"We're not going to overpower anybody," said Coach John McMullen of his Santa Monica College cagers, "but we're going into conference with a measure of confidence."
The Corsairs will play their first Metropolitan Conference game at home against the Harbor Seahawks at 7 p.m. Friday and face the Pierce Brahmas at 7 p.m. Wednesday at SMC.
After 15 pre-league games the Corsairs are shooting 51.7% from the floor and 67.5% from the line. The squad has committed 315 personal fouls, to 271 for opponents, and has made 185 free throws in 247 tries.
Guards Tim Preston and Brendon O'Neill pushed the Corsairs (7-8) to an early lead last week and SMC defeated the Moorpark Raiders, 75-70. Preston scored 21 points (19 in the first half), pulled down four rebounds and had three assists and three steals. O'Neill scored 20 points (hitting 5 of 5 field goals and 10 of 11 from the line) and contributed four assists and three steals.
Preston, the Corsairs' leading scorer, is averaging 13.6 points. Their second best scorer, guard Brian Fogel (averaging 12 points), was held to seven as the Raiders stopped his outside jump shot.
The Corsairs' top rebounders are forward Mike Bragg (averaging 7.2) and 6-5 forward Kim Jones, who grabbed 14 against Moorpark and is averaging 7.1.
The leading shooters for Harbor (6-7) are 6-1 guard Kyle Lunby, scoring 13 points a game, and 6-6 center Mike Doktorzyck, who is averaging 12.6 points and 7.5 rebounds.
The Corsairs beat the Brahmas, 100-78, in pre-league competition, stopping guard Mike Torres, the second best scorer in the Metro league (19-point average). They'll have to do that again as well as contain guard Roosevelt Faulkner (16 points a game) and forward David Norris (13.5 average).
Despite that kind of shooting, the Brahmas (7-9) are making only 46.9% of their shots from the floor, but they're having better luck at the free throw line (66.7%).