Predicted finish

  • 1. Acalanes

  • 2. Campolindo

  • 3. Miramonte

  • 4. Concord

  • 5. Dublin

  • 6. Mt. Diablo

  • 7. Northgate

  • 8. Las Lomas

  • 9. College Park

  • 10. Alhambra

    By Robert Jordan

    STAFF WRITER

    Big changes are in store for boys basketball in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League this season, and it starts with the men in the middle.

    When league play begins Monday at least seven teams will have an interior presence, instead of one or two teams as has been in the past.

    Campolindo's Jack Trotter, Concord's Tyler Phillips, Miramonte's Eric Obeysekere and Mt. Diablo's DaMahn Miller are the top-tier big men. Acalanes' Hunter Hewitt, College Park's John Zubkousky, Las Lomas' Blake Turner and Northgate's Matt Batsaka are not far behind.

    "They are not just big, but long and skilled," said Acalanes coach Russ Scheibley, who had the best big man last season in Jordan Fillmore.

    The other big change is the parity in the league.

    "It's going to be brutal," said Concord coach Jim Bradshaw, whose team went 10-1 in nonleague play. "Acalanes and Miramonte are near the top and then there are four other teams right there."

    Acalanes

  • COACH: Russ Scheibley, sixth season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 28-4, 13-1 DFAL

  • TOP RETURNEES: F Joe Anderson, Sr.; F Brooks Baker, Sr.; G Bryan Perkins, Sr.; F Hunter Hewitt, Sr.; G Scott Abbott, Sr.

    Advertisement

  • TOP NEWCOMERS: G Donovan Christensen, So.; G David Masi, Jr.; G Rashaad Flowers, Sr.

  • KEY LOSSES: F/C Jordan Fillmore, G Joe McGlynn, F Joe Wallace

  • OUTLOOK: The Dons return five key seniors from a team that came within a game of the CIF state Division III title game. Anderson leads the bunch and has already put up a 39-point performance in a overtime loss to Fairfield. The Dons will get a boost when Hewitt and Flowers, who both sat out the nonleague games with injuries, return for DFAL play. Christensen, a transfer from Las Lomas, also has provided another outside threat.

    Alhambra

  • COACH: Pat Ertola, 13th season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 8-17, 3-11

  • TOP RETURNEES: F Drew McNabb, Sr.; G Bradley Schultz, Sr.; PG Travis Langner, Jr.; G Korey Allison, Sr.; G Tyler Nunes, Sr.; F Anthony Ertola, Sr.; C Stewart Kraintz, Sr.

  • TOP NEWCOMERS: C Ryan Bays, Jr.; F Alex Ward, So.; G Cory Gard, Fr.

  • KEY LOSSES: G/F Brandon Rutley, G Cameron Yarber, F Travis Jones, G Mani Bal, G/F Matt Agostini; C Blake Turner

  • OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs began the season battling various injuries and flu bugs that forced Ertola to use five different starting lineups in seven games. Alhambra has a senior-heavy roster, but Ertola calls the bunch an inexperienced veteran team because the seniors didn't see a lot of action last season. The Bulldogs averaged in the high 60s on offense during nonleague play, but Ertola would like to see the team clean up the turnovers.

    Campolindo

  • COACH: Chris Whirlow, seventh season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 21-7, 12-2

  • TOP RETURNEES: C Jack Trotter, Sr.; F Graham Smith, Sr.; G Bryan Reinke, Sr.; G Chris Dyer, Jr.; G Tom Wraith, Sr.; F Will Shields, Sr.

  • TOP NEWCOMERS: F Adam Mancebo, So.; G Pat Wirth, So.; G Jamie Fox, So.; G Ryan Fruin, Jr.; G Miles Macy, Jr.

  • KEY LOSSES: G Darren Baker, G Mike Colonna, G Dwight Tanaka

  • OUTLOOK: The Cougars will have a different look this season with the interior play of Trotter, Smith and Shields leading the way instead of the guard play, which was the case the past few seasons. Campolindo went 5-5 in nonleague play but had a tough schedule with games against Skyline and contests at the Torrey Pines tournament in San Diego.

    College Park

  • COACH: Kyle Campanelli, third season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 19-8, 10-4

  • TOP RETURNEES: C John Zubkousky, Sr.; G Jeff Sunada, Sr.; F Nico Cadiz, Sr.

  • TOP NEWCOMER: F Chaz Vink, Sr.; G Corey Collins, So.; G. McKenzie Moore, So.; F Keith Bruder, So.; F Kyle Brown, Jr.; G Joe Dea Jr.; G Anthony Daley, Jr.; G Scott Schalich, Jr.; F Danny Troth, Jr.

  • KEY LOSSES: PG A.J. Lindquist, G Ryan Cox, G Alex Passeggi, G Jimmy Medeiros, F Michael Wade, F Shane Wright, F Randy White, F Joey Velez

  • OUTLOOK: The Falcons lost eight players from a team that was arguably the biggest surprise in the DFAL last season. This could be a growing pains year for College Park, which starts three sophomores. Zubkousky has been the Falcons' go-to guy. Despite the youthful and inexperienced roster the Falcons did go 5-7 in nonleague play.

    Concord

  • COACH: Jim Bradshaw, fifth season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 10-15, 4-10

  • TOP RETURNEES: C Tyler Phillips, Sr.; F Matt Adams, Sr.; PF Drew Thompson, Sr.; F Andrew Corby, Sr.; G Nate Racela, Sr.; G Nick Rush, Jr.

  • TOP NEWCOMERS: C Kevin Calindo, Sr.; F Tre Demps, Fr.; F Nick Bradshaw, Jr.; PG Forest Hightower, So.; PG Kris Garcia, Jr.; F Josh Filstrup, Jr.; F Jacob Epstein, Jr.; F C.J. Porter, Jr.

  • KEY LOSSES: G Andrew Adams, G Raji Mamari

  • OUTLOOK: The Minutemen have gone 10-1 in nonleague play (with one game left) and have tied their win total from all of last season. Phillips, Thompson and Adams were moved up to varsity as sophomores and took their lumps early and are now getting a chance to return the favor to the rest of the league.

    Dublin

  • COACH: Tom Costello, second season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 11-15, 5-9

  • TOP RETURNEES: G Tim Scott, Sr.; G K.J. Scott, Sr.; G Johnny Warlich, Jr.; G Brent McHone, Jr.; F Tyler Worthley, Jr.; F Matt Kellogg, Sr.; F Garrett Bettis, Sr.; G Jordan Inouye, Sr.

  • TOP NEWCOMERS: F Tyler Murphy, Jr.; F Nate Barnes, Jr.; G Nick Cohee, Sr.; G Darius Creekmore, Jr.

  • KEY LOSSES: F Chris Futterer, G Andy Kenishiro, G Gilberty Moody, F Jarrett Riller

  • OUTLOOK: The Gaels lost two games during nonleague play. One was to El Cerrito on last-second free throws and the other was to Heritage in overtime. Dublin returns a core group of players who received a lot of game experience last season. Defense has been the Gaels' staple so far, and Costello expects Dublin to improve its rebounding as the season progresses.

    Las Lomas

  • COACH: Jeff Loving, eighth season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 21-6, 12-2

  • TOP RETURNEES: G Brian Stafford, Sr.; G Pat Evans, Sr.; C Kevin Cabral, Sr.; G Kevin Kennick, Sr.; G Forrest Burns, Sr.; F Ryan Jameson, Sr.

  • TOP NEWCOMERS: C Blake Turner, Sr.; F Kyle Klinck, Jr.; G Justin Coney-Tyler, Jr.; C Eric Brown, Jr.; F Laron Bailey, So.

  • KEY LOSSES: F Jordan Kerl, F Jordan Lewis, F Bo Harkins, F Diante Jackson, G Donovan Christensen

  • OUTLOOK: The Knights went 5-6 in nonleague play, and Loving called it a slow start by his standard. Las Lomas, like Campolindo, did put together a tough nonleague schedule. Stafford has been the Knights' first, second and third option, averaging in double figures in all 11 games, including 32 in a win over Windsor. Las Lomas was dealt a blow with Christensen transferring to Acalanes and Jackson opting not to play this season.

    Miramonte

  • COACH: Dave Brown, second season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 12-14, 5-9

  • TOP RETURNEES: G Peter Briskey, Sr.; C Elliott Schoenbart, Sr.; G Zac Akin, Sr.; F John Toman, Jr.; C Eric Obeysekere, Jr.; F Chris Hatfield, So.

  • TOP NEWCOMERS: G Petar Madzarevic, Sr.; PG Davis Louie, So.

  • KEY LOSSES: F Drew Larson, G Clark Akin, G Jimmy Fiatarone

  • OUTLOOK: Briskey and Obeysekere helped the Matadors post a 9-2 mark in nonleague play with the only losses coming to CIF Division V state champion Branson-Ross and St. Mary's, which went 13-0 in nonleague play. Miramonte hasn't had a problem scoring, but what has surprised Brown is his team's defense.

    Mt. Diablo

  • COACH: Craig Battle, second season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 4-21, 1-13

  • TOP RETURNEES: C DaMahn Miller, Sr. G Owo Mobio, Sr.; PG Patrick Lefiti, Jr.; F Marcellus McLean, Jr.; G/F Jovan Primus, Sr.

  • TOP NEWCOMERS: G Darien Anderson, Sr.; G Joe Cannon, Jr.; G Doreman Jackson, Sr.

  • KEY LOSSES: PG Ronnie Mares, G Troy Faulk, G Carleon Domantay, F Marquise Aaron, G Darius Crawford

  • OUTLOOK: Battle returned last season from a year hiatus, and it took awhile for the Red Devils to find their identity. This season with 12 games played Mt. Diablo eclipsed its win total with a 6-6 mark. Even with the .500 record Battle isn't pleased, saying his team still hasn't learned how to win yet. Miller is the team's leader and at 6-foot-7 should be one of the elite post players in the league.

    Northgate

  • COACH: Steve Mitchell, first season

  • 2006-07 RECORD: 16-11, 6-8

  • TOP RETURNEES: G Jack Cartwright, Jr.; G Joe Crnkovich, Sr.; G Herm Khangura, Sr.

  • TOP NEWCOMERS: C Matt Batsaka, Jr.; F/C Shane Spalding, Sr.; F Ashkon Aliyar, Jr.

  • KEY LOSSES: C Davey Lynch, F Joe Conaty, G Grant Miller, G Clarke Dolliver, G Tysan Lynch, F Seyi Oshinowo

  • OUTLOOK: The Broncos lost their coach and two leading scorers from last season. Crnkovich has eased his way into Mitchell's system and has been Northgate's focal point. Cartwright and Khangura have provided addition threats offensively. Batsaka patrols the middle for Northgate, which already has a win over crosstown rival Las Lomas.