SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Coming off a whirlwind season that saw the men's basketball team win 12 straight conference games, win the Big 8 Conference Championship, make it to the Nor Cal regional semifinals and conclude their season 23-8, the Hawks' face a new season with a lot of changes still filled with optimism and excitement.
Former head coach James Giacomazzi left shortly after the end of the 2014-2015 season to accept a coaching job closer to home, leading to a search for a new coach to lead the successful program. That coach was found as Devin Aye from Lassen College was hired and began working with the team to prepare for this new season.
"I came over to CRC because it has the best facilities, great local talent, and awesome support from administration! I am thankful for Lassen College offering me a chance to prove myself as a head coach," Aye said. "The last three years in Susanville I will always cherish with fond memories, but I could not turn down a chance at coaching at Cosumnes River College. This is the most prestigious community college in California and I would love to be here forever, and turning CRC into best men's basketball program in California."
Aye is not the only new face for the team, as alongside his new coaching staff the team has thirteen new freshman members
"We prepared for the season by having to go warp speed on learning everything. I am a new coach, new assistants, and 13 freshmen who haven't competed in collegiate basketball yet," Aye said. "It's a huge challenge, and the guys have responded with incredible effort and focus. It's an amazing group of young men and they have bought in since day 1. They enjoy coming to practice every day, and I enjoy coaching them every second. That's made for a special team and an opportunity to surprise people who expect this to be a rebuilding program with the coaching change."
Even with the program coming off of such a successful previous season which could potentially cause many to feel pressure when it comes to continuing that success, Aye said he wasn't worried about the team not being able to deliver another successful season.
"I expect this team to be very exciting and fun to watch. We will play fast, play together and compete each night with our depth, and unselfish play. As a spectator, expect to watch intense and high energy basketball that should excite fans, players and recruits," Aye said. "James Giacomazzi did an awesome job here, and I don't expect us have any drop off from where he left CRC men's basketball. Our goal for this season is to win the BIG 8 conference, all sophomores transfer to Universities, and have everyone pass their classes and be on track to graduate from CRC."
In their first two games of the season, The Hawks have split the difference ending up with a starting record of 1-1. Their match against Feather River on Nov. 9 brought a 98-89 loss but their game Nov. 11 game aganinst Lassen brought them a 92-88 win.
Kicking off a string of tournaments, the Hawks will take part in the Mendocino College Tournament on Nov. 19-21, facing off against Skyline College in round one. Then the Hawks' return home from Dec 3-5 for the 37th Annual James Clark Classic tournament held at CRC where they take on Alameda College for the first round of the tournament.
Next they travel to the Modesto Junior College Tournament on December 15-19, starting round one against Ohlone College, before heading off to the Chabot College Tournament from Dec. 28-30 where they'll take on Los Medanos College in the first round.
Come January and the start of the new year, the men will begin conference play with a game at home against Modesto Junior College on January 5. You can check out the rest of the Hawks' season schedule by clicking here.