Basketball fans: Welcome to a brand new season.
The trek through the holiday tournaments and league schedules and the path through the County Center have officially begun. Have a look at everything in today’s 2012-13 basketball preview, which includes a look at top teams, top players and top stories you’re sure to hear about these next four months.
• ERIC PASCHALL: THE CENTER OF ATTENTION — Six-foot-6 Eric Paschall isn’t just “the man” at Dobbs Ferry now. He might just be the man in Section 1. The talented junior is the subject of our cover story, which touches on his explosion as a sophomore, his vast improvement since and what his future holds. Will Paschall stay at Dobbs? What is he motivated to prove this season? Read on to find out.
• CRABBY GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS — New New Rochelle coach Rasaun “Crabby” Young is the one with the whistle at his alma mater now and his goals are ambitious. To start, Young has worked his players hard, demanding defense and discipline. He has already inspired respect and commitment from players. Find out what his mission is and why the Huguenots believe in him already.
• NEW-LOOK TZ TURNS THE PAGE — With four starters gone, including its four top scorers, Tappan Zee knows it will be hard-pressed to match last season’s success. But the Class A state finalist will try to focus on this year, this team, and this story, hoping to compete in a challenging county and an even more rigorous Class A field. Find out how TZ hopes to do it.
• THREE QUESTIONS — Can the Section 1 champs repeat? Who might emerge as the top challengers? And will Mount Vernon’s eight-year stranglehold on Mr. Basketball end? Read the previews to find out my answers.
• OVERVIEWS — Included in each preview story are class-by-class overviews, which list the top contenders as well as a few others to watch for.
• CAPSULES — Click here to check out our team-by-team preview. I’ve added 15 new capsules in the last 24 hours and will post more when they come in.
• SUPER 7 — And, of course, the preview includes the Super 7. I devoted a separate post to the selections. If you feel so inclined, hop on over there to discuss them.
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• MOUNT VERNON — The preview will continue on Sunday with a look at the revamped Knights, winners of the last two Class AA state championships. Can they threepeat? First, can they jell in time to win an eighth straight gold ball?
Check out Sunday’s paper to find out.
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Our game coverage will begin tonight and really hit the ground running next week.
My colleague Dan DeFrancesco, who will help out this season, will cover Dobbs Ferry and Irvington at 7 tonight in the semifinals of the Irvington tournament. Between the two of us, Dan and I will be out at a game every day next week. By next Saturday, we’ll have seen anywhere from 12-16 teams between us.
Enjoy the basketball, folks! You’ll read plenty about it in the coming months. Trust me.