Men's Basketball Looking Ahead

After a loss in the championship game of the Pasadena tournament to Barstow College the SMC Men's Basketball team is looking to rebound and bring home a championship at the upcoming Rio Hondo Tournament Starting December 9th.

Head coach Jerome Jenkins feels the team he has put together this year can turn some heads despite the early adversity the team has faced

"I think we have a lot of potential" said Jenkins, "I don't like losing games but I think that facing this adversity early helps us." Last year the team started off strong but stumbled when faced with challenges. Jenkins thinks they are better than their record shows but says, "I like where we are right now because it gives me a chance to do a little teaching."

The coach doesn't want to see his players get to low after a loss or too high after a win. " We want them to maintain an even keel throughout the season" says Jenkins, "but that doesn't mean we are going to accept any losses, it just means that we want teams to beat us as opposed to us beating ourselves."

"Last year was my second year" said Jenkins, "we were a little dysfunctional but I like the character of the team now."

He wants to put pressure on the three sophomore captains, guard Everett Brown, forward Matt Sinclair, and forward Deshawn Stephens to step up and lead the team in a big way this year. "These guys were in the program last year when we missed the playoffs by a game" says Jenkins, "They know what's at stake now and so everyone is a lot more serious and focused."

Ideally, Jenkins says, "They should coach the team more than me." He explained, "When I call timeout I should be able to give the huddle to one of the captains and step away."

With league starting on January 8th againstGlendale College here at SMC, Coach Jenkins is not doing anything different to prepare his team to play. "I have too much respect for the game of basketball" he says, "I respect all our opponents the same, every game is a big game."

Sophomore forward and team captain Matt Sinclair feels that there is some good competition within the league but says, "I think we are going to turn some heads this year."

Jenkins main goal is to win games and restore the respect and tradition that has surrounded SMC basketball in the past.

So far the Corsairs have posted big wins against L.A. Southwest, Cerritos, and Compton who they beat by 36. "We are putting up good numbers" says Jenkins. "When we put it on you we put it on you."

The next test for the Corsairs comes in the Rio Hondo tournament, which runs from December 9th through the 11th.