With one of the best players in the state surrounded by experienced talent, Wauwatosa West's boys basketball team has the potential for a memorable season.
The Trojans return eight players from last year's team that finished 12-11 overall and 7-9 in the challenging Woodland West, including reigning honorable mention All-State forward Alou Dillon.
"It’s a large senior group, and I hope their experience pays off this season," sixth-year Wauwatosa West coach Chad Stelse said. "We definitely have some ability on our roster, but our conference is loaded once again. We hope to surprise some people and have a huge season."
Dillon, who is signed with Division 1 South Dakota State, also earned first-team All-Woodland West honors after averaging 19.2 points and 7.5 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 forward is ranked the third-best player in the state by Wissports.net.
"Alou Dillon continues to improve," Stelse said. "When he is on his game and is assertive, he is a matchup nightmare for our opponents. He can score inside and out. We need him to be aggressive all season and impose his will on our opponents every game."
The Trojans did lose honorable mention All-Woodland West guard Rayvon Bartlett, as he transferred to Greenfield for his senior year.
In addition to Dillon, Tosa West returns seven other letter winners from last season, including seniors Se'veon James (5-foot-10 guard, 9.0 points, 2.9 rebounds), Javaree Jackson (6-foot-5 center, 7.5 points, 7.8 rebounds), Tyrone Powell (6-foot-7 forward, 5.1 points, 3.4 rebounds), Paris Howell (6-foot-2 guard, 2.6 points, 1.0 rebounds) and John Frank (6-foot-1 guard, 1.2 points).
Also returning are junior LaRon Perine (6-foot-1 guard, 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds) and sophomore Marquiss Childs (5-foot-11 guard, 4.6 points, 3.3 rebounds).
Newcomers to the Trojans varsity roster are seniors Teon Delarosa (5-foot-9 guard) and Terry McMurtry (6-foot-2 forward) and juniors Noah Katula (5-foot-9 guard), Max Kless (5-foot-11 guard) and Ben Kless (6-foot guard/forward).
"Noah Katula has looked good in practice thus far," Stelse said. "He adds a dimension to our varsity team, as he plays extremely hard at both ends and brings a competitive attitude that we hope becomes contagious throughout the season."
The Woodland West will present a challenge to Tosa West yet again, as the Trojans were picked for fourth in the conference by Wissports.net.
Pewaukee enters ranked No. 9 in Division 2 in the Wissports.net preseason poll, and New Berlin Eisenhower and Pius XI are honorable mention. Greendale returns three starters, and New Berlin West should be a vastly improved team.
"We need our guys to play with a higher level of toughness," Stelse said. "Who is going to be that guy we can count on to take a big charge? Who is going to be that guy or guys we can count on to get a big defensive stop or a must-have rebound or get that loose ball? Right now, I'm not sure who will step up and play with a higher level of intensity and mental toughness, but the door is open for multiple guys to step, and I look forward to seeing the development of this group."
Tosa West will open its season against Milwaukee Hamilton in the Fresh Coast Classic at UW-Milwaukee's Klotsche Center at 4:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25.