This could either be a season of surprising young talent or utter disappointment for Glendale basketball.
The main challenge coming into this season will be on the shoulders of players who lack experience facing a conference that has enormous depth.
“There is going to be a lot of guys that will be receiving some playing time, but how it all pans out will take some time,” said Vaquero head coach Brian Beauchemin. “Considering that there are many new faces, it’s hard for me to project right now who is this or who is that, because it’s really even in a lot of areas.”
Because the players are new, there are no clear-cut starters. However, what makes this squad good, is that every player on this team will have a shot at the starting line-up. Therefore, there is an opportunity for every player to gain a spot on the starting roster, it motivates each athlete to push themselves harder.
“In practice Zareh Zagaryan and Kevin Dancer look like versatile players,” Beauchemin said. Even though they have not yet played in an actual college game, these two will be tested soon enough once the season starts.
“Our ability to adapt to our structure will determine how soon we’re successful,” said Beauchemin. “[The] sooner we understand shot selection, movement of the ball and all the [other] things you hear from analysts, [the sooner] we should become a good team.”
The Vaqueros will have to be on their toes when they step onto the court if they intend to finish the year on a good note. They are facing a league with strong potential with only one returning player on their side.
Last year, the Vaqueros finished 14-15, held back by inconsistent playing and injuries. Just last week guard Jose Garcia injured himself in practice as he was going one way, and his knee went the other way. How badly he is injured is still unknown.
This year, the Vaqueros are in a league that feature teams with a lot of depth on the bench. Colleges such as Citrus, College of the Canyon, and L.A. Valley will boast great depth in their line-ups this year. Last year, Bakersfield finished 30-3, and they too, have several returning players.
Moreover, community college basketball is a very transient system. The eligibility to play basketball is only two years, so any team can go from last to first in just one year. Therefore, strong recruitment is essential.
College athletes that play sports, find it difficult to juggle work, school, and their social life. It becomes an ongoing struggle but most of them are able to cope with a diligent schedule. The amount of practice and repetitious workouts help build these players, not into just athletes, but prepares them mentally for the outside world.
Beauchemin has coached the Vaqueros for 27 years and this year, he is just 14 wins away
“I’ve been here a long time. I guess it’s been longevity over talent.” said Beauchemin. While he has coached at GCC, the Vaqueros have averaged 19 wins a season, made two trips to the final four and six regional finals appearances.
The season opens with a Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 9-10 at Verdugo Gym .
The tournament will consist of four teams, and there will be two games each on Friday and Saturday. Time(s)to be announced.