Welcome to the 2013 Enoch Office/Varsity Sports Network preseason Top 20 boys’ basketball poll. VSN ranks the top teams in the Baltimore region which covers public and private schools in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County and Howard County.

As we progress towards the regular season, we will countdown our 2013 Enoch Office/VSN Boys’ Basketball Preseason Rankings from No. 20 all the way to No. 1.

9. Dunbar Poets

2012-13 record: 26-2 (Baltimore City Division I & Class 1A state champions; No. 1 in final VSN Top 20)

Coach: Cyrus Jones (7th season)

Returning letter winners – 7

Returning starters – 2

Key returning players – Trevis Buchanon, 6-foot-8, senior, center; Rodney Clowney, 6-7, junior, forward/center; Keandre Gibson, 5-10, senior, guard; Justin Fields, 5-8, junior, guard; Keyshawn Hampton, 6-1, senior, guard; Jalen Howard, 6-5, junior, guard/forward; Justin McNair, 6-5, senior, forward

Key newcomers – Todd Classon, 6-5, sophomore, forward; Gregory Collins, 6-4, senior, forward; Rhy-heim Davis, 5-11, junior, guard; Lee Parham, 6-4, sophomore, forward; Jermaine Tazwell, 5-9, sophomore, guard

Outlook – After back-to-back Baltimore City Division I championships, Dunbar could be in transition this season. The Poets graduated first-team All-Met performer Dax Miles (Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts), who recently signed with West Virginia University, and three other players transferred.

Buchanon (7.3 rebounds a game last season) and Gibson, a three-year letter winner, are returning starters with last season’s reserves Hampton and McNair set to move into starting roles. Hampton will be looked upon to provide scoring punch.

Clowney and Howard also move into significant roles. Jones said Tazewell, a transfer from Coppin Academy and Classon (up from junior varsity) will have an impact.

There’s been much talk around the city during the offseason about Dunbar after Kamau Stokes (City College), Anthony Brown (Milford Mill Academy) and Montague Wright (Lake Clifton) left. Jones is excited about the challenge as the Poets move into Class 2A.

“Now, it’s more teaching and trying to get the young guys to really learn quick,” said Jones, who was VSN’s Coach of the Year in 2012. “How quickly they learn and pick up things will tell how the season will go.”

2013-14 schedule

Dec. 5 at W.E.B. DuBois

Dec. 7 vs. Wilson (D.C.) at Baltimore/D.C. Challenge at Lake Clifton

Dec. 10 vs. Maritime Academy

Dec. 17 vs. New Era Academy

Dec. 19 vs. Mervo

Dec. 26-29 Governor’s Challenge at Wicomico Civic Center

cyrus jonesJan. 3 vs. Patterson

Jan. 7 at Edmondson

Jan. 10 at Douglass

Jan. 15 at Bluford Drew Jemison

Jan. 17 vs. Poly

Jan. 18 vs. West Charlotte (N.C.) at MLK Hoopfest at Coolidge (D.C.)

Jan. 24 vs. Milford Mill Academy at Basketball Academy at Morgan State University

Jan. 25 vs. Riverdale Baptist at Basketball Academy

Jan. 28 at Ben Franklin/Masonville Academy

Jan. 31 vs. Carver Vo-Tech

Feb. 4 vs. Lake Clifton

Feb. 7 vs. Forest Park

Feb. 11 vs. Digital Harbor

Feb. 14 vs. City College

Feb. 19 vs. Wilde Lake