Will start with the Top 2 on my list and add teams daily, so stay tuned as this is time consuming!
*Okay, the California Community College Men's Basketball season begins next week, so their is no longer any excuse for me to continue my blogging sabbatical. (I never knew hosting a blog was so much work!) Based on the information I have received or seen in the fall showcases, here is how I would place the Northern California Top 15. The Fall Showcases were very exciting, but I can't wait to see these teams in regular season form!
Coach K's Northern California Pre-Season Top 15 Rankings (with last years record)
1 - Santa Rosa (24-8)
|photo courtesy of CCCAAsports.org|
When you take home the State Championship I feel you always deserve to be the pre-season favorite. Taking down Fresno, on the road, then Chaffey and San Bernardino on the way to the State Title was not a walk in the park and congratulations is still in order for a great 2013-14 season.
Now, onto 2014-15........
Always loaded with shooting and great team chemistry, Santa Rosa should be a team to worry about this season. Incoming names to note: Markel Leonard, a speedy transfer from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and former Salesian standout, 6'5 skilled wing Siann Rojas from Concord, and 6'7 all-around player Jordan Hickman from St Pats St Vicks. Returning speedy PG Davone Oliver (10 pts per game), 6'6 big man Corey Hammel (8 pts) and redshirt Jajuan Hammond (10 pts as freshman) should be heavy contributors this season as well. The loss to freshman All-State guard Matt Hayes, who took his talents to Loyola Marymount University, will undoubtedly hurt, especially early in the season. But Santa Rosa has shown to take it's bumps early in the season well, after starting the season 3-6 last year before their run to the State Crown. They will start their season again with a tough schedule by facing Southern California power, Mt. San Antonio, on Nov 7th in the CCSF tournament that features a heavily loaded bracket of 8 teams.
Santa Rosa 2014-15 Roster Can Be Found here
2 - Chabot (25-8)
|photo courtesy of David Soriano|
Making the Final 4 after taking down the State's #1 team, CCSF, on the road is enough to keep Chabot a pre-season Top 2. Against SBVC in the Final 4 game Chabot almost had the comeback of the year after cutting a 15 point deficit to only 3 with 1:02 to remain. But the Gladiators couldn't get any closer.
In what could a 'changing of the guard' in Northern California and the Coast-North Conference, Chabot has an impressive class of newcomers to compliment an experienced group of returners. Last years team was heavy with ball-handlers and slashers, but this years team seems to be more balanced. The loss to leading scorer Leo Smith (now at Merritt) would seem to hurt the Gladiators early, but after the fall showcase it seems they have reloaded, particularly with Angelina College transfer DeCarlos Frank and Rae Jackson Jr. from El Cerrito. Starting PG, Khalil James, is also back as floor general. Manning the paint are the physical trio of 6'6 Chris Patterson, 6'8 Jadarius Davis and the returning 6'7 Adrian Crump. 6'7 newcomer Shanquel Watson also looks to mix things up along with transfer Kellen Sweetwyne. The high flying 6'5 Raymond Baldwin (11 pts & 8.5 rebs) returns along with Noel Briones that should add needed experience to another deep roster.
Chabot begins the season on November 13th as they host the Chabot Tip Off Tournament and face Siskiyous, in a rematch of last years 2nd round playoff game.
Chabot 2014-15 Roster Can Be Found here courtesy of Kevin McCarthy
3 - Fresno City (30-3)
FCC is no stranger to the top of the list. The Rams always seem to overachieve based on what you see 'on paper'. Unfortunately for the opposition, the Rams look really good on paper this year!
Back from last years Final 8 team are key returners 6'0 Dejon Budreaux (9 pts, 85% FT) & 6'3 Jermaine O'Neil (7.5 pts). 6'9 returning post Kyle Ingram (4pts, 58% FG) is expected to be a big contributor this season for Ed Madec's squad. The incoming prospects look impressive with Merced Player of the Year 6'8 Josh Sykes from Golden Valley, 6'6 Liam O'Reilly from Sacred Heart Cathedral, and high flying 6'4 BJ Shelton from Bakersfield, With the remaining core looking solid and the Madec system in place, this year's Ram squad is looking to be very competitive. Look for a great opening weekend in San Francisco as Fresno faces Yuba to begin the season on November 7th at 4pm in the first round of CCSF Tip Off tournament.
Fresno City 2014-15 Men's Basketball roster can be found here