2014-15 Boys Basketball Capsule Previews


Head coach: Rob Blackwell, 12th season

2013-14 record: 17-3 (8-0 Division IV Southern, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (four)

Top players: G/F Jake Buchman (So.), G Rom Izkovich (Sr.), G Jacob Elharrar (So.), F Brandon Pappas (So.)

Outlook: The Lions took many by surprise last year when they won the Southern League regular season title and advanced to the Division IV state tournament.

With a target on their backs this season, the Lions hope players like Buchman (15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds per game), Izkovich (11.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.0 assists per game) and Elharrar (9.0 ppg, 7.0 apg) can have another solid season.

“We’re looking forward to our sophomores showing tremendous growth from the success they helped us reach last season,” Blackwell said. “We will continue to rely on the leadership from our seniors as we pursue the goal to improve daily as a basketball team.”


Head coach: Steven Sullivan, first season

2013-14 record: 4-10 (3-5 Division IV Southern, seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (four)

Outlook: The Hornets bring back four starters from a team that finished just one game out of a tie for fourth in the Southern League.

“We will have a young, athletic bench with a lot of potential,” Sullivan said. “With a new coach, the team will be introduced to a new offense and a new style of basketball. However, with commitment and hard work, this team has the ability to be very competitive.”


Head coach: Eric Markuson, third season

2013-14 record: 10-15 (1-9 Southwest, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Two (two)

Top players: G Jamal Logan (Jr.), F Davian Jordan (Jr.)

Outlook: The Bengals return only two lettermen, but Logan (15.0 points per game) and Jordan (8.0 ppg) both are solid contributors.

“We are hoping to play an uptempo game, but will need to rebound and play tough defense in order to do so,” Markuson said. “We will rely on a good mixture of juniors and seniors to compete in a tough league.”


Head coach: Freddie Banks, fourth season

2013-14 record: 25-5 (10-0 Northeast, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (one)

Top players: G Jordan Davis (Sr.)

Outlook: The two-time defending Sunrise Region champions have a bit of work to do as Davis (15.5 points per game) is the lone returning starter.

“The team is going to be young, but is willing to work hard and get better,” said Banks, who is coaching both the boys and girls teams at Canyon Springs. “We lost a lot of key starters last year, but the kids are playing hard.”


Head coach: Todd Allen, sixth season

2013-14 record: 25-4 (8-2 Southwest, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (three)

Top players: G/F Troy Brown (So.), F Garett Scheer (Sr.), G Darrian Traylor (Sr.), G Isaiah Banks (So.), G/F Aaron Turner (Sr.)

Outlook: In at least some people’s eyes, the second-best team in the state last year, the Bulldogs suffered three of their four losses to state champion Bishop Gorman.

With only four lettermen back, they’ll have some work to do to have as successful of a run this year.

Brown (15.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game) already is one of the top players in the state. He’ll get some help from Scheer (10.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Traylor, who missed last season due to injury. Scheer has signed to play at Air Force next season, and Traylor will be headed to UC-Irvine.

“The Bulldogs will rely on unselfishness and buying in to roles in order to be successful,” Allen said. “Our athleticism, length and depth will be our strong attributes.

“Senior leadership from Aaron Turner and contributions from sophomore Isaiah Banks will be a key.”


Head coach: Steven Bentz, second season

2013-14 record: 9-19 (5-7 Sunrise, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (four)

Top players: G Marc Silas (Jr.), C Maharie Trotter (Sr.), F Edgar Ramirez (Sr.), F Richard Nelson (Jr.)

Outlook: The Cowboys won a play-in game last year to earn the Sunrise League’s final postseason berth.

Four starters return from that team, led by Silas (11.8 points per game, 2.7 assists per game) and Trotter (4.8 ppg, 11.1 rebounds per game). Ramirez (3.1 ppg) and Nelson (5.6 rpg) also are expected to contribute.

“We bring back lots of experience and skilled players this season that should give us more depth as a team,” Bentz said. “I look forward to having a balanced offensive attack and a tough, hard-nosed defensive team this year.”


Head coach: Chris Walker, second season

2013-14 record: 13-15 (5-5 Southwest, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (two)

Top players: G Jadon Brown (So.), C/F Terrell Walker (Sr.)

Outlook: The Spartans finished third last year in a league that featured two of the state’s best teams.

With only three lettermen back, inexperienced players will need to make major contributions.

Brown (six points per game, two rebounds per game) and Walker (four ppg, three rpg) are the top two returnees.

“We are going to work hard, aiming to compete every night,” coach Walker said. “We will need our returning players to step up, contribute on a nightly basis and be leaders on and off the court.”


Head coach: Chad Beeten, fifth season

2013-14 record: 25-5 (10-0 Sunset, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eleven (three)

Top players: G Colby Jackson (Sr.), G Carter Olsen (Sr.), F Ty’Rek Wells (Sr.), F Deshawn Wilson (So.), F Darius Jackson (So.)

Outlook: Most teams would cringe over having to replace the Division I-A state player of the year.

Picking up the slack of the graduated Diontae Jones (13.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game) won’t be easy for the Chargers, but plenty of talent returns from last year’s state championship team.

Olsen averaged 12 points and three assists per game, and teams with Jackson (10 ppg, 7.0 apg) in a formidable backcourt.

“We have a very experienced backcourt returning, and they are strong players with high expectations,” Beeten said. “Our frontcourt is young, but if they perform at the expected levels we set for them, this team could be a state championship competitor.”


Head coach: Tyler Ehrke, sixth season

2013-14 record: 9-17 (2-8 Southeast, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (three)

Top players: F Brian Greer (Sr.), F Jonross Juhas (Sr.), G Rashaun Lawson (Sr.), F Noah Spearman (Sr.)

Outlook: Greer (16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds per game) and Juhas (11.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg) lead a list of five returnees for the Dragons.

“This team will lean on upperclassmen to be successful,” Ehrke said. “We have several key returning players this year that should allow us to be competitive. We hope to be successful in Division I-A this season.”


Head coach: Ryan Fretz, second season

2013-14 record: 14-14 (2-8 Southwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: F Kodi Leslie (Sr.), G Rodrick Moore (Sr.), F Aamondae Coleman (Jr.), F Deric Hammock (Sr.)

Outlook: With four starters back and plenty of offensive firepower among them, the Diamondbacks have high hopes for the season.

Leslie (13.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game), Moore (10.6 ppg), Hammock (10.0, 5.4 rpg) and Coleman (5.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg) all should be big contributors.

“Our experienced team is eager to reap the rewards of players taking it upon themselves to improve in the offseason,” Fretz said. “We are continually raising our expectations and looking forward to using our seven varsity returning players, coupled with move-ins (Andrue) Aguilera, (Daron) Fuglesten and (Tyler) McClendon to compete for our program’s first home playoff game.”


Head coach: Mike Uzan, fourth season

2013-14 record: 23-6 (12-0 Sunrise, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (one)

Top players: G Coby Myles (Sr.), G Capri Uzan (So.), F Trevon Abdullah (So.)

Outlook: Myles (10.7 points, 4.4 assists per game), and Uzan (6.5 ppg, 2.5 apg) are two of just four returnees for the Jaguars, who advanced to the Division I-A state semifinals last year.

The Jaguars have some scoring slack to pick up after losing both Nate Grimes (13.8 ppg, 9.4 rebounds per game) and Re’meake Keith (11.4 ppg).

“We are young, inexperienced and talented,” coach Uzan said.


Head coach: Bret Walter, 18th season

2013-14 record: 13-15 (5-5 Sunset, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (two)

Top players: G Blake Bell (Jr.), F John Molchon (Sr.)

Outlook: The Crusaders qualified for the postseason last year, but lost eight seniors to graduation.

Molchon (6.7 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game) and Bell (5.1 ppg, 3.1 assists per game) are the top returnees for a team that will need inexperienced players to make contributions.


Head coach: Kevin Soares, 16th season

2013-14 record: 20-7 (10-0 Southeast, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (one)

Top players: F Torrance Littles (Sr.), G Colin Curi (Sr.), G Kevin Woodland (Sr.)

Outlook: No matter how many or how few players they return, the Falcons always seem to be in the discussion for a league title.

With just one starter back this year — Littles (6.0 points, 6.0 rebounds per game) — Soares and his staff have work to do.

“We will be in somewhat of a rebuilding mode, but we fully expect to make progress and be in the hunt for league and region titles by the season’s end,” Soares said.


Head coach: Lorenzo Jarvis, fifth season

2013-14 record: 10-16 (4-6 Northeast, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (two)

Top players: G Kris Nicholas (Sr.), G Xavier Jarvis (Jr.), G Brandon Burke (Sr.), F Isiah Macklin (Jr.), G Kelvin Omojola (Sr.), F Romello Jones (Sr.), F Dylan Trejo (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gators return seven lettermen, but lost a good chunk of the team’s scoring and rebounding to graduation.

Nicholas (9.5 points, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals per game) and Burke (6.8 ppg, 1.3 spg, 2.0 rebounds per game) are expected to be among the leaders on a team that is hoping to show improvement.


Head coach: Jeff Newton, 21st season

2013-14 record: 5-21 (1-13 Division III Southern, eighth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (two)

Top players: G Dylan Graham (Sr.), G Brandon LeBaron (Sr.)

Outlook: The Eagles struggled last season, but are more experienced and in better position to compete this season.

“We will have seven seniors, and six of those athletes know the system well,” Newton said. “It will be another exciting year in the Division III Southern League. The team on top is tough to beat, but with everyone else, it’s anyone’s game.

“It’s tough to predict who will fill the remaining three playoff spots. I liken it to the wild, wild West.”


Head coach: Jason Wilson, seventh season

2013-14 record: 22-7 (7-3 Northeast, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (four)

Top players: G/F Re’Kwon Smith (Sr.), G Devon Colley (Sr.), F Tyler Bey (Jr.), G Patrick Savoy (Sr.)

Outlook: The biggest question for the Wildcats is when (or if) they will get Smith in the lineup.

Wilson said Smith will miss at least the first half of the season as he continues to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, suffered in July. Smith, an Arizona commit, averaged 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and two blocked shots per game last year.

“The other guys will have to pick up the slack,” Wilson said.

Savoy (15.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg), Bey (9.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.0 bpg) and Colley (9.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 6.5 apg) should shoulder at least some of that load.

“We return eight guys who made it to the Sunrise Region finals,” Wilson said. Their experience will be needed for a chance to compete for a league and region title. The guys will have to compete for 32 minutes, play great defense, rebound and execute offensively to give us a shot to compete for those titles. We’ll have to play unselfishly and play good team basketball to give us a chance to play deep in the playoffs.”


Head coach: Jack Tarango, fifth season

2013-14 record: 11-16 (4-6 Southwest, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (four)

Top players: G Jacob Rainey (Sr.), G/F Shakir Arrey (Sr.), G Dontre Avery (Sr.), G Chris Solis (Sr.)

Outlook: The Longhorns took some lumps last season, in large part due to a schedule that featured three state champions and a state semifinalist.

With eight lettermen back, they’re hoping for better results.

“We are looking to take the experience from last year, learn from it and return to the winning ways of the prior three seasons,” Tarango said. “We will use our defensive intensity and athleticism to compete in one of, if not the toughest, league in Nevada.”


Head coach: Stefan Berg, first season

2013-14 record: 7-17 (2-8 Southeast, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (two)

Top players: F Ed O’Bannon (Jr.), G/F Tai Senor (Sr.), F Dyllan Robinson (So.), G Jayven Hines-Stockton (Jr.)

Outlook: Berg inherits a team that returns just two seniors and is hoping to improve this season.

“We are a young and athletic team,” Berg said. “We have a motivated group that is willing to work hard and has the potential to be successful.

“Our hard work will help us be successful and accomplish our team goals.”


Head coach: Gary Hannig, eighth season

2013-14 record: 23-8 (12-2 Division III Southern, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (one)

Top players: G Jake Epstein (So.), G Ethan Fridman (Jr.), C Max Hisatake (Jr.), F Michael Jin (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mustangs lost five seniors off a team that advanced to the state semifinals last year.

The team also is getting a bit of a later start as some players also are a part of the school’s football team that advanced to the state final.

Epstein (9.7 points per game), Fridman (7.0 ppg), Hisatake (4.8 ppg) and Jin (5.0 rebounds per game) are expected to be among the leaders.

“We will be a little inexperienced, but we still expect to be competitive in our league and qualify for postseason play,” Hannig said.


Head coach: Dallas Larsen, seventh season

2013-14 record: 10-15 (5-7 Sunrise, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (one)

Top players: G Andrew Huerta (Sr.), G J.R. Redd (Sr.), G Dalton Gordon (Sr.), F Markus Enosa (Sr.), G Brendon Larsen (Sr.)

Outlook: The Pirates closed last season on a positive note, winning their final three games, but narrowly missed out on a postseason berth.

Huerta (10.5 points per game) is the lone returning starter as Moapa Valley has some gaps to fill.

“We lost a lot of experience from last year’s team, so we are looking for this year’s group to learn quickly,” coach Larsen said. “We are looking for our first region tournament berth since entering Division I-A.”


Head coach: Colin Darfour, fourth season

2013-14 record: 15-14 (6-4 Sunset, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top players: G Mallk Abbott (Sr.), F Jordan Glenn (Sr.), G Daryl Adams (Jr.)

Outlook: The Rattlers could be in store for a big season.

Adams (15 points per game, 5.0 assists per game), Abbott (12.0 ppg, 4.0 apg) and Glenn (10.0 ppg, 7.0 rebounds per game) all return to lead an offense that can be dangerous.

“We plan to continue to work hard and improve,” Darfour said. “This season’s team will focus on playing hard and playing together.

“We have a mix of experienced varsity players and some new varsity players who are excited to compete this season.”


Head coach: Paul Sanchez, third season

2013-14 record: 13-14 (6-4 Northwest, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (three)

Top players: G Ja Morgan (Sr.), G Taylor Miller (Jr.), G Graeson Vereen (Sr.), F Grant Dressler (Sr.)

Outlook: The Panthers return eight lettermen from a team that finished third in the Northwest League.

“We return a lot from last year’s young team,” Sanchez said. “We expect to improve from last year and progress forward to compete at a high level.”


Head coach: Jake Topholm, 14th season

2013-14 record: 10-13 (4-4 Division IV Southern, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (three)

Top players: F Garrett Cecchini (Sr.), F/G Ivan Chavez (Jr.), G Austin Hayes (Jr.)

Outlook: The Knights have three starters back and are hoping to again qualify for the Southern League playoffs.


Head coach: Brian Kahre, seventh season

2013-14 record: 6-11 (2-6 Division IV Southern, eighth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (four)

Top players: G Lane Eastham (Sr.), G James Rau (Sr.), F/G Logan Shelton (Jr.)

Outlook: The Sidewinders return four starters and are hoping to make a playoff push this season.

“We feel that the team will be more cohesive this year, playing as one,” Kahre said. “With strong leadership, the 2014-15 squad has set high goals for itself and looks to prove it can compete with the best teams in our league.”


Head coach: Ray Miller, first season

2013-14 record: 14-11 (3-7 Northwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Two (two)

Top players: G Brett Meci (Sr.), F Preston Echols (Sr.)

Outlook: Miller takes over for Robert Nelson and brings with him an impressive resume that includes 376 wins and two coach of the year awards in Ohio.

The Mustangs are starting from near scratch, but have good size in returnees Meci, a 6-foot-7-inch guard; and Echols, a 6-6 forward.

“A new coach and new system will bring new life to the program,” Miller said. “The team has size and many players that can play all five spots on the floor.”


Head coach: Keith Ulrich, fourth season

2013-14 record: 16-11 (4-6 Northwest, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (one)

Top players: F Dom Marcy (Sr.), G Chaise Smith (Sr.), G Maka Ellis (Fr.), G Payton Dickerson (Sr.), F Jasper Cook (So.), G Christian McCoy (So.)

Outlook: With only three lettermen back, including Marcy (9.0 points, 8.0 rebounds per game), the Mountain Lions are young.

“We expect to compete for a playoff spot with a young roster of nine underclassmen, including six freshmen and sophomores,” Ulrich said.

Smith (3.0 ppg) also saw time last year and likely will contribute more this season.

“Dom Marcy, who averaged neary a double-double, will anchor the middle,” Ulrich said. “Chaise Smith, a scoring guard, should also help lead.”

The Mountain Lions also should get some help from Dickerson, a transfer from Clark, and Ellis, a freshman whom Ulrich expects to contribute immediately.


Head coach: Charles Janette, second season

2013-14 record: 5-18 (1-9 Northwest, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (five)

Top players: F Carl Albert (Sr.), G Ryan Goecke (Sr.), F Sam Menghisteab (Sr.), G Ben Sison (Sr.), G Travis Walton (Sr.)

Outlook: With five starters back, the Grizzlies are hoping to make significant improvement.

Janette expects Goecke (12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds per game), Walton (11.0 ppg, 5.0 assists per game) and Sison (6.0 ppg, 6.0 apg) to be the core of the team, and Albert (7.0 rpg) and Menghisteab (10.0 rpg) also should contribute significantly.

“The Grizzlies will rely on the foundation put in place last year that relies on sound defense and rebounding,” Janette said. “With added size, the Grizzlies hope to be less reliant on points from the perimeter. We should have the added depth to play a more uptempo style of game.”


Head coach: John Teran, second season

2013-14 record: 8-13 (5-7 Sunrise, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Three (two)

Top players: G Damon Heard (Sr.), G Trellis Quinn (Sr.)

Outlook: The Miners narrowly missed out on a postseason berth last year, finishing in a three-way tie with Chaparral and Moapa Valley for the final playoff spot and losing the tiebreaker.

Heard (11.8 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game) was a second-team All-Sunrise League pick last year) and returns along with Quinn (7.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg).

“This is a team still trying to establish an identity,” Teran said. “The team is once again eager to compete for its first playoff spot in Division I-A.

“This year’s team will be guard-oriented with two returning starters. The loss of eight seniors from last year’s team may hurt the Miners, but what they lack in size and experience, they will make up for in effort.”


Head coach: Robert Ireland, first season

2013-14 record: 1-24 (0-12 Sunrise, seventh)

Returning lettermen (starters): Four (two)

Top players: F Elijah Wesley (Sr.), G/F Crawford Linden (Sr.)

Outlook: Ireland moves into the head coaching position and hopes to help the Roadrunners begin to improve.

Linden (9.4 points per game) and Wesley (4.8 rebounds per game) are expected to be among the leaders on a team that is focusing on fundamentals.


Head coach: Brian Farnsworth, 10th season

2013-14 record: 22-7 (7-3 Northeast, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (three)

Top players: F Nick Brannon (Sr.), G Cameron Burton (Sr.), F Shea Garland (Sr.), F Taveon Jackson (Sr.)

Outlook: The Vikings have 12 seniors on their 13-player roster.

“This is a senior-heavy group with lots of experience, including one four-year varsity player and three three-year varsity players,” Farnsworth said. “As long as this group continues to play hard and play together, they will have a chance to be really good.”


Head coach: Sean FitzSimons, third season

2013-14 record: 15-11 (9-3 Sunrise, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Two (zero)

Top players: C Cody Burnside (Sr.), F Keegan Biasi (Sr.), G Zach Barnum (Jr.), F Marcus Saunders (Jr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs will have plenty of new faces as they return only two lettermen from a team that finished second in the Sunrise League.

Burnside averaged six points and four rebounds per game, and Biasi chipped in five rebounds per game.

“The Bulldogs will be rebuilding this season after a very successful season last year,” FitzSimons said. “We will be a young team, and it will be baptism by fire as we look to have players with very limited varsity experience be our go-to guys.

“Hopefully by the end of the season, we will be competing for a playoff spot.”

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