San Bernardino Valley College men’s basketball coach Quincy Brewer is going to get a chance to see exactly where his young team stands.
The Wolverines (8-2) open play in the 39th annual Wells Fargo Holiday Classic at Riverside Community College at 7 p.m. Wednesday against defending state champion Citrus (10-1).
The field includes 16 teams with four first-round games on tap Tuesday and four more on Wednesday.
The No. 9 Wolverines turned over their entire roster so one would think Brewer would be happy with his team’s first 10 games. But that isn’t exactly the case.
“I am disappointed with those two games because there are things we could have done better. We didn’t execute,” he said.
The event is a grind with some teams playing four games in as many days and others playing that many in five days. It is one reason Chaffey, which has traditionally played in the event, pulled out, opting instead for another three-game tournament.
Brewer has been using 11 players and thinks his team is good enough shape physically to handle the rigorous schedule.
“I worked them pretty hard in the preseason,” he said. “It is probably more taxing mentally than physically.”
Brewer is starting five newcomers – sophomore guard Warren Fuselier (16.9 ppg, 4.5 apg) and freshmen guards D’Shaun Holden (6.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and Alex Jacobs (7.5 ppg), freshman forward Aaron Edwards (13.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and freshman center Orlando Brazier (10.9 ppg, 3.9 ppg).
The Wolverines also have two players averaging double figures off the bench in Nathan Roth (10 ppg, 3.4 apg) and Maurice McGee (10.5 ppg).
Brewer has been particularly pleased with Jacobs, a San Gorgonio product who quit the team early in the fall, only to return a few days later. He was 8-for-14 from 3-point land earlier against Ventura.
No. 2 Citrus had a 31-game win streak that dates back to last season snapped when it lost to Reedley 72-68 on Nov. 29 at a tournament it hosted.
It’s last previous loss came to Antelope Valley last year in the semifinal of the same tournament at Riverside.
The Owls also rely on their balance with sophomore guard Justin Johnson (13.7 ppg), freshman guard Jose Rivera (13.4 ppg), sophomore forward Troy Payne (10.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg), sophomore guard Steven Bennett (10.3 ppg, 3.9 apg) all in double figures.
SBVC and Citrus are two of the teams that carry lofty state rankings into the event. Riverside (10-3), which opens play tonight against College of the Desert, is No. 5.
Others are No. 9 Yuba and No. 19 Pasadena City College.
RCC is led by sophomore guard Robert Robinson (17.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and sophomore forward Charles Garcia (12.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg). Among the other key players are freshman guard Daniel Redmon (5.5 ppg, 4.7 apg) and freshman forward Kevin Bradshaw (5.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg), both out of Upland High School.
at Riverside CC
Fullerton (4-4) vs. East Los Angeles (4-6), 1 p.m.
Mt. San Jacinto (6-4) vs. Long Beach City (4-4), 3 p.m.
West Los Angeles (6-4) vs. Compton (1-9), 5 p.m.
Desert (5-4) vs. Riverside (10-3), 7 p.m.
Antelope Valley (6-6) vs. Pasadena (7-3), 1 p.m.
Yuba (6-1) vs. Palomar (4-4), 3 p.m.
Saddleback (4-5) vs. Imperial Valley (1-7), 5 p.m.
Citrus (10-1) vs. San Bernardino Valley (8-2), 7 p.m.