Continuing in our series on community college teams enjoying somewhat surprising seasons: Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC). How many teams are in the state playoffs this year with but three sophomores on their roster (Skylar Chavez, Ryan Perez and Jayson McMillan). Call the coaching 2018-19 performance of Craig McMillan one of his best yet and also credit SRJC assistants Ryan Cook, Jared Ames, George Alston, Maurice Thompson plus this season’s players.
Where do the Bear Cubs currently stand?
22-7 overall plus 12-4 in Big 8 Conference play. Regular season play included:
- an early season 88-86 win over Fresno City College in the CCSF tourney plus a 64-51 defeat of Cabrillo College at the Shasta tournament
- a 69-67 loss at Diablo Valley College followed the next month by an 88-45 victory at home
- a 101-95 success at home against conference champion San Joaquin Delta College versus a subsequent four point loss, 80-76, on the road at Delta.
- a 64-51 defeat at Sierra in February
- Post-season play thus far featuring an 88-75 homecourt victory over Las Positas College
80.1 points per game, based on 47% overall shooting, 38% on treys (29.4 attempts a night) and 75% at the foul line plus 31.3 rebounds and 20.4 assists an outing. Opponents have shot 43% overall and 35% on long distance attempts in scoring 73.0 points. The Bear Cubs are underwater on the boards, compiling a minus 1.6 per contest — a remarkable stat for a team with a 22-7 record.
Almost half the SRJC shot attempts came from beyond the arc this season. The 38% three-point accuracy has mollified the board deficit to a degree.
The primary contributors:
Not to take away from the contributions of the others but this is Skylar Chavez’s team. He averages 27.8 points which is 34.7% of the Bear Cubs’ team total. Despite extra defensive attention with a ‘let the other Bear Cubs beat us’ focus, Chavez is shooting a remarkable 53% overall and 40% from long distance. Add in 6.8 boards, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals.
6-foot-1 sophomore guard Ryan Perez checks in at 14.4 points on 43% over shooting and 40% from three-point range. Plus, he provides 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Another guard, 6-foot Nick Cole, is averaging 8.2 points and 5-foot-11 guard Atmar Mundu is at 8.0 points (49% and 44% shooting accuracy), 5.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists with a 2.9 assist-turnover ratio. 5-foot-10 Damian Wallace is bringing a very well-rounded 7.8 points plus 6.3 assists and 6.o boards a night. He sports an exceptional 4.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The SRJC success this season has taken place with 6-foot-7, 220 and 6-foot-6, 220 ‘bigs,’ one a freshman (At 6-foot-5, Chavez is the third tallest Bear Cub.) Consider that achievement.
McMillan is renowned for developing backcourters and this season is no different. After losing guards Cetrick Yeaney, Beau Keeve and Jordan Graves from last year’s squad, Cole, Mundu and Wallace stepped in to play integral roles right away and Ryan Perez became a double-digit scorer.
A major component of the SRJC game success is surrounding Chavez with at least a couple of double figure scorers. That happens more often than not albeit with different players each game.
Ball control is huge for the Bear Cubs with opponents nabbing just 4.5 steals per game for opponents plus SRJC committing just 10.0 turnovers. The team’s ball movement and unselfishness has resulted in a plus 8 assists per contest.
The Santa Rosa Junior College College roster:
- Atmar Mundu Guard Freshman 5’11 180 Fremont/ Washington
- Ahmad Chambers Forward Freshman 6’3″ 175 Riverside/Martin Luther King
- Trey Conrad Guard Freshman 5’11” 170 Kelseyville/Kelseyville
- Damian Wallace Guard Freshman 5″10″ 165 Santa Rosa/Cardinal Newman
- Ryan Perez Guard Sophomore 6’1″ 175 Petaluma/Petaluma
- Michael Awad Forward Freshman 6’3″ 170 Petaluma/St. Vincent
- Quincy Grayer Guard Freshman 6’1″ 180 Rohnert Park/Rancho Cotate
- Nick Cole Guard Freshman 6’0″ 170 Las Vegas/Foothill
- Jayson McMillan Forward Sophomore 6’6″ 210 Cloverdale/Cloverdale
- Skylar Chavez Guard/Forward Sophomore 6’5″ 195 San Anselmo/Drake
- Landon Courtman Forward/Center Freshman 6’7″ 220 Healdsburg/Healdsburg
“Forward Sam Gabbard was named as a Finalist for the Jostens Trophy, as announced by the Rotary Club of Salem on Friday.
The Jostens Trophy is awarded to the outstanding NCAA Division III men’s and women’s basketball players who excel on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. This season marks the 22nd presentation of the awards, with the inaugural trophies bestowed in 1998. Gabbard is the first UCSC athlete to be named a finalist.
“Sam is an incredibly deserving recipient to be named a finalist for the Jostens Award,” said head coach Ron Dubois. “Sam has been an amazing ambassador for UCSC, he has made an enormous impact and will leave a long lasting legacy. His willingness to put in the extra effort to get the desired results have been unmatched in my 20 plus years of coaching.
“Sam epitomizes the values of the scholar-athlete at the Division III level, he has achieved remarkable accomplishments as an athlete, as a student, and as a leader on campus.”
The 6-foot-4 Gabbard started every game this season. He led UCSC in points, rebounds assists and minutes. He was one of the national leader in double-doubles, points and rebounds as UCSC wrapped up their second straight winning season.
He played this year as a graduate student in computer science with his last year of eligibility.”
2018-19 All-WCC Men’s Basketball Major Individual Honors
Player of the Year: Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
Coach of the Year: Mark Few, Gonzaga
Defensive Player of the Year: Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
Newcomer of the Year: Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
2018-19 All-WCC Men’s Basketball First Team
Name Yr. Pos. School
James Batemon Sr. G LMU
Yoeli Childs Jr. F BYU
Brandon Clarke Jr. F Gonzaga
Frankie Ferrari Sr. G San Francisco
Jordan Ford Jr. G Saint Mary’s
Rui Hachimura Jr. F Gonzaga
Zach Norvell Jr. So. G Gonzaga
Josh Perkins Sr. G Gonzaga
Isaiah Pineiro Sr. F San Diego
Colbey Ross So. G Pepperdine
2018-19 All-WCC Men’s Basketball Second Team
Name Yr. Pos. School
Tahj Eaddy So. G Santa Clara
Malik Fitts So. F Saint Mary’s
TJ Haws Jr. G BYU
Charles Minlend So. G San Francisco
Olin Carter III Sr. G San Diego
Host UC San Diego 98, Cal State San Bernardino 69 — Chris (Campolindo High) Hansen scored 17 points in 26 minutes, shooting 6-10, 2-4, 3-5, as the Toreros won both 20 minute session by double figures. box
Host Cal Poly Pomona 85, Humboldt State 67 — Jamarlin (Mendocino College) Jackson scored 14 points and Justin Buchanan High) Everett 13 as the Jacks fell in the Southland. box
Host Cal State East Bay 68, Cal State Dominguez Hills 54 — For the Pioneers, Nai (San Jose State University) Carlisle shot 9-14 on his way to 21 points, Juwan (Bishop O’Dowd) Anderson provided 14 points and Ant (San Lorenzo High/Cañada College) Navarette posted a 10 point, 10 rebound double-double. box
Cal State Los Angeles 81, host San Francisco State 76 OT — Jordan (Colfax High/Cal State East Bay) Balser led the Gators with 16 points. box
University 44, Monterey High 41
“Historical season comes to an end for Monterey” John Devine
CIF NorCal boys D1 champion James Logan High 54, Branson 49
Mitch Stephens: “Scoring: James Logan (54): Malcolm Steadman 17, Brahjon Thompson 15, Brett Thompson 14, Gabe Hawkins 6, Ryan Gutierrez 2. Branson (49): Viktor Rajkovic 20, Kwentyn Wiggins 14, Jacobsen 9, Keene 3, Prongos 3.”
“James Logan edges Branson for NorCal D-I title” Darren Sabedra
Campolindo High 59, Serra High 38 The Mahaney brothers combined for 34 points.
Sheldon High 57, Modesto Christian 48
Another Ferrari feature.
The same is applicable in hiring college basketball head coaches.
“RAMS AND BEARCUBS MEET FOR A SPOT IN VENTURA” Signal The Light Basketball
Will Freedman: “Congrats to sophomore Tarren Storey-Way on being named to the Golden Valley Conference All-Conference team. Tarren came in second in conference MVP voting and led the conference in scoring with 19.9 PPG.”
Will Freedman: “Congrats to freshman Alberto Ortega on being named to the Golden Valley Conference All-Defensive Team. Alberto’s responsibility of neutralizing the opposing team’s best facilitator. He embraced this role and was key to the team’s success all conference long.”
Will Freedman: “Congrats to sophomore Rikkert de Maertelaere on being named to the Golden Valley Conference Honorable Mention Team. Rikkert checked every statistical category each night and was essential for the Cougars finishing conference 7-0.”
Really liked the descriptions for the roles/dueties of Ortega and de Maertelaere — a nice touch.