There are no guarantees at the community college level, no assurance any player will be on the team until he enrolls at the end of August.
But new Santa Monica College head coach Jesse Tiplitzky has gone as far as he can go in his first two weeks on the job, securing a verbal commitment from a high school star and encouraging the top two members of last season’s Corsair team to return if they don’t receive scholarships from four-year schools.
Wayne Robinson, a 6-foot-5 guard from Village Christian High, has been recruited by almost every community college school in Southern California. But Robinson says if he plays on this level it will most likely be at SMC.
After averaging 22 points and 13 rebounds per game last season, playing both inside and outside, he is considered a probable impact player on the two-year college level.
“I’m impressed with the basketball history at Santa Monica and now there’s a clean slate with a new coach and new players,” Robinson told the Mirror. “It would be neat to be part of that.”
A backcourt of all-Western State Conference point guard Noah Gottlieb and Robinson would jump-start Tiplitzky’s program, and it’s a possibility.
Gottlieb, who was determined to leave following the Corsairs’ 12-15 record last season, is now considering coming back for his sophomore season if he doesn’t obtain the Division 1 scholarship of his choice.
Tiplitzky said he talked to rival coaches on the SMC schedule about the Corsairs’ personnel.
“They all said the same thing – that Gottlieb is too valuable to lose,” the new coach said.
Tiplitzky said he is assisting Gottlieb in finding a Division 1 fit but the youngster from Venice High could return to SMC to impress college scouts for the next two years.
Tiplitzky has also talked to Arthur Braswell, a 6-foot-4 forward who made all-conference honorable mention last season, about coming back.
Tiplitzky has replaced Trevor Shickman, who coached the Corsairs the last three years following the legendary career of John McMullen, who made the community college Hall Of Fame for winning more than 500 games in 23 seasons.
McMullen was on the committee that selected Tiplitzky from five finalists.