Today was the first day of fall class, which means its the first day players can be locked into their schools for the 2008-09 seasons. Tracking which players attended class where can give us our first look into where certain players have landed for the upcoming season.
According to the coaches at Ventura College, point guards Danny Benson and Prince Abidoye have, as promised, returned for the 2008-09 season. First-year head coach Ned Mircetic and staff have also landed former Camarillo High point guard Mike Diacos, a transfer from the University of Nebraska.
Other potential returning players did not materialize in Ventura. Guard Kevin Menner, who led the state's freshmen in scoring last season, was not in Ventura, as expected.
"He tells me he's going to Saddleback for sure," said Ventura assistant coach Jon Wyers.
The Star reported earlier this year that former coach Greg Winslow had encouraged Menner to leave the program, even taking the step of driving Menner down to Mission Viejo on at least one recruiting visit.
Wyers said that forward Angelo Whitehead will not return and, instead, will attend a national JUCO in Colorado. According to the coaches, Ventura High product James Ennis and Oxnard College transfer Ryan McLucas also did not attend VC Monday and will not be be playing for the Pirates.
McLucas, instead, returned to Oxnard College, according to first-year Oxnard College coach Jason Cunningham.
The former Rio Mesa High guard was so instrumental in the Condors success last year, averaging 11.3 points per game and a team-high 66 3-pointers. McLucas had spent much of the summer at Ventura College before changing his mind after Cunningham succeeded Jeff Theiler (at least temporarily) as coach.
"We've got our All-WSC players back," said Cunningham of McLucas and point guard Jonathan Johnson.
Bernard Burrell, a high-scoring forward expected to be a key player before being lost for the season with a back injury, has also been retained. The 6-foot-5 wing scored 26 points against Los Angeles Valley in one of his only three appearances a year ago.