SoCalHoops High School News
High School Team Preview:
LA Venice HS Gondoliers--(Nov. 25, 2000)
|Venice HS Gondoliers
LA City Section
City: Los Angeles
Head Coach: David Goosen
|Overall Record 1999-2000 19-8 overall, 7-5
LA City Section Invitational Tournament Semifinals
Once again, no bios this year on coaches. We've already featured one or two different bios on Venice HS boys' coach David Goosen, and if you want to check one out, just look at our 1998-1999 preview of Venice. Dave sent us some information on his team for this season, and we have to admit it looks pretty interesting. While they probably won't be considered a favorite over league rivals Westchester and Fairfax to contend for the City Championship, there's no doubt that Venice has gathered some talent together this season and will be heard from not only during the season but also at playoff time.
Kevin Green: Kevin is a transfer student from Mississipi and a counsin of former Venice player Montel Duhon. He's extremely quick and a great defender with fast hands. Kevin is probably best described as an "above average" but not great shooter, but he is great at running the offense, and he'll play the one for Venice this season (and no, we do not know the status of Kevin Elleby (5'-11" Sr. PG) who petitioned the City Section for, and reportedly received an extra year of eligibility. . .all we know is that he's not on the team).
Marlon Conerly: Marlon is, according to coach Goosen, likely the most underrated player in the City this year. "He will average at least 20 ppg this year," coach Goosen told us. "He's a pure scorer, one of he best three-point shooters around." This past summer and spring, he had an average of better than 22 ppg, and is a legitimate All-City candidate. "Marlon has greatly improved his work ethic and his attitude which were the only to things keeping him back," Goosen said.
Lanier Brown: Lanier is on of the co-captains this season. A reserve on last year's team, this season he will be asked to step up into a starting role. "He's a sort of 'do-everything' kind of guy, who doesn't really standout in any particular area, but does everything very well," Dave said. "He's probably not a D-I prospect, more likely D-II or NAIA and is being looked at by the College of Notre Dame right now," Goosen said. "He's a great kid on and off the court, and he's got a terrific GPA (3.5) too."
Tremaine Tyler: Tremaine was ineligible last season and as a result, no one knows about him or what he can do. Tremaine has improved grades allowing him to play this season, and Goosen says he's one of the best defenders on the team. "He's an excellent defensive rebounder, and he can finish on offense, " Goosen said. "He's just a hard, tough player with a great attitude."
Dante Jones: Dante is a pretty incredible shot-blocker, averaging over 5 blocks per game during the summer. "He's got the hands of a 7-footer," Goosen told us. Dante is also the team's best rebounder and can jump out of the gym, and dunks like crazy. He's a transfer from Santa Monica, and an excellent student.
Off the bench, here's what the Gondoliers look like:
Eric Netter: Every team needs a version of Dennis Rodman, and this young man is it for Venice this season. He's a rebounding specialist, with a great feel for the game and a nose for the ball. He's a good finisher on offense and like Tyler, was also ineligible last season, but with improved grades will show what he can do in his senior season.
Marcel Brown: Marcel is a bit raw offensively, but is very strong and tough, with tremendous energy, an Energizer-bunny type. Another excellent rebounder and defender with great hops, he's a transfer from Inglewood.
Obaid Ahumadi: A transfer from Pali, Obaid has a great sense for the game, an excellent ball-handling skills. He'll be the back-up point on this team, a tough defender and we wouldn't be surprised to see him and Green on the floor at the same time in various situations. Ahumadi is a more of a slasher but is also an excellent passer, and with an above average shot will be a big contributor off the bench this season, and as a soph, he'll be groomed for the two years from now when he'll take over after Green graduates.
JP Adigwu: Came to Venice from Scripps Ranche HS in San Diego. "He's definitely the strongest player on the team," said Goosen. Like Marcel Brown, he's a bit raw offensively, but he's very tough on defense and the boards.
Mychal McQueen: Goosen describes this young man as "A Big-Time prospect." He's the brother of Kevin McQueen, a former standout guard at Venice (back in the days before David Bluthenthal transferred from Venice to Westchester), and he's the first frosh ever to make the varsity during Goosen's 4 year tenure at Venice. "He'll blow up big-time by the spring," said Goosen.
There are a couple of other guys, who are pretty much unknown quantities, coming on to the team from football:
Ryan Vickers: He's a big-time athlete and major D-I football prospect. Big, strong, athletic, he will definitely add depth on the boards and offensively.
Mark Dewig: Mark is the brother of assistant coach Kevin Dewig (who also coaches the JV team) and according to Goosen, "He's unmovable in the paint. He'll really help on defense and will play center for us."
Since Coach Goosen spends so much time concentrating his team's effort on winning the City Section's Western League, we thought we'd ask him to provide us with his expected order of finish. He did that, and also wants everyone to know just how he feels about the league itself, and as he's told us on many occasions, "There is not, in my opinion, a tougher league anywhere in the country. We have Westchester, Fairfax, Palisades, and us, and with Fairfax and Westchester, that's like playing D-I ball four times a year, and Pali is like that too. Really, I don't believe there is a tougher league anywhere," Goosen said. And perhaps with the exception of the Coliseum League (with Crenshaw, Fremont, Dorsey, Manual Arts, Locke and Jefferson, he may be right.
Goosen believes that the race for the title will come down to Westchester and Fairfax and that Westchester will likely win, with Fairfax second, Pali third, and Venice fourth, followed by Hamilton, Uni, and LA in that order. Sounds like a pretty reasonable call, but he may be underestimating his own team. . . .We'll see.
Venice already started its season with an Alumni game this past week on November 20, and this coming Monday, November 27, the 1st Annual Venice Beach Ball Classic will get underway. We've posted the brackets and schedule already, so if you're interested in checking out the tournament, take a look.
From there, Venice's league schedule actually gets going early this year, and they'll play LA High on December 5, Fairfax on the 7th, and Foshay Magnet (non-league) on December 8.
From the 18th-22nd, Venice will be in Las Vegas for the second year in a row playing in the Reebok Holiday Prep Classic. If you want to follow all the action, you can either check here on SoCalHoops or stop over to the official Prep Classic website (at Rivals.com). Venice will travel to Vegas, and play it's first game on Monday, December 18 at 5:20 p.m. against the winner of Silverado (Nevada) v. Killeen (Texas). Venice will compete in the Bronze Cup division (there are four "Cups" --Millenium, Gold, Silver, and Bronze--in the Reebok Holiday Prep Classic, a format that started last year, and many say that it's less competitive and not as tough as when the tournament was one giant 64-team free-for-all. . . but that's all a matter of opinion). Other teams from the LA and SoCal region making the trip to compete in the Bronze Cup will be Daniel Murphy, Harvard-Westlake, Montclair Prep, LACES, San Clemente, North Hollywood, Canyon. . . in fact most of the SoCal teams attending the tournament, will be in the Bronze Cup bracket. Sylmar, on the other hand, is throwing itself in with the "Big Boys" and will play in the Millenium Cup at the opposite end of the bracket from National No. 1 preseason pick Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, VA), and if Sylmar can beat Houston Christian, and then beat the winner of Arizona St. Marys v. Wilson (Florence, SC), they may get to face Mater Dei (that is if the Monarchs are also lucky enough to make it there and can beat Parkview and then the winner of Smokey Hill v. Clear Lake (sounds like something you'd hear on a camping or fishing trip :^) ). Venice will also play in the Eagle Rock Classic T urnament from December 26-29. The regular schedule for Venice has been posted here for some time already, and is at this link.
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