The Santa Monica College men’s basketball team has been ranked 11th in Southern California the last two weeks, a measure of the progress being made by the Corsairs in Jesse Teplitzky’s first season as coach.
The Corsairs were 11-17 last season but are 9-5 now despite playing a difficult non-conference schedule.
SMC was 9-3 before losing to Riverside, 75-69, and Irvine Valley, 83-66, in the Saddleback Tournament. Irvine Valley, which has three players being recruited by Division 1 colleges, beat SMC for the second time this season.
“It’s a coaches’ poll, and even though we lost two games the coaches who select a top 15 each week in Southern California didn’t drop us,” said Teplitzky. “They took into consideration the caliber of our opponents.”
Sophomore guard Noah Gottlieb leads SMC in scoring with 15 points per game, and John Brown has won the starting center job with strong recent play.
SMC is entered in the College of the Desert Tournament December 27-29, and will play non-conference home games against Pierce College January 2 and El Camino January 5, their final tune-ups before the start of Western State College Southern Division competition.