Breakdown: The Cardinals will have to overcome a lack of size to compete in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League, although coach John Bauersfeld feels they can do just that.
"Guys have gotten beaten up in the league before, so we know what it's all about," he said. "We have some rebounding questions, but we can compete with the top teams in the league. We can create some matchup problems for other teams."
The size Calvert Hall does have is in the form of 6-5 senior Conor McVan, and the Cardinals add backcourt quickness with junior guard Wesley Blackwell (6-1) and sophomore guard (6-0) Sean Mayberry (6-0).
Richardson will be counted on for much of the scoring, yet he will need help to keep the team moving forward to its final objective.
2010 record: 11-12
Returning starters: Senior Will Darley (6-6) and junior Gavan Scanlan (6-5).
Breakdown: The Lions are still looking for a banner season, even though their top returning player, senior Kyle Williams, who averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game last winter, transferred to North Carolina a few days before the team roster was set.
"We were banking on a 20 (points)-10 (rebounds) guy this season," coach Ryan Lochte said. "But the cupboard is definitely not bare. We still feel we have an excellent club."
Williams' absence will put more pressure on Darley and Scanlan — when the latter returns to the court after an elbow injury heals in late December or early January — to keep the Lions on track.
The coach said that Darley "can shoot the three and put it on the deck to get to the line."
And that could make his a matchup problem for which some rivals have no answer.
Lochte also has younger players to insert in the lineup, including senior guard Chris Conway (6-1), senior forward Keaton Mock-Myers (6-2), junior guards Zach Hill (6-1) and Jordan Williams (5-11) and sophomore guard Jason Lawson (5-8), a Gilman transfer who will run the point.
"We'll go about seven-deep," Lochte said. "So, we'll have to watch the foul trouble and be smart with our pressure."
2011 record: 8-18
Returning starters: Senior center Warren Mason (6-8) and senior guard/forward Paul Orrson (6-1).
Breakdown: The Quakers will feature more new faces than familiar ones.
And there's no doubt coach Bill Pace will miss forward Jon Schmidt most of all among his nine seniors who departed.
The Quakers are desperate for inside punch after losing Schmidt, who averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds per game last year.