Coach: Michael Baker
2011 Record: 23-5
Players to watch: Jarrod Neal, Jr., G; Shemar Barfield, Jr., F; Kwinton Hinson, Soph., F
Outlook: The Golden Tornadoes lose their leading scorer off last season’s conference champion club, but return a number of starters including point guard Jarrod Neal and forward Charlton Townsend. The addition of sophomore Kwinton Hinson gives Fairmont an inside-outside presence and transforms a talented program and perennial Three Rivers favorite into a legitimate state title contender.
Coach: Travis Lemanski
2011 Record: 4-20
Players to watch: Deion Gilchrist, Sr., G; Malik Livingston, Jr., G; D.J. Inman, Jr., F
Outlook: St. Pauls stumbled to a disappointing 4-20 campaign in 2011 despite having one of the area’s most athletic players in shooting guard Deion Gilchrist. Gilchrist returns along with formidable threat Malik Livingston to headline the Bulldogs backcourt. St. Pauls is one of several teams that will jockey for the No. 2 position in conference play behind Fairmont this season.
Coach: Glenn Patterson
2011 Record: 4-17
Players to watch: Jameson Baker, Jr., G; Quinn Lowery, Sr., F; Jaqwan McLaurin, Soph., G
Outlook: Red Springs finally felt the effects of heavy graduation losses last season, dropping its most games (17) in five years. A much-improved Red Devils squad anticipates a trip to the playoffs this fall with a perimeter-based backcourt and a frontcourt star in Quinn Lowery that was an all-county player in the low post last season. Coach Glenn Patterson expects an athletic team that prefers scoring in transition.
Coach: Bryan Grice
2011 Record: 4-18
Players to watch: Harrison Branch, Sr., F; Reggie Scippio, Jr., G; Demaurius Rowdy, Sr., F
Outlook: The Mustangs return six players off last season’s team, one of many programs that struggled in the top-heavy Three Rivers Conference. Coach Bryan Grice is confident that a few veterans and a handful of junior varsity call-ups will provide depth on offense to a unit that struggled to score at times in 2011.
Coach: Mackey Register
2011 Record: 15-11
Players to watch: Montrae Strother, Sr., G; Colby Johnson, Jr., G; Darius Floyd, Jr., G
Outlook: Making up for the scoring prowess of All-Southeastern Conference scorer Christian McRae will be difficult for the Pirates, but Mackey Register's guard-heavy lineup in his first season could do the trick. Scoring in transition will be a plus for a team not built to handle an inside game.
Coach: Jeremy Sampson
2011 Record: 13-10
Players to watch: James Chavis, Sr., F; Damien Gillespie, Sr., C; Mitchell Hill, Sr., F
Outlook: Fresh off the school's first playoff berth in five years, the Rams hope to corner some of that success into this season. The problem? Juwan Jones is no longer in the backcourt, leaving behind a trail of points and assists that will difficult to match. The county's leading 3-point shooter, James Chavis, is back to anchor Swett's frontcourt.
Preseason All-County Team
Jarrod Neal, Fairmont G; Deion Gilchrist, St. Pauls G; Jameson Baker, Red Springs G; Kwinton Hinson, Fairmont F; James Chavis, Purnell Swett, F