Coach: Mike Kohs, 21st season (297-130)
Conference: SCC, Housatonic Division
CIAC Division: II
Last season: 11-12 overall, Division II second-round loss.
2019-20 opener: Thursday, home vs. Guilford, 7pm
Key players lost: Nick DeBrizzi, Aidan Kaufman, Kyle Signora.
Key players returning: Sr. F Andrew Brown (8 ppg, 6 rebounds per game), Sr. G KJ Grisham (12 ppg), Sr. G Stephen Kohs (11.5 ppg), Sr. G Marcus Williams (7 ppg, 5 assists per game).
Other key players: Jr. G Parker Hunter, Jr. F Nick Beaulieu, Jr. F Ryan Gazzillo.
The Falcons have solid experience with returning starters Brown, Grisham, Kohs and Williams, with the latter three forming the backcourt. Xavier has the potential to be a good perimeter-shooting team, but as Kohs notes, how consistency they are will determine how competitive they will be.
“With a more guard-oriented team, we will need to be physical and fundamentally sound to be able to rebound effectively,” Kohs said.
Hunter, Beaulieu and Gazzillo do not have varsity experience. Their development and contributions off the bench will be crucial as Kohs tries to build depth for the Falcons.
In Xavier’s division of the SCC, Notre Dame of West Haven is considered the top team and a potential top 15 vote-getter in the state polls. Fairfield Prep, Sheehan and East Haven also are in the division. Notre Dame, Hillhouse and Wilbur Cross are the top contenders to win the SCC championship.
Outside the conference, Xavier faces perhaps the ECC favorite in Norwich Free Academy. Two-time defending state champion Waterford again is part of Xavier’s annual Christmas tournament, as is Glastonbury and Valley Regional.