Citrus (28-4, 13-1): Last season the Owls were a standout team throughout the state as Citrus College had a season to remember. Citrus started off the season with three straight wins but hit two bumps in the non conference in back to back games as the Owls lost to Cerritos and Riverside. Following that loss, the Owls dominated opponents especially the rest of non conference action as Citrus won their remaining nine games and finished non conference action with a 12-2 record. As conference started the Owls went through conference and won their first eight games beofre Citrus had a setback against Santa Monica and had their 17 game winning streak broke. Citrus won their remaining seven games and brought home the Western State South conference championship with a 13-1 record. The Owls picked up the 2nd seed going into the post season and knocked off Cypress in the 2nd round 81-74 and followed that up with a 96-93 win over Ventura and booked a trip to the Elite Eight. At the elite eight the Owls knocked off Sequoias 67-65 and moved into the final four but Citrus fell to San Francisco 90-84 and the Owls ended their season with a 28-4 record in the 2022-2023 season.
Head Coach: Brett Lauer
2023-2024 outlook: Citrus comes into the new season after winning 28 games a year ago. The Owls had a standout season and Citrus continues to be one of the better programs in the state as they win year in and year out. The Owls will have a challenge this upcoming season as Citrus lost seven players from their Final Four team. Citrus lost Anthony Tello, Aibigho Ujadughele, Chris Chiles, Dylon Davis, Jayden Johnston, Jamal Briscoe, and Uriah Foster which accounted for over 60 points on the offensive end. All of those players will be tough to replace but the Owls welcome back three players from a year ago. “6-1” Rudy Suarez leads the list of returning players after the guard averaged 8.1 points per game a year ago. “6-8” Grant Martin (3.8 points) and “6-7” Ty Barlow (4.6 points) are both back this upcoming season for the Owls.
Newcomers: Citrus will have a lot to replace from a year ago as the Owls lost plenty of fire power from a year ago. The Owls did exactly that as Citrus has brought in plenty of pieces that will make them a stand out team in the state for the upcoming season. “6-3” Tyrel Creger a transfer from Bay College comes in as a transfer and will give the Owls versatility in their back court. Creger averaged 11.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists last season. Citrus will also bring in “5-10” Malik Khouzam (Walnut), “6-4” Jake Winkleman (West Torrance), “6-4” EJ Bryson (J Serra), “6-5” JJ Mitchell (Granada), “6-3” Ezekiel Pannell (Sojth Pasadena), “6-8” Xerian Anderson (St. John Bosco) and “6-9” Myles Blackman (La Salle).
Projection: The Owls come into the season with a target on their back despite how much they lost from a year ago. Citrus has a very good freshmen class and the Owls have added some size this season and one thing we all know is they wont lack toughness and a competitive edge. Despite losing a lot, the Owls still have the blueprint and the players that make them the team to beat within the conference this upcoming season. We project that the Owls will win the conference and Citrus has a good chance of making a deep post season run for the upcoming 2023-2024 season.
Season Opener: 11/2 vs Mt. San Antonio
West Los Angeles (19-11, 10-4): Last season, the Wildcats came into the season fresh off an elilte eight run. As the new season began, the Wildcats started the season with an opening game lost against MiraCosta but following that loss, West Los Angeles went on a five game winning streak and looked to have turned the corner. The Wildcats then lost two straight games, followed that up with two straight wins and lost three of their next four games and finished non conference play with a 8-6 record. West Los Angeles picked up some solid wins in non conference play and 5 of their 6 losses were against teams that made the post season. In conference play, the Wildcats started off 3-0 before losing to Santa Monica and finished the first half of conference play with a 5-2 record. In the second half of conference, West Los Angeles went 5-2 and finished conference play with a 10-4 record and brought home 2nd place. The Wildcats picked up the 16th seed in the post season and posted a 74-73 home win against Allan Hancock. In the next round, the Wildcats season came to a close as West Los Angeles lost to Fullerton 106-71 and finished out the season with a 19-11 record in the 22-23 season.
Head Coach: Anthony Jones
2023-2024 outlook: Coming into the new season, the Wildcats will have a lot of new faces coming into the program. West Los Angeles coming off a 19 win season will have to replace a lot of pieces from last seasons team as Gavin Paige, Ben Ramirez, Naeem Lewis, Chad Kratzer, Devon Ford, Josh Jones and Elijah Charles are some names that come to the list. The Wildcats will have to replace over 60 points from last seasons team and will only return three players from last seasons team. “6-9” Marland Harris will provide some front court experience as the sophomore averaged 8.5 points and 5.1 rebounds last season for the Wildcats. “5-6” John Clausell (5.9 points) and “6-5” Chris Paige who played in 12 games returns to the lineup. The Wildcats do not return a lot of players from last season and will field a lot of new faces for the upcoming season.
Newcomers: The Wildcats will have a lot of new faces on the sidelines for the upcoming season but have some solid pieces coming into the program. “6-3” CJ Hardy leads the list of newcomers that is coming into the program for West Los Angeles. Hardy averaged 10.4 points per game at City College of San Francisco and will bring in athleticism and play making ability to the Wildcats back court. “6-4” Blake Lander (Whittier College), “6-2” Kobe Reed (West Texas State), “6-6” Bryce Wimbush “6-3” Eric Wright (San Bernardino JC), “6-3” Isaiah Daniels (Hinds CC), “6-3” Brandon Williams Jr, “6-6” Carey Page III (Seward CC) will all bring sophomore experience to the table as they are a very talented group. West Los Angeles will look to have another standout season with the sophomore expeirence that they are bringing into the program after losing some pieces from last season.
Projection: Looking at the upcoming season, the Wildcats reloaded and appear to be a team that will make some noise for the 23-24 season. West Los Angeles has a lot of sophomores and that experience will be vital for this season. The addition of CJ Hardy has helped in the back court and the Wildcats have a lot of depth at each position which is always crucial the way that they play. West Los Angeles is going to be a handful this season and fun to watch which is why we project them to challenge for the conference championship in the Western State South Conference. We project the Wildcats to finish in 2nd place for the upcoming season but as we mentioned above they will compete for a conference title in the 23-24 season.
Season Opener: 1/10 vs Saddleback
Santa Monica (12-16, 8-6): Last season was a tough season for the Corsairs as Santa Monica struggled to find the win column consistently. The Corsairs started the season off slow as Santa Monica lost three of their first five games of the season. Santa Monica went 2-7 in their remaining non conference games and finished their non conference schedule with a 4-10 record. The Corsairs had one of the toughest non conference schedules as all ten losses were against teams that made the post season. As conference started the Corsiars started off pretty hot as Santa Monica won three of their first four games but had a set back against Los Angeles Valley which pushed them to 3-2. The Corsairs won their next four games and it appeared that they might have a chance to make the post season. In their final five games, Santa Monica suffered four losses and finished their 2022-2023 season with a 12-16 and missed the post season.
Head Coach: Joshua Thomas
2023-2024 outlook: The Corsairs come into the season will a lot of questions after posting 12 wins last season. Santa Monica lost five players that were key contributors from a year in Cam Cohn, Chianti Clay, Quinn Collins, Dennis Cash and Tyler Wiley were all sophomores. The Corsairs lost some other pieces as well but come into the new season with many questions as only one player returns from last seasons team. “6-3” Brooklyn Caldwell returns back for the new season after averaging 3.3 points a year ago for the Corsairs. Santa Monica has some talent coming in but plenty of questions will be answered on the fly with so many pieces coming into the new season.
Newcomers: The Corsairs will have a lot of new players coming into the program for the upcoming season. “6-7” Thomasi Gilgeous-Alexander (Evansville), “6-6” Rafael Gomez (Sonoma State), “6-3” Kodee Holloway, “6-2” Jahveon Medearis (William Jessup), “6-6” Elijah Scranton (redshirt) are all sophomores and will look to contribute right away. “6-5” Jay’len Carter (Manual Arts), “6-1” Mike Hill (Westchester), “6-7” Jason Hilliard (Chino), “6-6” MJ Johnson (James River), “6-8” David Solomon (Virginia Academy), and “6-3” Raymond Watts (St. Johns College) are all very talented freshmen that will contribute and should help the Corsairs this season. Santa Monica will have a lot of new faces and time will tell how quickly the team gels but this is a very talented bunch that will be able to play with anyone in the state. There are questions because of youth and playing together for a length of time but at the end of the day the newcomers that the coaching staff brought in has a chance to standout this season.
Projection: As we mentioned above, the Corsairs have a very talented team, but the question mark will be about experience and playing together and learning on the fly. Santa Monica will play a tough schedule as usual so there record does not always tell the story but if they can pick up some key non conference victories it could push them into making the post season and making some noise within conference as well. We project the Corsairs to finish in 3rd place but trust me this is a team that is capable of bringing home a conference championship as well for the upcoming 23-24 season.
Season Opener: 11/2 vs Pasadena
Bakersfield (12-16, 4-10): Last season, the Renegades got off to a slow start as the Renegades lost three of their first four games of the season. Bakersfield seemed to have found a winning recipe as the Renegades won four of their next fives games and were looking like a team that could compete in the upper half of the conference. Bakersfield went 3-2 in their final non conference games and went into conference with a 8-6 record. In conference play, the Renegades started off fairly slow and Bakersfield split their first four games. Bakersfield went 2-8 the rest of the way and finished conference play with a 4-10 record. The Renegades finished 2022-2023 with a 12-16 record and missed the post season.
Head Coach: Aaron Chavez
2023-2024 outlook: Bakersfield comes into the season with a lot of unanswered questions after winning 12 games last season. The Renegades lost six players that provided sophomore experience and plenty of scoring was lost as well. Between the six players that were sophomores the Renegades have to replace over 56 points and time will tell where it will come from. The Renegades lost Rahmel Davis who led them in scoring a year ago and Bakersfield will miss the wings rebounding. Sean Fry, Eloy Medina, Dusten Henderson, Ipreye Egbe and London Taylor will be tough to replace for the Renegades. Bakersifled will return three players off last seasons team but none of the returners averaged in double figures. “6-8” Terrin Dickey returns to the Gades for the upcoming season after averaging 7.4 points and 6.3 rebounds last year. “6-0” Tyler silver (3.5 points) and “6-5” Kemonte Jackson (3.2 points) both will provide sophomore experience and have bigger seasons than a year ago.
Newcomers: The Renegades have some new pieces that will help them for the upcoming season. Bakersfield will add “6-6” Elijah Williams a transfer from Lewis University to the team and he will be a standout player within the conference and Southern California. “6-0” Trevon Perry and “6-6” Erik Gallardo will both add sophomore experience to the team for the upcoming season. “5-11” Malik Petty (Christ the King), “6-0” Mekhi Martinez (West Mesa NM), “6-6” Larry Atkerson (North/Fresno Pacific), “6-2” Andrew Hill (Sandia), “6-6” Ollie Fell (Espanola, NM), “6-2” Joaquiin Rios (Stockdale) and “6-6” Sean Johnson (Sandia, NM) will add look to contribute for the Renegades.
Projection: The Renegades have some pieces to be an improved team for the upcoming season. “6-6” Elijah Williams is a player that could average 20 points per game and add some other qualities to the Gades. Bakersfield added some size and have a solid point guard in Tyler Silva. This should be an improved team as the Gades should compete in the upper half of the conference. We project that Bakersfield will win more games than the year before and finish in 4th place in the conference for the 2023-2024 season.
Season Opener: 11/2 vs Desert
Glendale (9-19, 3-11): After a slow start to the season in which the Vaqueros lost two of the first three games, Glendale look to have turn the corner as the Vaqueros won three straight games. After the 4-2 start, the Vaqueros struggled to be consistent in the win column and went 2-6 the rest of non conference action and finished with a 6-8 record. As conference started, the Vaqueros could not put together any type of streak on the winning side and Glendale lost their first five games in conference action. Glendale continued to struggle in conference play and finished up the 2022-2023 season with a 9-19 overall record and the Vaqueros ended conference play with a 3-11 record. Glendale missed the post season and the Vaqueros will look to have a better 2023-2024 season.
Head Coach: Vigen Jilizian
2023-2024 outlook: As the new season approaches, the Vaqueros will look to have an improved season with so many pieces coming back from a year ago. Glendale only lost two players from a year ago in Jarred Jones and Julian Dixon but the Vaqueros will bring back tons of experience for the new season. Glendale will return a lot of pieces from last season as seven players are back from a year ago. Leading the list of returners is “6-5” Elijah Groves as the sophomore averaged 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds a year ago and has made some strides to be the go to guy for the Vaqueros. “6-2” Powel Mousaian (7.6 points), “6-7” Braxton Williams (3.1 points), “6-3” Abiel Pearl (5.3 points), “5-9” Dahnte Russell (3.5 points), “6-5” Easton Gray (1.7 points), and “6-0” Colin O’Malley (11 games) all return to the Vaqueros for the upcoming season. Glendale has a lot of experience but the players coming back will need to show that they are ready to take the next step and more of a role.
Newcomers: Glendale will bring in some pieces that could contribute with so much coming back for the upcoming season. “5-10” Tyson Jackson (Birmingham) is expected to contribute in his first season for the Vaqueros. The point guard should be in the rotation and have a solid season for the Vaqueros. “6-6” Karson Peffer (El Camino Real), “6-5” Arpiar Harmandjian (A.G.B.U) and “6-5” Alex Altounian (Crescenta Valley) will also look to contribute this upcoming season.
Projection: Glendale has a lot of players coming back from last season and experience matters at this level. The only problem with the players returning is that they have to prove they can be consistent playing at a higher level. Jackson and Peffer are solid freshman and the Vaqueros will be a better team. We project the Vaqueros will be in the mix in the middle of the pack and we have Glendale finishing in 5th place for the upcoing season.
Season Opener: 11/2 vs Santiago Canyon
Antelope Valley (13-15, 7-7): It was a very inconsistent season for the Marauders as Antelope Valley could not find the win column on a regular basis. After an opening game win over Los Angeles Trade Tech, the Marauders lost three straight games and dropped to 1-3. It was a very streaky non conference as Antelope Valley finished 5-5 in the rest of their non conference part of their schedule and 6-8 going into conference play. In conference play the Marauders lost five of the first six games and found themselves out of the playoff picture. Antelope Valley finished the first half of conference with a 2-5 record and turned things around in the 2nd half of the season. Antelope Valley won five of their last six games and finished the regular season with a 7-7 record and an overall record of 13-15. The Marauders missed the post season and will try and have an improved 2023-2024.
Head Coach: John Taylor
2023-2024 outlook: The Marauders come into the new season with a lot of question marks especially when it comes to who will score the basketball for the upcoming season. Antelope Valley lost Jonathan Daniels, Joshua Assiff, Dakhari Lewis, Lucas Bagsik and Evan Scott Alexander is also not on the roster for the upcoming season. Antelope Valley lost four players that averaged in double figures and return four players from last season. “6-0” Josh Montiao leads the list of returners after the sophomore averaged 8.1 points per game last season. “6-4” Malachi Jones (3.2 points), “6-3” Ryan Frazer (2.9 points) and “6-6” James Ponders (0.9 points) will all return this upcoming season for the Marauders.
Newcomers: The Marauders will have plenty of new faces on the sidelines and Antelope Valley will look to have an improved 23-24 campaign. “6-3” Tre Hawkins and “5-8” Mike Gonzalez will both provide sophomore experience for the upcoming season. “6-1” Malik Larane (Knight), “6-2” KJ Beachman (Highland), “6-1” Marcus Hill (Highland), “6-3” Omari Mathis (Vasquez), “6-6” Chris Greene (Walkill) and “6-6” Jaden Bridgemohan (Northwood) will all look to contribute for the upcoming season.
Projection: Antelope Valley will look to build off their late run towards the end of the season.The Marauders have some pieces to build off and will look to have a better upcoming season. The Marauders do not return a lot but have some pieces in place to be competitive and questions will be answered as the season moves along. At this point, we feel Antelope Valley will have a competitive season but we have them finishing in the lower half of the conference and project them to finish in 6th place for the upcoming 23-24 season.
Season Opener: 11/2 vs Saddleback
Los Angeles Valley (11-17, 6-8): Last season the Monarchs struggled to find consistency in the non conference part of their season. Los Angeles Valley started the season off losing three of their first four games. After the slow start, the Monarchs picked up a win over Cypress but lost their next three games and continued to be inconsistent for most of non conference. Los Angeles Valley ended non conference play with a 5-9 record and needed to have a big conference showing to have a chance at making the post season. Los Angeles Valley started off conference action going 4-1 but lost their next seven games and fell out of the playoff picture. The Monarchs finished the regular season winning their last two games and finished conference action with a 6-8 conference record. Los Angeles Valley finished with an overall record of 11-17 and missed the post season in the 2022-2023 season.
Head Coach: Virgil Watson
2023-2024 outlook: The Monarchs come into the season as the team will look to have a competitive upcoming season. The Monarchs lost five players that were sophomores and three of those pieces averaged in double figures a year ago. Sargent Jeffery, Andre Parris and David Huggins all averaged in double figures and will be missed this upcoming season. Manny Kapoushian and Aidan Acosta are two other pieces that wont be back to the team after graduation. Losing those five players will be a huge loss especially since the Monarchs only return three players for the upcoming season. “5-11” Khalil Forrester (6.6 points), “6-7” Zyaun Lee (6.1 points) and “5-10” Chris Barrera (2.5 points) return back for their sophomore seasons. Los Angeles Valley returns three pieces but will rely on newcomers in some ways to pick up the scoring punch for the players they lost from last season.
Newcomers: Los Angeles Valley will have a lot of new pieces coming into the new season. “6-1” Yahsani Humphrey is a transfer from Whatcom CC as the guard averaged 13.0 points last season at the NWAC school and will give the Monarchs sophomore experience and a player that can put the ball in the basket. “6-6” Max Armstron (Cornerstone), “6-3” Kory Blunt (Birmingham), “6-1” Rondell Moore (Fremont), “6-3” Keden Porter (River Rouge), “6-1” Andrew Angulo (Van Nuys), and “6-1” Justin Watson (Bridgeton Prep) will all look to contribute to the Monarchs as freshman in the 23-24 season.
Projection: The Monarchs will look to have a competitive season but come into the season with a lot of question. Los Angeles Valley will figure it out on the fly and roles will be defined as the season moves along. The Monarchs do not have a lot of experience and time will tell how the season will turn out for them. We project that the Monarchs will finish in the bottom half of the conference and finish in 7th place in the 2023-2024 upcoming season.
Season Opener: 11/3 vs Palomar
College of the Canyons (14-14, 5-9): After starting the season off with two straight wins, the Cougars struggled to find consistency in the win column throughout the year. Canyons lost four of their next five games and then followed that up with a nice win streak and the Cougars looked like a team that would contend for the conference championship. Canyons won six of the their next seven games and finished non conference action with a 9-5 record. The Cougars were in control of their own destiny to say the least but lost six of their first seven conference games and found themselves outside the playoff picture. Canyons finished the regular season 4-3 and conference action with a 5-9 record. The Cougars finished the 23-24 season with a 14-14 overall record and missed the post season.
Head Coach: Howard Fisher
2023-2024 outlook: Coming into the new season, the Cougars will lack the experience that they had the season before. Canyons lost two players that averaged in double figures in Dillon Barrientos and Andrew Henderson. The Cougars also lost, Jimmy Galgano, Quincy Arms, Dylan Griffin and Jacob Gonzalez who gave them sophomore experience. The Cougars will return five players to this seasons team as Canyons will look to stay competitive. Leading the list of returners to the team is “6-5” Jonah El-Farra who averaged 12.1 points and 9.1 rebounds last season. “6-6” Mason Savery (6.0 points), “6-2” Isaiah Ortega (13 games),, “6-1” Deshawn Herold (12 games) and “6-0” Jacob Gonzales (3.0 points) all return to the Cougars. Jonah El-Farra leads the list of returnees and is expected to have a big season but the Cougars will not be as experienced as they were last season.
Newcomers: Canyons will have plenty of new players on the court for the upcoming season. “6-1” Isaiah Baptista (Kimball), “6-6” Joshua Barnett (Wharton), “6-1” Logan Ghoumari (Wiregrass Ranch), “6-2” Ricky Rivas (Alemany), and “6-3” Andrew Ezenwa (Golden Valley) will look to have a solid sesason and contribute for the Cougars this upcoming season.
Projection: The Cougars lost a lot from a year ago and will have plenty of players trying to fill roles of players from a year ago. El-Farra has the most experience after having a standout season a year ago but who else will step up and take the Cougars over the hump. Canyons has some quality freshman coming in but back court could be an issue. Canyons will look to stay competitive but we have them finishing in the lower half of the conference and have them finishing in 8th place for the 23-24 season..
Season Opener: 11/3 vs Barstow
2023-2024 Signal The Light Basketball Western State South Conference Preview
2. West Los Angeles
3. Santa Monica
6. Antelope Valley
7. Los Angeles Valley