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High School Team Preview:
Mira Costa High School--(Oct. 5, 1998)

Glen Marx has been the coach at Mira Costa for the last 10 years. He's single, grew up in the San Fernando Valley, where he attended North Hollywood High, graduating in the late 60's (at about the same time Wayne Carlson was graduating from Grant). Glen then attended CSUN where he began coaching as a student. He worked with young kids, high school kids, and then Ernie Vandeweghe (Kiki's dad) got him working in earnest as a coach.  Since then, he's coached at the college level, under George Raveling as an assistant at USC, at the University of Hawaii under coach Riley, and at Brown University. Glen has coached in the pros, overseas, in college and in high school.   He's coached several players who've gone from high school and college to the NBA, including several other coaches like Brad Holland.  Glen coached at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame for a time then came to Mira Costa where he's finally found what he believes is an ideal situation.

Glen's philosophy is to take the kids who show up in regular enrollment and develop them into the best players they can be. In the "off-season" (what's that?) he runs conditioning  with swimming pool training for strength and stretching, plyometrics for explosiveness and speed, and a weight training program designed by Marv Marinovich.  His team approach is to stress academics, and the program features peer tutoring, and many of his players, like Jesse Boyd (6'-9" Sr. PF/C) who, at 215 lbs, is also a 3.5 honor student with a 1230 SAT score, go on to full academic scholarships (in addition to athletic scholarships) after graduation.  As far as on-court philosophy, Marx says he favors a  "Rick Majerus 1/2 court game approach."  This year's team will fill that role quite well.

Last year, Mira Costa made it to the semifinals of the regional 4 division of Southern Section playoffs in Divsion II-AA  where they lost to San Marcos.  Mira Costa plays in Division II-AA in Southern Section, in Division II in the Regionals and State if they make it that far, and in Ocean League against teams like Beverly Hills,  Compton Centennial, Culver City,  El Segundo,   Inglewood Morningside,  Redondo Union, and South Torrance, a pretty tough bunch of teams.  That the team has made it consistently to the playoffs is a testament to Marx' coaching style and his players' tenacity.

This year the team is in transition, having lost much of it's senior leadership, including All-CIF Guard Scott Elling (6'-1").   But they return a couple of great players, including D-I prospect Jesse Boyd, who in addition to his great academics was also a Top 15 player this summer at the West Coast All-Stars Camp. This summer Jesse was one of only two non-Artesia kids to play for Wayne Merino's QBL squad at the Nike National Championships, and he was named All-League last season, and to the All-Tournament team of the 48th Pacific Shores Tournament last December.   Jesse will provide some excitement in the post this season, and he's really improved even more since mid-summer.  At the Double Pump Fall Discovery Shootout, he took on Chris Williams (6'-8" Sr. F/C) from Notre Dame and Chris Bennett (6'-10" Sr. C) from Pasadena Marshall and was dunking and slamming against them. . . not that Williams and Bennett were laying down, but they were banging and elbows were flying, and anyone who had the impression that Jesse couldn't keep up with some of the bigger dogs had their eyes opened in that game.

Here's the roster, which, understandably at this time of year is still in a bit of flux, but we're pretty certain it won't change all that much:

Jesse Boyd (6'-9" Sr. F/C)
Danny Lubinski (6'-2" Sr. SG)
Michael Brelje (6'-5" Sr. F)
Jared Huggins (6'-5" Jr. F)
Larry Pettis (6'-2" Sr. G/F)
Archie IV Wiley (6'-0" So. PG)
Donte' Brown (5'-11" Sr. PG)
Adam Stoneman (6'-10" Jr. C)
Jai Jennings (6'-2" Jr. G)
Markus Johnson (6'-1" Jr. G)
Taraz Lee (6'-2" Jr. G)
Kevin Wallace (6'-0" Sr. G)

There may or may not be some other JV guys show up, or some may move down, but this is pretty solid for now. It's not every team (well, actually the only one that comes to mind is Chaminade) with a 6'-10" backup center, and we'd expect that Adam Stoneman will see about as much playing time this season as JJ Todd got last year. . . well, actually he'll play a whole lot more, but he's really pretty much a project (something which no one can say about JJ anymore). He's developed some good post moves, and is just huge, at about 230 lbs., with a huge wide-body, but he needs work and playing time to properly develop, but he'll be a worthy successor next season to Jesse, and it will be interestintg to see if Glen and his staff play both of them as "twin towers."  Also in the frontcourt, will be Huggins, a big rebounder, sort of a Dennis Rodman-type of guy, and Michael Brelje, who is really more of a wing forward, with a great shot out to three point range, but who has a decent enough handle to slash to the basket, and he's a pretty good defender and rebounder too.

In the backcourt, triple sport (baseball, football and basketball) star Danny Lubinski will lead the shooters.  Danny missed out on last season due to ineligibility, but he made up for it this summer, and is starting to buckle down grade-wise. Danny is a very quick, fluid player with a deadly shot, who might also see time at the point with his good handle and great defensive skills.  Also in the backcourt will be Larry Pettis, who is an international soccer player, with tremendous speed and agility, who is one of the team's best defenders.   IV will probably battle for the point with  Donte', and both of them are capable floor generals, with good handles, who see the court well and generally push the ball up the floor on the break.  Markus is the mystery man as far as we're concerned, as we didn't get to see him this summer when Mira Costa played at the Best of Summer Tournament at CSUDH, but we're told that he's a very athletic guard, who can move very well with and without the ball.  Jai, Taraz and Kevin are all up from the JV (at least they were during the summer) and it remains to be seen if Jai and Taraz will stay up, or return back down for additional seasoning.

Mira Costa will be appearing in the Las Vegas Prep Tourney (not the Reebok thing, but the one the following week), and of course they will play in the Pacific Shores tourney later this fall. We look for Mira Costa to do very well, and all you D-I coaches out there who are looking for a 6'-9" center with Ivy League quality grades and smarts should be sure to check this team out.


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