The men's basketball season is set to start this week and some of the top teams in Southern California in recent years have come out of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference. The PCAC sports information directors chose San Diego City College and San Bernardino Valley College to repeat as conference champs.
San Bernardino Valley was chosen by a narrow margin over Mt. San Jacinto College in the North Division, with San Diego Miramar College and Palomar College coming in a tie for third. San Bernardino Valley picked up four first place votes while Mt. San Jacinto had three.
SBVC lost a lot of talent from the 2017-18 squad and will need great work from their freshmen if they are going to repeat as the north champions. The Wolverines won 14 straight games before falling to Allan Hancock in the reginal finals, never losing a game in either January or February. That was then and this is now, as SBVC lost their top eight scorers from a season ago. The Wolverines get a bit of a boost in the backcourt with the return of guards Arian Azemi and Damani Washington, who combined to average 21 minutes-per-game.
Mt. San Jacinto had an unusually poor finish in 2017-18 when they went 14-16 overall, finishing 6-4 in conference play and in a three-way tie for second place. It was the first time the Eagles have finished below .500 for a season since joining the PCAC in 2013-14 and the first time for the program since the turn of the century. MSJC returns some experience in the backcourt with C.J. Hyder and David Thompson, who combined to average 18.9 points and 4.5 assists-per-game. They also return Israel Farrington up front, giving them another experienced option to rely on during crunch time.
San Diego Miramar College and Palomar College finished in a tie for third place in the SID's voting with both programs picking up one, second place vote. MiraCosta College was picked fifth and College of the Desert sixth.
San Diego City was chosen by a wide margin to repeat as PCAC South champions, collecting all seven first place votes by the SID's. The battle for second was tight, with Southwestern edging Grossmont by one point in the voting.
San Diego City has had quite a run the past two years, winning the state title in 2016-17 and falling in the state title game last March. However, if the Knights are going to win a fourth straight PCAC South title they are going to have to do it with some new faces. San Diego City returns just three players from the 2017-18 squad in Adrian Byrd-Jelinek, Trevor Drake and Chubath Tut. The three combined to start just one game a season ago, with Byrd-Jelinek and Drake combining for 8.8 points-per-game. San Diego City has won 20-or-more games for five straight seasons, so expect head coach Mitchell Charlens to reload the cupboards with some talented freshmen.
Southwestern finished in a tie for second place last season and with eight sophomores on the roster should give San Diego City a run for their money. The Jaguars return two starting guards in Jose Serrano and Quincy Ferebee, who combined to average 25.6 points and 9.8 assists-per-game. Kevin Collins-Eason also returns to the lineup at forward after playing 21 games a season ago, giving them some experience up front. They also return Israel Seales, who started 16 games and averaged 5.7 rebounds-per-game as a 6'7 guard.
Grossmont has been right in the mix the past two seasons, finishing in second place both years and going 33-21 overall in the process. The Griffins were a sophomore-dominated lineup a season ago, so they are going to need some freshmen to step up in order to contend. Forwards Joshua Burton, Josh Peloquin and Chris Moyer all return, but none started a game in 2017-18 and will be pushed into leadership roles this season. They also have guard Marc Cabrera, who played at Mesa two years ago and should give them some stability in the backcourt.
San Diego Mesa College finished in fourth in the voting with both Imperial Valley College and Cuyamaca College finishing in a tie for fifth.
PCAC Sports Information Preseason Poll
|PCAC NORTH||PCAC SOUTH|
|1||San Bernardino Valley (4)||39||1||San Diego City (7)||42|
|2||Mt. San Jacinto (3)||36||2||Southwestern||31|
|T3||San Diego Miramar||22||4||San Diego Mesa||20|
The PCAC has four programs listed in the California Community College Men's Basketball Coaches Association Preseason Poll in Mt. San Jacinto (9), San Diego City (13), Southwestern (15) and San Bernardino Valley (17).