The 2015-16 high school basketball preseason rankings from Richard Obert. Last year’s overall record is in parentheses.
No. 1 Tempe Corona del Sol (33-1): The Aztecs will go back to the small-ball version of its 2012-13 state championship team.
No. 2 Phoenix St. Mary’s (18-13): Sophomore big man KJ Hymes ready to show the state how much his game has grown.
No. 3 Mesa (26-5): An even deeper team than last year’s 26-win team that reached the quarterfinals.
No. 4 Gilbert Highland (12-15): Should make huge turnaround with four returning starters, led by 6-9 senior Tim Fuller.
No. 5 Chandler Basha (19-10): Lost 6-10 Klay Stall to a knee injury but welcomes back 6-10 Devin Kirby from two knee injuries.
No. 6 Phoenix Desert Vista (26-5): Might not be as big, but will be able to run with anybody and shoot well, led by Caleb Simmons and Tarik Cool.
No. 7 Mesa Mountain View (23-8): Graduated four starters, but returns point guard Tommy Kuhse, who averaged 17 points last season, and decent size.
No. 8 Gilbert (21-8): Always knocking on the final four door, playing their best basketball at the end of the season.
No. 9 Phoenix Pinnacle (19-10): Maybe coach Charlie Wilde’s biggest team, led by 6-8 Nik Mains.
No. 10 Chandler (14-13): Returns three starters, including leading score N’Keal Harry (22 points a game) and unleashes 6-6 Tevian Jones, who figures to be one of the state’s top sophomores.
Sleeper: Scottsdale Chaparral (26-6): Must replace guards Brandon Hoffer and Kenzo Nudo, but junior PG Colten Kresl is ready to lead.
Arizona’s best high school boys basketball programs:
No. 1 Phoenix Shadow Mountain (23-7): This team figures to be even better than the state championship team of two years ago with senior PG Michael Bibby ready to show college coaches he’s all the way back from a knee injury that caused him to miss most of his junior season.
No. 2 Laveen Cesar Chavez (26-4): Strong athletic team that got better late in the summer when 6-2, 200-pound sophomore Michael Rogers moved in from New York.
No. 3 Gilbert Christian (25-6): Major blow losing senior guard Cameron Satterwhite to a summer knee injury, but 6-9 forward Mitch Lightfoot will get the most out of his teammates.
No. 4 Tucson Catalina Foothills (20-10): Might be the best team in Tucson with Sam Beskind and Nik Nehls back.
No. 5 Peoria Sunrise Mountain (26-4): Returns four starters, including leading scorer Elijah Thomas, who signed with St. Mary’s College.
No. 6 Glendale Apollo (22-7): Excellent backcourt with Holland Woods and Dre Marin leading an athletic group.
No. 7 Paradise Valley (25-4): Always a strong, defensive team with athletes.
No. 8 Flagstaff (23-5): Big, talented team, led by 6-7, 205-pound Brett Morrow, who battled Gilbert Christian’s Mitch Lightfoot well in a three-point loss at state.
No. 9 Tempe McClintock (18-9): The Chargers’ backcourt of Marlique Washington and Amiri Chukuemeka will keep them in every game.
No. 10 Avondale Westview (16-13): A cohesive unit that last year surprised Phoenix Brophy Prep at the Division I state tournament with an overtime win, before losing by two to Chaparral.
Sleeper: Gilbert Higley (5-19): Expect turnaround season, especially after Bryan Battle and Chris Wright transferred in from Tempe Marcos de Niza.
No. 1 Goodyear Estrella Foothills (20-8): Coach Rich Gutwein’s best team will feature strong guard play and athleticism on wings, led by 6-6 Rex Greabell and his brother, 6-foot PG Grant Greabell.
No. 2 Scottsdale Christian (22-9): Deep, big team, led by returning starters Corbin Lenderink, Sam Ortega, Brad Swetonic and Josh Phillips.
No. 3 Phoenix Moon Valley (14-11): Should go farther than the first round this season with top two players, Bryce Cheney and Trevor Thompson, back.
No. 4 Gilbert Combs (29-5): Will prove that last year wasn’t a flash in the pan with 6-6 Clayten McCarthy back from a state final team.
No. 5 Tucson Cholla (25-2): Moving down a division and still strong with Ezekiel Alley, who had 14 points a game last year.
No. 6 Chandler Valley Christian (25-8): Features one of the best backcourts with Alijah Gammage and Matthew Svorinic, who both averaged in double-figure scoring.
No. 7 El Mirage Dysart (17-9): Might have this division’s best big man in 6-8 Malik Ondigo, who averaged 15.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks as a junior.
No. 8 Glendale Independence (13-12): Had a winning season in Division I, and returns the nucleus of that team.
No. 9 Phoenix Cortez (22-5): Alfredo Jiminez leads a small but scrappy team that will be able to run with anybody.
No. 10 Holbrook (25-9): Abrian Dickson leads a good 3-point shooting team that will try to run opponents off the court.
Sleeper: Phoenix North Canyon (2-23): Moving down two divisions should help an athletic team, led by John Okwoli and Tre O’Guinn.
Arizona’s best high school boys basketball coaches:
No. 1 Scottsdale Coronado (6-20): Great mix of experience (Braden Pixley and Aaron Rhymes) and youth (sophomores Dischon Thomas and Bryce Meadows) and a drop down in division should make the Dons immediate title contenders.
No. 2 Thatcher (24-8): Jared Jorgensen is a beast in the middle, averaging 10 rebounds last season.
No. 3 St. Johns (16-15): This athletic, strong-defensive team is driven by a one-point state quarterfinal loss.
No. 4 Phoenix Arizona Lutheran (29-5): Losing strong senior leadership, but the next wave is ready to take over after last year’s overtime state championship win.
No. 5 Scottsdale Prep (27-4): Motivated in the offseason after the state championship overtime loss to Arizona Lutheran.
No. 6 Whiteriver Alchesay (21-9): Must replace 20-points-a-game scorer Rashaan Stover, but there is depth, speed and good shooters on this squad.
No. 7 Queen Creek American Leadership (18-10): Leading scorer Myles Thompson gives it hope to go deep at state.
No. 8 Phoenix Horizon Honors (14-15): Senior wing Ryan Engelbrecht is a four-year starter determined to have a breakout season.
No. 9 Pima (26-6): Well-coached team that got to the final four last season.
No. 10 Tucson Pusch Ridge (12-15): Might have to wait a while before football player Ben Walker gets into top basketball shape.
Sleeper: Coolidge (14-14): Coach Kyle Diemer didn’t leave cupboard bare after leaving to take Scottsdale Notre Dame job.
No. 1 Sells Baboquivari (26-6): There was only one senior on last year’s team that made a huge run at state, before losing to Scottsdale Prep, which is no longer in the same division.
No. 2 Bisbee (20-6): Spencer Schuller is ready to lead this team after moving down from Division III.
No. 3 Elfrida Valley Union (26-4): Don’t have to worry about Arizona Lutheran standing in the way of a gold ball now.
No. 4 Chandler Arizona College Prep (16-12): It is only in its third varsity season but it figures to take off with key players back after making huge strides last season.
No. 5 Colorado City El Capitan (20-6): Always a tough, physical, defensive team that will make teams work for points.
No. 6 San Tan Foothills (19-8): Must replace its top two scorers, but tradition is building after two straight winning seasons.
No. 7 St. David (16-12): Returns seven players from a team that was eliminated by Valley Union at state.
No. 8 The Gregory School (20-8): Lost key seniors, but this is a proud program that turns it on late in the season.
No. 9 San Carlos (17-11): Small, quick team that got 14 points a game last year out of John Cutter Jr.
No. 10 Sanders Valley (17-7): Had winning seasons three of the past four years.
Sleeper: Duncan (14-13): Wants to show that last season was just a blip that won’t happen again.
Reach Obert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-460-1710. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert. Listen to the Which Wich High School Football Preview Show every Friday from 6-7 p.m., on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 with Dan Manucci and Richard Obert.