2011-12 Junior College Men’s Basketball Profile: Diablo Valley College

The 2011-12 Diablo Valley College Vikings may be the team to get head coach Steve Coccimiglio over the hump and to the Final Four for the first time in his illustrious career.

Coccimiglo, who earned his 500th win during the 2010-11 season, has posted an overall record of 508-194 in 21 seasons at the Pleasant Hill, Calif., school. Coccimiglo is the 11th California Community College Athletic Association coach to reach the 500 victory mark. The Vikings have won at least 20- games 17 times and have been to seven Elite-Eights under Coccimiglio.

2010-11 season in review

DVC finished the season ranked sixth in the CCCAA and third in Northern California with a 26-5 record. The Vikings, who won the Big Eight Conference with a 13-1 conference record, fell to Fresno CC 78-72 in the Elite-Eight of the state tournament.

DVC had several players receive postseason honors including freshman guard Brian Goins, who was named the MVP of the Big Eight Conference, and six-foot-eight freshman forward Raphael Carter, who was a Big Eight All-Conference first team selection. Joining Carter and Goins on the all-conference team was sophomore guard Jordan Estrada and freshman forward Ronnie Baker.

2011-2012 season

The Vikings entered the season with high expectations as they returned six players from the 2010-11 squad including Goins, Baker and Carter. Goins, who averaged 30.4 points a game in DVC's last 11 games in 2010-11, is a scoring point guard. Goins led the Big Eight Conference with 19.4 points a game. Carter, who averaged 9.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks a game, is an atheltic shot blocker and rebounder while Baker started every conference game for the Vikings.

The Vikings other returnees are Greg Holmes, Daniel Zitani and Tyrelle Phillips. Phillips is an explosive post player with an ability to slash to the hoop while Holmes and Zitani will provide DVC with quality depth. Three freshmen Andrew Garner, Devon Pouncey and Bobby Syvanthong fill out the roster.

The Vikings, who were ranked third in the CCCAA preseason poll, are off to a 5-0 start. DVC started the season off by defeating Foothill College 60-53 in the opening game of the Shasta Tournament.

The Vikings followed their Shasta Tournament championship with two victories in the Chevron Invitational (November 25-27). The Vikings advanced to the of the Chevron Tournament title game with victories over College of the Redwoods 75-49 and Contra Costa 68-58.

Other team news:

- Carter committed to the University of Nevada on October 11.

- Four players from the 2010-11 squad are continuing their playing careers at four-year institutions. These players are Estrada (Sacramento State), Kufu Najee (San Jose State), Zack Payne (Whitworth College) and Louis Lowe (Avila University).

Daniel Benjamin coached small college basketball for two years.

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Updated Monday, Nov 28, 2011