With just four letter winners returning, Wauwatosa East's boys basketball team will be led by many new faces this season.
The Red Raiders graduated four starters and their two leading scorers from last year's team that finished 11-13 overall and tied for third place in the Greater Metro Conference at 8-6. But despite the lack of experience, Tosa East has a roster filled with athleticism and speed.
"The reality is we are really short on players who have actual varsity experience," Tosa East coach Tim Arndorfer said. "That being said, I'm excited about this year's team. We have a group of guys with something to prove, and that can go a long way in sports.
"The sooner we can get our players acclimated to the pace and style of play at the varsity level, the more successful we can be. If we can take care of the ball, play unselfishly, and find a way to rebound, I'll take my chances against any team we play."
Tosa East must replace key players in Jai'Vionne Green (first-team All-Greater Metro, 17.9 points per game), Najee Stewart (second-team All-Greater Metro, 12.0 points), Cal Rohde (5.4 points) and Ty Enderesinghe (5.3 points).
Senior guards Dane Mikkelson (6.0 points) and Blake Kratzer (6.8 points) return to anchor the Red Raiders' backcourt. Also returning for Tosa East are senior guard Elijah Flenorl and senior guard/forward Mark Cole.
The Red Raiders will have 10 newcomers on their roster in juniors Amire Williams-Stribling (5-foot-10 guard), Deshun Hunter (6-1 guard), Mahlik Lindsey (5-11 guard), Derrick Triggs (5-10 guard), Cameron Holton (6-2 guard), Jalen Holley (6-2 guard/forward), Leonard Avery (6-2 forward) and JaiQuane Washington-Green (6-2 forward) and sophomores Nile Bridges (5-11 guard) and KeAndre Griffin (5-10 guard).
"Our athleticism and team speed should be an asset on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive end," Arndorfer said. "This might be the smallest team we've had at Tosa East since I've been here, but we really think we can make things difficult for other teams with our defense.
"Offensively, we will look to play a more up-tempo style of basketball that fits our skill set as a team. Rebounding is an obvious question mark based on our size, and especially early on in the season, our lack of varsity experience is a concern."
Tosa East will open its season with a road game at Whitnall at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. The Red Raiders will then take a week off from game action before playing at Waunakee on Saturday, Dec. 3.