Fresno City College sophomore forward Josh Sykes is eager to get the 2015-16 men’s basketball season started.
Sykes said he sees plenty of potential in this season’s team, and he’ll begin to find out if it plays out on court Friday when the state fifth-ranked and NorCal No. 2 Rams begin the season at the City College of San Francisco Tournament, tipping off against Napa at 4 p.m.
“We are really talented this year, compared to last year,” he said. “We were missing that big time last year, but now we have a lot of (great talent) on our team with a great feel. I really believe in this team a lot.”
The Rams finished 28-4 overall and 12-0 in the Central Valley Conference last season. The Rams were ousted in the second round of the NorCal playoffs as the top seed, losing to 17th-seeded Foothill 72-64.
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Rams coach Ed Madec returns for his 10th season.
Sykes, at 6 feet, 8 inches, anchors the Rams’ frontcourt along with guard/forward BJ Shelton.
Newcomer Will Dorsey will see plenty of playing time at guard.
Sykes had a good summer season and has plenty of powerhouse schools after him, receiving offers from Memphis, Loyola Marymount and West Virginia. Gonzaga, Cal, Nevada and San Diego State also are said to be courting him. He said he plans to make a decision after this week’s tournament so he can focus on the season.
“Coach has been working us hard this year because he really believes in us,” said Sykes, who averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season. “He’s been on us constantly because he knows what kind of team he’s working with here. I didn’t understand in the beginning why he was so hard on us from the start, then after the (summer) showcase at El Camino, I realized he knows how much talent he has on this team.”
Shelton is the leading returning scorer, having averaged 8.7 points last season.
Dorsey, who is from Seattle, previously played for North Idaho JC. He’s the cousin of Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard Tony Wroten.
“Nothing less than a state championship,” Dorsey said of where the Rams have set the bar. “To grow day-by-day as men and brothers on and off the court. We have a goal that we will work for to achieve.”
FRESNO CITY COLLEGE ROSTER
1 Nick Hilton
2 Mike Crawley
3 Terrance Wieneck
4 Aaron Cameron
10 Taylor Freeman
14 Jaffrey Stillman
15 BJ Shelton
20 Evan Stillahn
21 Chris Daniels
22 Josh Sykes
31 Mark Thomas
32 Will Dorsey
33 DeAngelo Ashley
34 Cole Morgan
35 Ramiro Sanchez
Nov. 6 vs. Napa at CCSF Tournament, 4 p.m.
Nov. 13 vs. Sierra at Fresno City College Tournament, 11:30 a.m.
Nov. 19 vs. MiraCosta at El Camino Tournament of Champions, 5 p.m.
Dec. 4 vs. Moorpark at Mt. SAC Tournament, 3 p.m.
Dec. 16 vs. Pima, Ariz. at Modesto JC Tournament, 2 p.m.
Dec. 28 vs. Cerritos at Allan Hancock Tournament, 5 p.m.
Dec. 29 vs. Allan Hancock at Allan Hancock Tournament, 7 p.m.
Dec. 30 vs. Cuesta at Allan Hancock Tournament, 5 p.m.
Jan. 6 Merced* 7 p.m.
Jan. 9 West Hills* 7 p.m.
Jan. 13 at Columbia* 6 p.m.
Jan. 16 Reedley* 7 p.m.
Jan. 23 at Porterville* 7 p.m.
Jan. 27 at Sequoias* 7 p.m.
Jan. 30 at Merced* 7 p.m.
Feb. 3 at West Hills* 6 p.m.
Feb. 6 Columbia* 7 p.m.
Feb. 10 at Reedley* 7 p.m.
Feb. 17 Porterville* 7 p.m.
Feb. 20 Sequoias* 7 p.m.
*Central Valley Conference