By this time last year, my area basketball preview had already been published. I’m hoping for early November this time (you can thank, in part, Jeremy Newsome for the delay).
The hardest, most time-consuming part of my preview is compiling the top 10 preseason rankings. As with any rankings, I’ve got to judge if teams are as good as last year, or better, or worse, depending on several factors. Not easy, but I’m getting a pretty good idea on my top five boys and girls.
I’ve talked with several coaches already and have many more to call. And I’m racking my brain and my notes from last season.
The teams that seem especially mysterious are Tupelo’s. Well, the boys not so much, as I don’t think they’re going to challenge the likes of Starkville with that small, fairly inexperienced lineup. The girls lost a lot from last year’s state finalist, including Katie Hancock, but Starkville coach Kristie Williams told me she thought the Lady Wave would be able to replace the missing pieces.
You might be wondering who my No. 1 teams will be. I’ll just say that Starkville and Oxford look like our strongest boys teams; as for the girls, it’s a little cloudier, though I like what Pontotoc and Belmont have this year. Hopefully I can have all that figured out in a few days.
I’d like to hear what y’all have to say. Who can go to state? Who will shock some people? Which players do you expect to make big impacts? Hey, the non-football schools have already started, so I’m looking everywhere for answers.