Humphreys BlackhawksHead coach — Ron Merriwether, fifth season.2018-19 season record — 33-0 overall, KAIAC Blue Division regular season champion, KAIAC Cup Tournament champion, reigning Far East Division I champion.Key performers — Collin Metcalf, Jr., C (All-Far East in 2019); Connor Coyne, Jr., G-F; Devyn Lewis, Sr., G; Sh’voda Gregory Jr., Sr., G-F; Myles Johnson, Jr., G (transferred from Bossier City, La., second-team All-State); J.B. Pope, Sr., SG (transferred from Daegu).Outlook — Reloading-contending. One Metcalf leaves (three-time MVP Quintin Metcalf has committed to St. Bonaventure), another takes his place in Collin. Other key playmakers have moved on, but others return and the Blackhawks hope to build on the foundation set over the past few seasons. Pope brings potent three-point game from Daegu.
Kadena Panthers2018-19 season record — 22-6 overall, fifth place in Far East D-I.Head coach — Antiwon Tucker, second season.Key performers — Blake Dearborn, Sr., F-C; Casey Cox, Sr., PG; Kai Harris, Sr., SF; Tristan Higginson, Sr., SG (transferred from Kubasaki); Jon-Michael Hall, Jr., PF (transferred from Florida); Beau Black, Jr., SF (transferred from Okinawa Christian).Outlook — Reloading-contending. Dearborn, Cox and Harris form a solid core of returners, augmented by Higginson and Black, who add depth and skill. Planning to contend for district and Far East honors, but much work needs to be done to mold the pieces into a solid core.
Kubasaki Dragons2018-19 season record — 6-19 overall.Head coach — Saleem Malik, first season.Key performers — Dylan Canlas, Sr., G; Mason Taylor, Sr., G; Kiyon Smith, Sr., SF; Adam Rasmussen, So., F; Sebastian Stone, So., C.Outlook — Rebuilding. New coach for the first time since 2006-07, and with it a new system. Some height, plenty of athleticism; Canlas brings plenty of quickness to the backcourt. Must replace departed Tristan Higginson (transferred to Kadena) and Damian Dorval (transferred to the States).
Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils2018-19 season record — 31-6 overall, won DODEA-Japan tournament, won Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools title, Far East D-I runner-up.Head coach — Robert Stovall, ninth season.Key performers — Tristan Venturina, Sr., PG; Darryl Williams, Sr., SG; Marcellus Harris, Sr., C (moves up from junior varsity); James Mincey, Jr., PG (JV move-up); Ethan Yuska, Jr., F (JV move-up); Corey Hollingsworth, Jr., F (transferred from Robert D. Edgren); Justin Holzhauer, Jr., F.Outlook — Reloading-contending. Hoping JV move-ups can assimilate and replace departed stars Chris Watson and Kaine Roberts who have moved to the States. Smaller than in years past; hoping to rely on conditioning and fast-paced game.
Daegu Warriors2018-19 season record — 8-12 overall, defending KAIAC Plate Tournament champion, ninth in Far East D-II.Head coach — Blake Sims, fourth season.Key performers — None provided.Outlook — Two players return, neither were starters and probably won’t start this season, Sims says. All newcomers are underclassmen, only some played JV ball.
E.J. King Cobras2018-19 season record — 30-2 overall, reigning Far East D-II champion.Head coach — Travis Elliott, second season.Key performers — Jalen Nall, Sr., G; James Meacham, Jr., G; L.J. Scarver, Sr., G; Tsuyoshi Kemp, Jr., C; Cameron Reinhart, Fr., G.Outlook — Contending. Though reigning D-II MVP Dyson Robinson is gone, three core members of last year’s D-II champion team return and are augmented by solid additions.
Robert D. Edgren Eagles2018-19 season record — 18-9 overall, Far East D-II runner-up.Head coach — Andre Thibert, 10th season.Key performers — Jaret Belanio-Nalam, Jr., PG; Shamar Parnell, Sr., SG-F; Nathan Barry, Jr., SG; Jeremiah McGee, Jr., C; Nasir Sales, Jr., G-F; Dylan Tomas, Fr., PG; Jullien Bosket, Fr., SG; Dennis Nelson, Fr., C; Alec Struve, Fr., F-C; Nathan Wallingford, Fr., SG (transferred from Aviano Air Base, Italy).Outlook — Reloading-contending. Most players may be young, but they’re not new to basketball; Tomas, Bosket, Nelson and Struve have played for Misawa’s Junior Jets travel team, and Bosket for an off-base travel team. Eagles made 16-game improvement over 2017-18 and Thibert says he’s hopeful for even more improvement.
Matthew C. Perry Samurai2018-19 season record — 11-18 overall, eighth in Far East D-II.Head coach — Joshua Henry, second season (took last season off).Key performers — Joseph Andres, Jr., F; Justin Andres, Sr., F; Shion Fleming, So., F; Vladimir Caraballo, Sr., G; Joshua Blanquisco, So., G; Roy Clayton, So., G; Edward Pacleb, Fr., G; Tristan Tanjuaquio, Fr., G; Joel DeWolfe, Jr., G.Outlook — Rebuilding. Lost four key seniors, including the point guard, which may be the spot where the learning curve is steepest. Newcomers showing promise. Team looks to be strongest inside.
Osan Cougars2018-19 season record — 12-13 overall, sixth in Far East D-II.Head coach — Robert Penry, third season.Key performers — Joseph Cornelius, So., G-F; Ryan Klapmeyer, Jr., F; Bryson Goldsmith, Fr., G (played youth ball at Osan last year).Outlook — Rebuilding. Only one starter returns. Very young team with mostly freshmen and sophomores on the roster. Must replace Daniel Jamerson, All-Far East center who transferred to the States.
Yokota Panthers2018-19 season record — 8-25 overall, seventh in Far East D-II.Head coach — Dan Galvin, fourth season.Key performers — David Carlson, Sr., G; Mickey Galvin, Sr., F; Ricky DeFazio, Sr., G; Jonathan Sojot, Sr., G; Connor Rowan, Jr., F-C.Outlook — Rebuilding. Must replace five departed seniors, four of the starters. Most on the roster are move-ups from junior varsity and the returners are all in new roles.Also — Rowan is the son of former Sumo grand champion Akebono (birth name Chad Rowan) and the third Rowan sibling to play sports at Yokota.
Zama Trojans2018-19 season record — 11-20 overall, fifth in Far East D-II.Head coach — William Guion and Danny Davis, first season.Key performers — Kalil Irby, So., PG-SG; Jomari Silang, Jr., SG-SF (transferred from Matthew C. Perry; played for Zama as a freshman); Chandler Platt, Sr., SF (All-Far East last year); Terrence Ward, So., PG; Michael Steger, Jr., C; Bryce Davidson, Jr., SG; Kelly Shorter, Jr., PG-SG (transferred from Munford HS in Memphis, Tenn.).Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. Good core of returning players, but the team is young. Good chemistry on and off the court, handful of athletes who’ve experienced winning with the D-II champion football team. Could contend by season’s end.