Coach: Eric Gamari, 5th year
Last year: 9-11, Class L First Round
Losses: Dave Canny, 6-10 C; Austin Kelson, 6-0 G/F; Anthony Classen, 6-0 F; Jimmy Moran 6-0 G; Anthony Davis, 5-9 G.
Returners: Desmond Langs, 6-3 sr. F/C; John McCarthy, 5-10 sr. G, cpt; Mitch Zagrodnik, 6-1 sr. F/C; Spencer Mourges, 6-0 sr. F
Newcomers: Connor Finn, 5-10 soph. G; Zak Mancini, 5-7 soph. G; Dom Sabia, 6-0 fresh. G/F; Tim Considine, 6-0 jr. G; Manny Rijo, 6-2 jr. F; Jake Boccio, 6-2 soph. F/C.
Outlook: Just one starter back, but, with maturity, Gamari thinks they’ll get to the middle of the pack
Coach’s top teams pick: Defending NVL Champion Crosby brings back four starters; Wilby; Kennedy.
Coach: Mark Douglass, 10th year
Last year: 14-8, Class S first round
Losses: Robert Skinner 6-0 All-BL, All-State G; Louis Cordova 6-2 G; Alex Brunoli 6-2 C/F; Corey Desanti 6-1 F; Mark Collins 6-6 C; George Ignatiadis 6-1 F
Returners: Yoharkey Sarmiento, 6-3 sr. F; Brian Albanesius 5-10 jr. G; Paxton Lewis-Franklin 6-2 jr. F/C; Anthony Gonzalez 5-8 jr. G.
Newcomers: Matt Coon; T.J. Maher; Yordan Reyes.
Outlook: “Not a lot of varsity experience, but team will work together. Should be in top half of league. Sarmiento proved to be a force last year and has improved.”
Top teams: Terryville returns two All-BL players, plus Northwestern, Nonnewaug and Thomaston.
Coach: Spike Magyar, 2nd year, after an interim season last year
Last year: 0-20
Returners: Jeremy Stiewing, sr. cpt; Jesse Mohring, sr; Justin Dean, soph; Nick Camardi, jr; Chance O’Niel, jr; Pat Considine, soph.
Newcomer: Nick Labbadia, sr.
Outlook: Returning four starters.
Coach: Todd Kozak, 3rd year
Last year: 6-14
Returners: Spencer Maloney, sr; Danny Kryzanski, sr; Alexander Daigle, sr; Nate Cook, jr.
Outlook: The Spartans are shooting for a state tournament berth.
Coach’s top teams pick: Terryville, Northwestern, Gilbert, Nonnewaug
Coach: Dan Goscinksi, 1st year
Last year: 3-17
Returners: Spencer Persechino, sr. cpt; Darrin Newbury, sr; Matt McCarthy, jr; Steve Ringquist, sr; Tyler Mowry, sr; Brandon Hoodstadt, soph.
Newcomers: Cal McKenna, soph; Austin Dieck, soph; Mike Minucci, jr; Ryan O’Neill, fresh; Josh Guilmart, fresh.
Outlook: All but one player is back. A new head coach asks for defensive commitment. A talented freshman class knocks on the door.
Coach’s top teams pick: Terryville, with Northwestern, Gilbert, Lewis Mills, Nonnewaug and Thomaston in the mix.
Coach: Tim Drakeley, 20th year
Last year: 12-8; Class S 2nd round (66-59 Old Lyme OT)
Losses: Dylan Martland, 6-2 All-BL C; Ben Timme, 6-2 All-BL F; Greg Porcelli, 5-9 G
Returners: Chris Pillis, sr. G, cpt; Nick Uberti sr. G, cpt; Christian Metallo, sr. G, cpt.
Newcomers: Nick Deccicco, soph. G: Seth Losure, jr. C; Charlie Timme, jr. G/F; Danny Escedy, jr. F.
Outlook: Brand new starting five, though the captains were “part-time starters.” A deep team with a solid work ethic should rise quickly under Drakeley.
Coach’s top teams pick: Terryville, Gilbert, Lewis Mills, Northwestern
Coach: Doug Sebach, 10th year
Last year: 22-0; BL league and tournament champions; Class M quarterfinals
Losses: Connor Guiheen All-BL G; John Stevens, All-BL G; Mike Jefko, All-BL C/F; Arthur Lefevre, G
Returners: John Lippincott, sr. cpt; Teddy Bremer, sr. cpt.
Newcomers: Ricky Persechino, Stephen McGrath, Zach Tuxbury, Will Scharnberg, Tony Ortiz, Aiden Tellier, Joe Lodovico, Deven Warren, Anthony Case, Alex Case.
Outlook: Lippincott and Bremer saw plenty of action last year. They’ll need to be big-time leaders of a young, brand new group.
Coach’s top teams pick: Terryville, Gilbert
Coach: Matt Lefevre, 1st year
Last year: 4-16
Losses: Lucas Guliano, F/C; Dylan McAward, G; Kellen Rikhoff, F; Mike Anson, G; Peyton Kay, C; Spencer Ylagan, F
Returners: Joshua Reutzel, sr; Dean Hill, sr; Griffin Ylagen, jr; Sam Krebs, jr; Robert McCarthy, jr; Ben Levine, jr.
Newcomers: Ryan LaMay, soph; Clayton Schneider, soph; Steve Williams, soph.
Outlook: Graduated all five starters. Start over with a young team.
Coach’s top teams pick: Terryville, Gilbert Northwestern, Lewis Mills. Thomaston, Litchfield and Nonnewaug.
Coach: Mark Fowler, 15th year
Last year: 17-5, BL Tournament runner-up; Class S quarterfinals
Losses: Arthur Trent, 6-2 F; Jon Festa, 6-3 C; Devyn Oakes, 6-0 G/F; Jonah Giblin 5-8 G
Returners: Tyler Trillo, 5-8 All-BL sr. G (13 ppg.); Jacob Johnson 6-0 All-BL sr. G (12 ppg.); Shea Tracy, 5-8 jr. G; Sean Huria 6-1 jr. F; Zack Graham, 6-4 sr. C; Taylor Donofrio 5-11 sr. F; Ian Schmidt 5-10 so G; Jeff Dupaul 6-0 jr. G/F.
Season Outlook: Thanks to stellar guards, the Kangaroos are odds-on favorites to take the league. If they have trouble, it will be underneath, where Fowler worried last year, even with Trent and Festa.
Coach: Gary Franklin, 3rd year
Last year: 11-9, Class S 1st round
Returners: Brian Sousa, jr; Brian Butkevicious, sr; Tyler Donofrio, jr; Justin Taylor, soph; Shane O’Bar, jr.
Outlook: “We need our supporting cast of underclassmen to develop quickly and become valuable contributors. I expect to be playing several meaningful games in March.
Coach’s top team pick: Terryville
Coach: Gregg Hunt, 18th year
Last year: 12-8, Class S 2nd round
Losses: Six seniors, including all five starters led by All-State, All-BL Nick Nemergut.
Returners: Greg Peck, 5-11 sr; Matt Rollins, 5-8 soph.
Newcomers: Tristan Pepin, 6-0 sr; Devin Ruot, 5-8 soph; Nick Brennan, 5-9 jr; Max Loomis, 6-0 fresh.
Coach’s top teams pick: Terryville. Gilbert and Northwestern contending. Lewis Mills dark horse.
Constitution State Conference
Coach: Rene Williams, 12th year
Last year: 4-16.
Returners: Asante Maldon, sr; Luke Pergola, sr; Jake Munson, sr; Brandon Oakes, soph
Outlook: The CSC comes into its own in boys basketball, with several of its city schools ranking among the top state teams. The Wildcats have some fine athletes, but, if they reach their goal of finishing in the middle of the pack and qualifying for states, they’ll have had a great season. Pergola needs 350 points to reach 1,000.
Coach’s top teams pick: Capital Prep, Classical Magnet, Kaynor Tech