GAME PREVIEW: City College men’s basketball plays for sole possession of conference championship Friday

Knights assured a share Wednesday of title after win at Palomar, a MiraCosta loss at Miramar
San Diego City College Head Coach Mitch Charlens, center, and guard Keavie Love (1), direct the Knight offense against San Diego Miramar, Feb. 16, 2024. Photo by Danny Straus/City Times Media
San Diego City College Head Coach Mitch Charlens, center, and guard Keavie Love (1), direct the Knight offense against San Diego Miramar, Feb. 16, 2024. Photo by Danny Straus/City Times Media

Before the San Diego City College men’s basketball season had started, guard Al Green knew the Knights, which missed playing in last year’s California state Elite 8 by one basket, would have a target on their backs this season.

“We’re going to go in as the hunted instead of the hunters,” Green acknowledged during media day in the fall. “So people are going to want to go at our necks. We just have to step up to the plate and perform with what we’ve been working on all year.”

And perform the Knights have. City (23-4, 14-1) plays the final game of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference season vying for sole possession of the PCAC championship against second-place MiraCosta College (19-8, 13-2), Friday at 5 p.m. at Harry West Gym.

The evening features a double-header with women’s basketball (that game starts at 7 p.m.), sophomore night recognitions and Black History Month festivities kicking off at 4:30 p.m.

The Knights lead the Spartans by one game in the PCAC standingsCity clinched at least a share of the championship Wednesday when a  125-95 win over Palomar was quickly followed by news of a MiraCosta loss.

After Friday’s matchup, the Knights will be looking toward regional and state-wide post-season play, which begins Wednesday, Feb. 28.

City currently has the fifth-best south region Winning Percentage Index in the California south region and hopes the selections this Sunday will have it playing playoff games at home.

“If you’re a top-four seed,” Charlens said, acknowledging the high stakes earlier this week in an interview with City Times Media, “you have two home games to get to the Elite Eight, which is the state championship tournament.”

The Spartans handed the Knights their only loss in conference play, 78-72, on Jan. 24 at MiraCosta.

City is led on the offensive end by sophomore guard KJay Bradley who is averaging 17.8 points and 5.6 assists per game, shooting 48.8% from the field and 42.3% from beyond the 3-point line. Bradley had a career-high 41 points on a perfect 8-8 from beyond the arc in the win at Palomar Wednesday.

The Knights lead the conference in all the scoring metrics, including points per game (85.1), field goal percentage (49.8%), 3-point (35.5%) and free-throw percentage (75.3%).

Miracosta comes into the game shooting 42.8% from the field, 31.4% from beyond the arc and 71.4 at the free-throw line.

MiraCosta is the conference leader in rebounding, pulling down 39.5 per game compared to the Knights’ 35.5. Their top rebounders include Kai Burdick (8.9 per game), Kobe Smith (6.2) and Dylan Cabs (5.9).

The Spartans also commit personal fouls at one of the lowest rates in the conference, averaging 7.6 per game, compared to City’s conference-leading 20.1 fouls per game.

The Spartans’ leading scorers are Smith (17.0 points per game), Donavan Freeman (13.8) and Cabs (10.8). Cabs was recently named PCAC Athlete of the Week for games the week of Feb. 14, finishing with 34 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, one steal and a block.

Watch this weekend for a recap of Friday’s game, including play-by-play and commentary of the game, and more information about how post-season play works for California junior colleges.

Around the Knights Table

  • Sophomores on the Knights 2023-24 Roster include Bradley, Keavie Love, Kevin Moore, Al Green, Dexter Stratton, Sean Calloway, Denis Kamburov, Alex Crawford and Logan Huston.
  • The Knights have a winning record of 7-2 over MiraCosta in games going back to 2019.
Donate to City Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of San Diego City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, cover the cost of training and travel to conferences, and fund student scholarships. Credit card donations are not tax deductible. Instead, those donations must be made by check. Please contact adviser Nicole Vargas for more information at [email protected].

More to Discover
Donate to City Times