FCIAC Preview by CTHoopsNews

 

By: Sam Rubinstein (@_samruby) & Nate Rubinstein (@Nate_Rubinstein)

 

  • Bridgeport Central

2016 Record: 0-20, did not make Class LL tournament, did not make FCIAC tournament

Photo credit: News Times

Photo credit: News Times

Outlook: It was only 2014 when Central was crowned Class LL champs, but times have changed and so has the team’s success on the court. The Hilltoppers suffered through a very difficult season a year ago where they didn’t win any games. They only had 3 seniors, so they bring back a good amount of talent and experience. The brother tandem of junior Raquan Rilley and senior Dashon Rilley will be looked upon to be productive players again this winter. Senior Jordon Edmonds and Tyrese Spooner are also back.

 

  • Danbury

2016 Record: 23-4, lost in Class LL semifinals, lost in FCIAC championship

Outlook: Danbury enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history in 2016 when they made deep runs in both the Class LL and FCIAC tournaments. Marcus Fox was an First Team All FCIAC and Class LL Second Team selection as a junior last winter. Fox was one of the tougher guards in the conference a year ago and he won’t be any easier to stop as a senior. His strength and athleticism combined with excellent footwork and scoring out of the post makes him one of the top players in this league. Senior forwards Massiah Crandell and Titus James will also be big contributors as the Hatters look to get back to where they left off last year with their winning ways.

 

  • Darien

2016 Record: 7-14, lost in first round of Class LL tournament, did not make FCIAC tournament

Outlook: After barely sneaking into the state tournament last season, the Blue Wave is back and ready to crash back into championship contention. 6’8 big man, Alex Preston, was a Second Team All FCIAC selection as a junior and is poised for another dominant season. He’s been one of the better bigs in the league for the past few years and can really impact the game both offensively and defensively. He was also on the All FCIAC Defensive Team in 2016. Senior guard Carter Scott and junior guard Justin Jordan should be the two main components of the backcourt. Both know how to put the ball in the hoop and will be relied upon to score from the perimeter. 6’6 forward Jack Tierney should have also have a productive junior year. Watch for Darien to get back to double-digit wins and to make a postseason run.

 

  • Fairfield Ludlowe

2016 Record: 12-10, lost in first round of Class LL tournament, lost in first round of FCIAC tournament

Outlook: Ludlowe comes into this season losing some of their best players from last year’s team that qualified for the playoffs. Several players have transferred out to prep school, while other key pieces were lost to graduation. That being said, the Falcons will have a lot of new faces in important roles, and will be counted on to deliver. 6’9 senior big man Frank Lumaj is one returner that will have a little bit of varsity experience. Senior guard Aidan Kudzy will also need to be productive for the Falcons to get back to where they were last winter.

 

  • Fairfield Warde

2016 Record: 12-9, first round loss in Class LL State tournament, did not appear in FCIAC conference tournament.

Outlook: Not only does Giacomo Brancato have one of the coolest names in the FCIAC, he is also one of the better players. The 6’1 senior guard was an All FCIAC selection last year and is fun to watch. Crafty passing abilities along with strength and athleticism to score at the rim makes him a tough matchup for anyone that steps on the same court. Warde only lost 3 players to graduation, so along with Brancato, the Mustangs bring back a huge group of returners including senior guards Marcel Parsons, JJ Conway, and junior Antonio Brancato. Junior Sean Conway is a player everyone is excited about also. With the experienced roster that Warde has returning, they will definitely be back a team to watch in the FCIAC.

 

  • Greenwich

2016 Record:    12-9, lost in second round of Class LL tournament, did not make FCIAC tournament

Outlook: The Cardinals had a thrilling postseason last year when Connor Harkins hit a top of the key buzzer beater to upset Stamford in the first round of the Class LL tournament. At the same time, they didn’t qualify for the FCIAC tourney, so one of the goals this season will definitely to get back to that. Harkins will a be big reason for any Cardinal success in 2017. He was a First Team All FCIAC selection a year ago and is one of the most lethal shooters in the state. As soon as he crosses half court, you need to know where he is because he will hurt you whenever, wherever. He had an average of 4 made threes per game last season! Seniors Connor Langan and Robert Clark will also bring experience and talent to the floor as they will be important too.

 

  • Brien McMahon

2016 Record: 13-9, lost in second round of Class LL tournament, did not make FCIAC tournament

Outlook: Brien McMahon has a pure shooter in senior Eric Day. Day has proven that he can knock down shots from way beyond the arc, and will be an offensive threat for the Senators this year. Along with his 3-point ability, Day can drive by defenders and pull up from mid range. Another senior, Matt Saint-Louis, is a player to look out for on the Senator. Saint-Louis had a few breakout games last year, scoring in many different ways and bringing intensity on the defensive end. Look for Saint-Louis to be a main target on the McMahon roster in 2016-2017.

 

  • New Canaan

2016 Record: 4-16, did not make postseason play.

Outlook: Despite the rough season last year, New Canaan has some players returning that give them hope. Senior Tyler Sweeney will take over the lead for New Canaan this year after being awarded FCIAC All Second Team in 2015-2016. Sweeney is a long shooting guard standing at 6-foot-3 and is very talented with the rock. Jackson Selvala will also be a player to watch out for on the New Canaan roster as he returns for his junior campaign and will be looking to show that he can be a productive and reliable player.

 

 

  • Norwalk

2016 Record: 4-16, did not make postseason play.

Outlook: Norwalk has a couple of players that have a lot of potential after their contributions last season, getting recognized by the conference as players to watch. Senior guard DeAndre Russell may not be a stand out scorer for the team, but this year will be one of the primary ball handlers. Levaughn Lewis is a junior wing player that was also recognized by the FCIAC for his bright future. Lewis stands at 6-foot-3 and reached the double digit mark in multiple contests last year getting most of his buckets around the cylinder. Despite not making seeing any postseason action last year, the Bears will depend on their players that have experience under their belt to lead the way.

 

 

  • Ridgefield

2016 Record: 13-11, quarterfinal loss in Class LL State tournament, first round loss in FCIAC conference tournament.

Outlook: Ridgefield always seems to restock on talent, and they sure have plenty of returners that can lead them to a successful season this year. It all starts with senior Chris Longo who was named to the All FCIAC Second Team this year. The 6-foot-2 guard likes to get out on the break and score in transition. Along with Longo, the Tigers have 6-foot-4 junior forward Brenden McNamara and senior center Nick Laudati. Laudati will be controlling the paint with his 6-foot-8 presence.

 

 

  • St. Joseph’s

2016 Record: 10-12, second round loss in Class M State tournament, did not appear in FCIAC conference tournament.

Outlook: It was an off year for St. Joseph’s only amounting to 10 victories, but with senior Omar Telfer coming back, the Cadets will be back on track. Telfer is just shy of 6-foot and runs the point for St. Joe’s. Last season he averaged 16.2 points per game, along with 3.8 assists per contest. Don’t be surprised if Telfer’s numbers rise in his senior campaign. Cameron Menefee is another senior that made a name for himself last year, averaging 12.1 points per game and grabbing 4.6 rebounds per game. Menefee will play along side Telfer in the backcourt just like last year. A name that will be new to the Cadet’s rotation is freshman Gavin Greene. The 6-foot-2 forward will be a rising star in the FCIAC.

 

 

  • Stamford

2016 Record: 14-8, first round loss in Class LL State tournament, first round loss in FCIAC conference tournament.

Outlook: Stamford got bumped from both the state and conference tournaments earlier than expected, especially with the performances they put on during the regular season. Nico Laveris and Tevin St. John will be two names to keep an eye on for Stamford’s 2016-2017 season. The senior, Laveris, is a shooting guard with a ton of speed, and looks to make offense out of defense. St. John on the other hand is only a junior and plays both forward position standing at 6-foot-2.

 

 

  • Staples

2016 Record: 7-13, first round loss in Class LL State tournament, did not appear in the FCIAC conference tournament.

Outlook: Staples squeaked into the state tournament last year and will return another roster that will assist them to the same, but better. Senior Sean Pritchett, who was named to the FCIAC All-Divisional Team last year, is a 6-foot-3 small forward who can use his length to get in the middle of passing lanes, and can maneuver through contact to finish with authority on the offensive end. Juniors Max Sussman and Justin Seidman are two more names to look out for in the FCIAC conference.  

 

 

  • Trinity Catholic

2016 Record: 12-10, second round loss in Class S state tournament, did not appear in FCIAC conference tournament.

Outlook: Trinity Catholic had a ton of youth last year, and returns to the gym in December with a lot more confidence. Senior Jon Lyons will be looked at as the leader for this Trinity Catholic squad, as he was selected for the FCIAC All Divisional Team. Junior Dimitry Moise was another selected play for the divisional team as a sophomore who will be looking for a strong junior year. Sophomore Cam Blake was a big contributor as a frosh last year, and will see a lot more minutes in his second season.

 

 

  • Trumbull

2016 Record: 19-5, lost in second round of Class LL tournament, lost in FCIAC semifinals

Outlook: Losing the Conference Player of the Year is never an easy task and Trumbull will experience that first hand this season with the graduation of Jack Moore. Not only do they lose Moore, but several other starters that gave big contributions to the team. Coming off a 19-win year and an appearance in the conference semifinals, returning Coach of the Year, Buddy Bray, looks to keep the train moving in the right direction and build off the success of 2016. Senior John McElroy was an All Defensive selection as a junior and will be asked to play more of a role this time around.  Timmond Williams is an underclassmen to keep an eye out for as he will also be needed to step into a bigger role as a sophomore. It may be a while for the inexperienced players to get used to their new responsibilities and expectation, but when they do, Trumbull is going to be a tough matchup like always.

 

  • Westhill

2016 Record: 17-8, lost in second round of Class LL tournament, FCIAC champions

Outlook: The Vikings out of Westhill have been a top program in this league for the past several years. After only a regular season of 13 wins, they found a way to bared down and take three straight when it mattered to capture the FCIAC crown for the second year in a row. Even though they lose a couple stellar seniors from last season, you can’t count ever count these guys out when it comes to winning a championship. Seniors Tyler Lasicki and J’ani Graham were named as two players to watch for at the end of last winter, so we will definitely keep an eye of them. 6’4 junior, Stanley Villard, also returns among other younger players to play important roles.

Photo credit: Stamford Advocate

Photo credit: Stamford Advocate

 

  • Wilton

2016 Record: 14-9, lost in first round of Class L tournament, lost in FCIAC semifinals

Outlook: Wilton had a very good season that ended in an upset loss to 22 seed Lyman Hall in the Class L tournament. The Warriors started out 8-3, but hit a bit of a skid in the second half of the year. Jack Williams was a First Team All FCIAC selection as a junior in 2016 as he averaged 16.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Williams won’t shock you athletically but he is a very smart player that knows how to change speeds and create efficient, open looks. For the second year in a row, Williams will be the captain of this Warrior squad and will be looked upon to be the top player. Another senior leader will be Matt Kronenberg who is as exciting of a player as Williams. The 5’10 guard was a Second Team FCIAC selection as a junior and put up 39 points in their FCIAC quarterfinal win over Fairfield Warde. He can really score it and is also an above average rebounder at the guard position. Williams and Kronenberg will be one of the top guard combos in the league and will be difficult to hold down. Watch for Wilton to be back in the mix for the FCIAC title this year.

CSC Preview by CTHoopsNews

By: Nate Rubinstein (@Nate_Rubinstein)

 

For the final conference preview of the week we take a look at the CSC conference. See what you can expect out of the following teams in the 2016-2017 season!

 

  • Abbott Tech

Photo credit: News Times

Photo credit: News Times

2015-2016 result: 18-9 quarterfinal loss in Class M State tournament, finals loss in CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: Abbott Tech made a run in both the conference and state tournaments last season, almost coming out on top for the CSC final, but falling to Harding, 111-91. They lost two stars in Nick Placella and Omari Johnson to graduation, so they will be in search of players who can take over the scoring load. Both Placella and Johnson will be playing their first season of collegiate basketball this year for Southern Vermont College (DIII). A player on Abbott’s roster to keep an eye out for is sophomore guard Nazeer Priar. Although he lacks in size, Priar takes the ball to the rim with authority and isn’t afraid of making contact with a big man, or two.

 

 

 

  • Bassick

2015-2016 result: 19-7, quarterfinal loss in Class L state tournament, semi-final loss in CSC conference tournament.

Photo credit: CT Post

Photo credit: CT Post

Outlook: Considered the strongest team out of the Bridgeport area, Bassick returns this year with a plethora of talent, starting with 6-foot-4 senior forward Keon Evans. Evans is a big guy who is nothing but aggressive on the glass. To join Evans in the paint is junior center Jordan Gallimore, who stands at 6-foot-8. Gallimore runs the floor real well with his length, but needs to add a bit more post moves to his arsenal. Junior guard Qualon Wilkes and sophomore guard Kevin Crawford will both be impact players as well for Bassick.

 

 

  • Bullard Havens Tech

2015-2016 result: 6-14, did not make post-season play.

Outlook: Without seeing postseason play last year, Bullard Havens Tech will come out hungry to prove themselves in the CSC. They lose their leading scorer in Jacob Morales, but return the 6-foot junior Tyrese Wright, who also happens to be the starting quarterback for Bullard Havens. Wright is an athletic specimen that is a high energy player. It is very rare when you see Wright take a play off.

 

 

  • Capital Prep Magnet

2015-2016 result: 11-10, first round loss in Class S state tournament, did not appear CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: Capital Prep couldn’t get past East Windsor in the first round of the state tournament last year, but the Trail Blazers bring back their leading scorer in senior Roderick Henderson who averaged 10.9 points per game, grabbed 9.6 boards per game. Henderson also dished out around 4.2 assists per contest. The all-around 6-foot-1 guard will look to leave his Capital Prep career on a high note. To join him is junior guard Reylend Wilson and senior Daniel Lebron.

 

 

  • Cheney Tech

2015-2016 result: 9-12, first round loss in Class L state tournament, did not appear in CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: Cheney Tech squeaked their way into the state tournament last year amounting to nine total wins, but got stomped by East Hartford in the first round. The past three years, Cheney Tech has been able to earn a birth in the Class L state tournament, but was unable to get the job done in the first round. The Beavers return four players from last season’s roster that will be entering their senior campaigns, and will look to make more of a push.

 

 

  • Ellis Tech

2015-2016 result: 0-20, did not make postseason play.

Outlook: The Eagles were unable to put a checkmark in the W column this year, and have only been able to capture three victories in the past two seasons The last time Ellis Tech made it to the playoffs was during the 2012-2013 season when they finished off their regular season schedule 9-11. With the talent pool growing in the CSC year in and year out, it will only get tougher for this Ellis Tech squad.

 

 

  • Goodwin Tech

2015-2016 result: 7-13, did not make postseason play.

Outlook: The Gladiators lost some size with the graduation of 6-foot-8 center O’Shea McKensie, but Joshua Masterson will return to control the paint his senior year as well as junior forward Francisco Santiago. Santiago will be looked upon to run the Gladiator offense, as he was in 2015-2016. Last year this team was young and inexperienced, but will now have enough veteran pieces to compete in the close matchups.

 

 

  • Grasso Tech

2015-2016 result: 4-16, did not make postseason play.

Outlook: Nine seniors return to the Grasso Tech boys basketball program this year in search of a chance to earn the magic number, eight wins, to snag a spot in the Class M state tournament. In the last three seasons Grasso Tech has been unable to make the playoffs, however came close in 2014-2015 when they were only one win shy.

 

 

  • Harding

2015-2016 result: 20-5, second round loss in the Class L state tournament, CSC tournament champions.

Outlook: The reigning CSC champions are coming back with a roster that has lost a ton of their main talents, including junior guard T.J. Pettaway who earned Class L All-State Second Team honors last year. The Presidents return senior guards Justin Sheffield and Ramir Johnson as well who will be assist in the ball handling responsibilities.

Photo credit: CT Post

Photo credit: CT Post

 

 

  • Kaynor Tech

2015-2016 result: 8-12, first round loss in Class M state tournament, did not appear in the CSC tournament.

Outlook: David Brown enters his junior year for Kaynor and will give the Panthers height as he stands at 6-foot-5. With the loss of Domenic Digiovancarlo and Richard Hawk, Kaynor is another CSC team that will be searching for a new face to take over the scoring load.

 

 

  • Norwich Tech

2015-2016 result: 12-10, first round loss in Class M state tournament, first round loss in CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: Norwich Tech had a bunch of newcomers join the team last year, but now that majority of them have returned, they can be considered an experienced roster. Senior Jared Neal will be the lead guard for Norwich Tech in 2016-2017, while Owen Duff and Malachi Jarmon come back for the senior years as well. Junior guard Tom Simone will also be a key contributor.

 

 

  • O’Brien Tech

2015-2016 record: 8-13, first round loss in the Class M state tournament, did not appear in the CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: The Condors leading scorer Joe O’Toole returns for his senior year, averaging 16.0 points per game, as well as 4.3 assists per game. O’Toole plays on one wing for O’Brien Tech, while Ervin Gee plays on the other. Gee averaged 10.5 points per game last year as a junior. Nate Shulick will act as the main big man for the Condors this year. Shulick averaged 10.1 rebounds per game along with netting 8.7 points per game last year.

 

 

  • Parish Hill

2015-2016 record: 10-12, first round loss in Class S state tournament, first round loss in CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: Although they were able to make their way into both the conference and state tournaments, Parish Hill was bounced early from both. In the state tournament the Pirates fell 71-45 to Classical Magnet and then 66-42 in the CSC tournament against University. This year Parish Hill will look to have a successful regular season again, and move past the first round of postseason play.

 

 

  • Platt Tech

2015-2016 record: 6-14, did not make postseason play.

Outlook: For a team that didn’t have one senior listed on their roster last year, Platt Tech came two games close to earning a berth in the state tournament. Now that everyone is returning, the Panthers know what it will take to reach the eight win mark.

 

 

  • Prince Tech

2015-2016 record: 14-8, first round loss in Class M state tournament, first round loss in CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: Both of the playoff games that Prince Tech played in last year were heart breakers falling by three or less in each contest. Arguably one of the top underclassmen in that state, Delshawn Jackson Jr., will come back to rep the purple and yellow and lead the Falcons back to the playoffs. Jackson was honored with a Class M All-State Second Team selection after dropping 24 points per game, passing out four assists per game and six rebounds per game. It is safe to say that Prince Tech will depend a lot on Jackson on the offensive end.

 

 

  • Putnam

2015-2016 record: 11-10, first round loss in Class S state tournament, did not appear in CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: The Putnam Clippers were led by Daniel Porcic last year, but now that he has transferred to Putnam Science Academy, they will turn to others for scoring. Senior guard Zachary Cutler will be a key player for the Clippers after being more of a role player last season.

 

 

  • University

2015-2016 record: 15-9, second round loss in Class S state tournament, semi-final loss in CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: University is traditionally one of the powerhouses in the CSC conference, and always find a way into the postseason. Their leading scorer from last season, Melvin Floyd, returns for his junior year after averaging 13.4 points per game. Floyd is a 6-foot-4 forward/center that is the primary big man for the Hawks. Besides Floyd, the rest of the returners were used as role players in the past. Look for University to have a couple new faces show up in the box scores on Tuesday and Friday nights.

 

 

  • Vinal Tech

2015-2016 record: 10-11, first round loss in Class L state tournament, did not appear in CSC conference tournament.

Outlook: Although Vinal Tech lost a scoring machine in Juwan Bennett, the Hawks bring back senior guard Denzell Woodlard. The 5-foot-8 guard not only was a scoring threat putting in 14.8 points per game, but also was the team’s leading assister with 6.8 per contest. Woodlard will be the nucleus of the Vinal Tech offense this year. Juniors Deoraj Singh and Elias Rhett will also be key contributors for the Hawks.

 

 

  • Whitney Tech

2015-2016 record: 4-16, did not make postseason play.

Outlook: The Owls graduated six players from the program following the 2015-2016 season, and will have three for this season. Seniors Jarvis Jones and Brandon Quinones will be the primary leaders for the Owls. Jones, a 5-foot-5 point guard who averaged around 10 points per game as a junior and Quinones is more of a combo guard who scored eight points per game last year.  

 

 

  • Windham Tech

2015-2016 record: 7-13, did not make postseason play.

Outlook: The Mighty Tigers have their entire roster coming back for the 2016-2017 season after not graduating any seniors last year. Windham Tech will continue to struggle on the boards with their lack of height, with their tallest player standing at 6-foot. To get more wins, the Mighty Tigers will need to depend on their speed and getting out on the fast-break.

 

 

  • Wolcott Tech

2015-2016 record: 1-19, did not make postseason play.

Outlook: This Wolcott Tech team is another roster that returns more players than what they have lost from last season. The Wildcats are a struggling program that has only won a single game in the past two seasons. Their one win  2015-2016 came toward the end of January and was against Academy of Science of Innovation.

ECC Preview by CTHoopsNews

By: Sam Rubinstein (@_samruby)

After previewing the CCC conference all of last week, we kick off the second week of November with our preview on the ECC conference!

  • Bacon Academy

2016 Record: 20-7, lost in quarterfinal of Class M tournament, ECC tournament champions

Outlook: The defending ECC champs lose a very strong senior class including their best player from last year in all state guard, Jimmy Matos. The Bobcats do return seniors Greg Baxter and Paul Chasse, along with junior Reilly Dyer who will have to step up and be x-factors for the team. Bacon Academy is always a tough out in any ECC matchup and this year will be no different. Towards the end of February, you won’t want to see the Bobcats on your schedule.

 

  • East Lyme

2016 Record: 13-11, lost in second round of Class L tournament, lost in quarterfinals of ECC tournament

Outlook: East Lyme enjoyed one of the quicker turnarounds in the state last season as they followed up their 1-19 campaign of 2015 with a solid 13-11 season including two playoff wins. The Vikings were led by one of the more exciting, young guns that the CIAC has to offer in sophomore point guard, Dev Ostrowski. As a freshman last winter, Ostrowski made the All ECC team and consistently showed signs of greatness including a 36 points, 11 rebound performance in the Vikings’ OT victory during the first round of the Class L tourney. Senior James Kirby and junior Matt Pascal will also play big roles in the team’s success this year. Watch for East Lyme to be a sleeper out of the ECC.

 

  • Fitch

2016 Record: 12-9, lost in first round of Class L tournament, did not make ECC tournament

Outlook: Fitch had a weird season a year ago in which their coach was fired mid-February and they never really reached their full potential with one of the state’s best players, Eddie Volkertz. Volkertz is gone now, and others will be looked upon to take leadership and scoring roles. Justice Farris will be one of those returners to help guide the Falcons. As a sophomore a year ago, Farris was an ECC Large Division honorable mention selection. He will see the ball in his hands more this year and will have many chances to showcase his skills. Two other junior guards will make Fitch’s front court tough to guard and those two guys are Jalen Benson and Edward Gonzalez.

 

  • Griswold

2016 Record: 15-9, lost in first round of Class S tournament, lost in semifinals of ECC tournament.

Outlook: Griswold made a pretty remarkable run to the conference semifinals last year including a win over a very good program in Waterford. Their showing in state tournament didn’t go as well as they were upset by East Hampton in the first round by 16 points. They lose a solid group of seniors from last winter but they also return a young bunch that will look to continue last year’s success. Senior Nate Tedeschi will move into a starting role after playing as an important role man last season. Jared Strmiska is another senior returning that has solid varsity experience to help the Wolverines.

 

 

  • Killingly

2016 Record: 7-14, lost in first round of Class M tournament, did not make ECC tournament

Outlook: In the past four seasons dating back to 2013, Killingly has won seven, seven, eight, and seven games respectively. If Killingly had any chance to get over that hump, it was last season when they had a strong group of experienced seniors. Unfortunately they plateaued at seven wins again and faced an early state tournament exit to Sacred Heart. Every setback has a major come back though, and the Redmen return senior Jared Gosper, junior Alex Fontaine, and sophomore Luke Desaulnier. These three will look to lead their team to the school’s first double digit win mark in since 2010.

 

 

  • Ledyard

2016 Record: 19-5, lost in second round of Class LL tournament, lost in semifinals of ECC tournament

Outlook: Ledyard has consistently been one of the top programs in the ECC these past several years and this time it is no different. The Colonels have a chance to be as good, if not better than last year and are one of the favorites to win the ECC. They bring back one of the top players in the league with senior Isaiah McNair. McNair was an all conference selection a season ago where he averaged 16.6 ppg and 5.2 rpg. Steven Fletcher was also an all conference selection as a junior a year ago and will be tough to stop as a compliment to McNair. Rising sophomore Ken Turner is one of the more promising players in the conference, look for him to step into a big role this winter.

Photo credit: Norwich Bulletin

Photo credit: Norwich Bulletin

 

  • Lyman Memorial

2016 Record: 10-12, lost in first round of Class S tournament, lost in first round of ECC tournament

Outlook: The Bulldogs have a good group of returners from last year’s team that qualified for both the Class S and ECC tournament. Junior David Lopez was an all conference selection a season ago, and he will again be relied upon to put the ball in the hoop. Senior Hunter Hayman is also back and will be another go-to-guy. Watch for Lyman Memorial to reach that .500 mark this winter and possibly pull off a few upsets come playoff time.

 

  • Montville

2016 Record: 4-16, did not make Class M tournament, did not make ECC tournament

Outlook: Mohegan Sun might only be about 5 miles from Montville, but the past two years, it seems like its been a lot farther. The Indians have struggled the past two season, only racking up 9 total wins with 31 losses. As they continue the process of getting back to postseason play, a young core of player will be looked to lead the charge. Junior Eric Beavin is one of the more promising of the group. The 6’2 forward is undersized a bit, but still figured out a way to post several double-doubles a year ago. Senior Gilbert Calash is an experienced varsity player who will be important to the team’s success also.

 

  • New London

2016 Record: 15-10, lost in first round of Class L tournament, lost in ECC championship

Outlook: New London had a stellar playoff run last year where every game came down the wire. Out of the five postseason games played, three of them were decided by five points or less. One of those three was the ECC final in which they lost to Bacon Academy. The Whalers will be coming back strong looking to take back the conference crown that they won in 2015. Senior D. Major Roman, Yale football commit, is a beast down low and will be a tough cover for anyone he matches up with. He was a Second Team Class L selection a year ago. Junior point guard Gio Lopez is one of the more underrated guards in the league and he returns to run the show again. Seniors Melquan Gomez and Nakwon Keith are also back and will be main components to getting the Whalers back to championship status.

 

  • Norwich Free Academy

Photo credit: Norwich Bulletin

Photo credit: Norwich Bulletin

2016 Record: 11-11, lost in first round of Class LL tournament, lost in first round of ECC tournament

Outlook: Last year’s NFA squad ended on a bad note losing to Simsbury in the first round of the Class LL tournament where they only managed a total of 26 points. Though the Wildcats lose a few important seniors from a year ago, they bring back most of their roster including rising junior Seth Thomas. The 6’3 wing was an all conference selection last winter and has the potential to be a top player in the ECC eventually. He will be a name to look out for as we get the season going. Sophomore Jalen Graham is another young Wildcat to look out for. As a freshman, Graham had multiple games of double digit scoring and will be even more of a threat this time around. Senior big man Christian Brown is a veteran on this roster that will control the paint. NFA is one of the more exciting teams across the state and can be a legitimate contender in this conference.

 

  • Plainfield

2016 Record: 12-11, lost in second round of Class M tournament, lost in first round of ECC tournament

Outlook: Plainfield enjoyed a solid season a year ago where they qualified for the playoffs and finished over .500. The Panthers lose four of their five starters from last winter, so many guys who were in supporting roles last year will have to step up and take on more responsibility. Senior Eli Malbouef is the lone returning starter and will have the most experience on the roster. Juniors Chris Peasly and Jarvin Alday, alon with sophomore Markeith Conyers will lead the Panther youth.

 

  • Saint Bernard

2016 Record: 12-11, lost in first round of Class S tournament, lost in quarterfinals of ECC tournament

Outlook: The brother combination over at Saint Bernard was a great story line in the ECC last year as John Vogt controlled down low while Sam Vogt operated on the perimeter. Times have changed though, and John is gone to graduation, while Sam is back for his sophomore season. Averaging double digits is impressive enough, but to do it as a freshman on a playoff-qualifying team is something else; Vogt will be a player to look out for in the next few years. Junior guard Connor Svab also returns and will play a big role for the Saints. Saint Bernard will be young this year but will have the capability to sneak into the Class S tournament and make a bit of a run.

 

  • Stonington

2016 Record: 9-13,  lost in first round of Class M tournament, lost in first round of ECC tournament

Outlook: The Bears qualified for both the Class M and ECC tournaments a season ago but were bumped out in the first round of both. Only 4 seniors are gone from 2016 but those seniors had big roles including Amadi White and Bobby Atkins who were the foundation of that roster. Senior Matt Schmeelk returns after not being able to play in the final game of last year’s schedule. The 6’3 forward averaged 9.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a junior and he will be asked to do a bit more this winter.  The junior duo of Lennox Deer and Ben Dellacono will be asked to step up this season, along with sophomore guard RJ Parrilla.

 

  • Tourtellotte

2016 Record: 5-15, did not make Class S tournament, did not make ECC tournament

Outlook: After an 0-20 season in 2015, reaching the 5 win mark was a step forward for this Tourtellotte program. Evan Ware is back for his senior season and will be the Tigers main scorer. He was a captain as a junior and has been a varsity player for quite some time now. Junior forward Jackson Padula returns and will hope to build on the solid sophomore season that he had last year. Michael Falco’s experience and low post presence will also help the Tigers as they look to make it back to postseason play.

    

  • Waterford

2016 Record: 18-5, lost in second round of Class M tournament, lost in quarterfinals of ECC tournament

Outlook: Waterford enjoyed an amazing regular season where they won 17 games, but faltered in the postseason when they were upset in both the Class M and ECC tournaments by lower seeds. Junior guard Mike Buscetto is poised for a great year after a solid sophomore showing. He scored 15 points in the final game of the year for the Lancers last season. Senior big man Jeff Evans also returns and will be a rock down low that will need to control the board and protect the rim at a high level. Waterford hopes to not only win a lot during the regular season, but also make a run in the playoffs and contend for the ECC title.

 

  • Wheeler

2016 Record: 5-15, did not make Class S tournament, did not make ECC tournament

Outlook: After a .500 season in 2015, Wheeler took a step back with a 5-15 campaign in 2016. Losing a 1000 point scorer in Mike Dellaporta and do it all big man Alex Haines doesn’t make things easy, but now senior Ryan Dussault steps into that spotlight be the go-to-guy for the Lions. Dussalt, a starter since sophomore year, can score and crash the boards consistently which makes him a constant threat. Seniors Dylan Wilkinson and Chris Munzer return and will play important roles. The Lions may not be the best team in the ECC, but they aren’t a team to sleep on night in and night out.   

 

 

 

 

 

  • Windham

2016 Record: 14-9, lost in second round of Class M tournament, lost in first round of ECC tournament

Photo credit: Portland Press Herald

Photo credit: Portland Press Herald

Outlook: Mekhi Warren started off his career at Maloney High School in Meriden, but transferred to Windham for his sophomore season. Last season, Warren proved he could be one of the more underrated players in this conference. The 6’4 junior is super athletic and has the ability to take over games. He will be a main reason Windham makes a little noise again in the ECC this year. Senior guard Willie Brown also returns and will be an important piece for the Whippets.

 

 

  • Woodstock Academy

2016 Record: 5-15, did not make Class LL tournament, did not make ECC tournament

Outlook: Outlook: It’s been three years since the Centaurs won the Class L title, but times have changed, and the program hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2014. Things are looking up though. Woodstock brings back a huge senior class of 9 players, headed by 6’4 forward, Sam Majek. Majek put together multiple double-doubles last season and will certainly do the same this year. Other notable senior returners are Nick Short, Patrick Houlihan, and Quinn Stevenson. Watch for Woodstock to get back on the map in 2017!

CCC: Central Region by CTHoopsNews

CCC - Central Region

By: Nate Rubinstein (@Nate_Rubinstein) & Sam Rubinstein (@_samruby)

To wrap up the CCC preview, the CTHoopsNews team gives their outlook on the CCC Central Region. See who will be making noise in 2016-2017.

  • Blue Division

    Conard

2016 record: 4-16, did not make post-season play.

Outlook: After a rough showing in the 2015-2016 season, the Chieftains come into this year with a roster that has a bit more experience under their belts. Senior guard, Aidan Maloney, has a smooth shot off the dribble and has the ability to consistently hit the three pointer. Alongside Maloney in the backcourt will be senior point guard Silas Rivers. Rivers is lightning fast and has the ability to blow by defenders given the opportunity. Sophomore guard Ajaye Fair is one of the rising underclassmen of the league and will have a chance to play very well this year.

 

  • Hall

2016 record: 3-17, did not make post-season play.

Outlook: The other West Hartford school had a difficult time getting wins last year. Hall returns with players that have a bit more experience under their belt. That starts with senior forward Dan Brocke. Brocke is the real deal, and will make even more of an impact in his final campaign with Hall. Brocke stands at 6-foot-7 and mans the block on both ends of the floor. He is an exciting player who moves well without the ball and has the bunnies, along with the wingspan, that allows him to throw down jams. Look for Hall to run majority of their offensive scheme through Brocke. Other names to keep an eye out for are Sean James, Onyx Erazo and James DeCrisantis.

 

 

  • Glastonbury

2016 record: 13-10, second round loss in Class LL tournament, first round loss in CCC conference tournament

Outlook: Glastonbury was able to make it to the postseason last year, but did not get too far. The Tomahawks may have lost eight graduating seniors, but they also have a promising talent in sophomore Cameron Stiepock. The 6-foot-4 guard ran with the well-known Connecticut Basketball Club (CBC) AAU program this summer with players in both the 2018 and 2019 recruiting class. Glastonbury will need to find an offensive identity with the loss of seniors, and don’t be surprised if Stiepock is one of the go-to guys.

 

 

  • Simsbury

2016 record: 19-8, runner-up in CCC conference tournament, quarterfinal loss in Class LL tournament

Outlook: Simsbury came very close to claiming the CCC Tournament Championship, but lost to East Catholic. The Trojans also made a healthy run in the state tournament, but following the 2015-2016 season, they lost their star guard in Rayon Christie, who is now completing a postgraduate year at the Masters School. However, the future is now! Head coach, Greg Stillman, has a senior veteran in Jack Medve returning to sport the navy and gold. Medve is a 6-foot-2 shooting guard who is a marksman from 3-point land. He is not limited to his jump shot, but it is definitely the strongest part of his game. Sophomore Jalen Williams is another skilled guard on this Trojan roster. Williams has a good handle and is quick to get through the holes in the defense.

 

 

  • Southington

2016 record: 5-15, did not make post-season play.

Outlook: The Blue Knights are the third team in the central blue division that didn’t make any playoff tournament last year. They only lost two graduating seniors, giving them a plethora of players returning that already have experienced at the varsity level. It may not be a guarantee for a playoff berth, but the knowledge is by no means a disadvantage. Seniors Mike Defeo, Jon Mikosz, and Brendan Taylor will be leaders for Southington this year. Along with junior Jeremy Mercier.

 

White Division

  •  

    Avon
  • 2016 record: 5-15, did not make post-season play.

Outlook: In a division with arguably three of the best teams in the entire conference, Avon had a tough time competing last year, and with all of the highly talented players returning to teams like Weaver, Windsor and Northwest Catholic they may have similar troubles. The Falcons will have a ton of new faces earning more varsity time after they graduated five members of the team this past spring. Jeremy Zarwanski and Justin Olson are two of the returning seniors who will need to play big roles.

 

 

  • Bulkeley

2016 record: 8-13, did not make CCC conference tournament, first round loss in Class L state tournament.

Outlook: Bulkeley is one of those teams that never seems to get over the hump. Since joining Class L in 2013, the Bulldogs have never gone below eight wins or above eleven wins in the regular season. This year they hope to break that trend and solidify themselves as a top tier team in the CCC instead of a team in the middle of the pack. For that to happen, senior James Sage, Carlos Ortiz, Chris Venable and Matt Orsmby will all have to play big roles. Junior Christian Diaz may also need to be relied on as an option as well. Returning senior guard Caruth Aris is a tough guard and should be a big help this season. Like every year, the schedule is tough for these Bulldogs, but don’t be surprised to see Bulkeley pulling off an upset as playoff time comes around.

 

 

  • Farmington

2016 record: 5-15, did not make post-season play.

Outlook: Farmington is another squad out of the CCC central that didn’t make a playoff tournament, but the Indians have a lot of potential starting with junior Jake Sytulek. Sytulek scored in double digits several times as sophomore last season and is as promising a player as you’ll come across in this division. The Indians also have senior Trajan Simpson, a guard that will bring length and aggressiveness to the Farmington backcourt. Also look out for rising sophomore Makai Hawkins who will look to build on his successful play last year.

 

 

  • Northwest Catholic

2016 record: 18-7, first round loss in CCC conference tournament, semi-final loss in Class M state tournament.

Outlook: Northwest made a push in the Class M state tournament, but their “run to the sun” was put to an end in the semis when they fell to Notre Dame Fairfield in a close 81-79 contest. Look for NWC to build off last year’s success and make a run at a championship. The Lions have arguably one of the top players in the state with sophomore Cairo McCroy. As a freshman last season, McCroy was an All CCC Central selection and had already drawn interest from several division one programs. He is a long and athletic 6’3 that can score in bunches along with guarding both the perimeter and the post at an above average level. The Lions also bring back junior point guard Luca Mirabello who saw time throughout his sophomore season. Watch for freshman guard Amir “Primo” Spears throughout the next few months also, he has the potential to be one of the rising stars of this conference.

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

 

 

  • Weaver

2016 record: 23-4, quarterfinal loss in CCC conference tournament, finals loss in the Class LL state tournament.

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Outlook:  Weaver has been a top five program in the entire state the past few seasons where they have made four consecutive trips to the state championship game. Coming off of last year’s loss to Hillhouse in the Class LL title, the team is hungry to keep the streak going and has a great chance at doing so. The Beavers return the all state brother combo of Jaecee Martin and Chalynn Martin.  Both players have been dominant throughout their varsity careers and are poised to have tremendous senior seasons. Both play with a high level of energy and are athletically at another level compared to their competition. Along with the Martin brothers, senior big men Andre Lyons and JaQuan Williams are the two other returning starters from the 2016 team that will roam the low post for the Beavers. Junior guard Alexis Rodriguez could also see starter minutes this year as he played well in a supporting role last winter.

 

  • Windsor

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

2016 record: 24-2, quarterfinal loss in CCC conference tournament, semi-final loss in Class L state tournament.

Outlook: Windsor returns one All CCC Central player in senior Donovan Austin who will look to keep the train moving for the Windsor basketball program after the last few successful seasons. Austin is a very solid point guard that can efficiently score the ball. The Warriors also bring back junior George Gamble who showed many signs of promise a year ago with his ability to shoot from the perimeter. Windsor will no doubt be back in the conversation for both CCC champions and Class L champions.

CCC: South Region by CTHoopsNews

By: Sam Rubinstein (@_samruby)

For the second day of "CCC Week" we take a look at the South region of the CCC, and what we can expect from each division. See who has the opportunity to make some noise.

CCC - South Region

 

  • Blue Division

        Bristol Central

2016 Record: 8-11, play-in game loss in Class L tournament, did not make CCC tournament

 

Outlook: A year ago Bristol Central snuck into the Class L tournament as a 34 seed where they eventually lost at the buzzer in the play-in game to Bethel. Watch for the Rams to continue their rise as they return one of the more underrated juniors in the state with Jaekwon Spencer. As a sophomore last winter, Spencer averaged closed to a double-double with 16 points and 9 rebounds per game. The transfer of Jamil Hornesby leaves most of the load on Spencer’s shoulders along with the help of senior Aaron Collins and junior Isaiah Williams.

 

  • Bristol Eastern

2016 Record: 2-18, did not make Class L tournament, did not make CCC tournament

 

 

Outlook: Coming off of a 2-18 season, there is nowhere to go but up for the Lancers. They lose rising junior Tyler Arbuckle to transfer, but also receive Roderick Jenkins who transferred in from Waterbury Career Academy. Jenkins, a senior, will play an important role this season with his new team. Seniors Tom Gonzales and Mike Rivera will have to be important factors this season to see some success, along with junior Rajon Collins. Rising sophomore Carter Dziedzic played a lot as a freshman last winter and was able to consistently showcase his scoring abilities; look for him to have an important role in Bristol Eastern’s rise back to a high level of play.

 

 

  • New Britain

 

2016 Record: 4-16, did not make Class LL tournament, did not make CCC tournament

 

Outlook: After qualifying for the state tournament two seasons ago, the Golden Hurricanes took a step back last year by only winning six games. New Britain loses a All CCC South guard in Donovan Lighty, but bring back a young core that will lead the team. Rising senior Jordan Williams and junior guards Jamani Eaton and Melvin Deleon will be the three at the front of the pack. If the Hurricanes find success this season, look for it to be a true team effort with contributions from every player on the court.

 

  • Newington

 

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

        2016 Record: 24-2, lost in Class L semifinals, lost in CCC quarterfinals

 

Outlook: Newington loses a strong senior class and also an all-state forward in Nick Guadarama, who transferred out to prep school. Despite losing several key pieces from their historic run last year in which they won 24 games, the Indians bring back arguably the most important piece in Jared Simmons. The two time all-state point guard and school’s all-time leading scorer is one of the top players in the entire state and has the ability to lead his team back on the cusp of a championship just like last winter. One man can never do it alone though. There are many spots to be filled around Simmons and several of the key underclassmen have a chance to make an impact right away.

 

 

  • Wethersfield

 

2016 Record: 14-9, lost in second round of Class L tournament, lost in first round of CCC tournament

 

Outlook: Wethersfield enjoyed a great year last year in which they qualified for both the conference and state tournaments. Just like many other teams in the CCC, graduation will take a toll this season as they lose several seniors from last year that played important roles. Returning for the Eagles who has the potential for a breakout year is junior Jimmy Sullivan. Sullivan has been on the varsity squad since freshman year and will be the go-to-guy for Wethersfield.

 

  • White Division

Berlin

2016 Record: 11-11, lost in first round of Class L tournament, lost in first round of CCC tournament

 

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Outlook: Berlin returns senior big man, Jack Lynch, who unfortunately keeps catching the injury bug. Last winter, he broke his jaw in late December, and this past fall, as the quarterback for the school’s football team, Lynch suffered a season-ending knee injury. We hope Lynch is healed in time for hoops season and Berlin does too. Before his injury last year, he collected 39 rebounds in just two and half games. Along with Lynch, Spencer Duke returns for his senior season after scoring a game-high 17 points in the team’s final game last year. Kyle Mogelnicki will also play an important role as one of the guards. Berlin clinched a spot in the CCC tournament for the first time since 2013 last year and they have a chance to do it again this time around.

 

        

 

  • Maloney

 

2016 Record: 12-12, lost in quarterfinals of Class L tournament, lost in first round of CCC tournament

 

Outlook: Maloney is bringing back a strong senior tandem with Alejandro Ortiz and Jeff Massicotte. Massicotte is more of a distributing guard while Ortiz can really score it. He averaged double digits last season including a 31 point outburst against Bristol Central. Both will have the ball in their hands often and will be relied on to orchestrate the team. After a .500 season last winter with a few playoff appearances, look for the Spartans to come back strong and be a tough opponent night in and night out in the CCC as they have been the past several seasons.

 

 

  • Middletown

 

2016 Record: 24-4, lost in championship game of Class L tournament, lost in semifinals of CCC tournament

 

Outlook: Middletown had an amazing run last season that ended on the floor of Mohegan Sun where they fell to East Catholic in the state championship game. The talent on the Dragon’s roster is deep and well spread out, which makes them so tough to defend. Ahmad Privott is one of the leaders returning this season after being named second team Class L last year. Tyshaun James, DeAaron Lawrence, Aveon Woods, and Markevious Sneed also return to play major roles. Middletown will again be one of the more deeper rosters in the league and will be one of the top teams in the state again.

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

 

 

  • Rocky Hill

 

2016 Record: 7-14, lost in first round of Class L tournament, did not make CCC tournament

 

 

Outlook: Losing an all state player like Nick Casiano is as a tough task to handle especially after the year that Rocky Hill had last season. The Terriers barely qualified for the Class L tournament with just 7 total wins. WIth Casiano gone to prep school, senior Alex Sikorski will have the ball in his hands a lot and will be relied upon heavily to produce. Sikorsky, the 6’1 shooting guard, is a four year varsity player and was an All CCC South selection last year. Rocky Hill also has a very solid group of young players that will help run the show this year including juniors Will White and JD Monaco. The Terriers have the chance to get back to the state playoffs this season and can’t be taken lightly night in and night out.

 

 

  • Plainville

 

2016 Record: 7-13, did not make Class L tournament, did not make CCC tournament

 

Outlook: Plainville comes into the 2017 season after losing a strong senior core from last year. The Blue Devils have something to look forward to though as they bring back sophomore Brady Callahan, who started as a freshman for a couple games a year ago. Senior guard Jared Demmons also returns to play an important role. Plainville has always been know to play a slowed-down, methodical style of basketball and don’t expect anything different this time around. There will be a bit of a learning curve as the major roles of this team will be filled by players with below-average varsity experience. Give this team a little time though, and they have a chance to shock you when February comes around.

 

  • Platt

 

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

2016 Record: 13-10, lost in second round of Class L tournament, lost in first round of CCC tournament

 

Outlook: Isiah Gaiter was Platt’s rock last season as a sophomore, but times have changed, and Gaiter has transferred to Sacred Heart of the NVL. That leaves a lot of the load on the shoulders of senior Isaiah Jones. Jones is a very capable player as he led the team with 19 points in their first round state win a year ago. With Gaiter gone, he will get a chance to really showcase his skills. Senior Dominic Coitrone and junior Carson Coon will also play important roles along with the rest of the Panthers’ junior class. The CCC is always tough, and Platt will be another one of those “tough” teams that will put up a fight night in and night out.

 

 

CCC: North Region by CTHoopsNews

By: Sam Rubinstein (@_samruby)

To kick off the conference previews for the 2016-2017 season, CTHoopsNews starts out in the CCC North Division. Take a look at some of the key players that are returning for each team.

 

Blue Division

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

Photo credit: Robbie Goodrich

 

    • East Catholic

2015-2016 record: 22-3, Class L State Champion, CCC Tournament Champion

Outlook: East Catholic is loaded this season and has a chance to defend both their CCC and Class L titles. One of the more talented rosters in the states, the Eagles are led by Kansas State commit Mike McGuirl and sharp shooting sophomore Joe Reilly who were two of the team’s leading scorers last season. Also look for sophomore big man Rakesh Tibby, Bristol Central transfer Jamil Hornesby, sophomore guard Josh Menard, and freshman Trey Hall all to play important roles this year. No doubt these Eagles will be in the mix for another CCC and Class L title.

 

    • East Hartford

2015-2016 record: 16-9, semifinal loss in CCC tournament, second round loss in Class LL tournament.

Outlook: The Hornets played great in some huge games towards the end last season that they hope will carry over into this year. The last four games of their 2016 schedule included an overtime win over highly ranked Newington, an eight point state tournament victory against the FCIAC’s Fairfield Ludlowe, and two losses to the eventual Class L and Class LL champions, one in which was a one point over time loss. East Hartford, led by junior guard Isaiah Williams, senior guard Kingsley Cockburn, and junior forward Austin Nwafor have the potential to be a surprise team out of the CCC North.

 

    • Hartford Public

2016 Record: 9-12, first round loss in Class LL tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: All CCC-North guard, D’marius McKnight returns for his senior season looking to get Hartford Public back to where they ended two seasons ago which was in the Class LL semifinals. Along with McKnight, seniors Nathan Serrano and Jahrell Spence will play prominent roles this season.  After a two point loss to Wilbur Cross in the first round last season, look for Hartford Public to get back over that .500 mark this season and get back on the map.

Photo credit: Hartford Courant

Photo credit: Hartford Courant

 

 

    • Manchester

2016 Record: 9-12, first round loss in Class LL tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: After going 3-17 just two seasons ago, Manchester made great strides last year by eclipsing the eight win mark and earning a spot in the Class LL tourney as a 28 seed. Malik Cameron, coming off a breakout junior year in which he earned All CCC-North honors, is back and is one of the more underlooked players in this league. His length and athleticism fit perfectly in the Indians’ up-tempo style of play. Seniors PJ Bucherri, Derrick Molden, and Raekwan Canty are all above average scorers that run the floor well and know how to create for others along with themselves.

 

 

    • South Windsor

2016 Record: 9-12, first round loss in Class LL tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: Senior Kewan Smoot is one of the top point guards in the state. As a junior last year, he made the Class LL Second Team and averaged 20.1 ppg and 6.2 apg throughout the season. His ability to effect the game in multiple ways is a main reason why South Windsor has a chance to make a legit run in the CCC and in Class LL this winter. Along with Smoot, South Windsor has another all conference returner in senior Shane Young. Young is another impact player that can really hurt you from the perimeter with his shooting. Watch for South Windsor to burst out of its shell this season and rack up double digit wins.

 

 White Division

    • Bloomfield

2016 Record: 21-5, semifinal loss in Class M tournament, quarterfinal loss in CCC tournament

Outlook: Bloomfield has been a top team in the state and in the CCC for the past several years but have no hardware to show for it. The Warhawks bring back a strong senior class headed by three returning All CCC-North players in  Russel Thompson-Bishop, Jordan Pruitt, and Dexter Lawson. These Warhawks have been at the cusp of a state championship appearance the past three seasons in which they lost all three years in the semi final to one of the more prominent dynasties in state history with Sacred Heart of the NVL. Bloomfield has a legitimate chance to get over the hump and win a ring this season.

 

    • Enfield

2016 Record: Fermi: 0-20, did not make Class L tournament, did not make CCC tournament. Enfield: 9-11, first round loss in Class M tournament, did not make NCCC tournament

Outlook: Last year was a another rough one for Fermi High School. Coming off of a stretch of only one win in three years, they couldn’t get back on track and had another 0-20 season. Add in the loss of 1,000 point scorer, Josh Pasini, and you would be hard pressed to find something thrilling to look forward to about this season. But, then we had a bit of a shake up! Fermi became part of Enfield High School out of the NCCC, and now Enfield will take the spot of Fermi in the CCC North! Crazy right? Enfield is coming off a year in which they went 9-11 and qualified for the Class M tournament. They bring back two rising seniors in Kumar Brown and Jake Ferrato. From the Fermi side, Khalil Thomas will bring experience as he has been a varsity player since his freshman year. It will be interesting to see how this transition goes and will be a cool storyline to watch throughout the season as two programs come together to form one.

 

    • EO Smith

2016 Record: 13-9, first round loss in Class L tournament, first round loss in CCC tournament

Outlook: Graduation is hitting EO Smith hard this year as they lost two All CCC-North guards along with the rest of that large senior class that pulled a majority of the load last season. With that being said, there will be a great opportunity for some returners to play vital roles on this Panther squad. Seniors Andrew Schroeder and Rondell Bothroyd will be a big-man combo that has a chance to be productive.

 

 

    • RHAM

2016 Record: 13-9, first round loss in Class L tournament, first round loss in CCC tournament

Outlook: RHAM had a great regular season in 2016 but got blown out in both of their first round playoff games to two tough teams in Bloomfield and Maloney. It will be a tough task for the Sachems this winter as they try for a quick turnaround after losing seven players to graduation including two All CCC-North players. Rising senior guards Sean Dupuis and Kyle Hespeler will be running the show this year and will be relied on to be consistent scorers.

 

 

 

    • Rockville

2016 Record: 4-16, did not make Class M tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: After two down years of 10 total wins, Rockville has a legitimate chance to sneak back into the state tournament and get into the double digit win category. Rising seniors Jake Cichon and Romeo Sowah have been in the starting lineup since their sophomore year and will be two of the main players for the Rams. Junior point guard, Mason Resendes, will be a player to look out for over the next few months as well. A varsity player since his freshman year, Resendes is true point guard that can create for others and has the ability, along with Cichon and Sowah, to get this Ram team back into the conversation.

 

    • Tolland

2016 Record: 10-11, first round loss in Class M tournament, did not make CCC tournament

Outlook: Tolland came within two points of fighting off Ansonia to pull off the first round upset in the Class M tournament last season. It was their second straight year of losing by less than a basket in their opening round matchup. But don’t worry Eagles fans, have no fear, Andrew Jaworski is still here! Jaworski, a rising senior who made the Class M Second Team just a year ago is one of the more underrated players in the CCC. The 6’2 physical guard can score from all over and impact the game with and without the ball in his hands. Senior Devin Shelton will also be a key factor to the Eagles’ success this year.