Last year: 7-23.
Star power: Damonte Lowery (Portage) is the only returning player who averaged double figures in scoring (10.5), mostly off the bench along with 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals.
Up next: Kendall Cross, a 6-5 shooting guard from Harry S. Truman College, joins the Crimson Wave for his junior season.
Outlook: With leading scorer Javon Robinson gone, it’s up to Lowery, Cross and a band of growing, maturing players to step up for a team that lost 14 of its final 15 contests last season.
Last year: 6-24.
Star power: Brandon Grubl. The Morgan Twp. grad and transfer from Elmhurst College led the RedHawks in points (13.5), assists (2.9) and steals (1.2) per game last season.
Up next: Max Johnson (Hanover Central) averaged 17.8 points per game as a prep senior.
Outlook: Third-year coach and former Valparaiso University player Jason Hawkins’ team is mostly familiar Northwest Indiana ballers, but for a team that went 6-24 (5-10 at home) and shrunk the roster to nine players, there is room for improvement. Recruits such as Johnson, Quentin Palmer (Valparaiso) and Ben Parish (Griffith) will revitalize the squad.
Last year: 18-14.
Star power: Roddy Richardson averaged 9.8 points and 1.7 3-pointers per game as an honorable mention all-CCAC player last season.
Up next: Kaspars Brencans. The 6-7 Latvian junior transfer will make an immediate impact.
Outlook: Richardson, Noah Allen and Aaron Davis lead the way for a team that won nine of its final 13 games last season. As the athletic department continues to expand, one of the original sports on campus is generating lots of excitement. A deep, diverse roster that includes seven freshmen gives coach Dan Voudrie plenty of options as the Peregrines continue taking off.
Purdue North Central
Last year: 6-25.
Star power: Allan Barnes. The junior from Penn averaged 6.6 ppg last season, fourth on the team.
Up next: Tyler Kowalkowski played the last two seasons at Madison (Wis.) Area Technical College where he averaged 14.5 ppg and led Madison in steals, assists and rebounds.
Outlook: Attrition and graduation depleted the roster, but second-year coach Matt Bush has some tricks up his sleeve with signings such as the Kowalkowski move and the addition of Sheriff Knight (Michigan City).
Last year: 6-19.
Star power: Jon Smith averaged seven points last year while leading the Pumas with 6.2 rebounds per game.
Up next: Florida Southern transfer Cameron Vines followed coach Tom Church north for his junior season after averaging 9.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season for the Moccasins.
Outlook: Former assistant Tom Church returns to Rensselaer as the program’s 18th head coach. Church was an assistant at Florida Southern the last three years, where the team went 70-25. The Pumas are predicted to finish seventh out of eight teams in the Great Lakes Valley Conference East because the top three scorers are gone from an underachieving team. Church will relish the opportunity to turn the program around.
-- Times Correspondent Paul Trembacki