tough to stop.”
Burrows, 6-5 forward Eric Becker and guard Eric Braun are the only returners from last year’s team that went 7-20 and took fifth in the WSC North at 3-9.
The Vaqueros open on Friday in the Glendale Tip-Off Tournament against the host school at 5 p.m. They’ll play in six preseason tournaments and make their home debut in the 39th annual SBCC Classic on Dec. 8-10.
In four of the first five tourneys, they’ll open with teams that competed in last year’s State playoffs.
Thirteen of the 17 players are freshmen.
“They’ve shown good team chemistry,” said coach Morris Hodges. “They get along well and play well together. I’m optimistic that we’re going to be a team that communicates and bands together to play for each other.
“We really need to execute on defense. We have to take care of the basketball and make sure we get good shots to give ourselves the best chance to win.”
Top newcomers include guard Alex DiManno, guard J.P. Dodson of San Marcos High and 6-5 Kenny Thomas. Milan Pfeisinger, a guard from Vienna, Austria, and Cam Nelson of Dos Pueblos have been shooting well in practice.
“There’s a lot of kids with a lot of dimension in terms of being able to handle the ball, shoot the ball and their sense of the game,” Hodges noted. “Alex DiManno is going to have an impact, he’s a good shooter and passer. J.P. Dodson attacks well off the dribble and is a good finisher around the basket. I think Kenny Thomas will give us some good play inside. He should be able to use his quickness and also move outside at times.”
The Vaqueros’ tallest players are Becker, Thomas and Tanner Foster at 6-5.
“That means we have to make sure we get a body on a man and box out to prevent guys from jumping over the top,” Hodges added. “We have to do that night-in and night-out. We’re going to have play good team defense.
“Offensively, we’re going to be a team that can move the ball well with multiple guys who can make shots.”
Hodges said he plans to start Becker, Burrows, Braun, Dodson and probably Chris Popov. Dodson and Popov are both point guards. Top reserves will be DiManno, Nelson, Thomas and Kenny Edwards.
“Our goals are to be in a position to contend for the conference championship in January and February,” Hodges said. “And we want to do enough in the preseason to earn a state playoff berth.”