What you need to know: It's a completely fresh slate for new coach Jared Albert, who inherits a Raider team that graduated over 80 percent of its scoring from last winter. The good news is that Albert, who coached the JV last season, has plenty of capable guys stepping up to fill those holes.
Acker (3.8 ppg last season) and Shapiro (3.4) are the leading returning scorers, while Bernetti saw starting time last year and averaged 3.3 assists a contest. Casey and Ballmer are transfers into the program from Mount St. Joseph that are expected to contribute right away.
In all, there are five returning seniors. Kyle Courtney and Louis Florenzo join Bernetti, Casey and Shapiro in that group. "Our strength is our team. We have a bunch of hard-working guys that on any given night they might be the one to step up and lead us," Albert said.
2011-12 record: 17-2, 21-6
Top players: Seniors Joe Eads (C), Omari Ringgold (G) and Timi Tinuoye (F).
What you need to know: There are a total of nine guys back from last year's team that lost in the state semifinals. Eads, Ringgold and Tinuoye are the captains and averaged a combined 16 rebounds a game between them last year. Ringgold is an established double-digit scorer, and coach Chad Hollwedel says he expects Tinuoye and Eads to join him in that area. "Both had bright spots last year and are ready for a great season with improved consistency," Hollwedel said.
Kendall DeVries, Bradley Benson, Zach Olmstead and Kyle Ruygrok are all seniors that will play a variety of roles. Juniors Walter Fletcher, who can run the point, and Chase Conley each were called up from JV at the end of last year.
Before the 2010-11 season, Centennial had never made it to the state semifinals. This winter, the Eagles will be trying to make it there for the third straight time.
2011-12 record: 6-13, 6-17
Top players: Senior Colin Randle (G); sophomores Matt Hammert (G), Nick Oates (G) and Daine Van de Wall (F).
What you need to know: The Gladiators feature four sophomores in their regular rotation to go along with just one senior, Randle, that saw regular playing time last winter. Spreading the ball around will be among the keys. "We don't have a go-to-guy right now, hopefully Colin will eventually step into that role, so that means we've got to be unselfish," coach Jansen McMillan said. "We're going to make games scrappy, ugly and definitely use that 3-ball."
Randle (6.7 ppg last year) is the leading returning scorer, while Oates and Hammert each averaged 4.0 points a game playing starter's minutes. Van de Wall is an intriguing prospect as a wing that can play inside and out. Also keep an eye on sophomore sharp shooter Dom Napolitano.
"We don't have an identity yet, but it's a good group. They work hard," McMillan said.
2011-12 record: 8-11, 9-14
Top players: Seniors Teddy Howard (F), Simon Minasse (G), Jimmy Rollin (F), DaRay Ross (F) and Nate Washington (G).
What you need to know: The Golden Bears are starting back at square one after getting hit as hard as any other county team by graduation and transfers. Only five guys from last year's varsity roster are back and none of them averaged more than two points a game.
What Hammond lacks in game experience, though, it should make up some of that in its work ethic and defensive intensity according to coach Karl Friedheim. "This is a special group of guys and they have been working extremely hard each day to improve," he said.