Beth Haven, Fairdale, Holy Cross, PRP, Valley
* Coach: Paul Frazier (first year).
* Last season: 18-10 (lost to Holy Cross 70-49 in district quarterfinal).
* Player to watch: As a sophomore, Austin Streble averaged 12.2 points and 4.5 rebounds a game last season. He also serves as the Bearcats best 3-point shooter, as he made 34.4. percent of his attempts (42 for 122) last season.
* Other players: F Cody Mikel (Sr., 10.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg), G Aaron Rice (Sr., 7.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg).
* Outlook: Frazier takes over a program that lost five of its top eight players from last season. The Bearcats will get production from their top three players, but they’ll also need to identify some players to step up in complementary roles.
* Coach: David Hicks (third year).
* Last season: 11-17 (lost to Pleasure Ridge Park 77-59 in district semifinal).
* Player to watch: Glenn Queen, who averaged 10 points a game, is the Bulldogs’ top returning scorer.
* Other players: F Seth Dewboys (Sr., 4.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg), G Markelo Sullivan (Jr., 2.8 ppg, 1.1 rpg), F/C Craig Ashe (Jr., 1.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg), F/C Treziaun Allen (Sr., 3.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg).
* Outlook: This will be a younger Bulldogs squad as their top three scorers from last season all graduated. However, Hicks said his younger players worked to become stronger in the offseason, and he hopes that will lead to improvements over the course of the season.
* Coach: Mike Durham (11th year).
* Last season: 12-20 (lost to Valley 79-63 in district semifinal).
* Player to watch: Senior guard Chase Phillips is one of the area’s top perimeter shooters. The guard led the Cougars last season with a 12.2 scoring average and hit 85 3-pointers.
* Other players: C Ethan Driskell (6-9, Jr., 6.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg), F Max Bearden (6-4. Sr., 6.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) F Ethan Short (6-4, Sr., 5.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
* Outlook: Durham said Driskell has worked on his coordination in the offseason, and the coach is hopeful that will bring the center’s offensive performance in line with his defensive abilities. Holy Cross, one of the smallest schools in the region, could boast one of the biggest frontcourts with Driskell, Bearden and Short.
PLEASURE RIDGE PARK
* Coach: Dale Mabrey (36th year).
* Last season: 16-10 (lost to DeSales 69-66 in Sixth Region quarterfinal).
* Player to watch: Junior guard Trey Hill (6-4) averaged 8.5 points in just two games for the Panthers last season after transferring from Fern Creek. He’s among the top recruits in the city of Louisville.
* Other players: G Gerald Gray (6-2, Jr., 7.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg), G B.J. Robinson (6-3, Jr., 13.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg), F Darius Osborne (6-7, So., 0.3 ppg), F Logan Hudson (6-4, Jr., 1.0 ppg), G Cashawn “Noodle” Beasley (6-2, So., 1.5 ppg), G Malik Bunzy (5-10, Sr., 3.4 ppg).
* Outlook: Mabrey has a bevy of talented guards, which he believes make up one of the state’s best backcourts, and the Panthers return 10 players from last year’s squad. That includes Hall, a midseason transfer last year who played in just two games for PRP. While Mabrey believes the Panthers are ahead of where they were at this time last season, the inside game will need to step up. The likely candidates there are a pair of 6-7 players in Osborne and senior Micah Kinnebrew, who is coming back to basketball after a couple of years concentrating on football.
* Coach: DeJuan Wheat (first year).
* Last season: 21-12 (lost to Doss 63-57 in Sixth Region quarterfinal).
* Player to watch: Senior swingman Eric George led the Vikings with his 14.2 scoring average and was sharp from the perimeter as he connected on 67 of his 162 3-point shots (41.4 percent)
* Other players: G Damont Walter (Jr., 11.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg), G Cameron Wilson (So., 10.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg), G/F Curt Lewis (Jr., 10.5 ppg, 6.3. rpg), F Devious Brooks (Sr. 6.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
* Outlook: Wheat, the former Ballard High and University of Louisville star, inherits a team that returns all of its top players from the school’s most successful season in recent memory. The Vikings won a Louisville Invitational Tournament game last year and advanced to the regional tournament for the first time since 2010. In addition, the Vikings have just four seniors on the roster, so they could be contenders for the next couple years.