Last year: 12-16, 3-9 Fox Valley Valley (tied sixth)
Coach: Ralph Schuetzle, 10th season (129-129)
Top returnees: seniors Michael Krich (5-11, G), Devin McDonough (5-10, G), Tyler Szydlo (6-2, G); junior Jason Gregoire (6-4, G)
Top newcomers: Michael Coleman (6-3, F), Nick Barr (6-2, F), Nick Franz (6-2, F), Jimmy Perkins (5-7, G), Matt Sutherland (5-7, G)
Outlook: First, the good news for the Trojans: All-Area shooting guard Jason Gregoire is back for his junior season. As a sophomore he led Cary-Grove with 11.5 points per game in 23 outings while shooting 41.5 percent from 3-point range (34 of 82). Just as important in the new era of increased emphasis on hand check fouls, Gregoire gets to the free throw line and drains shots. He was the area's second-best free-throw shooter last year, when he canned 83.9 percent (78 of 93). The starting quarterback for the school's 7-win football team, Gregoire last year averaged 4.7 rebounds, a team-best 2.4 assists and made 26 steals. "I think midteens is realistic, but it's possible he could score in the high teens," Cary-Grove coach Ralph Schuetzle said of Gregoire, who reported to basketball practice 48 hours after his football season concluded. "We have to get him some shots and he has to be ready to pull the trigger. He loves basketball. I couldn't imagine if he wasn't with us this year." The Trojans also return starting point guard Tyler Szydlo, who last season finished fourth on the team in both scoring (6.6) and rebounding (3.0) and was second in assists (2.3). The Trojans could get some scoring pop from senior Michael Krich. The guard scored 5.1 points per game as a junior, but he was limited to 18 games due to illness and two ankle sprains. Backup point guard Devin McDonough (2.9 ppg) brings experience to the guard rotation. Now for the bad news: 6-foot-5, 260-pound junior Trevor Ruhland will miss the basketball season due to a labrum tear suffered in the final football game of the season against Rockford Boylan, according to Schuetzle. A top football prospect, the tackle has multiple Division-I offers. Ruhland was expected to be a major contributor on the hardwood after a solid performance in summer-league play. Unfortunately for the Trojans, he is not the only player missing. Andrew Splitt, who sank 9 of 26 shots from 3-point range in a reserve role last year, decided to concentrate on baseball year-round, as did last year's leading scorer from the sophomore team, a 6-3 forward. Another senior who last year averaged 2.3 points and 2.1 rebounds last season opted not to rejoin the team. Those absences free up playing time for players like senior Rob Johnson. The forward appeared in just 5 games as a junior due to injury. Junior forwards Nick Franz and Nick Barr will see minutes in the post. Barr, a lefty, can take it to the rim and shoot from 3-point range. Other juniors expected to be part of the rotation include guard Matt Sutherland and Jimmy Perkins and 6-4 forward Michael Coleman, a good shooter with long arms, says his coach. "We're going to have to play a lot of guys and create tempo," Schuetzle said. "We'll try to pressure and get the game going up and down a little bit. We do have shooters, which is a positive. We have a lot of juniors so we'll have growing pains, but we'll be OK. We just want to be a hard-nosed, scrappy, mentally tough team that is hard to beat every night"