The boys basketball season has started for the private schools, and the public schools will begin play Friday. That means it's time to start rolling out the projections for this season's top teams.
In the coming days, you can go to VarsityLetters for a countdown of the top-five teams. The area's preseason No. 1-ranked team will be posted Thursday. The entire Top 15 poll, along with the top players to watch, will be available online Thursday night and in Friday's print edition.
Outlook: The Gaels fulfilled last season's lofty expectations when they swept the MIAA A Conference and BCL championships. They did so largely behind the graduated guard tandem of All-Metro Player of the Year Phil Booth and first-teamer Jaylen Adams. The points, assists, rebounds and defense they brought will be tough to replace, but even more difficult will be the leadership, experience and competitiveness. Can Miller, Barnes and Doles – all contributors in lesser roles last season — become go-to players? Will a new batch of players up from last year's 29-1 junior varsity be able to adjust to the varsity level immediately? With no seniors on the roster and significant graduation hits, it could be easy to see Mount Saint Joseph take a back seat to more experienced teams such as Calvert Hall and St. Frances this season, but the Gaels won't settle for that. Look for them to improve on the go as the players grow into their bigger roles and be right there when the biggest games are played at the end of the season.