Serven, who was twice Sea View League Coach of the Year in four seasons
at Harbor (1989-93), spent the last six as a valued assistant and
defensive architect at Santa Margarita. He won one league title at
Newport and had a hand in three CIF Southern Section crowns, as well as
one state title, at Santa Margarita.
So, despite Mesa's 11-62 mark the last three seasons under former coach
Erich Allen, its current 39-game Pacific Coast League losing streak and
16 straight nonwinning seasons, Serven doesn't plan on altering his
penchant for success.
"The biggest thing was to get the kids to know they could win and we did
that this summer," Serven said. "Now, I'm hoping we can get off to a good
start, so we might catch some people's attention. We want to get some
The Mustangs plan to earn that respect with the hard-nosed play Serven
demands, as well as a roster long on varsity experience and not lacking
"I like my team a lot," Serven said. "We have hard workers, good
chemistry and a good mix of seniors and younger kids who push each
Leading the returners is 6-foot-3 senior Nate Jones, who averaged 15.4
points last season en route to second-team All-PCL recognition. Primarily
an inside player under Allen, Jones will be used more facing the basket
"He has a good intermediate game and he has been working on his
three-point shot," Serven said.
Rick Hatsushi, a 5-10 senior, returns at point guard, where his floor
leadership has impressed Serven. He averaged 6.8 points last season.
Serven, who plans to consistently employ an eight-man rotation, said
starting assignments have yet to be firmly established.
Among those who figure to contribute heavily are senior veterans Steve
Whittaker, Ryan Naff, Shaun Ferryman and Dave Weir, as well as 6-6 junior
Mike Payne and sophomore David Conte.
Whittaker, a 6-0 guard, averaged 7.5 points for last season's 4-22 unit.
A three-point shooter, he has impressed Serven with his defensive acumen.
Naff, a varsity performer as a sophomore, is back after having played
last year in Georgia. A dangerous three-point bomber, the 6-4 senior