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SoCalHoops Tournament News

Anaheim Convention Center Tournament:
San Clemente Team Preview--(Dec. 10, 2002)

What:

Anaheim Prep Sports/Activities Foundation
& Jack Renkins Recruiting Realities, Inc., present
The 2002 Anaheim Convention Center Holiday Basketball Classic

When:

Dec. 17-21, 2002

Where:

Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA

Who:

16 Top Orange County Teams

San Clemente will play Villa Park in the first round of the 2002 Anaheim Convention Center Tournament on Tuesday, December 17 at 8:00 p.m. at the Convention Center.  Here's what the O.C. Register had to say about San Clemente in their preseason preview article which appeared in the Register this week (and which is still available in their online sports section--click the link below):

Tritons building for the future
Rebuilding process continues for boys as they come off their worst season in the last seven years.


The Sun Post News

Shawn Mulligan says the future of the Triton basketball program looks bright.

Its the present hes worried about.

San Clemente comes off its worst season since 1994-95, winners of just nine games while finishing fifth in the South Coast League. Hired late in the school year, Mulligan simply didnt have enough time to put together a program that was in slight disarray.

But with one year under his belt, Mulligan enters the 2002-2003 season with new hopes, albeit knowing it could take awhile before San Clemente joins the top echelon of teams in Orange County.

Ive got to keep things in perspective. I know Im in the second year of building a program that could take 3-4 years to build, he said.

But Im not giving up in the fact that I think this years team can surprise some people and make it to the CIF playoffs. That would be a pretty good accomplishment for this group.

San Clemente returns just four players - including one starter - from last years 9-18 team that failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in seven years. But that one starter - Marcus Blackshire - is the clubs top player.

Blackshire (6-5, 180, Jr.) led the Tritons in both scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.8) and was second on the team in 3-pointers made. He accomplished that while at center last season, but has been moved to forward this year.

We depended a lot on Marcus last year, Mulligan said. We need to surround him with top players. He knows we need to be a team to be able to win.

Right now, Blackshire is surrounded by four other starters who were either reserves or not on varsity last season. Among those is Riley Stephenson, who will get the nod as the No. 2 guard.

Stephenson scored just 40 points last season - 30 of them off 10 3-pointers. Mulligan hopes Stephenson will add some scoring punch as well as defensive help.

Up from the freshmen squad to start at center is 6-4 sophomore Daryl Kelly. "I didnt think he would be ready for varsity, but hes proved he belongs," said Mulligan.

Mike Maley, a 6-3 transfer from Aliso Niguel, will start at point guard "Were ecstatic to have Mike here. Hes a big guy who can handle the ball," said Mulligan.

The small forward spot is currently up for grabs, with three players - seniors Reed Noble (6-1, 170) and Ross Skinner (6-3, 175), and junior Tyler Wilsey (6-3, 175) - vying for time.

"Those three players will likely alternate as starters, depending on who we play," said Mulligan.

Noble and Wilsey both played junior varsity last season, while Skinner is a transfer from Capistrano Valley Christian.

The second-year coach added when the football season is over, junior Stephen Melton (6-0, 175, G), and seniors Todd Rusinkovich (6-3, 210, C) and Russell Willison (6-4, 225, F)will all see time.

Mulligan said Melton looked sharp over the summer. Willison and Rusinkovich both averaged less than a point per game last year, but combined for over four rebounds per game.

Rounding out the squad is Texas transfer Andrew Williams (6-4, 180, Jr., F), Richard Somers (6-1, 170, Sr., G) and freshman Taylor Harrison (6-7, 185, C).

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