The ascending Chabot College men's basketball team, ranked No. 24 in the CCCMBCA State Preseason poll, will tip off the season hosting the 53rd annual Gladiator Classic with a full slate of games beginning on Thursday, Nov. 7.
Chabot will open against Shasta at 3 p.m.
Buoyed by an influx of talented newcomers, Chabot is led by a trio of sophomore returners in Dublin graduate Kyle Brown and Sacramento products Akili Daniels and Jabari Sweet, among six returners.
"Across the board we have more talent and depth this year," said Chabot head coach Keenan McMiller, whose team finished 11-17 in his debut season.
Brown, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard, was a second-team Coast Conference-North All Conference selection last season and averaged 12.4 points a game. Daniels averaged 12.2 points and Sweet 8.8.
McMiller is pulling out all the stops to have the Classic shine a bright light on the college and the program. He's giving trophies to the top-three finishers and each team gets commemorative T-shirts.
In other first-round games on Thursday, College of Alameda will take on College of San Mateo at 1 p.m., Porterville will face Feather River at 7 p.m., and West Hills will meet Gavilan at 5 p.m. The winners' bracket semifinals are at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, with the tournament championship game at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The Gladiators, who have worked hard in the offseason and bonded as a team, boast a hearty mix of players. The program will have a clear James Logan High vibe with three former Colts on the squad: Ryan Parilla (So., Guard), Tim Oldham (Fr., Guard) and Micah Webster-Butler (So., Guard), a transfer from Ohlone who won't become eligible until December.
Another exciting newcomer is freshman guard Izayah Talmadge (6-3, 190), a relentless player who averaged 19.3, 2.8 assists and 6.9 rebounds points a game in the 2018-19 season at Sacramento High, as a Sacramento Bee Second Team All-Metro Team pick.
Talented 6-3 guard Rashad Faust, of Baltimore, Md., is a transfer from Division I Delaware State.
Freshman Skylar Robinson out of Dublin High, whose dad played at Chabot, is a talented 6-foot-8 forward receiving Division I attention.
Guard Isaiah Veal from Las Vegas was a talented student-athlete at Sierra Vista High, averaging 15.4 points a game in the 2018-19 season. Forward Ramaj Gordon (6-5, 225), who hails Houston, Texas, is another skillful player with a powerful build, ala Charles Barkley.