Frank Howard is healthy and ready to lead a re-tooled Paul VI team in its WCAC title defense. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

1. Paul VI (Final 2013-14 record: 31-6)

The defending WCAC champs had five of their top players transfer but welcome back Frank Howard (Syracuse), who missed last year with a knee injury, and added highly touted junior transfer V.J. King.

2. DeMatha (29-6)

The Stags boast one of the area’s most balanced teams, led by athletic sophomore D.J. Harvey, forwards Thomas Bruce and Markelle Fultz and point guard Terrell Allen.

3. Clinton Christian (22-9)

The Eagles are bursting with talent, from returning starters in long forward Develle Phillips and Ahsante Shivers to notable transfers in Kevin Dorsey and Melo Eggleston.

4. Gonzaga (12-17)

A year after being hampered by injuries, the Eagles look to return to their winning ways as guard Bryant Crawford (Wake Forest) is surrounded by weapons in Sam Miller and Chris Lykes.

5. Potomac (Md.) (23-5)

The defending Maryland 2A state champion Wolverines are reloaded, as high-scoring transfer Kaine Wilson joins one of the area’s best players, Randall Broddie (Memphis), in a potent backcourt.

6. Bullis (25-4)

The three-time defending IAC champions lost their top four scorers but restocked with talented transfers in swingman Chyree Walker and guard Mickey Bell.

7. Riverdale Baptist (30-9)

The Crusaders feature a sound backcourt combo in Dequan Abrom, who can score in bunches, and Kenny Wormley, who is one of area’s top lockdown defenders.

8. Montrose Christian (20-5)

Despite graduating five seniors and losing All-Met guard Allonzo Trier to transfer, the Mustangs welcomed six of their own transfers, led by Alani Moore and Taron Oliver.

9. Wise (24-2)

Last year’s Maryland 4A state champions lost their four leading scorers, but the Pumas return a strong group of young talent ready to contend in Prince George’s County.

Develle Phillips returns for a Clinton Christian team determined to repeat as Capital Beltway champions. (Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)

Trey Johnson is one half of W.T. Woodson’s potent one-two backcourt punch. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

10. O’Connell (20-12)

The Knights will look to fill the void left by All-Met Player of the Year Melo Trimble with a handful of emerging players in Jamaal King, Oumar Barry, Ako Adams and Lewis Djonkam.

11. National Christian (18-11)

The Eagles have an effective inside-outside combination in swingman Christian Matthews and forward Sylvester Obonga (Georgia Tech).

12. Capitol Christian (22-11)

The Warriors lost all five of their starters but remain contenders in the Capital Beltway Athletic Association behind guards Malik Norfleet and Kwame Camon.

13. W.T. Woodson (21-9)

The two-time defending Virginia 6A North region champs will again be led by four-year starter Eric Bowles, along with sharpshooter Matt Ayoub and slasher Trey Johnson.

14. Coolidge (18-14)

The Colts lost their top three scorers from last year’s team, but bring back junior guard Justin Route, who is poised for a breakout season.

15. Westfield (11-14)

The Bulldogs will vie for their second region title in the last four years, thanks to the addition of junior transfer forward Tyler Scanlon (Paul VI) and emerging guard Brandon Francis.

16. Maret (22-8)

Gone are the Frogs’ trio of senior guards, but Austin Vereen and Luka Garza form an effective one-two punch for the defending MAC champs.

17. Wakefield (24-5)

The defending Virginia 5A North region champs look to repeat behind the play of standout forward Dominique Tham and three-point specialist Marqua Walton.

18. Theodore Roosevelt (25-6)

The Rough Riders lost the hero of their DCIAA championship season, Johnnie Shuler, but return wingman Anthony Whitney, who should help them re-emerge near the top of their league.

19. Oakland Mills (20-5)

The Scorpions already boasted one of Howard County’s best talents in forward Mamadou Ndiaye, and they added senior transfer Will Robinson (St. Frances) to an athletic core.

20. Eleanor Roosevelt (16-7)

Leading scorer Andre Fox is gone, but the addition of Takoma Academy transfer Oladoyin Fadojutimi to a strong group of returners should ease the blow.

On the bubble: Magruder, Potomac (Va.), River Hill, Springbrook, Westlake

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Maryland girls: Montgomery 4A | 3A/2A | Howard

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