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60 Days of Hoops: All-Access Preseason Coverage | Classification Rankings | Coaching Records
2012 - 2013 BreakdownOVERVIEW: The Bengals administration made the best hire when they hired Gallup alumnus Dominic Romero five years ago. Romero, so far, had the Bengals in a pair of Elite Eights, a Final Four and the 2012 State runner-up. The Bengals will have to replace leader Nick August but have some nice returning prospects. Most notable returnee is six-foot-two forward Dominic Martinez (NMPreps.com Top 100 Player Ranking) who was an athletic hit the boards minded post player. Martinez does so many things well for the Bengals and could become a state favorite by seasons end.
The Bengals have two solid guards returning this season in Darrin Spencer and Lionel Kinsel. Both quick, penetrating guards gained excellent experience last season, starting for the 2012 State Runner-Up Bengals. The two had one of the best State Tournament performances, nightly and seen their names blow up. Both players should be Top 100 Players this Fall and could lead the Bengals back to the Final Four. The quality thing about having to hard nose players is they can literally control a game or push the tempo of the game. Another player to keep an eye on is Lionel Money a young junior guard who could fill in as the third piece to the backcourt.FRONTCOURT:
Dominic Martinez, by far moved up the NMPreps.com Top 100 Player Rankings among returning players in class 4A displaying his athletic ability each night. Martinez does plenty of things for the Bengals in the paint or off the wing. He is more of a slasher and "leaper" when it comes to playing in the frontcourt. Martinez will have to improve his dribbling a little in order to feel the huge void left with the graduation of Nick August. The Bengals will need to develop a solid back to the basket post as they lost that as well. With only three totally returning to the frontcourt this could be their only weak slot minus Martinez.
We have yet to see the Bengals final schedule. Judging from years past they will play a handful games in northern section of New Mexico. The Bengals also host the annual Gallup Invite attracting some great teams and programs from New Mexico including 3A, 4A and 5A classifications. The Bengals also play in the difficult, six-team District 6-4A with solid 4A programs Grants, Los Lunas and Valencia three consistent State Tournament teams.FORECAST/REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS:
The Bengals program is one that surprises me each season as they are consistently good and finish in the top tier year after year. Just when it seems like they could take a step back they come back better than the season before. No question about it that the Bengals will hurt losing next level player Nick August and will have huge shoes to fill. However, I like the returning trio of Kinsel, Martinez and Spencer. Combined the three could create a serious contender and make another run at things. I like the Bengals to battle for their third straight District 6-4A title but it will be a battle with an improved Los Lunas Tigers and Belen Eagles program. I really think the Bengals are good enough to make a return to the Final Four and more with the talent returning. Head coach Domonic Martinez has one of the finest programs the past five seasons.
Comment/Poll: No. 25 Gallup Bengals60 Days of Hoops
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