As the saying goes, "they're back." In Coach B's case they are indeed back, every starter, every reserve, everyone.
Back in the starting line-up are 5-9 junior point guard Mickey Polis (first team All-GSHL and Area Player of the Year, 12.5ppg/5.6 assists), 6-0 junior guard Josh Wilson (second team All-GSHL, 12.2ppg/3.5 assists), 6-2 senior forward Ryan Campbell (first team All-GSHL and Co-MVP, 12.3ppg/5.3 rebounds), 6-3 junior forward Chris Hutton (honorable mention All-GSHL, 10.4 ppg/5.5 rebounds) and 6-0 senior guard Ryan Rowe (5.5ppg/3.2 rebounds).
5-10 junior guard Tyler Hayes (3.5ppg) and 6-0 senior Matt McCallum (1.5ppg) completed the main rotation a year ago.
We asked Bakamus about the strength of this team. "We are quick, we shoot the ball well and we have good team chemistry," he told us. "Our overall size is probably our biggest weakness," Bakamus added.
"We have a solid nucleus returning. Last season was a pleasant surprise with how young we were. The kids have been dedicated to lifting and working on their individual games. What we lack in size we will make up with desire."
"Our summer went well. We were 4-0 at the Beaverton (Oregon) tourney and played Bethel in the semifinals at the Lincoln Shootout."
As for the Greater St. Helen's League in 2004? "Columbia River and Mark Morris will battle for GSHL crown," the Coach predicts. Bakamus also gave props to cross town rival R.A. Long's Adam Perry as a player who may be flying under the recruiting radar. "He's a prolific scorer."
As for his view of how the state will play out? "Rainier Beach and Seattle Prep stand out. West Valley (Yakima) and Renton also should be in it."
"Renton has the quickness to give anyone fits. Beach and Prep will both possess the inside players that can make a difference. Both of those teams have the talent and coaching to be considered state title contenders. West Valley is a program that I respect tons and will be the best team out of the East."
Mark Morris will be playing on a new floor this year. A grass-roots fund-raising campaign raised over $150,000 to give the Monarchs some new wood on which to get burns. And from the way these guys get on the floor after loose balls, they'll have some good ones in short order.
You can follow Monarch basketball in depth at http://www.mmhshoops.com.