Lace up the sneakers

With the first games tipping off as early as this weekend, it’s time to start talking about hoops.

I don’t need much to get fired up about an upcoming basketball season, but I did attend Cal’s exhibition game against Humboldt State on Monday. As an alum of HSU, the 106-62 drubbing was a tad difficult to swallow (Curse you, Ayinde Ubaka!). On the other hand, as the Times boys basketball writer for the past four years, it was exciting to see five former players who I covered competing in the game. Cal featured Theo Robertson (De La Salle) and Steve Panawek (Miramonte), and HSU featured Devin Peal (Kennedy), Kevin Johnson (Liberty) and Chris Blackwood (Miramonte). All saw time on the floor and made key contributions. In a way, I felt proud. Though I didn’t have any hand in their development as a player, it has become very enjoyable to watch these players grow and succeed.

So now that I’m fired up about a new season of boys hoops, I say we look at the preseason rankings. Most of the boys rankings have been released already, the Bay Area was shut out on the StudentSports.com Fab 50. However, that was not the case with the USA Today Super 25, which was released on Monday with De La Salle at No. 12 overall and No. 3 in the Western region. The Spartans, who will feature three-year starting point guard Justin Joyner, won’t be in action until their own Chris Vontoure Tournament begins Dec. 8.

In the meantime, let’s get some discussion on going on what teams you expect to be strong this season. Feel free to post a comment and sound off.