Burgin returns last year's leading scorer and rebounder, center Logan Hill, as part of a four-man senior class that includes includes two returning starters — guard Tim Riddle is the other — as well as two of last year's reserves, forward Jon Beckerson and guard Trenton Claunch.
Graham Taylor, a 6-1 junior, and Sam Irvine, a 6-3 sophomore, add to the Bulldogs' inside strength, and 5-9 sophomores Travis McEachern and Austin Shewmaker will bolster a rebuilt backcourt.
Irvine said the Bulldogs will have another successful season if they can win most of the games in the middle of their schedule — meaning those against similar schools.
"There'll be some teams that can usually beat us, and there'll be some that we can surely win. It's those ones of your own (level) that make a difference what kind of record you have," he said.
Player to watch
The one to watch is Hill, who almost averaged a double-double last year. He is a three-year starter and was one of four double-figure scorers then, but now he'll be expected to shoulder more of the offensive load.
"He has the best numbers of anybody coming back, so we're going to look to him quite a bit," Irvine said. "We need some real big nights out of him."
Keys to the season
While Irvine is counting on big things from Hill, he said good guard play might be just as important.
"If we can get it down the floor, I think we'll be able to beat some people around," Irvine said.
Claunch, a part-time starter last year, is the only guard with much experience, and Irvine said he must score more.
Burgin shot a respectable 45 percent from the field last year, but Irvine said he isn't sure this year's team can match that.
"Our shooting's very suspect. I don't know how well we're going to shoot it," he said.
He also said that even though there is decent size, the Bulldogs have to make up for the loss of three seniors who combined to average about 18 rebounds per game.
Shewmaker played primarily in spot duty as a freshman, but he figures to have a much bigger role this season.
"He ended the summer real strong, and he's had a real good fall," Irvine said. "Austin's going to be much improved. We'll need him, and I think he'll put up some better numbers than anybody else would think about."
Top returning players
Jon Beckerson, 6-3 Sr. F, 2.0 ppg.
Trenton Claunch, 5-11 Sr. G, 5.7 ppg, .318 3FG%.
Logan Hill, 6-4 Sr. C, 13.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg.
Tim Riddle, 6-1 Sr. F, 6.9 ppg, .500 FG%.