Mike Harris is off to a sizzling start after transferring to the Diablo Valley College men's basketball team from Cal Lutheran-Thousand Oaks.
The Monte Vista High graduate is making the transition from Kingsmen post player to Vikings swing man, averaging 16 points a game.
Harris was named MVP of the Vikings' Chevron Tournament last week after helping Diablo Valley (5-1) beat Umpqua (Ore.) 65-50 in the championship game.
Things are going so well that Vikings coach Steve Coccimiglio believes Harris, who averaged 21 points over his first three games, might receive Division I interest by season's end.
"He's our motor. He's our guy," Coccimiglio said of the 6-foot-4, 195-pound left-hander.
In high school, Harris was a multisport machine. Try this unique triple on for size: As a junior he played football, basketball and swimming, only dropping football as a senior.
On the hardwood, he averaged a double-double as a senior power forward/center. Then he helped the Mustangs' 200-yard freestyle relay team to a blistering second-place finish at the 2011 North Coast Section swim championships, one year after Harris and Co. placed first in the same event.
"I think we were in the top 10 in the nation," Harris said of the 200-free relay time. "That was pretty cool."
Harris enjoyed playing at Division III Cal Lutheran but felt the school was too small. Plus, he wanted to shoot for a higher level.
"The whole school dynamic of it wasn't right for me," he said. "So I talked to my dad, and we decided to come back and play for a year at DVC and work on my guard skills a little bit more and see what opens up after that.
"So far it's going pretty well. I like the team. I'm comfortable at DVC."
Coccimiglio, who emphasizes tough defense, is replacing basically his whole team this season, including sensational guard Brian Goins, who is already turning heads at Cal State San Bernardino, averaging 26.5 points in his first two games.
So Harris has been a most welcome addition.
"He's really competitive," Coccimiglio said. "He's worked hard on being a face-up player. He's a great kid, very tough-minded, really a go-getter and an aggressive kid."
BOARD WORK: Dominican University center Sarah Nelson (Clayton Valley Charter), a 6-foot-4 sophomore, leads the Pacific West Conference in blocked shots (5.3 pg) and rebounds (11.7 pg) and is third in scoring (18.3 pg).
BARBOUR A CUT ABOVE: Another Monte Vista graduate, Columbia senior guard Brian Barbour was 8 for 8 down the stretch in a 75-59 road win over Villanova on Nov. 20. An All-Ivy League pick last season, Barbour had a team-high 19 points against both Marist and Furman and leads the Lions averaging 12.8 points a game. Barbour scored 9 in a loss at USF last Saturday.
PIONEERS BASKETBALL: The Cal State East Bay men's and women's basketball teams open the California Collegiate Athletic Association season at San Francisco State and Sonoma State on Friday and Saturday. The Pioneers women's team (2-2) got 17 points from forward Lauren Lucchesi in a 79-66 loss against unbeaten Westmont on Nov. 21. For San Francisco State (2-2, 1-1 CCAA), Michaela Booker (James Logan) is averaging 11.5 ppg. For Sonoma State (1-2, 1-1 CCAA), senior guard Taylor Vigil (Carondelet) was 12 for 12 shooting and scored 24 points in a win over SFSU on Nov. 24. Junior Jamie Capoot (Contra Costa) has made 11 of 13 free-throw attempts and is averaging 7.0 ppg. Cal State East Bay's men's team (1-2) boasts forward Nick Marshall (Las Positas) and guard Gabe Kindred (Oakland/Salt Lake City CC). For the Gators (2-0), James Albright (Fremont High/Cal State Bakersfield) was named MVP of the Carl's Jr. Mac Martin Invitational in Chico after averaging 17.5 points over two games.
Contact Matt Schwab at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @schwab_matt.