(Last year's record in parenthesis)
1. Lake Central (13-9)
The team that took top-ranked Munster into overtime in the sectional before losing by a point has everyone back. And it's not like the weird uncle and red-headed second cousin are returning. It's Glenn Robinson, Tyler Wideman and Taylor Lehnert. PARTY!
2. Bowman Academy (12-11)
The Eagles have as many D-I players as Valpo. But the Crusaders didn't get knocked out of the playoffs by Morgan Twp. Yikes. Which team will show up and on what night? A point guard is needed. If one is not found, River Forest could be tough at 2A sectionals.
3. Andrean (15-9)
The Yen Master, coach Carson Cunningham, has gathered together quite a solid squad. VU's Nick Davidson will lead a team that is hoping to go further that last year's sectional. Was last year's "cup" half full or half empty? This squad could end Munster's NCC streak.
4. Bishop Noll (26-1)
Adonis Filer is on his way to Clemson and Milos Kostic is someplace else. But the defending Class 2A state runner-ups will still be good. Dean Danos arrived at Noll from Aurora Christian. Ronnye Beamon is better. Will still be screaming "football's over" when Andrean arrives.
5. Munster (25-1)
Everything is gone from last year's historic season. Someone even came in when no one was looking and stole the Mustangs' fieldhouse. But let this fact be known: Mike Hackett's team will still be tough to beat. Serbian transfer Danilo Zekovic is two legit to quit.
6. E.C. Central (14-8)
Many forget how close the Cards came to knocking off Munster in the sectional championship game. It was only three points. Abe Brown has another roster filled with talent. Freshman Hyron Edwards, some say, is the best ninth-grader in the region. Time will reveal all.
7. West Side (11-11)
Winston Garland might not have Gary's best team, but he might have the toughest. The scary thing is if this young group improves and he does have the best and the brawniest. Sophomore Arnold Wilson looked good as a ninth-grader. If he needs to shave look out.
8. Merrillville (21-2)
The purple jacket is gone. T.J. Lux will put on a different attire than the retired Jim East. An extremely young Pirates team will feed off senior Edward Seay and junior Jake Raspopovich. Everything after that is unclear. It's a brand new game just off Broadway.
9. Highland (10-12)
Keith Mahler is gone, but that's it. Eddie Fierek finally has a pack of horses for the three-month race. This team right now is under the radar. This team right now is very, very good. Tall, athletic big men will team with athletic shooting shorties. The show should be fun.
10. Michigan City (12-10)
Is this the year the John Boyd hiring finally make sense? All the Gary transfers have now graduated except for Taylor Lavery. Another move-in, Ryan Taylor from Crown Point, is getting D-I looks. This could be a make-or-break year in the little city by the lake.
On the bubble: Clark (13-9), Crown Point (18-4), Hammond (11-9), Hanover Central (13-10), Kouts (19-3), Morgan Twp. (20-5), Valparaiso (16-9), Wheeler (14-8), Whiting (12-9).