It remains to be seen if Santa Monica College will have one of the best mens’ basketball teams in the Western State College this season. But it’s certain SMC will have one of the tallest teams.
Scouts from four-year colleges are watching 6-foot-10 center Bryant Crowder carefully. The freshman from Rice High in New York has been impressive in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots.
But Crowder isn’t the only tall newcomer to the Corsairs’ program.
DeShawn Stephens, a 6-foot-8 freshman from Chatsworth High, started at forward in the 102-95 win over LA Southwest last week. And 6-foot-8 freshman Pat McCauley from Michigan contributed as a reserve.
That’s a lot of size. In recent years SMC teams have been smaller although scrappy and competitive.
And the list at this time does not include 6-foot-7 Solomon Hainna, who was a star player at Crossroads last season until leaving the team. At that time Hainna was being recruited by Hawaii and Pepperdine. He’s on the SMC roster but did not play against LA Southwest.
There aren’t a lot of tall and skilled big men in Southern California community colleges this season. West Los Angeles College, a conference rival of SMC, doesn’t have a big man in its lineup.
But size isn’t everything. A lot of factors enter into a team’s success or failure, most notably defense and team chemistry.
As for SMC, it appears to have quality guards too. Eric Bell is an outstanding point guard returning from last season and 6-foot-3 freshman Rodney Hudson from LA Jordan High, scored 20 points against LA Southwest.