Outlook: Coming off a run to the Class 2A super-sectional, Providence St. Mel looks to go even further next March. The Knights return their top seven players from last year’s squad, making them conference favorites. Their top challenger will be Hope Academy, who elevated Antwon Johnson to head coach following last season’s premature playoff exit. St. Benedict guard Lamon Dawkins (23 points per game in 2011-12) may be the league’s most exciting player.
Top five players: Lamon Dawkins, St. Benedict, G, Sr.; Carson Hughes, Hope Academy, G, Jr.; Elazar Kolom, Ida Crown, G, Jr.; Jake Newlander, Chicagoland Jewish, G, Sr.; Khalil Small, Providence St. Mel, G/F, Sr.
Did you know? Hope Academy graduated 12 seniors off last year’s team that went 25-4.
Quote: ‘‘We’re looking to be one of the top teams in Class 2A. We went down in the super-sectional last year, but we think we can come out on the winning side this year.’’ — Providence St. Mel head coach Tim Ervin.
Predicted finish: Providence St. Mel, Hope Academy, St. Benedict, Ida Crown, Holy Trinity, Chicagoland Jewish, Ellison, Christ the King, Northtown.