Coach: Derek Roberts (1st season, 12-10 overall)
Assistant coaches: Matt Lesan, Quentin Collier, Kaleb Duwa
Last year: 13-10
Returning starters: Naeem Smith, 5-11, Sr., G.
Other returning letterwinners: Charles Johnson, 6-5, Sr., F; Jared Taylor, 6-5, Sr., F; Gabe Nkumu, 6-3, Sr., G; Vance Dillon, 6-1, Sr., G.
Newcomers to watch: Keyshawn Christian, 6-2, Fr., G; Antonio Turner, 5-10, Soph., G; Ry Thelkeld-Weigand, 6-3, Soph., F; Dae Dae Hickman, 5-10, Soph., G; Kevin Gage, 6-3, Sr., G.
Headliner: Senior point guard Naeem Smith was a second team all-conference pick last year when he averaged 10 points and led City High with 5.2 assists per game.
Keep an eye on: Chuck Johnson earned honorable mention all-conference honors last year averaging 6.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
Circle the date: Dec. 1 vs. Muscatine. After opening the season on the road at Davenport North the Little Hawks open their home schedule against Muscatine and Iowa commit Joe Wieskamp.
Outlook: Derek Roberts takes over at City High for Don Showalter after the Little Hawks tied for a Mississippi Valley Conference divisional title last season. Naeem Smith is the lone returning starter from the Little Hawks’ 13-10 team from a year ago that fell to West High in a 4A sub-state final.
Seniors Jared Taylor, Gabe Nkumu and Vance Dillon all return with experience and the Little Hawks expect contributions from several underclassmen.
Coach: Steve Bergman (27th season, 521-176)
Last year: 21-5, Class 4A state title game
Returning starters: Connor McCaffery, 6-5, Sr., G; Devontae Lane, 6-1, Sr., G; Patrick McCaffery, 6-8, Soph., F.
Other returning letterwinners: Nate Disterhoft, 6-4, Sr., F; Izaya Fullard, 5-11, Sr., G; Josh Van Roekel, 6-5, Sr., C; Jake Anderson, 6-0, Jr., G.
Newcomers to watch: Dante Eldridge, 5-8, Soph., G; Seybian Sims, 6-4, Jr., F; Evan Flitz, 6-0, Jr., G.
Headliner: Senior point guard Connor McCaffery is an Iowa recruit and was a first team all-state selection last year when he led West High with 15.5 points and 4.9 assists per game.
Keep an eye on: Coming off a stellar football season, Devontae Lane is in line for the best season of his career on the hardwood after averaging 13.7 points per game on his way to second team all-state honors last year.
Circle the date: Feb. 18 at Cretin-Derham Hall, Minnesota. The Trojans close the regular season with a trip to St. Paul Minnesota to take on powerhouse Cretin-Derham Hall.
Outlook: West High is seeking its fourth state title in six seasons and its first since 2014 after falling to West Des Moines Valley in the 4A title game last year.
Three starters return from last year’s state runner-up team led by all-staters Connor McCaffery and Devontae Lane while 6-foot-8 sophomore Patrick McCaffery should be in for a breakthrough after scoring 4.7 points per game last year as a freshman.
Coach: Stuart Ordman (Third season, 470-304 overall)
Assistant coaches: Jared Galpin, Barry Lehman, Mark Weaver.
Last year: 14-11
Returning starters: Jack Jensen, 5-11, Sr., G.
Other returning letterwinners: Sam Stein, 6-1, Sr.; Jocoa Kerschen, 6-2, Jr.; Zach Seaman, 5-11, Jr.; Ryne Schooley, 6-2, Jr.; Trae Rogers, 5-10, Sr.; Carter Daniels, 5-11, Sr.; Jacob Clark, 6-4, Jr.
Headliner: The lone returning starter from last year, Jack Jensen will be expected to take on a leadership role as well as expanding on the 2.5 points per game he averaged per game last season.
Keep an eye on: Junior Jocoa Kerschen built a reputation as one of the top shooters in the River Valley Conference last season, shooting 46 percent from 3-point range while scoring 7.8 points per game.
Circle the date: Dec. 13 vs. Monticello. After four consecutive road games to open the season Regina hosts a Monticello squad that went 17-6 last year in a RVC cross-divisional matchup.
Outlook: The Regals have plenty to replace from last year’s team that won 14 games and fell to Anamosa in the sub-state finals.
Regina brings back three players in Jocoa Kerschen, Sam Stein (4.8 points) and Ryne Schooley (4.3 points) that averaged better than four points per game and also expect contributions from a strong group of underclassmen.
Coach: Jason Pershing (3rd season, 20-27)
Assistant coaches: Tony Nicol, Miguel Villagrana, Tre Wagner, Jacob Misener
Last year: 10-15
Returning starters: Jacob Coons, 6-4, Sr., F; Ben Krutzfeldt, 6-1, Jr., G; Luke Ira, 6-1, Jr., G.
Other returning letterwinners: Zach Cusick, 6-5, Sr., F; Sterling McIlravy, 6-0, Sr., F.
Newcomers to watch: AJ Coons, 6-2, Fr., G.
Headliner: Iowa football recruit Jacob Coons averaged 9.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last season.
Keep an eye on: Junior guard Luke Ira came on strong at the end of the season averaging 8.3 points per game during four post-season games.
Circle the date: Jan. 21 vs. Regina. The Spartans host long-time rival Regina after falling 56-42 to the Regals last season in Iowa City.
Outlook: The Spartans got hot at the right time last season, rattling off three straight playoff wins to reach the Class 3A state tournament.
Solon brings back three starters, led by senior Jacob Coons, from last year’s team that fell to Chariton in the state quarterfinals. Ben Krutzfeldt (6.1 points), Luke Ira (5.2 points) and Sterling McIlravy (3.5 points) all return with experience in the back court for the Spartans.
Clear Creek Amana
Coach: Brandon Clubb (1st season, 163-117 overall)
Assistant coaches: Mark Stern, Richie Logsdon, Nick Neuendorf.
Last year: 12-11
Returning letterwinners: Tate Thomsen, 6-3, Sr., G; Drake Mougin, 6-1, Sr., G; Tyler Hallett, 6-5, Sr., C.
Newcomers to watch: Nolan Schwarting, 6-4, Soph., F.
Headliner: Senior Tate Thomsen is the top returning scorer for the Clippers after averaging 3 points per game last season.
Keep an eye on: Senior center Tyler Hallett could be in for a breakthrough season. The 6-foot-5 Hallett averaged 2.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game last season off the bench.
Circle the date: Nov. 29. The Brandon Clubb era opens against a Western Dubuque squad that went 11-11 a year ago.
Outlook: Not only will the Clippers have a new look on the bench with first-year head coach Brandon Clubb taking over for long-time leader Steve Ottoson but there will be plenty of new faces on the floor for the Clippers with all five starters from last season lost to graduation.
Tate Thomsen, Tyler Hallett and Drake Mougin all returning with experience for Clear Creek Amana which fell to Cedar Rapids Xavier in a 3A district final last season.
Coach: Tom Burger (2nd season)
Assistant coaches: Butch Pedersen, Ron Ewald, Cole Cook, Josh Lukavsky.
Last year: 8-14
Returning starters: Cooper Kabela, 6-4, Sr., F; Beau Cornwell, 6-0, Soph., G.
Other returning letterwinners: Ben Thompson, 6-0, Jr., G; Cade Aspelmeier, 6-0, Jr., G.
Newcomers to watch: Ted Bridges, 6-2, Soph., F; Trevor Thein, 5-10, Jr., G; Jack Dragovich, 6-4, Soph., F; Brett Schiele, 5-10, Soph., G; Brady Lukavsky, 5-11, Soph., G; Tanner Lukavsky, 6-1, Fr., F.
Headliner: Cooper Kabela led West Branch in scoring (17.6) and rebounding (7.1) last season and scored in double figures in every game on his way to being named to the RVC Elite team.
Keep an eye on: Sophomore Beau Cornwell was impressive as a freshman averaging 13.9 points per game and setting the school single-game scoring record with 46 points in a win over Mid-Prairie.
Circle the date: Jan. 31 vs. Regina. The Bears host Regina in a River Valley Conference South Division showdown after dropping both games to the Regals last season.
Outlook: Only two starters return but they are both good ones in senior forward Cooper Kabela and sophomore guard Beau Cornwell.
Kabela and Cornwell were the top two scorers for the Bears last year, accounting for 56 percent of West Branch’s offensive output. The rest of the returning players combined to score six points last season but second-year head coach Tom Burger likes the young players coming up to the varsity level.