Last season, Lincoln boys basketball made a presence in the Class A scene and look for three capital city teams to be among the contenders for this year's crown.
While tourney qualifier Omaha Bryan is pre-season rated number one ahead of defending state champion Omaha Creighton Prep, not too far behind them are last year's runner-up Lincoln Southwest and third-place finisher Lincoln Southeast. Those four teams, plus Omaha Burke, Omaha Benson, Omaha Central and Lincoln High look like other highly touted teams to make things interesting.
Toss in a well-coached Norfolk team with senior Brady Lollman running the show, along with Omaha South and Millard North and you have a home recipe for another benchmark year in Nebraska high school basketball.
While the Class A finale last March may have been a dismal scoring performance (34-31 Prep over LSW), I highly anticipate that not to be the case. You have good shooters and they'll have their off nights, but nothing like what the Class A championship game produced.
Bryan has players, like Ben Imig and Galen Guille, that can score and solid shooting kept them in the semi-final game against Southwest last year. Prep has UNO recruit Caleb Steffensmeier who can be an outside threat and drive to the basket.
Southwest brings back experienced players like Drew Edmond, Rylan Cotton and Jordan Tyrance. Derrius Vick and Jaydee Jurgensen will help lead Southeast back for another shot at State and try to capture that elusive championship.
Lincoln High, under first-year head coach Dan Noble, won't lose any of their late season punch from last year coming into this year's campaign. Dylan Flinn could be one of the top postmen in Class A and will be a difference maker for the Links this season.
Altogether, you have a mix of what could be a very exciting hoops season on the boys side.
Class B could be just as good, if not better. I'm sticking with Ralston for now, as a team that could still be tough to handle. While losing all-stater Greg Smith because of graduation, the Rams will still have Dwight Smith and Tony Grant as key players.
The team that could very well make a big statement in Class B is Elkhorn Mount Michael. Two new players, standing at 6-9 and 6-10, could very well help the Knights muscle their way to the top.
Omaha Skutt, South Sioux City, 2008 champion Beatrice, Gretna, Waverly, Lincoln Pius X, Omaha Gross and Norris round out the rest of the pre-season ratings, all of which could make runs through the course of the year.
Sit back and enjoy, the season is less than two weeks away and should provide lots of thrills all the way to the Devaney Center in March.
Coming up in the next two weeks, our Boys and Girls Basketball capsules for each of the teams that are part of our umbrella of coverage on Lincoln Prep Sports.com.