Chabot loading up on locals
Denny Aye would love to bat 1,000. Yes, that's quite the mixed sports metaphor so an explanation is warranted. The longtime basketball coach is ensconced at Chabot College with achieving four figures in his lifetime win column as a reachable goal. When the most recent campaign closed, there were 722 checkmarks on the plus side for Aye. This coming season, he has loaded up on locals/regionals who will make up the bulk of what appears to be another winning Gladiator squad.
More importantly, Aye wants to return to an oft-visited milestone - the Elite Eight. Chabot is coming off a 19-9 season and the Gladiators went 7-5 in the tough Coast North Division, a grouping that boasts always formidable City College of San Francisco, Ohlone College and Foothill College. Making the final eight has eluded Aye during his time at Chabot but the 2010-2011 season isn't that far off and an infusion of talent is on hand. The Gladiators are seemingly missing only Russell Crowe out of the latest recruiting roundup.
By the way, basketball is in the Aye family DNA. One son, Devin assists him at Chabot. Another, Tyson, head the mens basketball program at Imperial Valley College. Heck, Denny's wife Wendy can probably diagram a last-second, out-of-bounds play better than most coaches.
Here's the elder Aye: "We're extremely excited about our new group and we have a lot of talent. Plus, most of these guys are performing academically with six of them having 3.5 or higher grade point averages."
Devin Aye concurs: "This is looking to be by far the best team here at Chabot in our 5 years. Just about everyone will have the grades to go to the next level and has the ability to get a scholarship as well."
Here's the expected Chabot roster with commentary by Devin Aye:
Randy Newell 5-foot-9, PG, 165 (Washington Prep - Los Angeles) - Rising sophomore and will be getting recruited by low major D1's and has grades.
Terrel Gates 5-foot-9, PG, 150 (James Logan HS) - Frosh had a great senior season at James Logan in Fremont.
Damon Jones Jr. 6-foot-2, G, 170 (St. Elizabeth HS - Oakland) - A freshman and solid student (D-1 qualified). Damon is one of the best players in the East Bay prep ranks.
Howie Manzo 6-foot-0, 175 (James Logan HS - Union City) - Howie will be a sophomore and expectations are for him to have a great season. He graduated high school in 2008 and has grades for sure!
Jourdan Demuynck 6-foot-6, G, 200 (Castro Valley HS) - Redshirt sophomore and one on the top scorers in the Hayward Area Athletic league in 2008. He has gotten much stronger and should be great this season.
Christopher Gray 6-foot-6, F, 195 (Weston Ranch HS - Stockton) - Comes in as a freshman and we are excited to have Christopher. He was a very good high school basketball player and teammate of James Nunnally, now at UC Santa Barbara.
Ifeanyi Ezeofor 6-foot-5, F, 235 (Newark Memorial HS) - Ifeanyi redshirted this past year at Chabot. He will be a freshman but is a definite qualifier and can go D-1 after this season. He has added lots of strength and athleticism and we are looking for him to be solid and get D1 looks.
Jacob Noisat 6-foot-8, F, 230 (Elsie Allen HS - Santa Rosa) - Transfer from CSU East Bay, where he was the starting center. Jacob is much improved from working hard in the gym. He may play some small forward as well as power forward and will be a D-1 player after this year. Good student!
Colin Chadwick 6-foot-9, F, 235 (Justin Siena High - Napa) - Colin is transferring in from Brewster Academy and UC Riverside. He has potential, works very hard and definitely has grades.
Jason Silsdorf 6-foor-11, C, 220 (Encinal High - Alameda) - A redshirt sophomore, Jason has added skills over the years. He needs to get stronger but has a good skill set and plays well playing alongside a power post player. Jason should get D-1 looks for his size, skills and grades as well.
Kyle Luckett 7-foot-0, C, 230 - Kyle is a possible All-American candidate. We are getting weekly calls from high majors on him. He put his name in for the NBA Draft five years ago out of high school, so he has no D-1 eligibility. Kyle is improving and has been lifting weights and getting in better shape. Plus, his feet aren't hurting him anymore. He looks to have a great year -- scary for opponents -- and should get some pro looks for size, athleticism and skill set."
What does Denny Aye looks for in his recruits? "We want players coming out of winning programs, guys who know what it takes to win. We watch to learn how someone competes and plays the game."
Chabot is certainly thinking locally with an eye towards acting statewide.