Note: the Observer is revealing teams in its preseason Sweet 16 poll, but not the order. The order will be revealed in Sunday’s print editions
Head Coach: Myron Lowery (3rd year at Butler basketball coach)
Coaching Career Record: 321-288
2015-16 Record: 24-6 (11-1 to win the Southwestern 4A conference)
Returning Starters: Jah’Lil Carter, Sr., F (6-6, 210); Zane Rankin, Sr., G (6-3, 190); Gerrale Gates, Jr., F (6-6, 266); D.J. Little, Jr., G (6-2, 190).
Other Key Returnees: Tarique Stowe, Sr., PG (5-10); Omega Stitt, Sr., G (6-0, 155); Chase Morrisette-Barnett, Sr., G (6-2).
Key Newcomers: Justin Rivera, Sr., G (6-3, 185) (New Jersey transfer)
Outlook: Butler is 47-10 in the last two years under Myron Lowery, including a trip to the 4A state quarterfinals last March. This year, with four starters back including seniors Jah’Lil Carter and Zane Rankin and juniors Gerrale Gates and D.J. Little, the Bulldogs will be the favorite to repeat as Southwestern 4A conference champions. They should also be a serious state championship contender. Their frenetic pace with eight to 10 players rotating in makes them a difficult match-up in any scenario.