Head coach: Keith Ulrich, seventh season
2016-17 record: 13-14 (7-5 Southwest, third)
Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (four)
Top players: G Maka Ellis (Sr.), G Maitland Williams (Sr.), F Jalen McFadden (Sr.), G Mo Washington (Sr.), G Isaiah Veal (Jr.), G David Howard (Sr.), G Calvin Richards (Jr.)
Outlook: It’s hard to find a much more talented backcourt than the one the Mountain Lions will roll out this season.
Ellis, who has committed to Columbia, was a first-team all-state honoree last year when he averaged 25 points and 9 rebounds per game. He’s joined by Williams, who is back at Sierra Vista after averaging 12 points in 11 games at Desert Oasis last season. Howard (3 ppg), Richards (6 ppg, 2 assists per game), Washington (4 ppg, 2 apg) and Veal (4 ppg) all are expected to contribute.
McFadden (6 ppg, 3 rpg) is back at forward for the Mountain Lions.
“We return nine players with varsity experience from a playoff team in 2016-17,” Ulrich said. “As a team, we hope to improve each day and be in position to win a playoff game in February.”