The floor leaders will have to get the ball inside to Wagner, who will be the threat in the paint and also defend opposing big men.

"Drew is a consistent guy," Toole said. "He will play hard for you, getting rebounds and loose balls."

Johnson, senior guard Greg Franklin (5-10) and senior power forward Chris Simon (6-2) should be valuable players.

Toole promoted three players from last year's JV — junior forward Ed Dett (5-11) and junior guard Vasili Sidou (5-10) and his son, Billy (5-11), a junior guard — to give him more options off the bench.

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Senior guards Chris Grafton (5-11), Jayvee Jonas (5-7) and Nevin Sugar (6-0) and senior forwards Dimitri Sidou (6-1) and Stone Philips (6-2) roundout the squad.

Tom Worgo

Loyola Blakefield

2011-2012 record: 10-19

Returning starters: Senior point guard Bennett Bradley (6-0) and senior off guard Mitch Cross (6-1).

Breakdown: The Dons are happy to have Bradley back in the fold running the show while looking for shooters like Cross to beat enemy defenders in the half court or down the floor.

A couple of 6-foot-2 guards, Billy Plunkett and Ryan Fields, should give Loyola more ways to ignite its running style.

The biggest issue for the Dons, though, will be finding other ways to stay in games.

"We're very small, so we're going to have to find a way to rebound the ball," coach Josh Davalli said. "We'll play a similar style to what we played last year. We'll rely on Bennett and Mitch to lead us again.

Realistically, it will be tough for Loyola to contend for a title in the powerful A Conference, given the size and depth of some rivals.

"We have to find rewards from something other than wins," Davalli said.


2012 record: 5-15

Returning starters: junior point guard Tyler Woolsey (5-11), junior guard/forward Jonathan Schildwachter (6-1) and junior forward Nathan Scarff.

Breakdown: The Saints' best hopes for success can be found in an improved offense.

Scoring problems led to lackluster season in 2011-2012.