While Jerome Jenkins adjusts to his new job as the Santa Monica College mens basketball coach the man he replaced is adjusting too,
Jesse Teplitzky resigned at SMC after one season when he received an offer he couldn’t refuse. Cerritos College, which defeated SMC in the first round of the playoffs last season, was so impressed with Teplitzky it offered triple the salary, plus benefits.
“There’s a lot about Santa Monica to miss,’ said Teplitzky after coaching his first 12 games at Cerritos, where he has an inexperienced team. “But most people I asked said taking the Cerritos job was the right thing for me to do,
“We’re 4-8 but I’m hoping our players are gaining experience that will allow us to do well when conference play begins.
’We’re trying to upgrade our recruiting in Long Beach, which usually has a lot of outstanding players. Long Beach City College is well established there and Citrus has increased its presence. We’re trying to make players more aware of Cerritos.”
Cerritos and Santa Monica aren’t scheduled to meet this season, but the teams were in the same tournament and Teplitzky saw the Corsairs play one game.
“Ryan Avilez is the only player back from last season’s SMC team,” said Teplitzky. “I didn’t know many of the others.”
But before leaving, he did begin assembling some key members of the next SMC squad.
“Unfortunately, when I resigned and there was a long interview process before Jerome was hired, most of them didn’t stick around,” said Teplitzky.
But two of them did, and they are important members of the current SMC team. Forward Arnette Hollis is likely to be one of the Corsairs’ leading scorers and Eric Bell is the starting point guard.
Hollis is from Mayfair High, which ironically is located in Cerritos’ prime recruiting area. Bell is from El Camino Real High in the San Fernando Valley, and Teplitzky credits Aaron Landon, an assistant on his SMC staff last season, for spotting Bell in a high school game.
Teplitzky is confident that Jenkins will be successful at SMC.
“Jerome is a good coach,” he said. “He just needs that year or two to get his program estasblished.”
Teplitzky is in a similar situation and looks forward to doing something that circumstances prevented him from doing at SMC – coming back for a second season with several of the same players.
“I’d like to have sophomores who have a year of experience in the program,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that..”