(Last season's record in parenthesis)
1. Lake Central (21-3)
The defending DAC and sectional champions lost Glenn Robinson III, who graduated and now plays for Michigan. That's like the Beetles losing Lennon and McCartney, but Dave Milausnic has a lot more than Ringo and George on his roster. The two Tys will be even better. A great amount of depth will make Lake Central the team to beat this winter.
2. Andrean (21-3)
Only one region team, Munster, beat the 59ers last season and Carson Cunningham has most of his roster back. The guard tandem of Nick Davidson and Collin Wojcik is as good as anyone around. Andrean could be hungry. Last year's 20-point blowout loss to Marian still stings.
3. Merrillville (16-8)
The TJ Lux honeymoon is over. The Pirates have adjusted to the former Pirate star's system and are ready to roll. The Bucs got hot at the right time, winning the sectional in nail-biter fashion. A big loss to Elkhart Memorial in the regional shows there is still room to grow.
4. Munster (17-4)
In 2011-12, Lake Central was the only thing that stopped the Mustangs from achieving the success it had the three previous years. Expect this rivalry to be awesome again. With Schlotman and Bubash returning, these stars just need a little help. Expect them to get it.
5. Bowman Academy (17-9)
The Eagles don't rebuild, they reload, and that's exactly what the defending Class 2A state runners-up are doing now. On paper the talent is there to win a ton of games. The problem, though, is the schedule. It's tougher than Valparaiso University's. That could make Bowman unstoppable come March.
6. Valparaiso (12-9)
The Vikings overachieved last season, winning with nary a lick of varsity experience. Now most of those players are back, bigger, stronger and better, notably big man John Mosser. Consistent scoring, an issue at times a year ago, shouldn't be a problem any more.
7. Chesterton (9-13)
With a roster of sophomores and juniors, the Trojans' best team is probably still a year away, but that doesn't mean they aren't ready to win now. They started growing up at the end of last season, when they put together a strong closing run, and they should pick up where they left off. Fun times ahead.
8. Crown Point (11-10)
These Bulldogs aren't as young as last year, but half still don't shave. The region's tallest front line makes the Courthouse look like a toy. If the guard play can match the bigs, this team will be very dangerous this winter and in the next few seasons.
9. E.C. Central (10-11)
Hyrum Edwards is as good as there is around. The sophomore, though, needs some help and coach Abe Brown has a lot in the locker room. Talent is not an issue here. Winning close games is. E.C. has to find a way to win the close ones to gain confidence. Period.
10. Michigan City (12-11)
Slowly but surely, John Boyd's getting things in order at M.C., though the Wolves aren't quite there. They've hovered around .500 in his three seasons in the Wolves Den, though he has the parts to get over the hump and make the next step.
On the bubble: Bishop Noll (20-4), Hammond (8-13), Hanover Central (12-9), Hebron (23-2), Kouts (19-4), Lew Wallace (12-11), Marquette (13-10), Roosevelt (9-11), West Side (10-10).