When looking at where teams are expected to finish in District 13-A, the number of returning starters is a big component in predicting the finish.
Dresden, the defending district champion, lost all five starters, while Gleason returns all five starters and is expected to improve.
No team in District 13-A was hit harder by graduation than Dresden with all five starters gone. In addition, a projected starter moved and another was involved in a car accident and could be out for the season.
The result is that Dresden will be young and inexperienced on the floor this year to start the season. The Lions will look to young players, including two sophomores in Quincey McDonald and Austin Thomas.
Dresden will have to fight hard to repeat as district champion.
McKenzie is one of those teams on the opposite end of the spectrum after returning four starters.
One of those starters is Breshaun Oglesby, who was an All-West Tennessee member last year. Oglesby will be the go-to player for the Rebels.
McKenzie also has a couple of players that have improved in the offseason like senior Tyree Owens and senior Ed Dudley.
West Carroll also returns four starters from last year, and the War Eagles will look to improve from a sixth-place finish in the regular season standings.
Sophomores Brandon Holiday and Chase Nash averaged in double digits in points last season, and the two will be called upon to do the same this year. Junior Antonio Walker will be a player looked to for leadership.
Gleason returns all five starters from last season and should be more competitive in the district.
The Bulldogs will be led by senior Keaton Collins and junior Tracy Perry. Gleason has worked hard over the last couple of years to improve and coach Chris Leo believes that this team has the talent, size, depth and leadership to reach .500 this season.
Huntingdon returns three starters, but replacing Justice Scott will be tough for the Mustangs.
There will have to be more of a team effort this season with younger players stepping up.
Macon Bullock will be a leader as a junior, while sophomores Keeton Bailey and Dylan Johnson will also play a key part.
But the Mustangs should still be one of the four teams that reaches the region tournament, and they might fight for a spot in the district championship.
Bruceton will also have to replace a key player in Rekiyas McCauley, but the Tigers will be a team of height and of veterans.
The starting lineup will be full of seniors, but coach Chris Finley will look to the younger players on the team to push the seniors and work for playing time. Seniors Andrew Willis, Tyler Cook and Kaelin Willis are a few of the seniors that return.
Big Sandy enters its second season under coach J.D. Berry. The Red Devils were upset in the district quarterfinals last season, but they are hoping to make a deeper run this year.
Junior guard Trey Phifer returns after averaging 21.3 points per game last year. Phifer will be the go-to player this season.
Big Sandy could be better than last year despite losing three starters off last year’s team. The Red Devils will be fast-paced and aggressive.
Clarksburg will also have to replace three starters from last year’s team that combined for 34.9 points per game.
So coach Mike Limbaugh will look to seniors like Hunter Garner and Jake Walker, and he hopes the team meshes by tournament time.
Big Sandy Red Devils
Coach: J.D. Berry (2nd season)
Postseason finish: Lost to West Carroll in district quarterfinals
Key losses: Austin Phifer (Center, 14.2 rebounds); Logan Pierpoint (Guard, 21.0 points)
Players to watch: Trey Phifer (Junior, guard); Tucker Wade (Senior, forward)
Coach: Chris Finley (16th season)
Postseason finish: Lost to Huntingdon in district quarterfinals
Key losses: Rekiyas McCauley (Guard); Justin Gilbert (Forward)
Players to watch: Andrew Willis (Senior, forward); Tyler Cook (Senior, forward); Kaelin Willis (Senior, forward)
Coach: Mike Limbaugh (20th season)
Postseason finish: Lost to Dresden in district quarterfinals
Key losses: Chase Todd (Guard; 11.3 points, 4.5 assists); Tad Hayes (Wing; 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds); Cain Lindsey (Wing; 8.8 points, 2.8 steals)
Players to watch: Demetrius Phelps (Junior, wing); Hunter Garner (Senior, post)
Coach: Tommy Dilday (13th season)
Postseason finish: District champion; Lost to Humboldt in region semifinals
Key losses: Austin Daniel (Forward); Brock Dilday (Guard); Kaleb Houston (Forward); Caleb Davidson (Guard)
Players to watch: Quincey McDonald (Sophomore, guard); Alex Warren (Junior, forward); Austin Thomas (Sophomore, guard)
Coach: Chris Leo (2nd season)
Postseason finish: Lost to McKenzie in district quarterfinals
Key losses: None
Players to watch: Keaton Collins (Senior, guard); Tracy Perry (Junior, center)
Coach: Jonathan Kee (2nd season)
Postseason finish: Third in district; Lost to Humboldt in region quarterfinals
Key losses: Justice Scott (Forward, 20 points, 10 rebounds)
Players to watch: Keeton Bailey (Sophomore, guard); Macon Bullock (Junior, guard); Dylan Johnson (Sophomore, guard)
Coach: John Wilkins (3rd year)
Postseason finish: District runner-up; Lost to Union City in the region semifinals
Key losses: Collin Smith (Center); Corey Tharpe (Forward)
Players to watch: Breshaun Oglesby (Senior, guard); Tyree Owens (Senior, guard); Ed Dudley (Senior, center); Jack Surber (Junior, guard)
West Carroll War Eagles
Coach: Shay Shannon (5th season)
Postseason finish: Finished fourth in the district; Lost to Union City in region quarterfinals
Key losses: Jacob Wynn (Guard; 10 points, 7 rebounds); Jo Bell (Guard)
Players to watch: Antonio Walker (Junior, guard); Brandon Holiday (Sophomore, guard); Chase Nash (Sophomore, guard)
Michael Odom, 425-9754
Predicted order of finish
4. Big Sandy
6. West Carroll
This is voted on by coaches and members of the media.
Coming this week
Today: District 13-A Boys
Tuesday: Division II-A Girls
Wednesday: Division II-A Boys
Thursday: District 14-A Girls
Friday: District 14-A Boys