Five hundred career wins and second round playoff appearance last season may buy some coaches a lot, but it doesn’t guarantee Brain Beauchemin success for the new basketball season at Glendale Community College.
His Glendale Vaqueros, 2-2 on the young season, are young and inexperienced, something that happens at the junior college level because of the short term status of the players.
“You’d think that would be great momentum, but on this level, it has nothing to do with it,” Beauchemin said, talking about building last season’s success. Beauchemin, coach of the Vaqueros since 1979, notched his 500 career coaching victory last February.
The Vaqs roster consists of 12 freshman, their only returnee on the 14-man roster being sophomore guard Markus Monroe. Monroe, the 6-foot-2-inch standout, forms one half of a dynamic duo with 6-foot-6-inch sophomore center Josh Guillory.
Both players take up most of the scoring load for the team, something Beauchemin says needs to change.
“Their skill level is excellent. We’re relying on them, and we got to get to the point where we don’t need them as much,” Beauchemin said, who describes both players as prospects for major colleges.
The Vaqs run a motion offense as their basic set, and rely on screens and quick passes to get open shots. They are smaller than most teams, and so they will find maybe their easiest points coming in transition, and using what Beauchemin calls their “secondary break.”
That offense consists of setting up after a fast break if the first option didn’t work, and finding the best subsequent options.
All of this will work better when the team has more time to gel and come together. Beauchemin said his team is in “transition” and still needs to realize their identity. “I usually call this a December offense…by December you get a better understanding of the scheme,” he said.
The rotation is not set, as Beauchemin said players like Shara Davoodi, Terry Strong and Lucian Franklin are all fighting for valuable playing time. Peter Newell and Michael Cotton possess potent shooting skills, but they will need to be consistent with their shot for Glendale to be a true threat from the outside.
Defensively, the Vaqs need to get more aggressive, and because of their lack of size, rebounding will be a concern.
The Vaqs will participate in three tournaments in December, including the Vaquero Classic at Glendale starting Dec. 17, and kick off Western State Conference play Jan 7 at West Los Angeles College. They finish the regular season Feb. 21 at College of the Canyons.