The gist: With a big offseason of transactions and a preseason premiership to show for it, the Bearcats are well-positioned to put a series of near-misses behind them and rise to the occasion.
The stat: The Bearcats finished with the equal second best record last season, but slipped to fourth on points spread. The unluckiest team in the competition, they were then sent packing by 11-7 Norwood, whom they had beaten twice.
The star: The Bearcats have signed some big names in 36ers Jason Cadee and Daniel Johnson, while also adding Zane Reeves. However, Blake Truslove has been a consistently formidable big man, with career figures of 13.4 ppg and 10.7 rpg. Expect him to again be an intimidating presence in the middle.
The x-factor: Since crossing from Southern, Tristan Braithwaite has struggled offensively, averaging just 9.4 ppg in 2011 and 8.7 ppg in 2012. Can he get back to his best this season and be a force, like he was in 2006 (19.4 ppg) and 2010 (18.8 ppg)?
The glass half-full: The Bearcats have added a wealth of offensive talent, brought back veteran Adam Pearce, and retained most of their best players from last season. They were one of the best defensively in 2012, which is now coupled with a broad range of offensive options.
The glass half-empty: Two big quetions: Will there be enough shots to go around, and will Cadee and Johnson play the full season?
The verdict: The Bearcats have the best team on paper, but that does not guarantee success. Making finals is a certainty, how they fare down the stretch remains to be seen.
Predicted finish: 1st
Final Placing: 5th
Longest win streak:3
Longest losing streak: 1
Best result:79-78 W @ Forestville
Worst result:81-84 L v North (OT)
By James Woite