basketball, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount, NBA, NCAA, Pepperdine, SoCal College Basketball, Southern California, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, USC Trojans
Galen Center, the home of USC Trojan Basketball since 2006 after spending 47 years in the Sports Arena. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com
PART TWO OF A TWO-PART SERIES
Part one of this series, written on November 12th, covered the college hoops program generally considered as the best in the SoCal area, UCLA’s Bruins.
Now we will take a look at the nine other teams that call the greater Los Angeles area home, starting with UCLA’s longtime crosstown rival…
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (USC) TROJANS
Arena: Galen Center, capacity 10,258
2014-15 Record: 12-20, 3-15 and last place in the Pac-12 Conference
Last Winning Season: 2010-11; 19 wins, 15 losses
Last Time In The NCAA Tournament: 2010-11
Coach: Andy Enfield (3rd season, 23-41 overall record)
Key Players (last year’s averages):
Nikola Jovanovic – 6’11” Jr. F, 12.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg
Jordan McLaughlin – 6’1″ so. G, 12.1 ppg, 4.5 apg
Julian Jacobs – 6’4″ Jr. G, 8.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.5 apg
Current Record: 2-0, beat Monmouth in most recent game on November 16th, 101-90
A Brief Outlook: The best one-word description of these Trojans: PROCESS.
They haven’t been very good the past few years as their place in the shadow of their football counterparts has been reinforced; that’s no secret.
However, Enfield has signed some talented recruits, and ‘SC expects to be more competitive this year if not contenders for the postseason.
UC IRVINE ANTEATERS
Arena: Bren Events Center, capacity 4,984
2014-15 Record: 21-13, 11-5 and tied for second place in the Big West Conference
* Big West Tournament Champions, beating Hawaii 67-58
* Reached second round of the NCAA Tournament as a #13 seed, losing to 4th seeded Louisville 57-55
Coach: Russell Turner
Mamadou Ndiaye (tallest player in Division 1 basketball; pictured above) – 7’6″ Jr. C
Mike Best – 6’10” Sr. F
Luke Nelson – 6’3″ Jr. G
Current Record: 2-0, beat LMU 77-53 in most recent game on November 15th
Note: With Best and especially Ndiaye returning, those Anteaters will certainly be a force in the paint, with rebounding a definite strength.
The UC Santa Barbara Pep Band during a game. Love those serapes! Photo courtesy of toledoblade.com
UC SANTA BARBARA GAUCHOS
Arena: The Thunderdome, capacity 5,600
2014-15 Record: 19-14, 11-5 and third place in the Big West Conference
Coach: Bob Williams
John Green – 6’5″ Sr. G
Gabe Vincent – 6’3″ So. G
Current Record: 1-1, lost to California 85-67 in most recent game on November 16th.
Long Beach State batttling against national power North Carolina at the Walter Pyramid on campus. Photo courtesy of gazettes.com
LONG BEACH STATE 49ERS
Arena: Walter Pyramid, capacity 5,000
2014-15 Record: 16-17, 10-6 and fourth place in the Big West Conference
Coach: Dan Monson
Roschon Prince (transfer from USC) – 6’6″ So. F
Branford Jones – 6’1″ So. G
Current Record: 2-0, beat BYU 66-65 in most recent game on November 16th.
Note: SoCal Sports Annals send its prayers to Long Beach State student Nohemi Gonzalez, who was among the 129 people killed in the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
UC RIVERSIDE HIGHLANDERS
Arena: Student Recreation Center, capacity 3,168
2014-15 Record: 14-17, 7-9 and sixth place in the Big West Conference
Coach: Bob Williams
Taylor Johns – 6’7″ Sr. F
Jaylen Brand – 6’3″ Sr. G
Gentrey Thomas – 6’4″ Jr. G
Current Record: 1-0, beating William Jessup 100-68 on November 14th. Will play Santa Clara tonight.
Cal State Northridge coach Reggie Theus coaching Tre Hale Edmerson (#11) during a game. Photo courtesy of sacbee.com
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE MATADORS
Arena: Matadome, capacity 1,600
2014-15 Record: 9-24, 4-12 and eighth place in the Big West Conference
Coach: Reggie Theus (pictured above)
Jason Richardson – 6’2″ Fr. G
Tavrion Dawson – 6’8″ So. F
Micheal Warren – 6’5″ So. G
Current Record: 1-2, lost to South Dakota 76-72 in most recent game on November 15th.
Note: Entering his second year as CSUN’s coach, Theus brings much to the table as he enjoyed a 13-year NBA career, notably with the Kings both in Kansas City and Sacramento. He also played a coach in the 1990s NBC Saturday morning series Hang Time for the show’s first three seasons.
CAL STATE FULLERTON TITANS
Arena: Titan Gym, capacity 4,000
2014-15 Record: 9-22, 1-15 and last place in the Big West Conference
Coach: Dedrique Taylor
Malcolm Brooks – 6’5″ Sr. G
Kennedy Esume – 6’10” Sr. C (currently averaging 19 rebounds a game)
Tre Coggins – 6’2″ Jr. G
Current Record: 0-1, lost to LMU 79-74 on November 13th. Will play Pacific tonight.
A shot of Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, home to Pepperdine’s Waves hoops team. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com
Arena: Firestone Fieldhouse, capacity 3,104
2014-15 Record: 18-14, 10-8 and fourth place in the West Coast Conference
Coach: Marty Wilson
Lamond Murray, Jr – 6’5″ Jr. G
Stacy Davis – 6’6″ Sr. F
Jeremy Major – 5’10” Jr. G
Current Record: 1-1, beat San Diego Christian College 91-49 on November 16th. Will play UCLA on Thursday, November 19th.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT LIONS
Arena: Gersten Pavilion, capacity 4,156
2014-15 Record: 8-23, 4-14 and tied for last place in the West Coast Conference
Coach: Mike Dunlop
Adam Jacko – 6’8″ Jr. F
Brandon Brown – 5’11” Jr. G
Current Record: 1-1, lost to UC Irvine 77-53 on November 15th.
Note: It’s hard to believe that it has been 25 years since Hank Gathers’ tragic death on the Gersten Pavilion court and the subsequent run to the Elite Eight by those Lions. That team, as well as Gathers, will always be remembered.