2017-2018 Frank Garcia College of the Desert Tip Off
Dates: November 2-4
Teams: College of the Desert, West Los Angeles, (9) Copper Mountain, (13) Grossmont, (2) San Bernardino, Compton, (4) Saddleback, Glendale (AZ)
Match Ups: The Frank Garcia College of the Desert Tip Off Tournament will begin on Thursday as eight Southern California teams will participate in the three day event lasting until Saturday. Four teams in our preseason Signal The Light Basketball Southern California rankings will be in action this week for one of the best tournaments going on to open up the season. San Bernardino will start their season off with a battle against unranked Compton as the Wolverines start the season off as our second ranked team in Southern California. San Bernardino returns some quality players from last season (Glover, Mcneal, and Udendwu) and the Wolverines will welcome in two impact transfers (LeCesne and Lauderdale) as San Bernardino will look to advance to the semi finals with a win over Compton. Compton will look to upend the Wolverines in first round action but it will be a different Compton team from a year ago as the Tartars do not return any players from a year ago. It should be a good first round match up for both teams going into Thursday.
In the second match up of the day, 4th ranked Saddleback will take on Glendale (AZ) in first round action. The Gauchos will look to pick up their first win on the season with an out of state opponent in first round action. The Gauchos return a lot of experience and should be one of the better teams in the state going into the 2017-2018 season. The Gauchos will look to open up the season with a victory against an out of state community college in first round action.
In the third game of the day, 9th ranked Copper Mountain will face off against 13th ranked Grossmont in a battle of ranked Southern California teams. Coach Devin Aye will make his coaching debut at Copper Mountain and he has put together a very solid team as the Fighting Cacti are in our top 10 to start the season. Copper Mountain has plenty of sophomore experience and will be a team to watch for the upcoming season. Grossmont is a team that should not be taken lightly as the Griffin start in our rankings at number 13. The Griffin return a lot of experience and will look to pick up a solid win in their first game of the season. This could be the match up of the first round as both teams come into the game ranked in our preseason poll.
The finale will see West Los Angeles take on tournament host College of the Desert. The Wildcats return four players from a year ago and welcome in some solid players for the upcoming season and should be a team on the radar for the upcoming season. The Wildcats will enter the season facing an improved College of the Desert team as both teams will look to pick up a first round victory. College of the Desert will come into the game facing the Wildcats and the Roadrunners return two players from last season. The two players that are returning for the Roadrunners averaged in double figures as Philippe Salawa and Shaquille Russell will both look to make an impact for the Roadrunners in the season opener. The winner/loser of this game will face off against the Grossmont/Copper Mountain winner/loser on Friday.
Key Players: Philippe Salawa (Desert), Shaquille Russell (Desert), Tymorae Glover (San Bernardino), Chidi Udendwu (San Bernardino), Kevin Mcneal (San Bernardino), Kendall Lauderdale (San Bernardino), Craig LeCesne (San Bernardino), Bryce Parsons (Grossmont), Ronald Blain (Grossmont), David Wheeler (Grossmont), Josh Moran (Grossmont), Jake Hawes (Saddleback), Ryan Beddeo (Saddleback), Reggie Varner (Saddleback), Anthony Naimie (Saddleback), Murshid Randle (Copper Mountain), Rosemond Alexis (Copper Mountain), Ronald Bell (Copper Mountain), Chris Odionu (West Los Angeles), Prince Obeni-Bottan (West Los Angeles), Tramel Wilson (Compton), L’Kielynn Taylor (Compton).