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1. Apple Valley
Tyus Jones is finally an upperclassman and so is most of his surrounding talent. The Eagles' experience should get them over the hump of back-to-back section final playoff exits.
Returns only one starter, but with so much depth it shouldn't matter. Junior guard Kamali Chambers tries to fill in for his brother, Siyani, who was last season's Mr. Basketball.
The defending 4A champ has two of last season's state tournament stars back and should be in the mix again come March.
4. Eden Prairie
Returns a strong backcourt that surprised some teams during the 2011-12 postseason. Needs to develop inside presence to climb to the top.
The Class 3A defending champion returns all three of its all-tournament team honorees from the 2011-12 title run.
A consistent and fearless leader in senior Graham Woodward puts the Hornets in good position to survive a tough Lake Conference schedule.
Eager to make up for last season's section championship overtime loss to Woodbury. Has the returning talent to do so.
8. Park Center
With the explosive Quinton Hooker leading the offense, the Pirates will upset some teams.
Riley Dearring, above, will try to carry the Skippers through a tough Lake Conference in which teams usually beat up each other leading into the playoffs.
The Class 3A Bears return their core, which has ability to play multiple positions well. They will be tested by a schedule featuring several top 4A schools.