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Cougars readying for the rebuild

COC Basketball: Hoops looks to replace key starters

Posted: March 6, 2010 11:00 p.m.
Updated: March 7, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
According to College of the Canyons women's head basketball coach Greg Herrick, this is the most important time of the year.

And both Cougar hoops teams are entrenched in it.

"The work you do in the spring and summer results in what you're going to do during the season," Herrick said, stressing the importance of recruiting.
But for community college coaches, there's an added twist.

"Our situation is such that we don't have commitments like they do in the four-year school, so we have to recruit kids down to the first day of class," Herrick said. "And then sometimes, a school will step in at the last minute and offer a kid scholarship money, and that kind if leaves us in the lurch."

Herrick has his work cut out for him, perhaps more so than usual this offseason, because of the surplus of talent he is forced to replace.

The Cougars (22-5, 12-0) earned four all-Western State Conference selections in Samantha Cross, Joslynn Frazier, Kelli Lewis and Ashley Wakefield, who was also named the state's co-Player of the Year by the California Community College Athletic Association.

All of them except for Lewis finished their careers at COC in a 68-66 loss to Los Angeles Trade Tech College in the first round of the CCCAA's Southern California Regionals.

Herrick, who earned the conference Coach of the Year award and a perfect WSC run for the eighth time in his 18-year tenure, said the accomplishments this team earned through hard work took the sting off the early-playoff exit.

"To tell you the truth, I want to win everything - the best looking uniforms, the best looking ties. ... It was a disappointment in that respect," Herrick said. "But you have to remember we were the No. 11 seed, and we got beat by the sixth seed by two points. To get it that close, we overachieved big time."

Herrick said due to the uncertain nature of community college recruiting, it was tough to say who would still be around or be expected to step up from this year's team so early in the offseason.

Lewis, a freshman who plans to return, will figure prominently into any plans though, he added.

"(Lewis) will hopefully be the nucleus of our team because she knows the expectations," Herrick said. "So we'll just take Kelli Lewis, and we'll take it from there."

COC men's hoops finished its season at 13-15 with a 73-68 loss at COC on Sophomore Night.

However, the good news for the Cougars is that 11 players are returning, including Rasheem Harris, Parker and Rendon Dominguez and Garry Bradley, who played key roles on this year's squad.

Sophomore Brannon Bradley, who led the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game, and Brian Kimble, who was a defensive leader and averaged 13.8 points per game, are the only two members of this year's roster who finished their eligibility.


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