Coach: Brad McKay
Last year: Finished 10th in the Northwest Conference with a 4-8 record. ... Didn’t qualify for the postseason and finished 9-11 overall.
Players to watch: Kalien Hayes (sr., F); Dante Check (sr., G); Logan Schilder (sr., C); Kyle Hofstetter (jr., G); Kieran Lewis (sr., G)
Outlook: The Red Raiders shouldn’t have much trouble scoring this winter. Bellingham is balanced and returns senior forward Hayes, who averaged just south of 18 points per game last winter. Where the Red Raiders need to improve most, McKay said, is defense. “We have to play better defense,” he said in a phone interview. “I felt like last year we scored enough to be in games, but we gave up way too many points.” It makes sense, then, that Bellingham has placed a premium early this season on playing consistent defense. McKay said Bellingham has a lot of pieces, and if they work in unison, the coach believes his team can be a force in the Northwest Conference. Besides Hayes, senior guard Check, who averaged 10 points per game last year, returns. Senior 7-footer Schilder is getting his first varsity minutes after suffering a season-ending injury 40 seconds into Bellingham’s second game last year, and guards Hofstetter and Lewis are expected to be strong contributors.