LOS ANGELES — Having had their team play in the venue last season, the Bellarmine-Jefferson High boys' basketball coaches thought they had their players ready to deal with the deep sightlines and the NBA dimensions and expansive three-point line of Staples Center.
But with a group of transfers this season, many of the Guards didn't play in the Staples Center game a year ago and were unfamiliar with the facilities of the cavernous arena.
As a result, Bell-Jeff had a dismal shooting performance Wednesday against San Gabriel Academy and former Providence standout Marcus LoVett Jr. In the end, it wasn't even close, as the Eagles cruised to a 66-33 nonleague victory.
"I really think that the length of the court and the long three-point line definitely gave us some problems," said Bell-Jeff Coach Julian Andrade, whose team beat San Gabriel at Staples Center last season, 64-51. "It played with their minds and it was tough for them to deal with it. You could see we had problems with our shooting."