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SMC Cage Coach Nears School Record for Wins

November 10, 1988|RAY RIPTON | Times Staff Writer

John McMullen, Santa Monica College basketball coach, will begin his 11th season Friday with an experienced but small squad that should nonetheless make him the most successful coach in school history before long.

The Corsairs, defending Western State Conference champions and ranked sixth in the state by the JC Athletic Bureau, will open at 7:30 p.m. at No. 15 Pasadena. McMullen's career record is 186-120, and he needs just two victories to surpass the 187 compiled by Coach Sanger Crumpacker from 1934 through 1954.

Seven veterans, including all-conference guard-forward Keith Amerson, are back from a team that finished 26-9 last season, reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament and lost to Merced, 83-78. The 6-4 Amerson averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds a game and made 64% of his shots from the floor.

Other returning sophomores are 6-4 guard Von Schuler, the team's second-best scorer with an 11-point average, and guard DeShawn Pullard (9.5 points, 5 assists). Forward Cortney Able, who led the Corsairs in scoring with a 12.7-point average, has completed his eligibility. Schuler and Pullard received honorable mention for conference honors.

More lettermen are 6-6 forward Kemo Patrick (8 points, 6 rebounds), guard Troy Batiste (8.7 points, 4.6 assists) and reserves Mike Sheehan and Terry Clark.

Newcomers on the front line include 6-6 transfer Mark Day and four freshmen: 6-5 Mark Moton, 6-4 Tony Unutoa, 6-6 Chris Cook and 6-5 Marc Schrobilgin. Freshman guards are Charles Rowley, Dana Harris and Brett Wendt.

With no player taller than 6-6, McMullen thinks that "our lack of size will be a weakness against most of our opponents. We're going to have to play tough defense every night.

"We won't overpower teams, but we can use our quickness and play with intensity."

The Corsairs will have to follow that scenario to the letter against Pasadena. Among PCC Coach George Turgeon's returning starters are 6-8 Kurt Wagner and 6-7 Ken Boltt.

After Pasadena, SMC will play in the Compton tournament, opening against Arizona Western at 2 p.m. Nov. 18. The Corsairs' home opener is against Los Angeles City at 7 p.m. Dec. 9.

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