Head coach: Neal Cobleigh (15th season). Assistant coaches: Keyokah Mars-Garrick, Kevin Noonan.
Last year: Wheeler finished 1-7 in a pandemic-shortened season.
Returning to varsity:
Senior: Tyler Burdick (G). Junior: Nick Larkin (F), Sophomores: Jon Anderson (G), Deondre Bransford (F), Wyatt Elliott (F), Kyle Kessler (G), Keith Zardies (G).
New to varsity:
Sophomores: Ryan Cobb (F), Jayson Krysiewicz (F), Kiyle Montigny (G). Freshmen: Zane Brewer (G-F), Drew Deary (F), Garrett Lenihan (G-F), Rob Lorimer (G), James Main (G), Nate Mayne (G), Mason Perkins (F), Chase Spurley (G).
Outlook: With just one senior and one junior on the roster, Wheeler is young, but coach Cobleigh is still encouraged about the season.
“We like their athleticism and their basketball skill,” he said. “We are going to look to run and we should be multiple on defense — man, zone and presses.
Kessler averaged 7.8 points per game last season and returns at point guard. He should team with Zardies to put a lot of defensive pressure on opposing team’s backcourts.
“Kessler can run the point and he’s physically strong,” Cobleigh said.
Larkin (6-foot-3) returns to play inside for the Lions after averaging 7.5 points and 7.0 rebounds a game last season.
Brewer (6-3) can put the ball on the floor and will contribute as a freshman. Bransford will also contribute inside for the Lions.
“We lost a couple of shooters and we would like to rebound better. We are just going to work the heck out of it,” Cobleigh said.
Coach’s take: “We want to be in the division race and be in a fight for the state tournament. We want to be in every game.”
— Keith Kimberlin