Zech Martin of University is the lone returning first-team pick. And just one second-team selection is back, Brett Bailey of U-Hi.
The top six scorers graduated. The top returning scorer is Bailey (13.6 points per game). The top returners after Bailey are: Martin (13.2), Jeff Livingston of Lewis and Clark (12.7), Kionte Brown of Shadle Park (12.6), Gaven Deyarmin of Central Valley (12.3), Chris Wilson of Ferris (11.3) and Nick Bettinson of Shadle (11.2).
Jump right in
League play begins Tuesday and the early schedule features some notable games. In openers, Ferris is at Gonzaga Prep, Shadle Park goes to Rogers and Mead is at University. All tip off at 7. On Dec. 9, U-Hi is at Shadle and CV is at G-Prep. Both begin at 7.
What they’re saying
Ferris coach Don Van Lierop says size, chemistry and work ethic are team strengths. “Season-long improvement could have us playing our best at playoff time,” Van Lierop said. … University coach Garrick Phillips doesn’t see any weaknesses with his team. “None on paper,” Phillips said. “All of the parts are there. Focusing on playing together will be the key, and team success needs to be a priority over individual accolades.” Phillips also noted his team has a lot of scorers but there’s just one basketball to share. … North Central returns no starters off a team that finished sixth at the State 3A tournament. “We have an enthusiastic group that wants to do well,” NC coach Jay Webber said. “They want to make their own mark compared to teams of the past. We know we have our work cut out for us. We want to continue our success that we’ve had the past five to six years.” … Rogers brings back two starters. Pirates coach Tim Wood said quickness and dribble penetration should be team strengths. “We’ll be good,” Wood said. … Mead returns two starters. “All of our newcomers need to contribute because we have so few starters,” said Mead coach Glenn Williams, the dean of GSL coaches. “We have good overall size, good overall athleticism and several good shooters. We have enough offensive weapons to make some noise. We must defend and rebound to be truly competitive.” … Former Reardan boys coach Dan Smith takes over at Mt. Spokane. He faces a rebuilding project with no returning starters. “We are a young team on the rise that may surprise some people,” Smith said. “We will be a work in progress, but I expect us to be competitive despite our lack of size and experience.” … Central Valley has two starters and five other lettermen. “It’s an athletic team and nine of our top 10 play football, too,” CV coach Rick Sloan said. “I’m very anxious to see how we respond having a late start due to the football playoffs. We have seven seniors, so I have a pretty good feeling we will be fine down the stretch. We’re going to be a fun team to watch. Practices should be very competitive and spirited.” … Shadle brings back three starters, led by senior Brett Boese, who missed most of last season because of a broken foot. “Being healthy so far,” Shadle coach Tim Gaebe mentioned as a team strength. “We have a chance to be competitive. We must take care of the ball and rebound.” … Gonzaga Prep coach Matty McIntyre will field a team with a bunch of new faces. “Years past people knew that we had some really talented kids and (NCAA) Division I players and expectations were high,” McIntyre said. “This year expectations might be tempered a little bit until we know what we’re dealing with.” McIntyre likes the potential, though. “I really like our versatility,” he said. “We can play really fast with five guards and put shooters on the floor or we can go big and strong. We have kids who bring some unique skills to the table.”
|Predicted finish||4. Central Valley||8. Lewis and Clark|
|1. University||5. Gonzaga Prep||9. North Central|
|2. Ferris||6. Mead||10. Mt. Spokane|
|3. Shadle Park||7. Rogers|