Looking good with room to grow

Looking good with room to grow

The Diablo Valley College men's basketball team is opening the season this week with a solid nucleus of players and lots of drive.
Coach Steve Coccimiglio, the fifth winningest coach in state history with a 565-224 record at DVC dating to 1990, likes his squad's potential. 
"I don't think we have a great offensive team, but we have some athletes and I think we have some toughness," Coccimiglio said. "If our guys are willing to make the extra pass and play as a team, we have the potential to be a pretty competitive team, but I don't know about right away." 
Newark Memorial High graduate Damien Banford, a 6-foot-7 and 290-pound sophomore, will give opponents plenty to think about with his size and skillAthletic sophomore Jacques Carraway (McClymonds) is a proven scorer who had 24 points against Santa Rosa in a big game last season.
Returner Spencer Clark (Concord High), a 6-4 wing, is a slasher and good defender. 
Coccimiglio describes Banford as "really skilled" and a "good passer." 
"He takes up a lot of space," the coach said. "He's crafty around the rim. He'll be a go-to guy inside and command some double-teams. He's a good passer out of the post." 
The Vikings added three guards over the summer. Starting point guard Leon Williams V (Vanden) is a comeback story. He has been looking good after sitting out two years with a torn ACL on each knee. Troy Owens Jr. (Cordova) is a strong guard at 6-2 with good speed, and Remy Dillard (Bishop Manogue Catholic, Reno) is a good shooter and solid player who redshirted last year. 
Two newcomers from College Park, Kevin Crosno, who is 6-6 and 200 pounds, and Steven Daily, a 6-4 wing, are looking good. Crosno, who averaged 10.9 points and 6.2 rebounds a game last season with the Falcons, has earned a starting spot. Daily led the Falcons in points (15.2) and rebounds (8.8).  
Sophomore Reggie Arthur-Mixon, a transfer from American River, is another key player. 
Coccimiglio thinks the Vikings, ranked 15th in the state preseason poll, will take some time to jell in the challenging triangle offense.
"I don’t want to be overly optimistic early, but I feel once we get to conference we have a chance to be good," Coccimiglio said. 
The Vikings have moved the DVC Classic, traditionally held on Thanksgiving weekend, to Dec. 3-5 this season. They will also compete in the San Jose City and West Valley tournaments in December, before opening Big 8 Conference play at San Joaquin Delta on Jan. 5. 
DVC opened the season on Thursday afternoon against Butte in the Las Positas Tournament. Visit the DVC athletics website for news and updates.
-- Matt Schwab



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