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1996-97 BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Pacific Coast League

December 03, 1996

Aliso Niguel. 13-13, 5-5 in 1995-96. Coach: Ken Goldstone (third year, 20-30). Prospects: Four starters and a lot of enthusiasm return for the Wolverines. Forward Eddie Camadini, forward Yousof Etemadi, guard Oscar Gardner and 6-5 center Jeff Munsell combined to score 32 points a game last season. Munsell and Etemadi averaged 13 rebounds. Brian Barrett, a 5-11 guard, also played last season. The team has been boosted by the transfer of Nathan Hair, a 6-3 sophomore who played at Ocean View last season. He will start at point guard. Also battling to play are 6-7 center Jeremy Cooley and 6-5 forward/center Jess Rodriquez. "There's good experience from last season and our size on the perimeter is OK," Goldstone said. "But we need to have better consistency in all areas of the game."

Costa Mesa. 4-21, 1-9 in 1995-96. Coach: Erich Allen (first year). Prospects: Two players return from last year's emotionally draining season in which Coach Jason Ferguson died of cancer. Underrated Bryan Leahy, a 6-5 center/forward is back, as is Jon Payne, a junior swingman. Called up from the junior varsity are point guard Matt Chaisson, forward Scott Dickerson, guard Rovinn Sou, guard Travis Rice and guard Brian Weir. There isn't much height to go around, but says Allen, "I expect us to compete with other teams in the league. I believe we will be there at the end."

Estancia. 24-5, 9-1 in 1995-96. Coach: Rich Boyce (first year). Prospects: Boyce, a longtime assistant, takes over for Tim Parsel, who resigned to spend more time with his family. Brandon Casilla, a 6-4 forward, and Sam Nelson, a 6-3 forward, are returning starters. Ryan Simpson, a 6-4 forward, is also back. Mater Dei transfer Selwyn Mansell joins Luis Castellon, James Dawkins, Jose Nava, Evan Taboada and Gavin Rainey in battles for playing time. "We will contend for the league title," Boyce said.

Laguna Beach. 10-15, 4-6 in 1995-96. Coach: Bret Fleming (seventh year, 81-73). Prospects: Chris Sirianni is the lone returning starter, making this a rebuilding season. Guard Blair Anderson and forward Kraigher O'Keefe figure to move into starting roles, while a battle ensues for the other two starting spots between 6-4 forward Kurt Beimfohr, 6-2 forward David Buckley, 5-9 guard Sean Donnelly, 5-11 guard B.J. Jameson and 5-10 guard Aaron Skinner.

Laguna Hills. 18-9, 7-3 in 1995-96. Coach: Dave Brown (eighth year, 83-76). Prospects: Johnny Phan, a 6-0 senior, and Saia Makakaufaki, a 6-4 junior, return from a team that had the best overall record in school history. The 6-1 Jon Bauman and 6-2 Mike Brewer, both seniors, also return, but there is little height for Brown to count on. Chris Naghibi, a 6-6 junior, is the tallest post player and Bill Rietkerk, a 6-4 center is vying to start. Others include sophomore guards Josh Pierson and Kyle Pryor, junior guard Jordan Ross and senior guard Navid Shafizadeh. "We have quite a bit of experience, decent quickness, good shooting and ballhandling," Brown said.

University. 11-14, 4-6 in 1995-96. Coach: Mike Dinneen (seventh year, 55-97). While perhaps a year away, the Trojans believe they can surprise a few people. "Laguna Hills, Estancia and Aliso Niguel all have talented returning players, but so do we," said Dinneen. Foremost is 5-7 point guard Eric Palmer, who has been underrated despite averaging in double figures in scoring and assists last season. Also back is 6-1 forward Nima Adloo, a senior. Jeff Groendal, a 5-10 junior guard, should start and be a three-point shooting threat. Larry Johnson, a 6-4 freshman, and Ricky Parham, a 5-10 senior guard, also figure into the mix.

--Capsules by PAUL McLEOD

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