SportStars Magazine

NorCal Boys Basketball Preseason Top 20

Preseason Boys Rankings, Sheldon

With Several Key Returners And At Least Three Impact Transfers, Sacramento’s Sheldon Starts Season At The Top Of Our Preseason Boys Rankings •

1. Sheldon-Sacramento (29-6): The rich absolutely get richer when it comes to the Huskies. In addition to returning four starters and a great majority of the 2017-18 squad that won the CIF Open Division NorCal title, Sheldon landed 6-foot-8 junior Marcus Bagley (the younger brother of Sacramento Kings’ rookie, Marvin Bagley III). While the four-star Bagley handles the wing, the paint will be home to another incoming talent, 6-foot-10 Josh Morgan (Long Beach State) from Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove. Size, speed, depth. The Huskies have it all. Placing them at the top of our boys preseason rankings was a no-brainer. 

2. Modesto Christian (29-4)Preseason Boys Rankings: And here’s the team that actually beat Sheldon in the Sac-Joaquin Div. I championship last March. It graduated Junior Ballard, who sank the dagger 3-pointer in that contest, but still returns four of its top six scorers from last season’s 29-win team. Dathan Satchell and Aaron Murphy will lead the Crusaders this season. There’s plenty more behind those two, also, including Tsotne Tsardsidse and Mike Pearson.

3. Salesian-Richmond (30-2): There were just two seniors on the Pride team which won 30 games and was NorCal’s No. 1-ranked team for most of last season. The Pride were ranked No. 1 in the state and the No. 1 seed in the NorCal Open Div. before being upset by Folsom in the opening round. James Akinjo (Georgetown) was one of those two seniors to depart, but Salesian’s depth will absorb the loss.

4. Dublin (26-6): Robby Beasley averaged 21 points, three rebounds and three assists as a sophomore for a Gaels team which went undefeated in the EBAL and came within a double-OT buzzer-beater of reaching the NCS Div. I final. The loss of three key seniors may be felt early, but the Gaels should reach top gear pretty quickly.

5. Clayton Valley-Concord (26-4): There may not be a more fun team to watch in the East Bay this year. The Ugly Eagles return two starters, and several key members from last year’s NCS Div. I runner-up squad. They will press. They will run. And they will shoot — from anywhere. 

6. Riordan-S.F. (17-12): The Crusaders have a chance to usher in a changing of the guard in the West Catholic Athletic League. That’s thanks to Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. transfer Bryce Monroe. After waiting out the transfer sit-out period, he’ll join forces with his cousin, Jelani Clark, to form potentially the best duo in the league.

 

7. St. Mary’s-Stockton (26-6): Bryce Johnson, Carson Simi and Jamar Marshall all return after each averaging double figures for the Rams last season. Johnson averaged a double-double of 17.8 points and 12.5 rebounds. 

8. Moreau Catholic-Hayward (22-8): Talented grid-hooper, Maxwell Anderson, will lead a Mariners squad that returns five of its top six scorers from a year ago and will add up-and-coming, 6-foot-5 sophomore guard DJ Johnson.

9. Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland (27-6): Of all the Top 10 teams in these preseason boys rankings, the Dragons are probably replacing the most. However, a pair of four-year varsity players, Will Chavarin and Iniko McNeil, are good base to start anew with. 

10. Grant-Sacramento (23-11): Grant returns its entire rotation from its breakout season a year ago, including 6-5 wing Steven Richardson and 6-7 forward David Jones and 5-11 point guard A.J. McGee.

The Next 10

11. De La Salle-Concord (21-9)

12. Vanden-Fairfield (20-10) 

13. St. Ignatius-S.F. (18-10)

14. James Logan-Union City (20-7)

15. St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda (22-11)

16. Campolindo-Moraga (21-11)

17. Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (13-17)

18. Capital Christian-Sacramento (22-9)

19. San Leandro (12-14)

20. Jesuit-Carmichael (22-8)

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