Coach: Mike Bargen, seventh season, 113-69
2012-13: 24-8, 11-5 Jayhawk West
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Outlook: The Grizzlies and Bargen have as much experience back as anyone in the Jayhawk, led by honorable-mention All-Jayhawk West selections 6-foot-6 forward Sean Goodwin (7.9 points, 4.0 rebounds) and 5-9 guard Shomari Triggs (10.1 points). Triggs’ twin brother, Bakari, is also back after averaging 8 points and leading the Grizzlies with 2.2 steals. Sophomore forward Trent Richardson (8.4 points) and sophomore guard Larry Fitzgerald (5.5 points) also return. Freshman Lamar Wofford-Humphrey, a 6-9 forward from Flossmoor, Ill., could be the difference maker — a long, athletic wing who can hit three-pointers and finish at the rim.
Coach: Tommy DeSalme, fifth season, 91-41
2012-13: 21-11, 15-3 Jayhawk East
Outlook: Only sophomore guards Adrian Goodlow (4.7 points) and Gabe Lynch played at all for the Tigers last year, and DeSalme will have to build around a group of talented freshmen. Two 6-4 guards from Atlanta, Quay King and Earl Bryant, were stars in high school. Freshman forwards Kaleb Ratliff and Dontavious Leak will have to control the frontcourt.
Coach: Steve Eck, fifth season, 109-24
2012-13: 31-4, 13-3 Jayhawk West
Outlook: The Blue Dragons, No. 4 nationally, are a real contender to win a national title this season following last year’s Region VI title and first-round exit at the national tournament. Jayhawk West MVP Kadeem Allen, a 6-3 combo guard headed to Arizona, is back. The loss of forward Alex Davis to Fresno State shouldn’t be felt too much thanks to the addition of 6-foot-10, 270-pound center Coreontae Deberry, a transfer from Mott Community College. Deberry, who has already committed to Cincinnati, averaged 9.2 points and 4.4 rebounds as a part-time starter for Mott last season.
Coach: Mike Helmer, sixth season, 92-67
2012-13: 26-7, 12-4 Jayhawk West
Outlook: Butler’s one-point loss to Hutchinson in the Region VI semifinals sparked a fire in Helmer, who hit the recruiting trail as hard as any offeseason in his tenure to build around 6-1 guard and Wichita Heights product Ashlee Ivy (10.6 points, 2.7 assists), a second-team All-Jayhawk West pick who has committed to Wichita State. Helmer scored a recruiting coup in Texas Southern transfer Te’era Williams, a 6-foot forward who was the SWAC freshman of the year last year after averaging 13.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.1 steals. He also brings in the Oklahoma big-school player of the year, 5-10 freshman forward Ashley Gibson, and the Oklahoma small-school player of the year, 5-6 guard Teanna Reid.
Coach: Todd Clark, 10th season, 211-80
2012-13: 29-5, 16-2 Jayhawk East
Outlook: Sophomore guard Emilie Gronas is the lone returner with experience off last year’s team after leading the Jayhawk East with 80 three-pointers and averaging 10.6 points. Gronas was an honorable mention All-Jayhawk East pick. Clark thinks freshman guards Julie Ravn and Porshae Hearn will make an immediate impact, and 6-foot forward Kourtney Steele could be the key for the Tigers in the post.
Coach: John Ontjes, seventh season, 186-24
2012-13: 36-2, 15-1 Jayhawk West
Outlook: Ontjes has turned No. 3 Hutchinson into one of the elite programs in the NJCAA in his tenure, with a national runner-up finish in 2012 and a third-place finish last season. He brings in nine freshmen to try and keep up the Blue Dragons’ run of three straight Jayhawk West titles, but also returns 5-11 sophomore Jamie Patrick, a second-team All-Jayhawk West selection last season after she averaged 12.4 points and led Region VI in three-point shooting at 41 percent.