I am putting together the pre-season preview for boys' basketball for the Delta Valley Conference this week and frankly, I just don't know who will win this league.
At this point of the young season all DVC teams have records above .500. (see standings below) One team that's a bit surprising is the 5-3 Elk Grove Thundering Herd. They are led by a sharp-passing point guard in senior Connor Sutton. He's one of three returning starters for Elk Grove and he uses his intelligence to direct Elk Grove's half-court offense.
"I'm more of a pass-first point guard although a game like (against Cosumnes Oaks) when I'm looking to make shots, I mainly do what the defense gives me," Sutton said.
In Tuesday's 56-52 overtime win over Cosumnes Oaks, Sutton scored 21 points and had nine assists, 14 of those points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He quarterbacks a basketball team where the tallest guy is 6-1.
"Sometimes it's tough getting a ball when there's a bunch of taller guys, but we try to box out and get to the ball as much as possible," he said.
But with Michael Wong and Dan Goldman alongside of him, Sutton is leading a sharp-shooting Elk Grove team to wins over what many consider to be better clubs.
Sutton thinks his team has a realistic chance at the DVC crown, and perhaps he should.
"If we can shoot well, we'll surprise lots of teams this year," he said. Last season Elk Grove finished in second place under interim coach Dustin Monday. Rudy Ortega, Jr., is back as the Herd's head coach this season.
Watch out for Davis, who at 5-2, is averaging 87 points a game. The Blue Devils' run-and-shoot-as-quickly-as-possible offense has already topped 100 points three times. Interestingly, in their two losses Davis' opponents scored more than 100 points.
Monterey Trail looks tough this season. They won the Jack Scott Invitational a couple weeks back, defeating Jesuit in the championship game.
Laguna Creek has probably the best overall player in 6-8 center Malik Pope and Franklin, the four-time defending conference champion, has its usual great group of basketball players.
Boys' basketball in the DVC will be fun to watch this winter.
Delta Valley Conference Standings (as of 12/12)
Monterey Trail 6-3
Elk Grove 5-3
Laguna Creek 4-3