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'Dogs working things out

Boys' basketball: After a subpar season, Burbank using summer to get back on track.

June 10, 2011|By Jeremy Curtis, Special to the Leader

BURBANK HIGH — The looming dog days of summer may be a slower period for many teams, but for the Burbank High boys' basketball squad, it's hardly an offseason.

The Bulldogs concluded their 2010-2011 campaign back in February with a 41-39 first-round playoff loss at Mission Viejo, a team that went on to play for a CIF Southern Section championship.

Burbank finished the season with a 16-12 overall record and graduated senior starting forwards Adam Colman and Chris White.

That campaign came a year after a record-breaking 2009-10 season in which the Bulldogs advanced to the CIF semifinals.

"We did lose a couple of three-year guys that meant a lot to the program," Burbank Coach Jose Hernandez said. "We definitely feel like we underachieved last year."


Now, Hernandez is administering the rebuilding process, which accelerates through June and July.

The Bulldogs have plenty of opportunities to stay in the gym, and in game shape. Hernandez is conducting practices which run from 8 a.m. to noon. He estimates the team will play 50 games in seven weeks this summer, including tournament events at both Arizona State University and USC.

"I think we're definitely one of the more active programs in the summer," the coach said.

In summer league play, the Bulldogs are off to a 7-1 start, including quality wins over Pasadena, Harvard-Westlake and Chatsworth.

"Early in the summer, it definitely looked better than what I envisioned us to be this time a year," Hernandez said.

What Burbank is hoping to focus on this summer is simple: team chemistry, game preparation and improving on the court.

"Our team chemistry, I think, is going to be important for us this summer," Hernandez said. "I think that's what we lacked last year."

The Bulldogs will lean on significant contributions from three combo guards — junior Andre Spight, and rising seniors Austin Pope and Remy Youssefi.

"Those three guys are kind of our three-headed horse right now," Hernandez said.

Sophomore guard Albert Marmol and center Simon Elmoyan, a transfer from Hoover High, round out the Bulldogs' starting lineup.

Burbank will continue to employ its four-out on the perimeter, one in the post, dribble-drive offensive attack.

"In our offense, everybody is kind of a point guard," Hernandez explained.

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