COACH: Tim Swaller
LAST YEAR: 8-13 (4-4)
TOP PLAYERS: Nick Weissauer, 5-10, Sr. capt., G; Matt Gomes, 5-10, Sr. capt., G; Robert Notholt, 6-6, Sr. capt., C; Sean Deegan, 6-2, Sr., F
OUTLOOK: The Lions lost forward Austin Woods, which will hurt. Notholt should be improved in the pivot. He leads a group of six seniors that should end up finishing above .500.
COACH: Jeff DeMaio
LAST YEAR: 11-10 (3-5)
TOP PLAYERS: Luke Dombroski, 6-3, Sr. capt., F (11.0 ppg., 9.0 rpg); Will Cofrances, 5-7, Sr., G; J.P. Barrett, 6-5, Sr., F; Mike Afeltra, 5-8, Sr., G; Shaun Ross, 5-8, Jr., G
OUTLOOK: With three starters back and some other experienced players returning, Guilford will be better this season. That should mean at least .500 in the Hammonasset Division.
COACH: Frank Rossi
LAST YEAR: 9-12 (5-3)
TOP PLAYERS: Sam Jablonski, 6-1, Sr. capt., G; Brendan Hughes, 6-1, Sr. capt., G; Andre Frederick, 6-8, Sr., C; Phillip Crampton, 6-7, Sr., F/C
OUTLOOK: The Tigers have size, depth and experience. Throw in Frederick, a transfer from Detroit already signed to play at Robert Morris, and this team can have a very good season. Playing Wilbur Cross in the season opener at home could be a good measuring stick for the program.
COACH: Renard Sutton
LAST YEAR: 26-1 (8-0)
TOP PLAYERS: Shane Christie, 6-2, Sr. capt,, G; Raiquan Clarke, 6-4, Sr. capt., F; Dion Allick-Boyd, 5-8, Sr. capt., G; Wayne Whyte, 6-4, Sr., F; Juan Sepulveda, 5-10, Jr., G
OUTLOOK: The defending league and Class LL state champions graduated the state’s best backcourt in Andre Anderson and Bobby Bynum. Their presence alone will be sorely missed. Christie and Clarke are both dominant players in their own right and Hillhouse will always be force in LL. The question that remains is: Will the Academics be quite as dominant as they have been in recent years.
COACH: Tim Dooley
LAST YEAR: 3-17 (0-8)
TOP PLAYERS: Ryan Siddall, 6-2, Jr. capt., F; Kevin Wall, 6-1, Sr. capt., G; Jeremy Doucette, 6-0, Jr. capt., G; Matt Cadrin, 6-1, Sr. capt., G
OUTLOOK: The Lawmen should be more competitive this season. But it won’t be easy for them to make much headway in this division.
COACH: Jeff Nielsen
LAST YEAR: 15-7 (7-1)
TOP PLAYERS: Dan Horton, 5-9, Sr. capt., G; Sebastian DiMauro, 5-11, Sr. capt., G; Dave Ryan, 6-3, Sr., G
OUTLOOK: How will the Spartans replace Zac Campbell and six other senior starters? Gone is 87 percent of last year’s offense. On top of that, Amity’s first six games are away from home. The team needs to gain experience in a hurry if it wants to play beyond the regular season.
COACH: Dan Lee
LAST YEAR: 11-12 (6-2)
TOP PLAYERS: Collin Jordan, 5-10, Sr. capt., G (12.0 ppg., 6.0 apg.); Tyler Post, 6-3, Sr. capt., F; Andrew Yamin, 5-10, Jr., G; Jon Rizzo 5-11, Sr., G
OUTLOOK: Jordan is the best returning player in the division. That alone makes Cheshire the team to beat. The Rams have plenty of experience around Jordan to fare much better than a season ago.
COACH: Jim DiNello
LAST YEAR: 1-19 (0-8)
TOP PLAYERS: Kyle Smith, 6-4, Jr., F/C; Justin Brown, 6-3, Jr., F; Griffin Pierson, 6-5, Jr., C
OUTLOOK: It looks to be another lean year for the Trojans, who don’t have a senior on the roster. DiNello believes plenty of players will get a shot to play as long as they buy into the system. It may take a season or two for them to reap the benefits of their hard work this season.
COACH: Joe Gaetano
LAST YEAR: 10-11 (4-4)
TOP PLAYERS: Mike Tiedemann, 6-2, Sr. capt., G; Zach Wissbrun, 6-4, Sr. capt., F; Brandon Rentas, 5-10, Jr., G; Justin Lange, 6-4, Sr., C
OUTLOOK: It’s always surprising when Sheehan is not among the top two teams in the Housy Division. There will be no surprises this year because the Titans will challenge Cheshire.
COACH: Brian Gardiner
LAST YEAR: 7-13 (3-5)
TOP PLAYERS: Christian Federici, 6-3, Sr. capt., F (10.0 ppg.); Pat Murphy, 6-0, Sr. capt., G; Matt Brouillette, 6-0, Sr. capt., G; Mike Davis, 6-2, Sr., G; Casey Belade, 6-3, So., G
OUTLOOK: The Gaels fell just short of qualifying for the Class LL state tournament last season. Returning six of an eight-man rotation last year should translate into a return to postseason play and quite possibly division title contention.
COACH: Leo Redgate
LAST YEAR: 24-3 (8-0)
TOP PLAYERS: Paschal Chukwu, 7-1, Sr. capt., C; Tom Nolan, 6-3, Jr. capt., G; Dave Zielinski, 6-1, Sr. capt., G; Keith Pettway, 5-10, Sr., G; Ryan Murphy, 6-2, So., G
OUTLOOK: With four returning starters, including the Providence-bound Chukwu, this is the SCC preseason favorite and quite possibly the state’s best team. Can the Jesuits handle the pressure of the expectations? With the Nolan-Murphy guard combo and Chuwku patrolling the lane, Prep may thrive on it.
COACH: Jarrad Beck
LAST YEAR: 8-13 (3-5)
TOP PLAYERS: Rob Brown, 6-4, Sr. capt., F (8.0 ppg.); Bryant Backus, 6-4, Sr. capt., F; Aaron Green, 6-3, Sr., F; Blair Johnson, 5-11, Jr., G
OUTLOOK: The Green Dragons lost a lot of experience from last year’s team that barely qualified for the Class LL state tournament. In what is arguably the conference’s most competitive division, that does not bode well for Hamden.
NOTRE DAME (W.H.)
COACH: Jason Shea
LAST YEAR: 15-8 (4-4)
TOP PLAYERS: Tahj Eaddy, 5-10, Sr. capt., G; Alex Puzzone, 6-3, Sr. capt., F; Lonnie Blackwell, 5-10, Sr. capt., G; Kalane Ham, 5-10, Sr., G; Karim Cisse, 6-2, Jr., F
OUTLOOK: Shea takes over for his former mentor, Gary Palladino. He has a solid returning backcourt in Blackwell and Eaddy and some size with Puzone and Cisse. It will be interesting to see how things change for the Green Knights under new leadership, but one thing won’t: Notre Dame always will compete and battle for 32 minutes.
COACH: Harry Bosley
LAST YEAR: 7-13 (0-8)
TOP PLAYERS: Kenneth Graham, 6-3, Sr. capt., C; Gary Dudley, 6-2, Sr. capt., G; Thomas Brim, 6-0. Jr. capt., F
OUTLOOK: Behind Dudley and Graham, the Westies will not go winless in the division again and they should return to the postseason after missing out by a game last season.
COACH: Mike Kohs
LAST YEAR: 16-9 (5-3)
TOP PLAYERS: Brandon MacPherson, 6-3, Sr., F (10.0 ppg.); Elijah Pemberton, 6-2, Jr., G (13.6 ppg.); Thomas Jackson, 6-0, So., G; Karl Sturm, 6-3, Sr., F; Kaleb Lutton, 6-4, Jr., C
OUTLOOK: Xavier made a spirited, if not expected, run to the Class LL state semifinals. With Pemberton and Jackson among others returning, Xavier will be Prep’s chief challenger in this division.
COACH: Jake Palluzzi
LAST YEAR: 13-9 (4-4)
TOP PLAYERS: Jon Fuller, 5-8, Sr. capt., G; Alexander King, 5-10, Sr. capt., G; Restinel Lomotey, 6-2, Sr. capt., F (13.0 ppg.); Connor Stratton, 6-2, Sr. capt., F; Joe Carbone, 6-0, Jr, G
OUTLOOK: The Hornets return three starters, including Lomotey, who could emerge into one of the conference’s better players. Branford won’t contend for the division title, but Cross and Career normally have a tough time winning at Branford.
COACH: Larry Kelley
LAST YEAR: 15-9 (6-2)
TOP PLAYERS: Amos Ford, 5-11, Sr. capt., G; Justice Phifer, 6-6, Sr. capt., C; Jordan Lomax, 6-2, Sr. capt., G/F; Justin Campbell, 6-5, Jr.,C; Tyreek Perkins, 5-11, So., G
OUTLOOK: The Panthers fared better than expected coming off of its first state title in the 2011-12 season. Career will battle Cross for SCC Oronoque supremacy once again.
COACH: Ricky Narracci
LAST YEAR: 4-16 (0-8)
TOP PLAYERS: Josh Levin, 5-11, Sr., G; Joe DiNatale, 5-8, Sr., G; Franklin Whitfield, 5-11, Sr., F; Zak Vinyard, 6-2, Jr., F
OUTLOOK: Narracci returns to his alma mater, where he coached from 2004-09. It won’t be easy, seeing Nick Lamberti is concentrating on baseball and Ben Bagnoli transferred to Notre Dame-West Haven. Will the Easties get out of the cellar or qualify for the state tournament? It’s a very tall order, but not impossible.
COACH: Pete Civitello
LAST YEAR: 9-12 (3-5)
TOP PLAYERS: Josh Lopez, 5-9, Sr. capt., G (11.0 ppg.); Matt DeFrancisco, 5-10, Sr. capt., G; Pat Mikos, 5-10, Sr. capt., G
OUTLOOK: The Indians are rebuilding this season. They will have to rely on the tri-captains to make any type of headway in this division.
COACH: Kevin Walton
LAST YEAR: 21-5 (7-1)
TOP PLAYERS: Chan Williams-Bey, 6-5, Sr. capt., G/F (16.0 ppg.); Josh Fleming, 5-9, Sr. capt., G (18.0 ppg.); Jaylin Fuller, 5-11, Sr., G; Mike Judkins, 6-1, Sr., G
OUTLOOK: It was a banner first year under Walton, winning the division and advancing to the Class L state semifinals. Behind Williams-Bey and Fleming, the Governors are the favorite to repeat and should contend for the SCC and Class L state titles. But are they No. 1 in the Elm City? Can Cross beat Hillhouse in a big spot? That remains to be seen.