Chabot coach, sons guide 3 teams in state JC basketball playoffs

 If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the Ayes are the window to the state men’s community college basketball playoffs.

Consider that three Ayes, Chabot’s Denny Aye, and his sons, Devin, with Lassen, and Tyson, with Allan Hancock-Santa Maria, are all head coaches of teams in the postseason tourney.

Chabot and Lassen are in the NorCal Regional, albeit on different sides of the bracket, and Allan Hancock is the 20th seed in the Southern California Regional. Devin and Tyson both played for their legendary dad on his former teams, Tyson at Fresno City and Devin at Marshalltown Community College-Iowa. There’s a lot of layers to the successful Aye basketball story.

It’s unlikely the Ayes will match-up in the playoffs, but Devin’s Lassen squad did face Denny’s Gladiators in the Modesto tournament last year.

“That was fun,” Devin said. “Last year was my first as a junior college basketball coach, and I got to play against my dad. It was actually one of the most fun games of my career. It was like a chess match. He was making adjustments, and I was making adjustments, and I kind of knew the adjustments he was making right as he made them … It was fun to see the guys go out and react to those types of different things that we’d tell them to do. I know my dad like the back of my hand, and I know a lot of the things that he does.”

Devin’s coaching style contrasts some with his dad’s. Denny likes to do a “little more freelance” with his teams and a run motion-style offense, letting his guys create plays, Devin said.

“I’m a little mote structured in that I call out more plays and try to find mismatches,” Devin said.

Chabot, the No. 4 seed, will host College of the Siskiyous on Saturday night in Round 2, and Lassen, the 10th seed, will travel to No. 7 Cosumnes River on Friday.

Matt Schwab