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November 5, 2012

Preseason: 60 Days of Hoops


 

More: Boys Basketball Message Board | Girls Basketball Message Board | Free 7-Day Membership

Welcome to the start of 60 Days of Hoops by NMPreps.com. The official tip-off date for the 2012-2013 season is November 5th and we will bring you, our faithful members, the non-stop preview of every team, complete rankings for the entire state and each classification. We will also bring you, can't beat, features like 2013 Mr. Basketball candidates, Preseason All-State, and full District Previews.

Joshua J. Grine , NMPreps.com's Senior Basketball Analyst since the 2010 basketball season. Email him your questions, comments or story ideas to grinejosh@yahoo.com.
NMPreps.com is an unbiased, unaffiliated New Mexico High School basketball website bringing you the most in-depth coverage year-round like never before in our state.NMPreps.com has brought you breaking news to stories that may fly well under the newspapers or local stations. This summer was jammed packed with One-on-One Interviews, Coaching Carousel and much more news.

NMPreps.com senior basketball analyst Joshua Grine promises to bring some of the best coverage of high school basketball this season. We will start the countdown of all 67 teams playing in the Big School (5A - 3A) division this year along with team previews of Small School programs. The coverage continues to get better each season and will have you ready each week for your high school basketball news in New Mexico.



Big School Division: 5A - 3A Basketball


67 TEAM COUNTDOWN
NMPreps.com has ranked all of the 67 teams in the big school division and will bring you a preview of each team leading up to the best-of-the-best NMPreps.com Top 25 Weekly Rankings.

Teams 67 - 60 Teams 59 - 50 Teams 49 - 40

No. 67: Santa Fe Indian
No. 66: Thoreau Hawks
No. 65: Wingate Bears
No. 64: Centennial Hawks
No. 63: West Las Vegas Dons
No. 62: Socorro Warriors
No. 61: Taos Tigers
No. 60: Hot Springs Tigers

No. 59: Miyamura Patriots
No. 58: Silver Colts
No. 57: Portales Rams
No. 56: Bloomfield Bobcats
No. 55: Raton Tigers
No. 54: Los Alamos Hilltoppers
No. 53: Robertson Cardinals
No. 52: Ruidoso Warriors
No. 51: Lovington Wildcats
No. 50: Shiprock Chieftains
No. 49: Valencia Jaguars
No. 48: Pojoaque Valley Elks
No. 47: Chaparral Lobos
No. 46: Farmington Scorpions
No. 45: Moriarty Pintos
No. 44: Gadsden Panthers
No. 43: Aztec Tigers
No. 42: Grants Pirates
No. 41: Albuquerque Academy
No. 40: Espanola Valley

Teams 39 - 30 Teams 29 - 20 Teams 19 - 10
No. 39: Del Norte Knights
No. 38: Artesia Bulldogs
No. 37: Santa Fe Demons
No. 36: Carlsbad Cavemen
No. 35: Mayfield Trojans
No. 34: Goddard Rockets
No. 33: Sandia Prep Sundevils
No. 32: Deming Wildcats
No. 31: Belen Eagles
No. 30: Piedra Vista Panthers
No. 29: Kirtland Central Broncos
No. 28: Bernalillo Spartans
No. 27: Onate Knights
No. 26: Alamogordo Tigers
No. 25: Gallup Bengals
No. 24: Highland Hornets
No. 23: West Mesa Mustangs
No. 22: Cleveland Storm
No. 21: Capital Jaguars
No. 20: Hope Christian Huskies
No. 19: St. Mike's Horsemen
No. 18: St. Pius X Sartans
No. 17: Los Lunas Tigers
No. 16: Rio Grande Ravens
No. 15: Atrisco Heritage Jaguars
No. 14: Roswell Coyotes
No. 13: Santa Teresa Warriors
No. 12: Rio Rancho Rams
No. 11: Manzano Monarchs
No. 10: Sandia Matadors

Teams 39 - 30 Team Rankings Opening Day
No. 9: Cibola Cougars
No. 8: Albuquerque Bulldogs
No. 7: Volcano Vista Hawks
No. 6: Hobbs Eagles
No. 5: Valley Vikings
No. 4: La Cueva Bears
No. 3: Las Cruces Bulldawgs
No. 2: Clovis Wildcats
No. 1: Eldorado Eagles
NMPreps.com Top 25 Weekly Rankings
5A: Top Ten Pre-Season Rankings
4A: Top Ten Pre-Season Rankings
3A: Top Ten Pre-Season Rankings

Preseason Bracketology
5A Preseason Bracketology
4A Preseason Bracketology
3A Preseason Bracketology
5A - 1B Opening Day
Girls Hoops
Ten Must See Players
Staff Picks


More Features
1-On-1: Kai Williams
New Head Coaches
John Dawson Big East bound
Head Coach Records



DISTRICT-BY-DISTRICT PREVIEWS
NMPreps.com brings you everything that you need for each District in Big School basketball. Top Players, coaches and overall predictions for each district.

5A: District Previews
4A: District Previews
3A District Previews
District 1-5A Preseason Preview
District 2-5A Preseason Preview
District 3-5A Preseason Preview
District 4-5A Preseason Preview
District 5-5A Preseason Preview

District 1-4A Preseason Preview
District 2-4A Preseason Preview
District 3-4A Preseason Preview
District 4-4A Preseason Preview
District 5-4A Preseason Preview
District 6-4A Preseason Preview
District 1-3A Preview
District 2-3A Preview
District 3-3A Preview
District 4-3A Preview
District 5-3A Preview




SCHEDULES & REGULAR SEASON TOURNAMENTS

Team Schedules
  • Class 5A: Team Schedules
  • Class 4A: Team Schedules

    Weekly Schedules
  • Week One: November 12th - 18th

    Regular Season Tournaments
  • 2012 Sundevil Invite: Bracket | Breakdown


    Small School Division: 2A - 1B

    2012-2013 Preseason Preview
  • 2A: 30 Must See Small School Division Players

    NMPreps.com Top 25 Rankings
  • #25: San Jon High School
  • #24: Wagon Mound Trojans
  • #23: McCurdy Bobcats
  • #22: Hondo Valley Eagles
  • #21: Reserve Mountaineers
  • #20: Mora Rangers
  • #19: Tatum Coyotes
  • #18: Springer Devils
  • #17: Fort Sumner Foxes
  • #16: Capitan Tigers
  • #15: Hagerman Bobcats
  • #14: Logan Longhorns

    Small School Division: Classification Rankings
    Class: 1B Rankings


    IN DEPTH COVERAGE

    Quick look at team previews we've previewed, Premium Members click links
    #67 Santa Fe Indian School The 2012-13 Braves are on a mission to forget about everything that has happened to this basketball program. First the Braves finished (0-27, 0-8) continuing a 33 game losing streak, then went through two head coaches and also were a team that suited up 6 players for a span of five games last season. SFIS Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #66 Thoreau High School and head coach Ervin Bennett had a much improved basketball season in 2011-2012 that resulted in a State Tournament berth. This season, however, doesn't look bright as the Hawks lost a bulk of their roster to graduation. Looking for a quick answer Bennett, will hope that seniors Isaiah King and Ryan Delgarito could carry the torch. Thoreau Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #65 Wingate Bears: Question marks are everywhere for the 2012-13 Wingate Bears as they face adversity at every corner. First, the district that they once owned year-in and year-out with several District Championships has become stronger with losing it's weaker teams and gaining yet another 4A team (Bloomfield). Last season saw Shiprock take over the district since coming down from 4A and Bloomfield could be another contender for the District title. Wingate Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #64 Centennial Hawks: Building a program from scratch is a very difficult task and the Hawks could take some bruises next season but this will be no pushover. Head coach Heredia knows what it takes to start a program having took over Chaparral High School in 2009 just one year after that school opened. Heredia brings with him former player from Chaparral High School, Quevin Reeding (Jr., G). Centennial Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #63 West Las Vegas Dons: Head coach Ernie Rodriguez has been known for running successful programs especially in his tenure at Santa Fe Indian school were he took the Braves to three Final Fours. Rodriguez took his bruises last season but the Dons will look much improved and could upset several teams moving up the rankings consistently all season. Look for post man Joseph Ortiz to take the Dons on his back after a successful junior season. West Las Vegas Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #62 Socorro Warriors: Warriors backcourt have proved to be a position that rebuilds easily for the Warriors and once again the preseason focus will be on the guard spot. Zeb Esquivel who had a stellar sophomore campaign will look to become the focal point of this team. Esquivel had several high scoring games that propelled him to All-District honors and really came through late in the season. Socorro Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #61: Taos Tigers The Tigers, like many teams, North of Albuquerque Metro area focus on what they have-guards. The Tigers, however, will look to give a more balanced look. The team likes to get up and down the court and having talented "bigs" who can also run the break always helps. Look for Greg Martinez to get the call early for the Tigers this coming season. Taos Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #60 Hot Springs Tigers: We will cut to the chase and look directly at the realigned District 3-3A, now with only three teams. The Tigers have a legitimate chance to play for a District title as they will be the most experienced that they have been while Socorro and Silver could have some voids to fill. Hot Springs typically plays a stack schedule, along with playing in the Valencia County Holiday Classic against 5A/4A top competition. Hot Springs Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #59 Miyamura Patriots: Second-year head coach Matt Vail will be in for a difficult season with the loss to the Patriots top player, Patrick Fouser. The Patriots a mess last season and this year could match it or be worse as they are trying to end an 8 game losing streak to finish the season in 2012. Look for two-year starter Jared Meese to play a big role in his junior year. Meese a utility man will need to bring more production to the stat sheet in 2012-2013 to have any hope. Miyamura Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #58 Silver Fighting Colts: Silver High School is a team that likes to stay under the radar during the year stays in the bottom section of New Mexico for it's game. The Colts have yet to release a schedule to us but will feature a wealth of games from the Southeast region and down south 1-25 in the Las Cruces area. Depending on the schedule the Colts could be a 10-15 win team putting them at .500 or just shy. Silver Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #57 Portales Rams: Most teams at this time of year could fall into several different categories of darkhorse, pretender or bubble buster. The Rams could be a surprise team in 2012-2013 because of a positive hiring in Rickie McBroom who has several years under his belt as a head coach and as a Rams assistant. He knows the program and could continue moving along with kids he knows. Are they Final Four worthy? Portales Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #56 Bloomfield Bobcats: New head coach Devon Manning was promoted the day former head coach Steve Scott decided to retire and the Bobcat nation is already feeling the excitement of the young energetic Manning. The Bobcats also welcome back NMPreps.com Top 150 player Dustin Dugger the 6'1 forward who could be a top player once the season gets going in 3A. Bloomfield Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #55 Raton Tigers: Raton yet to release a schedule to us will play a wealth of Northern schools but will also venture to the Albuquerque Metro Area for a few games. The Tigers could have a semi-difficult schedule prior to districts but I wouldn't be surprised if they sneak above .500 for the first time since 1992. That's right the Tigers basketball program hasn't been above .500 since 1992 and they have only won 10 plus games twice since 1992. The last time was 2002. Raton Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #54 Los Alamos Hilltoppers: If it's not bad enough that the backcourt is depleted and the scoring from last year is, so is the post presence. The Hilltoppers, who I said would be young, will be very young and inexperienced down low in the post and it could hurt the team in 4A hoops. Xavier Dennison is the only returning post player off last seasons roster... Los Alamos Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #53 Robertson Cardinals: Big man Ryan Tafoya will be the face of the Cardinals this preseason and if given the opportunity will become the main focal point of the basketball team. His number will have to double this season with the departures that took place but it's not everyday that you have a talented post who saw minutes in a Final Four. Having a player who has experienced the great feat of playing for a Final Four will be a solid starting point for new head coach Manuel Romero. Robertson Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #52 Ruidoso Warriors: I like the Warriors this season in 3A to be that tough team in the bottom 10 of the classification 3A: Top 10 Rankings. I am not sure if they made the Top 10 last season but I predict seeing them as consistent members. I definitely see a team that could play in the Elite Eight come March and who knows they have the ability to sneak up on a team and make the Final Four. I only see 10-15 wins but that is due to the fact that they play a tough schedule with top teams from different classifications. Robertson Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #51 Lovington Wildcats: Junior Quantel Nash will be the third part to a new look for the Lovington Wildcats basketball team. Nash will see his minutes improve considerably this season and will get the call early for the 'Cats. If they are looking to be taken serious as contenders early the 'Cats will have to dominate in the paint and use some of their height early. The good thing is they have returners in the backcourt that will help develop the frontcourt this season. They are a bit thin on returners but you can also look at junior Andrew Homer... Lovington Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #50 Shiprock Chieftains: Head coach Chester Atcitty Jr. was named the Navajo Times coach of the year and for good reason. The Chieftains are in a great situation to duplicate or improve on last season. A bulk of their scoring is back with the help of two-year starter Hiram Gleason (Jr., G) coming back. Gleason is just one of a few options the Chieftains will have to start the season. They will also feature a huge frontcourt that could be among the tallest in 3A. Shiprock Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #49 Valencia Jaguars: Like stated above the Jaguars lose all of it's weapons from last season. New head coach Ezau Rios will have to rely on little used players left over from last seasons roster. The Jaguars hired Ezau Rios this off-season after he was part of the coaching staff that led the Atrisco Heritage Academy to the 4A Final Four last season. Things could be difficult though, as the roster was pretty cut and dry last season.. Valencia Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #48 Pojoaque Elks: It's been sometime since the Elks have been a top team in the state and nobody has forgotten the 2008 State Championship that the boy's team brought home. The Elks have been one of the top 3A programs in the state and this season could become a very special one. The Elks finished with the worst record under head coach Joey Trujillo who has clearly been one of the best coaches in Elks history. The Elks were 10-18 but still received a bid to the State Tournament as an at-large team. Pojoaque Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #47 Chaparral Lobos: The Chaparral Lobos typically go unheard of and under the radar, well the same could happen this season. They have struggled to become respected on the basketball scene and will look to develop under only their third head coach in school history. The main goal is to get to 10-wins this season and go dancing. Well, I think this year they could be staying home come March but with their top player only a junior they will look to be serious about making the leap for the 2013-2014 season. Chaparral Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #46 Farmington Scorpions: The Scorpions continue improving each season and looked destined to be fighting for a top 25 Rankings. Then, head coach Robert Lopez decided to step down as head coach. Next, Farmington star Adonis Saltes who is a Top 20 player in NMPreps.com Player Rankings transferred to Valley High School in Albuquerque. Well, step in Paul Corley as the new head coach after serving as an assistant for the Farmington Lady Scorpions. Farmington Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #45 Moriarty Pintos: The Pintos have progressively increased it's guard play since the arrival of head coach Mike Mondragon and this, his third season, could be a showing to how well the Pintos have come along. Luke Thomas (2013) is one of several returning guards with some experience. Thomas will be the go-to prospect for the Pintos, creating what could be the first-season in which they reach the State Tournament or having a winning season. Moriarty Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #44 Gadsden Panthers: The Pintos have progressively increased it's guard play since the arrival of head coach Mike Mondragon and this, his third season, could be a showing to how well the Pintos have come along. Luke Thomas (2013) is one of several returning guards with some experience. Thomas will be the go-to prospect for the Pintos, creating what could be the first-season in which they reach the State Tournament or having a winning season. Gadsden Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #43 Aztec Tigers: The Tigers are coming into the season with high hopes welcoming back a talented underclassmen team. Head coach Jody Christman has expressed his enthusiasm for the 2012 season to start and for good reason. Plenty of role players will come back this season and after a season full of experience could become a surprise team in District 1-4A. Kyle Dodd (SR. G) will be a key returner for the Tigers and had several key games. He topped the scoring charts a few times and could become an All-District type of player. Aztec Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #42 Grants Pirates: The Grants Pirates have yet to submit a schedule (grinejosh@yahoo.com) but could look very similar to years past. They tend to play mostly northwestern New Mexico teams. They have favorable pre-district schedules with the likes of past opponents 3A Bloomfield, 2A Cuba, among others. The first test came last season in the championship of the Grants Holiday Classic when they lost a nail bitter to then #2 Roswell High School. Grants Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #41 Academy Chargers: I like head coach Roy Morgan and he is a top choice when Mike Brown stepped down two years ago but he inherited a program that run dry with talent. He is finally going to be able to put a mark on the program entering his third season. He has some way to go with the Chargers program but this could be a vital turning point for the basketball program who will be in the thick of things... Academy Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here

    #40 Espanola Valley: The Espanola Valley backcourt alone is typically known for having more talent than needed. Well, gone is the wave of talent that walked through those doors and enter a new era, a rebuilding instead of reloading. This season the Sundevils will feature many new names and will be searching for new leaders. Daniel Velasquez a senior guard will be a relatively new name but has been within the program for three years now.. Espanola Valley Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #39 Del Knorte Knights: The Knights, on paper, look to be a major player this season but could teeter-tot with the pretender/contender conversation depending on many of these "bubble-buster" games. I like to say that the Knights are a solid State Tournament team but I said that two years in a row. For now I am going to save my stock and will not buy in yet. I will have to wait to see how the adjustment to a new head coach and a wave of new players all adjust. Del Norte Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #38 Artesia Bulldogs: We did some research for a schedule (please post any corrections) and we have a look at the Bulldogs schedule. Looking at what we have I believe we can get an idea on how the Bulldogs will fare. Without seeing a schedule for the City of Champions (Artesia) and Poe Corn Invite (Roswell) we will just take a peak at some games to watch. Well, the Bulldogs play a somewhat favorable opening schedule with two dates with No. 52 Ruidoso and No. 51 Lovington from 3A. Artesia Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #37 Santa Fe Demons: The Demons have yet to produce the success it has wanted to at the 4A level but have been highly competitive each season. It seems that they lack the final edge to make a serious run at things deep in the season. This could be the year when the Demon faithful pack the stands for an experienced bunch. Elliot Nicohlas (Jr., F) provided big numbers for the Demons last season and will play a huge role in 2012-13. Santa Fe Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #36 Carlsbad Cavemen: Height-wise the Cavemen are a bit undersized against District 4-5A opponents. They will have some weapons that could have them looking for an at-large bid to the state tournament. Devin Groves right now looks to be the go-to guy in the paint for the Cavemen. Groves will have to really hit the boards as the scoring is going to come from the backcourt. He needs to become a threat in the paint though giving them a third option this season. Carlsbad Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #35 Mayfield Trojans: The backcourt is depleted from last season and will have a flavor of new players when the 2012-2013 basketball season tips-off. The only returning, roster player from last seasons (14-13) team is Jesus Avalos. Avalos found limited action last. The backcourt along with the entire roster will be an overall having to replace 98% of what they did last season. It is going to be difficult but with a head coach as legendary as Tommy Morrow, nothing is impossible as he has a knack for developing guards.. Carlsbad Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #34 Goddard Rockets: The Rockets have enough talent to get back into the State Tournament but to duplicate the 25-win season will be a very difficult task this season. Head coach Kevin Jones doesn't mind this situation though as the Rockets do extremely well as the "underdog" in the state and will blast off on you when it matters. The team has experience and will feature six seniors who witnessed and contributed to the solid season last season. I like the backcourt combo of Blackwell-Rader and those two will have to elevate their game... Goddard Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #33 Sandia Prep Sundevils The Sandia Sundevils boy's basketball program has been one of the most dangerous 3A teams in the state each season. Head coach Willie Owens has produced several teams who challenge 5A/4A teams and prove their Top 25 worthy year-in and year-out. The Devils will have to regroup and take a slight step back this come season but do welcome back some great talent in the backcourt. six-foot, guard Tyler Dorner will play a bigger role this season and will be one of the top 3A players in the state. Dorner who made the 3A All-Tournament team will be one of the most experienced players for the Sundevils. Sandia Prep Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #32 Deming Wildcats: Well, like stated the Wildcats will typically play five guys who are all in the same height range, who love to run and are very athletic. Richard Regalado one of their more forward type players will control the boards this coming season both offensively and defensively. The Wildcats usually lack depth when it comes to size but play at a very fast pace but have either lacked the experience or athlete until this season. They don't look to dominate the glass or half-court offense but will look to push the speed of the game. Deming Wildcat Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #31 Belen Eagles: Now in year two of his tenure the Eagles welcome back a wealth of talent and top position players in 4A basketball. They currently sit right outside of the Top 25 but I don't see them staying outside for very long. I could see them moving up rather quickly and laughing at being placed outside of the New Mexico Top 25. I like the M & M combo of Martin and Montoya leading the way with a flavor of Lewis from beyond the arch. My prediction is not only State Tournament but possibly a pair of games, Elite Eight or Final Four implications? Belen Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #30 Piedra Vista Panthers: It's hard to tell with a team that has a new head coach each season but the difference with the Panthers is new head coach Adam Huff was left with a well coached team. They not only return basketball talent but a disciplined squad with tons of experience. My big question though is it enough to return to the Final Four? I definitely can call them Elite Eight worthy but I won't commit to saying Final Four until I see the progress during those first five or six games. Jacob Armijo is fun to watch though as the small guard can light up the court with his shooting range. Panther Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #29 Kirtland Central Broncos: The strength in the Broncos is with their frontcourt and more noticeably, Christian Mackey the 6-foot-5 power forward who dominated in the 2012 State Tournament. Mackey produced a nightly double-double for the Broncos and led them to the Final Four. Christian Mackey, still a raw talent with work to do will only get better, however, as he will only be entering his junior season and the sky is the limit but depends on how much work he puts in. Bronco Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #28 Bernalillo Spartans: Bernalillo High School caught several teams by surprise last season winning early over projected top teams. The Spartans have a great shooting weapon in Brandon Saiz and will again rely on his shooting touch to lead them this coming season. Head coach Terry Darnell is one of 4A's top coaches and regarded as one of New Mexico's elite coaches as well. Having to be realistic, I like the backcourt a lot but the scary part is the front court and I don't know if they have enough to make a serious Elite Eight or Final Four run without a post presence. The guards will get them wins but could be in trouble when a balanced team has a decent front court complemented by a decent backcourt. Spartan Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #27 Oņate Knights: Onate High School has a young head coach but he has quickly established himself among the best in New Mexico. He has instilled a system that won the Knights the 2011 State Championship. The Knights have lost much of their talent coming into this season but return balanced basketball players that will find success in this team orientated system. I like the return of Rodney Anderson as the leader and he could lead the Knights to a successful season and possibly return to the PIT. Knight Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #26 Alamogordo Tigers: The Tigers faithful are roaring with excitement this off-season as they welcome back head coach Mike Day for his second stint as head coach. Day, last coached the Tigers from 2002-2006 going 71-42 during his first tenure. The cherry on top was when Day led the Tigers to the 2006 State Championship game, eventually losing (64-53) to Manzano High School. Tigers Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #25 Gallup Bengals: 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. Bengal Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #24 Highland Hornets: Head coach Danny Brown has done wonders for the Highland Hornets basketball program since arriving ten years ago and does an excellent job, but this could be a challenging season. On-top of starting the season with five Top 25 teams, the Hornets could go, 0-5, before heading to the extremely difficult Hobbs Holiday Tournament. I like this program and they have talented kids but they lack height and with only two Top 100 Players Hornets Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #23 West Mesa Mustangs: Known for being loaded with guards galore, the 2012-2013 Mustangs will have a talented frontcourt returning. The team will have a facelift in the backcourt losing several of it's scoring options to graduation. However, head coach Shonn Schroer is quickly becoming one of the best when it comes to reloading-rebuilding the guard situation. The Mustangs will have to develop some guards to play around it's frontcourt in order to move up Mustang Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #22 Cleveland Storm: Head coach Brian Smith is one of the best when it comes to developing players and is an excellent motivator. The big quest this season is his strength in the frontcourt with back to the basket posts. You remember the last time he had to solid posts was 2010-2011 with PJ Horgan and Josh Todd, that team went to the Final Four. He also has a sophomore guard who will flourish in a Brian Smith program, if he progresses this year, his coming out party, then you can have serious contender for the District 1-5A title and Elite Eight that would return them to the PIT. This team won't look good early this season but after the football players get their legs under them come January you will start seasoning a basketball team. Storm Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here
    #21 Capital Jaguars: The Jaguars have a hard working staff, great fan base and three year talent. What's not to like? I think the Jaguars have been building for this season since 2009-2010. The first time I seen Lopez play he went off for 47 points and completely took over an entire game. I also remember the Capital student section chanting "fresh-man, fresh-man" every time Christian Martinez hit a shot. The Jaguars are ready to make some noise and return not only to the Final Four but the title game. They heard the critics last season and will be well prepared, in-shape and ready to make believers this season, looking back being ranked at #5 will be a distant memory. Jaguar Players to Watch, Season Outlook, Overall Analysis Here



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